The NRAS Blog

About NRAS


NRAS was launched in 2001 by Ailsa Bosworth (chief executive), who saw a need to provide focus and a voice for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), an often misunderstood disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis, the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, causes joint inflammation, swelling and stiffness and extreme fatigue. It affects almost 700,000 people in the UK and should not be confused with osteoarthritis which is caused through wear and tear. It is a painful and progressive disabling disease of the autoimmune system and has no known cause or cure, and if not diagnosed quickly can lead to permanent joint damage. It can affect people of any age - nearly 12,000 children under the age of 16 suffer from the juvenile form JIA (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis).

NRAS is run by a staff of 19 from its offices in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

NRAS is the only national charity with a specific focus on RA and was set up to improve the quality of life for people with the disease and to:

  • Provide information and support to people with RA, their families and carers
  • Raise public and government awareness of RA
  • Campaign for more funding and better use of existing resources in the treatment of RA
  • Facilitate the networking of people with RA and encourage self-help

We provide the following:
  • The NRAS Helpline – To give information and support to patients, their families and carers via the phone or email
  • The NRAS Website – To give information, education and support online. There is a members’ forum to promote communication between people who, due to the effects of RA, often lead difficult and isolated lives.
  • Campaigning – We work at government level to get RA higher on the national health agenda and improve access to treatment. Our All Party Parliamentary Group events raise the profile of the disease in all age groups.
  • The NRAS Volunteer Network – Launched in 2003 to enable individuals to get peer to peer support from someone who has the disease. We have over 400 trained Volunteers who provide telephone support. We also have volunteers who run NRAS Groups across the country where people with RA can meet, improve their understanding of the disease, learn how to self manage their condition, raise awareness and fundraise in their communities.