Physical branch meetings are currently cancelled due to COVID-19. However there are virtual activities being run by some branches. Please contact your local branch for more information.

We hope you find the information on these pages helpful. Our team is working tirelessly to provide up to date advice in relation to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. Record numbers of people are now turning to NASS for support, and we hope to be here for everyone. Our helpline and advice service are only possible thanks to donations from people like you.

If you are able to make a donation to NASS today, we'd be so grateful.


Our Trustees

Meet our elected trustees who work to guide our charity

Our Trustees include people with axial SpA and health professionals

Dr. Antoni Chan

Antoni is a Consultant Rheumatologist at the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust and a long-term supporter of NASS. He is the lead clinician for the Aspiring to Excellence team in Reading, which aims to encourage and recognise service improvement in axial SpA (AS) care. In 2018 he won the NASS Patient Choice Award for best care by a rheumatologist and in January 2020 he spoke at the All Party Parliamentary Group on axial SpA. He is also a member of the NASS Medical Advisory Board.

Nick Clarke

Nick was diagnosed with axial SpA (AS) in 2014. He is passionate about advocating for early intervention, early diagnosis and how to promote physical activity and other treatments in order to support reduction in pain and progression. Nick has worked in the field of public health and physical activity for over 15 years specialising in intervention design, behaviour change and the impact of physical activity on a range of health conditions.

Paul Curry

Paul has been an active member of NASS since his diagnosis in 2008. From representing NASS at conferences to speaking in the media and at the Houses of Parliament, Paul has been a strong spokesperson for NASS since he joined the organisation. He has also organised fundraising events and helped many times at Members Day ‘Friends & Family’ sessions. Paul lives in Durham with his wife and three children and is a Director of a Garden Centre & Landscape Company.

Gillian Eames

Gillian has lived with axial SpA (AS)  for over 30 years. With the support of NASS and the RNHRD in Bath she has stayed in control of her AS. She was medically retired from Local Government in 1999 which had a huge impact on her life. Gillian spends a lot of time helping others with axial SpA (AS) find the right help and support. She also holds regular fundraising events for NASS and volunteers in the office when needed.

Dr Jackie Harris

Jackie is a retired Pharmaceutical Director with a long-standing interest in axial SpA (AS), both personally and professionally. As former Director of Immunology at Abbott/Abbvie, she was responsible for launching Humira (adalimumab) and as Director of Hospital Products at Schering Plough, she was responsible for launching Remicade (infliximab). Jackie contributes strategic business, sales and marketing and scientific expertise.

Poppy Hocken

Poppy has been a member of NASS for a number of years and along with her family has been actively involved in fundraising on a regular basis for the charity. Poppy has been symptomatic with her axial SpA (AS)  since her late teens. Poppy did contribute to the axial SpA (AS)  world as a clinical research nurse in Bath, involved with many drug trials, relating to current biologics. Poppy is passionate about the Aspiring to Excellence programme – every axial SpA patient deserves gold standard care.

Claire Jeffries

Claire is a Specialist Physiotherapist at Solent NHS Trust and the Chair of AStretch. She has worked with NASS on numerous projects, including 11 exercise videos that were launched by the charity in 2019 and in 2018 she won the NASS Patient Choice Award for You Changed My Life. Claire is also a member of the NASS Medical Advisory Board.

Monika Mayhew

Monika was diagnosed with axial SpA (AS)  at the age of 19 and became NASS’s youngest trustee when she was elected at the age of 21. She found coming to terms with the diagnosis overwhelming and distressing but has since found NASS and started on anti TNF therapy. Monika works as a registered paramedic, and as a trustee pledges to raise awareness and spread support to young people dealing with a diagnosis, particularly through the use of social media which she feels is more appropriate for young people.

Raj Mahapatra (Chair)

Raj has served as a trustee and Chair of NASS since 2014. Raj was diagnosed with axial SpA (AS)  in 1994. As someone who now lives well with axial SpA (AS), he continues to champion those living with chronic pain and supporting NASS in its mission to raise awareness of the condition and in doing so reduce the significant delay to diagnosis. Raj plays an active part in numerous national and international programmes connected with the condition.

Danny McFarlane (Treasurer)

Danny was diagnosed with axial SpA (AS)  at the age of 22 having had symptoms since the age of 14. He has 25 years of experience as a Financial Advisor as well as having run his own FCA regulated company for 12 years. He has presented at NASS events, offering advice on insurance, and is passionate about helping others living with the condition. Danny lives in London with his wife and two children.

Patricia O’Callaghan

Patricia was diagnosed with axial SpA (AS) in 2014, following 25 years of unexplained low back pain during pregnancy. She is a member of NASS London Tooting and is passionate about helping NASS to reduce the delay to diagnosis and in particular raising awareness of AS amongst GPs and other health care professionals. She has studied law to postgraduate level in London and worked as a legal assistant and case worker in law centres.

Peter Townsend

Peter was diagnosed with axial SpA (AS) in his early twenties, having had symptoms for a few years previously. He has been a NASS member for 20 years and has been involved in the NASS Grimsby branch since soon after its opening; Peter is currently the Chair of the branch. He has been active in raising the profile of axial SpA (AS) and has campaigned against closure of the local hydrotherapy pools.



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People Sally Helpline

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Since 1976, NASS has been here to help. We have the information you need, along with a community of people who understand.

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