Governance – Board Members

Professor Anthony WoolfADWoolf-x200


I am a Consultant Rheumatologist and Honorary Professor of Rheumatology, University of Exeter Medical School, and Plymouth Peninsula Medical and Dental College. I have been involved throughout my career in various initiatives to promote priority for the various musculoskeletal conditions and to improve their management by raising awareness of their impact, promoting education and research, and setting standards for prevention and treatment. This has been by working together with all professions, disciplines and patient organisations at a national, European and international level.

I have held executive roles in National Osteoporosis Society 1987-2002 (including treasurer and chair); BLAR/ARMA 1994-2005 (including leading regional groups); EULAR 1994-2007 (including chair of education committee and international liaison officer); president UEMS 2001-06; Bone and Joint Decade 1998 – now (including treasurer and chair). I have also led two EU projects to raise standards of care – European Bone and Joint Strategies Project and European Musculoskeletal Surveillance and Information network. In these roles I have worked with Department of Health, the EU, WHO Europe and WHO International.

I edit the serial, Best Practice and Research Clinical Rheumatology, which provides an evidence-based update on the management of musculoskeletal conditions. In addition I am Clinical Director of the NHS National Institute of Health Research Clinical Research Network Southwest Peninsula. Through this I ensure people wherever they live in the region can participate in clinical research so they have the option of the latest and innovative treatments. A culture of research and innovation also improves of the overall quality of care.

Matthew Bennett

Matthew Bennett is the President of the British Chiropractic Association as well as a practising chiropractor with 30 years’ experience treating musculoskeletal conditions. He works in a multidisciplinary practice alongside physiotherapists in Brighton and has a special interest in the conservative management of back pain.

Matthew is committed to raising the awareness of MSK conditions amongst policy makers and was previously a delegate to the WHO’s World Health Assembly representing the World Federation of Chiropractors. He is the current UK representative to the European Chiropractors Union.

He has worked on the panel of Brighton Integrated Care Service’s manual therapy service redesign team bringing best practice and evidence based care to MSK conditions, particularly back pain.

Matthew was the previous director of new graduate training for the Royal College of Chiropractors and still acts as a tutor and trainer.

Stephen Chew

Stephen Chew graduated from Imperial College School of Medicine (formerly St Mary’s Hospital Medical School) in 2002. He undertook further training in rheumatology and medical specialties at teaching hospitals in and around North West London. In 2008 he started Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM) higher specialist training, working at the Olympic Medical Institute for 18 months, as well as centres of excellence in and around central London such as UCLH and Imperial College NHS Trust. He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London in November 2020.

Stephen holds an honorary Consultant appointment at Imperial College Heathcare NHS Trust where he helps run a diabetes and physical activity service. He previously held a substantive post as Consultant SEM Physician at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust until May 2016. His private practice is in central London, and his current sport appointment is at Wasps Premiership Rugby team. He sits on the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine Council and has been their representative to ARMA for the past two years.

Stephen has a keen and dedicated interest to the utilisation and intervention of physical activity for health. He is a co-author of the NHS “Sport and Exercise Medicine – A Fresh Approach” document on utilisation of SEM.

Lily Elizabeth Daviestrustee-davies

Lily is Head of Philanthropy, Trusts and Special Events at Barnardo’s. Previously, she was Director of Marketing, Fundraising and Commerce at inclusive theatre company Chickenshed, leading on strategy and delivery across fundraising, marketing, communications and commercial development.

In her career, Lily helped to establish the first Innovation team at Marie Curie and has previously held senior-level positions within top commercial brands.

Shantel Irwin

Shantel was born in Canada and has been living and working in the UK since 2004. She is the CEO of Arthritis Action, where she has worked since the Autumn 2014. Through a self-management approach, Arthritis Action is a membership organisation that empowers people with arthritis to manage their condition and reduce the need for medical intervention.

Shantel moved from the corporate sector to the charity sector nine years ago and hasn’t looked back. She enjoys working directly with members of a community. She has a keen interest in health and membership organisations, and also brings experience in leadership, strategic, change and volunteer management to the Board.

Arthritis Action became a member of ARMA in 2014. Shantel believes strongly in collaboration and is looking forward to working with other member organisations to have one voice through ARMA. She feels that ARMA is ideally positioned to increase awareness of MSK disorders in the UK.

Chris MarteyChris Martey

Chris works as an Advanced Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist in the South West of England in a First Contact Physiotherapy role in primary care. Prior to this, Chris worked in a specialist secondary care rheumatology setting, supporting people with a range of conditions. Here, he cemented his passion for helping those with arthritis and other long term conditions, and also developed his clinical and research interests in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs).

The spondyloarthropathies group of diseases are a particular interest area for Chris and he has both published and presented nationally on this topic. Additionally, Chris is an executive committee member on the British Society for Spondyloarthritis and also a member on the Versus Arthritis Adult Inflammatory Research Advisory Group. His early research activity focuses on the non-pharmacological management of RMDs. Chris has an interest in healthcare leadership, strategy and policy, and is keen to raise quality standards and advocate best practice for the National Health Service in which he works.

