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For a historic view of how GAT has helped people get their lives back on track by supporting Surgeons, see our older "shopping list" below

Saving the knees of a generation of local sportsmen and women

As Gloucestershire's No.1 Arthritis charity the Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust has, since 1983, helped with four main aspects of Arthritis treatment: Diagnosis, Prevention, Surgery and Recovery.

Thanks to our donated medical equipment across these 4 aspects, 2,500 people receive NHS treatment every year that improves their mobility and helps get their lives back on track.

This year GAT Trustees have already supported: Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis with a Portable Ultrasound Scanner costing £22,000, Prevention by funding a 12 month physiotherapy pilot costing £7,800 and Recovery by subsidising hydrotherapy classes costing £1,500.

New knee project to be funded

There is no sound that a runner or sportsman dreads more than the 'pop' of a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

When leading knee surgeon Harminder Gosal FRCS asked for our help to buy sets of medical equipment, to carry out more Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction Surgery, we launched this new appeal.

We are asking for your help to fund the £3,454 needed for a set of specialist tools, as GAT has already committed to fund 60% of the total cost of £8,635.

Medical overview, who's at risk

The knee is the most complex joint in your body and as such is subjected to huge forces during almost all sporting or athletic activities. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is the most important of 5 structures that resist those forces.

When your ACL is damaged people often hear a distinct 'pop' followed by intense pain. Reconstructing an ACL requires a skilled surgeon using the latest technology and can prevent patients from developing Osteoarthritis in later life.

The most 'at risk' age group for ACL reconstruction are 20 - 40 year olds, who are injured playing sport or simply running. In Gloucestershire alone around 300 people will need such Surgery in the next 12 months.

You can donate online at:

You can donate by mobile: text "Knee90 £10" to 70070 to donate £10.

You can, if you prefer, post a cheque to the GAT office, but please write the word "KNEE" on the back of your cheque.



"Ham-tastic" auction raises £20,000 for three charities

Old Spot Pigs on TV

The recent auction of painted Gloucester Old Spot pig statues raised £20,000 for three local charities -
The Pied Piper Appeal, Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust and the Gloucester Theatre Company.

Painted by local artists and craftspeople, the 40 splendid pig statues had been on display across Gloucester City and surrounding villages which attracted around 300,000 summer visitors.

Organised by Marketing Gloucester the "Henson Trail" - as it was known - was one of a series of events showcasing the amazing range of creativity to be found in Gloucestershire.

It also gave rise to a (possibly dubious) spate of pig/pork related puns in both the printed and online media. Our own headline is just one example.

On the day of the auction BBC TV's Points West sent a cameraman to capture the build-up to the event, as our picture shows. BBC Radio Gloucester also reported on the auction.

GAT's beautifully painted pig "Orchard Henson" raised £600 towards the grand total and our charity will be getting close to £2,000 once the final paperwork has been completed.




June 18th 2017 Open Gardens at Highnam Court

Highnam Court Gardens

Sunday, June 18 is Father's Day and a perfect opportunity to enjoy the splendid grounds of Highnam Court for GAT's first Open Gardens event which runs from 11am until 4pm.

Admission is only £5 per adult, children go free.

By supporting Gloucestershire's leading Arthritis charity, you will enable GAT, in turn, to support Surgeons, Rheumatologists and Physiotherapists as they help over 70,000 people suffering with Arthritis.

Refreshments will be available in the Orangery.

There is, as you would expect, good disabled access. However only assistance dogs will be admitted. It is best to approach Highnam Court from the A40 roundabout.

SatNav should be set to GL2 8DP.


GAT launches Portable Ultrasound Scanner Appeal

It's in your hands: will you help 500 people get a faster diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Over five hundred people will visit hospital, in the next 12 months, to have their hands examined to see if they are suffering from Early Inflammatory Arthritis (EIA) which can often lead to Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Sometimes their medical history fits for EIA but the physical signs are not present. Conventional X-rays can't detect these earliest signs, meaning that people sometimes have to wait while the disease continues to develop before being diagnosed and started on treatment. The alternative is to have an Ultrasound scan, but even that can mean a wait of 6 - 8 weeks because of demand and capacity.

