Leadership team

Deborah Alsina MBE

Deborah Alsina

Deborah Alsina MBE joined Versus Arthritis’ as Chief Executive in March 2022. She brings more than 30 years' experience of working across the voluntary sector including with organisations specialising in refugee and human rights issues, cancer and older people. Prior to joining the charity, she was Chief Executive of national older people’s charity, Independent Age and previously Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, a position she held for over ten years.

Deborah was awarded an MBE in 2016 in recognition of her service to bowel cancer patients, named Charity Chief Executive of the Year in 2017 and Charity Principal of the Year in 2018. In 2019 she was ranked by Charity Times as being among the 25 most influential leaders in the voluntary sector. Deborah is a passionate advocate for people with arthritis, as it has had a big impact on members of her family. She also has personal experience of living with an MSK condition and the challenges living with chronic pain can bring and wants to ensure that people can gain access to a swift diagnosis and the best treatment and care wherever they live in the UK.

Simon Hopkins

Simon Hopkins joins us after almost three years leading the resources directorate and transformation programme at Blind Veterans UK. He’s previously held a variety of senior roles in the Third Sector.


Simon started his career as a chartered accountant with KPMG in London. He’s subsequently held senior financial positions in commerce, specialising in financial strategy, commercial finance, business development and service management.

For most of the last 20 years, Simon’s roles have focused on change leadership and whole-organisation transformation.

He’s a regular columnist for Charity Finance magazine, a visiting speaker on the Inspiring Financial Leadership programme at Bayes Business School and was the originating author of CFG’s development model, The Finance Journey. 


Steve Williams

Steve is our interim Director of People and Organisational Development, having joined us in September 2022 and is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. With around 12 years’ experience operating at director level, Steve brings a wealth of experience across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, including BT, ActionAid UK, The Children’s Society, Wandle Housing Association and, most recently, Speech and Language UK where he was Director of Corporate Services.

He is leading on human resources, volunteer development, organisational development, workforce engagement and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Steve has personal experience of living with an MSK condition and, in his spare time, is a school governor, a trustee of the Charity HR Network and has helped to set up a registered charity aimed at enhancing wellbeing through singing in a choir.

Zoe Chivers

Zoe Chivers joined Versus Arthritis in 2018 and is Director of Services and Influencing and is leading our strategy to respond to the needs of people with arthritis through service provision, direct support, and systems change.

Zoe is a fierce advocate for people with arthritis across all areas of her work. With more than 15 years' experience in the third sector across statutory, trust and healthcare funded contracts and commissioned services, she brings a wealth of experience in operations design and development including recruitment, people and budget management. Zoe has also created and led on innovative delivery models and is especially enthusiastic about the use of technology in this area.