Leadership team

Liam O'Toole

Liam O'Toole - CEO

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.

Ellen Miller

Ellen Miller - Director of Planning and Operations (Deputy CEO)

Ellen is the Director of Planning and Operations (Deputy CEO). As well as leading on ensuring the charity is clear about its direction and ensuring delivery, her role encompasses responsibility for our research work, finance, strategy and planning, transformation, governance and assurance.

Ellen joined Versus Arthritis in September 2020 from Victim Support, where she was Services Director for a wide range of local services and strategic relationships across the North/Midlands, also leading on work nationally on sexual violence, domestic abuse and managing responses to major terror attacks. Prior to this her career spanned the statutory, charity and commercial sectors, working particularly in strategy, commissioning, performance and transformation.

Charlotte Guiver

Charlotte Guiver - Director of Income

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.

Olivia Belle

Olivia Belle - Director of Recognition, Brand and Activation

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 Recognition, Brand and Activation leading our work to change how society views arthritis - getting more people to care and to join the push back against arthritis.

She lead the transformation programme at the charity and previously held a number of senior executive 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.

Stewart Long

Stewart Long - Director of Involvement, Influencing and Support

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.

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.

Dr Helen Timbrell

Helen Trimbrell - Director of People and Organisational Development

Helen joined the charity in August 2020 as Director of People and Organisational Development. She is the executive director for HR, Facilities, Diversity and Inclusion, Organisational Development, and Workplace Wellbeing. Helen has spent over 20 years in the charity sector including as a Director with Samaritans and the National Trust, and as a Trustee with Girlguiding UK and the Association of Volunteer Managers.

For the two years prior to joining Versus Arthritis Helen worked independently as a consultant focussing predominantly on organisational development and volunteering in UK national charities. Clients included the Scouts Association, Citizens Advice and SSAFA. Helen is a qualified coach and an experienced researcher with her PhD and MBA both exploring people issues in charities. As an independent researcher, recent work explored the differing experiences of White and Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic volunteers within four charities and current research is exploring issues of access and inclusion in charity sector coaching programmes.

Helen currently volunteers as a member of the HR Sub Committee for Amnesty International UK and as Event Director for her local parkrun.

Claire MacIver

Claire joined Versus Arthritis as Director of Finance and Procurement in September 2020. In her role, Claire is responsible for monitoring the changing finances of the organisation and providing strategic financial planning, modelling and analysis. She leads the annual budgeting cycle and oversees the purchasing of goods and services, alongside statutory reporting, control and financial risk management.

A chartered accountant (ACA), Claire began her career in audit with Deloitte before moving into the charity sector with Cancer Research UK (CRUK). She held a number of roles at CRUK including Head of Finance for Fundraising & Marketing, where she was responsible for the full suite of business partnering and financial planning and analysis for over £500m of income. She also led the transition of finance and grants from the charity’s largest research institute to the Francis Crick Institute, Europe’s biggest biomedical research facility.

Dr Neha Issar-Brown

Dr Neha Issar-Brown, Direct of Research

Dr Neha Issar-Brown has over 15 years of experience across the scientific research, funding, evidence analyses, governance and policy sectors, with a broad skill base gained within private, public and not-for-profit organisations internationally. Neha has lived and worked in India, France, Germany and UK and has accumulated excellent overarching knowledge of the international health and research landscape covering High, Low and Middle-Income countries.

Neha joins Versus Arthritis from Fight for Sight, where she worked as Director of Research, Policy and Innovation and initiated the development of the charity’s first patient centric research strategy.

Previously she was Head of Population Health and System Medicine at the UKRI's Medical Research Council (MRC), where she was responsible for the broadest research portfolios within UKRI covering basic biomedical research through clinical and translational research, and interdisciplinary interfaces with socioeconomic, population and public health. She was the MRC strategic lead for several high priority areas such as healthy ageing, precision medicine, rare diseases as well as MSK research. Neha is passionate about patient involvement and has conceptualised and led many flagship initiatives with patients at their core, including the MRC-NIHR partnerships on multimorbidity and ME/chronic fatigue syndrome.

Her voluntary work extends her broader commitment to diversity and includes being an RCOG women’s voices panel member, a L’Oreal women in science STEM ambassador and Teach First UK youth mentor. Neha also sits on the Governing boards of educational academies, where she serves as an equality, diversity and inclusion champion.