You can change that.

Kate Williams

Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust (GAT) has launched an appeal, led by Kate Williams - royal historian, author and broadcaster, to buy a Portable Ultrasound Scanner that can immediately detect the very earliest signs of disease, saving up to 500 people a year - mostly women - from the pain and worry of a delayed diagnosis.

Kate Williams explained that, "as a writer I can really appreciate how important it is to have such an early diagnosis to keep your hands working properly."

The Portable Ultrasound Scanner can be used by specialists in clinics at both Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General hospitals, as well as at smaller health clinics across the County.

Dr Elaine Smith, Rheumatologist, said "the new scanner will provide a more convenient and much faster one-stop service for patients, in an outpatient setting. Such an early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the development of Arthritis and complications. It will also take some pressure off our busy imaging department."

GAT has already pledged the first £10,000 of the £26,905 cost of the scanner, but they need your help to raise the rest. Your donation could make a difference to the future health of 500 people - it's in your hands!

Post a cheque to: GAT, Parkside, Cheltenham General Hospital, Sandford Road, Cheltenham, Glos GL53 7AN. Please make your cheque out to GAT and write the word "scanner" on the back.


Spinal Surgery

picture of surgeon

It would take 21,600 cups of tea and slices of cake to raise the £54,000 we spent to provide the surgeons at Gloucester Royal Hospital with the very latest in Spinal Surgery equipment.

Before GAT's donation, only 3-4 spinal operations took place each month, but following GAT's help over 200 operations can now be performed every year.

Luckily, our supporters donated extra money through recycled cards, donations in lieu of presents for major anniversaries and other acts of kindness.




Doing good locally helps the Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust donate £35,000 to local hospitals

GAT 30th sticker Marking our 30th Anniversary gave GAT the perfect opportunity to remind supporters of the many ways we had benefitted local people. GAT's target was to raise £30,000, to support up to 10 hospitals, but the charity ended up giving grants of over £35,000. This has taken our 30-year fundraising total to £2.4 million.

Announcing GAT's financial results at our AGM in March 2014, volunteer Treasurer Dylan Jenkins said "Increased donations have meant we could help even more people. This shows just how much both Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire residents want to help a locally based charity that in turn helps the 70,000 local people who suffer with Arthritis."

"Hospital physiotherapy departments right across the region will benefit from GAT's newest grants, such as Tetbury, Cirencester, North Cotswolds, George Moore Community Clinic, Vale Community Hospital, Thornbury, Stroud, Tewkesbury, the Children's Clinic at Quedgeley as well as both the Cheltenham and Gloucester main hospitals."

"The University of Bristol has also been able to complete a Spinal Orthopaedic research study, thanks to GAT, which was published in four national and international medical journals - improving the treatment of what is known as "dowagers hump."

"We are proud to have provided medical equipment that now enables over 2,000 people every year to have an operation that will help improve their mobility," explained Jenkins "it is clear that if you've got Arthritis, GAT is your charity."

People of all ages can suffer from Arthritis, it is no longer just an ageing problem. GAT Trustees have given Gloucestershire Royal Hospital a grant of over £10,000, making it possible for surgeons to treat younger people in the early stages of Arthritis in their hips. Children too have benefitted from GAT funding over £3,000 of child-sized physiotherapy equipment.

To support GAT's work, make a donation at:

Children suffer with Arthritis - Eleanor's story

Eleanor is a typical 10 year old girl, who loves ballet and gymnastics. She also enjoys family activities like swimming and sailing. Four months ago she began to complain of a general aching in her knees after any activity. Gradually the pain became worse, affecting her ability to walk. Within a week she had stopped all activities and couldn't even go to school ... her parents were very concerned.

Eleanor was referred by her GP to the Children's Clinic at Quedgeley where she was assessed by both a paediatrician and a paediatric physiotherapist. They identified she had a condition called Oligoarticular Juvenile Arthritis - the most common kind of childhood arthritis of which there is no known cause.

She was treated with steroid injections and physiotherapy - using equipment supplied by GAT. She and her family understood that if they followed this treatment and carried out the exercises she would make a full recovery. Eleanor worked with the physiotherapists to strengthen her muscles and increase the movement in her knee joints ... getting her life back on track in three months.

