Global Northampton charity that started from a small flat celebrates 50th anniversary

These Psoriasis Association charity workers celebrated their 50th birthday on Saturday. Pictured from L-R: Dominic Urmston, Sarah Hartwell, Carla Renton, Helen McAteer, Laura Bell and Polly Matthews.
These Psoriasis Association charity workers celebrated their 50th birthday on Saturday. Pictured from L-R: Dominic Urmston, Sarah Hartwell, Carla Renton, Helen McAteer, Laura Bell and Polly Matthews.

Originally launched in 1968, the Psoriasis Association have grown to become a global force in improving the lives of people living with psoriasis and providing support throughout the UK.

The late founder, Dr Dick Coles, a consultant dermatologist at Northampton General Hospital, was keen for the charity to not only bring together those with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis but also to raise significant funds for research.

And by 1999, the association had donated a grand total of £1.5million towards research and funded seven PhD studentships in 2014.

As part of their 50th-anniversary celebrations, the Psoriasis Association are now asking 50 people to share their own personal stories of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

This follows their partnership work with the Mental Health Foundation called ‘See Psoriasis: Look Deeper’, which aims to raise awareness of the impact psoriasis can have on a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing.

Helen McAteer, CEO of the Psoriasis Association, said: “I am delighted that the Psoriasis Association is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

"I am very proud of the work we do supporting people with psoriasis with engaging and supportive campaigns, as well as our huge contribution towards research and I hope the Psoriasis Association continues to improve the lives of those with psoriasis for another 50 years and beyond.”

A recent survey from the Psoriasis Association discovered 94 per cent of young people with psoriasis reveal they are affected by anxiety and depression, and 67 per cent claim that they feel isolated from others.

As a result, the Psoriasis Association have this year launched a WhatsApp support service for young people to help them get personalised advice and support.

“More than a billion people now use WhatsApp every day and we hope that this new confidential service will remove some of the isolation that young people feel through offering them a social platform where they can discuss their feelings and seek help and support,” Helen added.

The number for the confidential and anonymous free WhatsApp messaging service is 07387 716 439.