Our mission together
Thanks to great advancements in medical treatment and complementary interventions like our Living Well with Arthritis self-management programme, the way people are living with arthritis is changing for the better. But there is still a huge amount of work to do before we achieve our vision of a world free from this hugely damaging disease.
Arthritis is a condition that affects almost one million people in Ireland, from newborn babies through to the elderly. It is the single biggest cause of disability in this country and has a hugely negative impact on people’s lives by taking away their ability to do basic, everyday things. As a charity organisation dedicated to working with people with arthritis, it’s our mission to make just as big a positive impact on the lives of those with the condition.
We do this in a number of ways:
- We invest in research to find new treatments and a cure.
- We enable and empower people to become effective self-managers.
- We raise understanding of arthritis as a chronic disease and fight for better healthcare services.
2015 was a record-breaking year for Arthritis Ireland in many ways. For example, we delivered a record number of self-management courses and our helpline volunteers took over 2,250 calls. We also launched our self-management courses for children, parents and teenagers.
We opened new branches and launched new walking groups during the year. Also, we’re very proud that, in addition to our funded chair of Rheumatology in University College Dublin (UCD), we saw the appointment of Professor Ursula Fearon as chair of Molecular Rheumatology in Trinity College Dublin (TCD).
None of this could happen without our fundraisers and volunteers who support the cause and organisation in many different ways. We are deeply grateful to them for giving up their time to raise funds and provide services. Likewise, none of our work would be possible without the staff and board of Arthritis Ireland. I offer my sincere thanks to them for their hard work and commitment.
Today, fundraising is more challenging than ever before and the emphasis on transparency and proper regulation has never been so great. As an organisation, we have always taken great pride in how we are structured and managed and this impact report will showcase in detail exactly how we raise our money, what we spend it on and how well we are governed.
Despite the many challenges we face, it is also an exciting time to be part of Arthritis Ireland. We will soon be developing a new long term plan which aims to secure the organisation’s financial future and allow us to provide a full range of services in every community in Ireland. This is a shared goal and requires the time and effort of all of our staff, volunteers, fundraisers and sponsors.