Shantel Irwin
Chief Executive
Shantel is the Chief Executive of Arthritis Action and a Trustee of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA), an umbrella organisation for arthritis charities concerned with musculoskeletal disorders, rheumatology, arthritis research & care. She has worked in membership organisations for over 15 years in both the charity and private sectors. Shantel is keen to help more people with arthritis to lead active lives through Arthritis Action’s self-management approach. She is also a Director of the Lips Choir Community Interest Company.
Noha Al Afifi
Director of Marketing & Communications
Noha joined Arthritis Action in September 2015 and is responsible for raising the profile of the Charity and enhancing public awareness of arthritis. She also supports Arthritis Action’s fundraising, services, education and public affairs activities. Noha has over 15 years’ experience in marketing and communications across various sectors in the UK and abroad.
Heather Baumohl-Johnson
Director of Member Services & Operations
Heather joined Arthritis Action in February 2015 and is responsible for developing the Charity’s Member Services and supports the psychological health of people with arthritis. Heather is an experienced senior executive whose work has involved strategic senior leadership, developing self-management approaches, volunteer and local group management. Heather has an MSc in Clinical Hypnotherapy with a background in psychology and is a trained Mental Health First Aider.
Leah Boylan
Group and Events Officer
Leah joined Arthritis Action in December 2016 and is responsible for developing the programme of events, as well as furthering the work of Arthritis Action to local communities. Leah has a background in events organisation with a focus on providing a positive experience for members and service users to increase their confidence and involvement. Leah is currently enjoying working towards Diploma in Events Management.
Sarah Gudgin
Member Services Manager
Sarah joined Arthritis Action in February 2016 and is responsible for managing the Charity’s membership service, organising and facilitating Group meetings across the UK as well as furthering the work of the Charity. Sarah has a background in recruitment as well as the not-for-profit sector.
Dr Wendy Holden
Medical Advisor
Wendy is a Consultant Rheumatologist at North Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Her main role with Arthritis Action will be to help to develop the programme in a way that clinicians and doctors can value and support as part of an overall approach to managing arthritis. As well as being a hospital consultant, Wendy has additional training in pain management, acupuncture and osteopathy and won a national award as Healthcare Champion from the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society in 2011. She has a particular interest in the role of self-management alongside conventional medical care for arthritis.
Despina Koniordou
Communications Officer
Despina joined in March 2016 to help spread the messages of Arthritis Action through web, digital and print communications and oversee the website development. Despina, a Forensic psychology postgraduate, has a background in healthcare, research, academic and science communications, experience working in membership and not-for-profit, and a lot of experience in volunteering for charities.
Martin Lau
Services Development Manager
Martin was a Senior Dietitian in the NHS prior to joining Arthritis Action. He is interested in eating patterns, nutrients’ interactions and strength training in people with arthritis. Martin’s role is to develop Arthritis Action's Member services in addition to offering nutritional consultations in both Eastbourne and London. He also gives presentations to community groups. He is a registered dietitian with the Health and Care Professional Council and a member of the British Health Professionals in Rheumatology.
Alison Lloyd
Membership and Office Administrator
Alison joined Arthritis Action in July 2017 and her role is to welcome new Members and provide administrative support to the Membership Team. Alison worked as a freelance proof reader and taught English in private language schools abroad and in London before joining the not-for-profit sector, where she has many years’ experience of administration and working directly with Members and service users.
Debbie Putland
Operations Manager
Debbie works closely with everyone at Head Office to ensure all the processes and procedures work in member’s best interests and operate efficiently. Debbie also takes the organisational lead of the Annual General Meeting and Annual Conference along with the production and delivery of The Arthritis Action News. On the practical level she ensures that the office runs smoothly.
Mervi Slade
Fundraising Manager
Mervi joined the Team in November 2017. Her role is to find new exciting ways to raise funds for the work Arthritis Action does to help people’s lives. She has previously worked in fundraising for Save the Children, Diabetes UK and NCT (National Childbirth Trust) as well as having worked for fundraising agencies. Her corporate clients have included H&M, The Guardian, Haymarket Media Group and London Stock Exchange.
David Vaux
Therapies Manager
David joined the Team in September 2017 as the Therapies Manager. He is responsible for managing our Therapies/Associated Practitioner Service to Members and leading on research into the best evidence-based therapies for people with arthritis. With a lifelong interest in performance from sport to the arts, David has worked as conditioning coach/medical team member to the England T Rugby Squad and many other household names, including his most recent work at the 2017 London World athletics championships, as part of the International Athletics Association medical team. A Registered Osteopath, conditioning coach and occupational health and fitness expert, David also sits at committee level for several UK health care associations.
Graham Weir
Company Secretary
Graham is an accountant, responsible for the Charity’s financial administration and reporting, and for ensuring that it is compliant with all corporate statutory and regulatory requirements. Before joining the Charity, Graham worked in Corporate Banking for over 20 years.