Sarah NorthSarah North

Sarah has an extensive professional background in health regulation, including governance, policy, and strategy research and implementation, with a strong commitment to quality assurance. She has worked for over twenty five years in health regulation/policy, initially for the General Medical Council and then was instrumental in setting up a new regulator, the UK Public Health Register, in 2003. She has worked also for Public Health England, and now works at the Institute of Osteopathy as Head of Policy and Standards.

Return to top

Sally PemberySally Pembery

Sally qualified as a Podiatrist in 1984 from the Northern College, Manchester. Following fourteen years in the NHS and industry, she embarked on building a private practice in Esher, Surrey, specialising in MSK lower limb conditions. Sally gained her MSc in clinical Podiatric Biomechanics at Staffordshire University. In addition to her thriving private practice, Sally and her associates have also provided podiatry services to Fulham, Chelsea and QPR football clubs, the London marathon and the All England Tennis Club during the Wimbledon Championships.

Sally provides care as a first point of contact allowing her to see patients from many backgrounds and often sees the life changing situations that MSK conditions and pain can have on people’s lives, family commitments and working environments. Sally has developed a multidisciplinary environment in the clinic, delivering individualised person centred MSK solutions for anyone who requires it in a time sensitive and caring way.

Professor John Skinner

John Skinner qualified at King’s College Hospital School of Medicine in 1988. He trained in Norwich and London. He was appointed a senior lecturer at the Institute of Orthopaedics in 1999 and also a consultant at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. His surgical practice is divided between bone and soft tissue tumours and hip and knee surgery. He has a large practice in revision joint replacements. His research interests have included DVT prevention, aspects of reconstruction and implant design after tumour surgery. He chairs the Joint BOA, NJR, BHS and MHRA committee advising on aspects of metal bearing hips; and has been the advisor to the British Hip Society and the BOA on metal hips for the last 5 years.

John is a co-director of the London Implant Retrieval Centre. He is the president of the British Hip Society. In 2004 he was awarded the prestigious ABC travelling fellowship to the United States of America. At the RNOH Stanmore he chairs the Infection Control Committee and the Medical Staff Committee.

Dr. Jane TaylorDr Jane Taylor

Jane has spent most of her working life in education and until taking ill health retirement 12 years ago, was a Senior lecturer in English at Manchester Metropolitan University. She now works part time from home for the Open University.

Jane was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis aged 26 and antiphospholipid syndrome and osteoporosis in her 30s. She subsequently also developed osteoarthritis. As well as her own experience she supports and cares for two close family members with a number of long-term conditions.

Jane has been a passionate voice in advocating for those with lived experience to be part of health and social care research She is involved with NRAS and is currently Chair of Versus Arthritis’s Patient Insight Partner group and a member of their Charitable Purposes Committee working to ensure patient insight is part of all their research and policy initiatives. Jane also chairs the European Patient Council for APPROACH, a 25 centre IMI-funded project on osteoarthritis and is a member of the NICE guideline committee on the diagnosis and management of Gout. An area that Jane feels particularly concerned about is improving care for people living with multiple long-term conditions which often include at least one MSK disease. For the last two years she has been a member of the Expert Advisory Group to the Richmond group of Charities and RCGP Taskforce on Multimorbidity working to produce and share good practice in this area.

As someone who has benefitted throughout her life from the work of charities, Jane is looking forward to working with ARMA to increase awareness of and improve the quality of life for all those living with MSK conditions and for those who care for them.

Dirk Vennix MBA FCIPR

A sector leader with substantial expertise in delivering and managing campaigns in both the third sector and corporate fields. He currently leads CIRIA, a major not-for-profit membership organisation which aims to improve performance in the construction and built environment sectors.

Dirk has significant experience in successfully delivering communications and stakeholder engagement campaigns including sponsorship creation and fundraising, working for more than 25 years in the private and not-for-profit sectors in the UK. He previously led the Confederation of Timber Industries as Chief Executive and worked for Centrica plc and Liverpool John Moores University. Dirk started his career as a journalist and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (FCIPR). Dirk gained an MBA with distinction at the University of Bradford in 2000.

Zak VoraZak Vora


Zak was born and raised in London, having studied at City University Business School before starting a distinguished career in the City. Having also worked in Finance abroad he returned to the UK and set up his own small financial business over ten years ago.

Aside from ARMA he is involved with numerous local charitable causes. Set up the Supporting Locals Initiative four years ago and, having worked with the homeless for over a decade, recently set up a Soup Kitchen project in North London to help support the homeless and needy.

Rob Yeldham

Rob Yeldham joined the board in July 2016.

He works as Director of Strategy, Policy & Engagement at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Rob is a chartered PR practitioner and has over 20 years’ experience of communications and stakeholder engagement. He has been a senior civil servant and worked in local government, politics and for not-for-profit organisations.

Return to top