Mike Rich has been appointed as the Scleroderma Society’s first Chief Executive.
The Society has been run very successfully by volunteers, including people with scleroderma, their families and health professionals, since it was founded in 1982. With the appointment of a Chief Executive, the current trustees, all of whom have personal experience of scleroderma, are seeking to not only enable growth and development but to ensure the long term future of the charity.
Scleroderma is a complex long term condition which can cause physical disability and be life threatening as the skin, joints, tendons and internal organs can all be affected. It is usually described as a connective tissue condition and / or an autoimmune condition.
After University, Mike joined a youth charity as a fundraiser and has been working in the not-for-profit sector ever since. For the last decade he has worked for health charities, firstly as the Chief Executive for the maternity charity Action on Pre-eclampsia and then as Chief Executive of the Blood Pressure Association.
Mike Rich will be the first ever paid member of staff that the charity has employed, as well as the first Chief Executive. He comments: “I am really looking forward to building on the tremendous achievements of the Scleroderma Society’s volunteers and members. I think one of our main challenges is to raise awareness of scleroderma, which, although not a common condition, can be devastating in its impact on children, adults, their families and friends. We need to make health professionals, as well as the general public, more aware of its symptoms, as early diagnosis is crucial, as well as how to manage the condition, so that people with scleroderma can live their lives as fully as possible.”