Leadership team

Liam O'Toole

Liam became CEO of Versus Arthritis in November 2017 when Arthritis Research UK merged with Arthritis Care. As CEO of the merged charity, Liam has led in the creation of an entirely new, vibrant organisation that will not rest until society no longer tolerates the pain, fatigue and isolation of arthritis and related conditions.

Liam was CEO at Arthritis Research UK from November 2009 until merger. Whilst under Liam’s leadership the charity underwent transformational change and emerged as a modern, third sector organisation with the needs of people with arthritis central to everything it does. Prior to that Liam was the first: - Head of the Office for Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research (OSCHR), CEO of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) and Administrative Director of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI).

Liam also has senior roles across the health and care sector including Chair of the Richmond Group.

Charlotte Guiver

Charlotte became Director of Income at Versus Arthritis in 2017, following the merger, having been at Arthritis Research UK for several years. Previously Charlotte has worked in various senior roles across the not for profit sector, including British Lung Foundation and British Heart Foundation, combining her income generation and marketing knowledge with her passion for medical research, health and social care. Prior to working in the charity sector Charlotte worked for several years in product marketing roles in the publishing sector.

Along with her team, Charlotte’s priority is to grow income and enable the charity to be financial sustainable. Her focus over the last few years has been to identify and introduce new commercial income streams to help achieve faster growth and has led on Versus Arthritis’s first commercial start-up – Arthr which launched in 2020.

Nicola Peachey

Following 10 years with the NSPCC as deputy director of HR, Nicola joined Arthritis Research UK in November 2010 to develop and lead the newly created organisational development function. Our people are one of Versus Arthritis' biggest resources and Nicola is responsible for ensuring that everyone can push back against arthritis to the best of their ability. This includes leading on internal communications, learning and development, effective people management and also our culture and how we measure success and progress internally.

Before moving to the not-for-profit sector in 2000, Nicola’s HR career included roles in local government, international publishing and re-insurance, where she gained extensive experience in organisational design, recruitment, business start-ups, expatriate management, reward, retention and major organisational change programmes.

Nicola balances her role at Arthritis Research UK with a busy family life. She's deputy chair of governors for a local primary school

Olivia Belle

Olivia joined Arthritis Research UK in 2012 from Hospice UK, where she led the development of Hospice Care Week, delivered in partnership with local hospices.

Olivia has held a number of roles at Versus Arthritis and is currently Director of Transformation leading the change programme which has seen us become Versus Arthritis.

She has previously held senior communications and external affairs roles in health, social care, disability, children and youth charities, seeking to change attitudes and behaviours and always to amplify the voice of beneficiaries.

Stephen Simpson

Stephen is Versus Arthritis’s Director of Research, a post he took up in 2012. He is responsible for leading the development and effective implementation of research at the charity, including new areas of research translation and partnership funding.

Prior to his current role, Stephen was Director of Life Sciences, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), where he led the core objectives of delivering research excellence in the life sciences and sustaining economic relevance and growth of Irish research.

Stephen also spent eight years as an editor at the international journal, Science, where he managed the publication of original high-impact research in immunology, cancer and infectious diseases. This followed a decade at the bench, performing and publishing biomedical research in the US, Ireland and the UK.

Stewart Long

With over 30 years in the charity sector, Stewart has worked across various health challenges including deafness, visual impairment, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Roles have focused on co-design of UK service interventions that help people with a lived condition to make informed choices and decisions about their care and support. As former Director of Nations and Services at Arthritis Care, Stewart has been leading the delivery and development of local, national and UK services as well as evolving involvement and volunteering offers within the field of arthritis since 2014.

As Director of involvement, influencing and support, Stewart is responsible for guiding the charity wide four nations approach to all our strategic priorities alongside the establishment of our local, national and UK services offer and influencing approaches. In addition, creating the catalyst and momentum for our involvement aspirations, particularly amongst people with arthritis, their family and friends.

Amanda Neylon

Amanda joined the charity in January 2019 as Director of Digital, Technology and Data and moved to be Director Of Insight, Data and Technology in May 2020. Her role is focused on ensuring our internal systems support all of our staff and volunteers, that our web platforms and applications provide the information and services that people need, that we are effectively measuring the impact we have, and that we are responsibly ensuring that the data and insight that we gather and hold is safe, secure and being used effectively to make decisions. She is passionate about being agile, innovative and using technology and data to do great things and make everybody’s lives easier.

Amanda started her career in the car industry with Vauxhall back when the web was all about Flash Microsites but since then has been firmly in the not for profit sector with roles at NHS Digital, Macmillan Cancer Support, the Metropolitan Police and Diabetes UK – with some traveling and mountain climbing in between.