Your questions answered

In this section you will find answers to your questions about the following topics: 

About the merger 

Why are Arthritis Care and Arthritis Research UK 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?
As of 1 November, Arthritis Care and Arthritis Research UK are one charity. There will be a transitional period while the 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 be in contact with those with whom we work 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 1 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.

Our services

Will your face-to-face services continue across the country?
Yes. Our face-to-face services – Living Well with Arthritis, Young People and Families, Staying Connected in Later Life, and Working Well with Arthritis – will continue and we will be able to reach even more people living with arthritis around the UK.

Will the Helpline continue?
Yes, both the Arthritis Care Helpline and the Arthritis Research UK Helpline will continue to operate, with the aim of bringing them together within one helpline number in the future. We will update our supporters about any changes to these arrangements and will continue to update you via our website.

I use your Online Community. Will this change?
Our Online Community is a great forum for discussion and you can continue to use this once the two charities have merged. We will improve and grow the online community as a merged charity.

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.

Volunteering

Will branches, groups and volunteers still be able to be involved in the same way? 
We greatly value our branches, groups and volunteers. The merger will strengthen the role of our branches and volunteers and 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. 

Your donations and support 

If I donate to either charity, does the merger affect me?
Thank you for your support!

Arrangements will remain the same for now. From 1 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.

I give regularly to Arthritis Care. What do I need to do?
Thanks for your support! If you give by either direct debit or standing order, this stays the same for now. The references on your bank statement will change to the charity’s new name, but we will let you know when this will happen.

If you give in another way (for example by cheque or via the website), then you can continue to give as normal. All money received will help the merged charity to deliver even greater support to people with arthritis.

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

I would like to start donating or change my donation to the merged charity. How do I do this?
All donations will support the merged charity from autumn 2017. To find out more about our ambition to limit the impact of arthritis and achieve more together, read the vision for the merged charity.  

Can I still fundraise for Arthritis Care? What do I need to do?
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 donate to both Arthritis Care and Arthritis Research UK. What will happen to my donations?

Thank you so much for your support! For now, you can continue to give as normal and your gifts will be used to stop the devastating impact of arthritis. Once we have a name for the merged charity we will write to you. At this point you may choose to consolidate your donations if you would like to do so.

Your personal data

Does the merger affect what happens to personal data the charity may hold about me?
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.

Why do you currently hold my data?
Whenever we engage with a supporter, we gather data about them. We may have your data because you have donated to us, used our services or attended one of our events. Our privacy policy explains more about how we gather and use your data.

I have previously requested to be removed from all communications. Why did I still receive a letter about the merger?
We respect your wishes and your personal communications preferences will be honoured. However, we are legally obliged to inform you about moving your data. This does not mean that you will now get other communications from us – but please note that it may be necessary to send you another legal update once the merged charity has been formed and it has a new name.

I have contributed my story for a case study. What will happen to this?
If you shared your story with us, thank you. We will bring all case studies over to the charity, but we will not use your story under the merged charity without getting updated consent from you. If you haven’t received our e-mail with further information about this, please do get in touch by e-mailing kimd@arthritiscare.org.uk  

If you are a member or considering membership

Arthritis Research UK and Arthritis Care are coming together to create a world free from the pain of arthritis.

If we are going to achieve our ambitions, we need people with arthritis to support our cause. Arthritis Care and Arthritis Research UK have different governance arrangements. The merged charity will follow the rules that govern Arthritis Research UK. This means that existing members of Arthritis Care won’t have voting rights, as was the case under Arthritis Care’s constitution.

But existing members will continue to receive Inspire Magazine and the Arthritis Care monthly e-newsletter, as well as the support, information, advice, and volunteering options.

Over the next 18 months, we will be bringing you more opportunities to get involved.

Can I still sign up to be an Arthritis Care member or renew my membership?

From 1 November 2017, you will not be able to sign up to become a member of Arthritis Care.

Membership renewal will stop from 1January 2018; however, you will still continue to enjoy benefits, including your quarterly edition of Inspire until the end of 2018.

We’re now Versus Arthritis. You’re being taken through to our new website in order to finish your donation. Thank you for your generosity.