Richard Beesley, the founder of Juvenile Arthritis Research, has been awarded runner-up in the Reed Improving Lives Award for Health and Care.
The accolade is part of a national competition set up by Reed Specialist Recruitment to recognise dedicated individuals in the public services sector who are making a real difference to the lives of others through their work, and who have responded heroically to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Beesley set up the charitable project to make a difference to the lives of children who suffer from Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) and has continued this work throughout the pandemic. The charity aims to find a cure for the disease, as well as raising awareness of the condition and providing support for those affected by the disease.
Richard volunteers his time by undertaking vital research, through which Richard has made progress in advancing in medical knowledge, including two published research papers.
Richard Beesley said: “It’s an absolute honour to be announced as the runner-up in the Reed Improving Lives Award and be recognised by other members of the community for the charitable work we do.
“I started Juvenile Arthritis Research to help raise awareness of the disease and to support those who are suffering with it. It is a debilitating illness and through the work we carry out, we hope to be able to find a cure. I would like to say a massive thank you to all those who work with me closely on this project.
“I and the rest of the volunteers at Juvenile Arthritis Research work extremely hard to provide the best support we can, so to receive this recognition is hugely rewarding.”
Recently, Juvenile Arthritis Research launched a ground-breaking campaign titled #ThinkJIA. Through this campaign, the general public, parents, schools, and frontline healthcare professionals can receive clear guidance on the signs and symptoms of JIA and the correct referral route to minimise delays in diagnosis. Better awareness leads to prompt diagnosis and early treatment, and this helps minimise the risks of horrible long-term consequences.
Additionally, Richard and his team of volunteers have developed a family support resource called ‘A Little Box of Hope’ containing vital information and resources sent out to children with JIA at the point of diagnosis, a particularly scary and lonely time for many families going through this process. The initiative is being rolled out further through hospitals after receiving highly positive feedback.
Nicola Armstrong, Reed's Divisional Manager for Health & Care, added: “We’re delighted to name Richard as a runner-up of the Improving Lives Award for Health and Care. His work has had a significant impact on those suffering with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and helped to improve the care and support they receive.
“The awards were established to recognise individuals who go above and beyond to support others, and Richard embodies just that. Everyone at Reed would like to say congratulations to Richard and we are sure that his great work will continue.”