Arthritis Care has promoted Neil Betteridge to be its first director of public affairs as part of its ongoing mission to raise the profile of arthritis in public policy.
Betteridge, 43, was head of public policy and campaigning. He is a seasoned Parliamentary lobbyist and was instrumental in convincing Wales to adopt a National Strategy for arthritis two years ago. He is striving for a UK-wide equivalent and was behind the Early Day Motion, which sparked the first-ever debate on arthritis in Westminster last summer.
He says his vision is to ditch the "grey" image associated with arthritis.
"The public image is that it's something we all get in the end, and there is a myth that it is an older person's disease. This new directorate will help us to tackle those myths."
The directorate will encompass information, publications, media relations, public policy and campaigning, and its helpline.