Introducing our new Chair and Trustees

19 January 2023

Following an extensive recruitment campaign that started last summer, we are delighted to announce that in late December 2022 we appointed a new Chair of the Board of Trustees and six new Trustees.

Our new Chair Kate Tompkins has extensive experience in integrated person-centred care and support, having worked in the community and as a Chief Nurse and Chief Executive in the NHS and as CEO of Cavell Nurses Trust charity. Kate has also a great deal of experience as a trustee and Chair at several charities including the Royal Osteoporosis Society, Dorothy House Hospice Care and Hospice UK. Kate has a particular interest in supporting people with long term and life limiting conditions in their own home and community.

Kate said “It is my great privilege to have been appointed as Chair of Trustees for the Board of Versus Arthritis and I very much look forward to working with the staff, volunteers, supporters and members of the charity.”

Our new trustees almost all have a personal connection to our cause, whether with a diagnosis themselves, or a very close family member. One of our key objectives during this recruitment process was to diversify the Board to better reflect the experiences of people with arthritis. Our new trustees range in age, gender, and ethnic background, some have been trustees before, others have not. Some have been volunteering with us for a long time, and others are completely new to the charity, bringing a diverse range of expertise and experience to support our future development.

  • Caitríona Roberts first became involved with the Versus Arthritis at the age of 12 after a diagnosis of JIA and since 2010 has volunteered with Versus Arthritis in many different ways. Caitríona is Vice Chair of our Northern Ireland Volunteer Engagement Group.
  • Lilian Rose has worked in fundraising and marketing for charities including Mencap, Barnardo’s, Chickenshed and Marie Curie, as well as the commercial sector and was a trustee of ARMA until 2021.
  • Sukhy Bachada oversees European media relations for an international healthcare communications agency, working closely with pharmaceutical companies, patient advocacy groups and healthcare professionals.
  • Dr. Jane Taylor has spent most of her working life teaching in higher education and now works part time teaching Open University students. Jane has been a member of Versus Arthritis Charitable Purposes Committee for several years and volunteered with Versus Arthritis for 14 years. For 6 of these Jane was chair of our Patient insight partners who ensured the patient voice was heard and fully integrated into the research work of the charity Jane’s interest in research comes from her own experience as both patient and carer.
  • Paul Vandenberge has been a member of Versus Arthritis Risk and Audit Committee and is a member of the executive leadership team at G Research, Europe’s leading quantitative finance research.
  • Jo Williams is the CEO of the Royal Orthopaedic NHS Hospital in Birmingham and the Lead CEO for the National Orthopaedic Alliance (NOA), a membership organisation that brings together orthopaedic providers across the country to put orthopaedics at the top of the agenda.
  • Professor Martijn Steultjens – who became a Trustee in 2016 becomes our new Vice Chair.

Deborah Alsina, CEO of Versus Arthritis said “We are very excited to welcome our new Chair and Trustees who will be joining Versus Arthritis as we launch a new five year strategy. We would like to convey our heartfelt thanks to our outgoing chair Rodger McMillan and Vice Chair Karin Hogsander and trustees who are stepping down shortly and wish them all the very best for the future”