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Questions and answers about the merger

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You can find out more about the merger with Arthritis Care – and how it affects you.

About the merger

Why are Arthritis Research UK and Arthritis Care merging?

The two organisations are merging so that we can address the huge unmet need of people with arthritis and do more for them.

Arthritis Research UK and Arthritis Care have a shared ambition to support people with arthritis to live full and active lives.

Together, we can do more to change attitudes towards arthritis. We can reach many thousands more with the information and support they need. We can also influence the provision of services and more essential research into better treatments and cures.

What happens next?

Arthritis Research UK and Arthritis Care will become one charity from 1st November 2017.

There will be a transitional period while the new merged charity takes shape and some changes are likely. During this time, our services, support, care and research will be unaffected. We will continue to update you here and we will continue to update those we work with closely.

What will the leadership of the merged charity look like?

The chief executive will be Liam O’Toole, who continues as chief executive of Arthritis Research UK.

The chair of the merged charity will be Rodger McMillan, who continues as chair of the Trustees’ Board. A number of Arthritis Care trustees also join the board of the merged charity.

On 1st November, a temporary Transformational Leadership Team (TLT) will come into effect. The TLT will lead and manage the merger process and organisational transformation until 2020.

What will the merged charity be called?

We are currently developing the name and brand of the merged charity. We will make sure this is a cost effective and time efficient exercise.

We will take professional advice and insight from people with arthritis, who we are here to serve, to make an informed choice. Our new board of trustees will make the final decision about the charity’s new name and branding.

Will the merger affect the information and support offered to people with arthritis?

In the past, both charities published excellent information for people with arthritis. What’s important is that we are committed to producing high quality and reliable information that people can easily get hold of and in the format that’s right for them.

Our information team will continually evaluate and develop our information and publications, ensuring that they are developed in consultation with people with arthritis and meet their needs.

Both charities operated helplines and offered information and / or support online and the merged charity will continue to operate these services for the foreseeable future.


Will the role of branches, groups, and volunteers change?

We greatly value our branches, groups and volunteers. The merger will strengthen the role of our branches and volunteers. Your continued support is incredibly important to us. Together we can build a supporter base to rival the biggest charities and be a vital source of insight about the needs of people with arthritis.

We will keep in touch with branch and group members and volunteers in the coming months to share news about the merger.

Fundraising and donations

If I donate to either charity, does the merger affect me?

Thank you for your support!

Arrangements will remain the same for now. From 1st November 2017, your contribution will go to Arthritis Research UK (Registered Charity Number 207711 / SC041156).

If you regularly donate to us (for example through direct debit), we will contact you if any changes are needed in the future. For example, the references on your bank statement will change to the charity’s new name in the future.

Visit our Support us page to find out about the range of ways you can help us to change lives.

Can I still fundraise for Arthritis Research UK and / or Arthritis Care?

Thank you for all your amazing fundraising!

You can carry on fundraising in the usual way and the money you raise will help the merged charity to deliver more and even better information, support and services to people with arthritis.

I have left a gift in my Will to either Arthritis Research UK or Arthritis Care. What do I need to do?

Thank you for naming us in your Will.

If you named Arthritis Care in your Will, you should check with your solicitor if the wording of your Will needs to change. For example, if your Will states that Arthritis Care must be in existence as a charity, this could be a problem in the future.

You do not need to make any changes if you have named Arthritis Research UK in your Will, as we will make sure that all gifts are received by, and support the work of, the merged charity.

How was the decision to merge made?

Discussions between the two charities began in early 2017. As the two charities grew we increasingly found ourselves working in similar areas. We wanted to avoid duplicating our work and to address any confusion about the difference between the two charities.

In August 2017, both charities’ boards formally approved the merger after a process of due diligence. Arthritis Care members overwhelmingly supported the merger.


Will the merger with Arthritis Care affect investment in research?

We are merging so that we can address the huge unmet need of people with arthritis and do more for them.

We strongly believe that working together with Arthritis Care will create more opportunities to have a greater impact on the lives of people with arthritis.

Funding world class research allows us to achieve this and remains core to the charity’s success. Our intention is to maintain our support for the careers of future and current research leaders, fund exceptional research through our insight driven challenges, and to strengthen and grow partnerships with others to achieve our ambitions.

Your personal data and supporter records

Does the merger affect what happens to personal data the charities hold about me?

If Arthritis Research UK holds personal data about you (such as your name or address), or sensitive data (such as information about health) this will be unaffected by the merger.

If Arthritis Care held personal data about you, that data transferred to Arthritis Research UK from 1st November 2017. Your communication preferences will remain the same. Arthritis Care has contacted people whose data the charity holds, to inform them of this.

To describe how the merged charity will handle data we have updated our privacy policy.

For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.