Donating to GAT can be made online at:

Nikki's 990 mile Ride across Britain raises over £6,500 for Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust

Nikki Embery, from Dursley, cycled 990 miles, from John O'Groats to Lands End, in just nine days and raised £6,586.25p for the Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust (GAT). Although an experienced Cross Country runner, 51 year old Nikki, who works at Amberley Publishing in Stroud, only took up cycling a few years ago following an injury. "This was by far the toughest thing I have ever done. When I set out from John O'Groats I was not totally sure that I could complete the challenge," said Nikki. "There were moments along the way when I questioned my sanity in taking on the ride. When my body was hurting and telling me to stop, what kept me going was the thought that, unlike the 70,000 Arthritis sufferers in Gloucestershire, when I did stop riding - after covering around 110 miles each day - the pain would go away", explained Nikki.

GAT Secretary Steve Morton (left) congratulates Nikki

Steve Morton, Secretary of the Cheltenham based charity, says that "Nikki has been GAT's most successful individual fundraiser so far in this our 30th Anniversary year. The money she has raised will be used to buy much-needed physiotherapy equipment for both Stroud and Thornbury hospitals as well as for the Children's Clinic at Quedgeley."

Thanks to Nikki, the charity's target of raising £30,000 this year for grants to hospitals across the County has now reached £27,628.

GAT Secretary Steve Morton (left) congratulates Nikki Embery on completing her 990 mile "Ride across Britain" which raised over £6,500 for the Arthritis charity.

Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust 30th Anniversary

GAT Grants in 2013

GAT 30th sticker To mark GAT's 30th Annivesary we planned to donate £30,000 to local hospitals across Gloucestershire.
Thanks to generous supporters and volunteers we have agreed grants of £33,507.
Cheltenham General: £2,985
Gloucestershire Royal: £14,163
Tetbury: £3,000
Tewkesbury: £2,550
Thornbury: £263
Children's Clinic: £3,175
Cirencester: £2,950
Stroud: £1,907
North Cotswolds: £2,514


Mobile Ultra-Sound Machine £21,200 (for the shoulders)

This machine is for treatment on the shoulders, and is for use in the Clinic at Cheltenham General Hospital. Already a piece of equipment considered to be the norm in the United States and on the Continent, this new item is nevertheless something quite different in the UK. What normally happens in our country is that if anyone has a problem with, say, a torn tendon in the shoulder, they are sent off for a scan which can take between four and six months. This ultra-sound allows you to do a scan there and then with a very high degree of accuracy, and will give you the same result there and then on the day and you can then make a decision for the patient. It involves no radiation and involves no extra expensive staff to run it. It is beneficial not only in terms of time saved, but also in terms of efficacy, efficiency and minimal use of resource once the operating surgeon has learnt how to use it. CGH will use this for patients with arthritic shoulders. So versatile is it, however, it can be used to diagnose tears of the rotator cuff in younger people. The possibilities here for the prevention of arthritis developing in later life are enormous!

Midas Rex Drills £16,150 each (for the spine)

This "gadget" is particularly used in spinal surgery when the surgeon is wanting to remove pieces of arthritic bone from the spinal canal. It is used by the most dedicated spinal surgeons. The advantage is that it is quick, much more accurate, much less likely to cause any damage, and is really now becoming the gold standard for open spinal surgery. Practitioners are now discovering they can use this instrument for other applications, in particular removing pieces of surplus bone from a joint which is arthritic, and also for modifying positions of cups in hip replacements for example, where you can trim away very little bone and ensure the best possible operational procedure to facilitate the patient's easy recovery.

Artromet E Elbow Joint Therapy £3,300 (for the elbows)

This therapy works in conjunction with arthroscopy procedures. The Artromet equipment helps, post operatively to prevent the onset of arthritis. This has been purchased by GAT for Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

Walter Lorenz Hand Set £7,000 (for the hands)

This set of very fine tools facilitates the delicate treatment of the small bones of the hand and wrist of an arthritic patient.

Explant System £5,500 (for the hips)

An increasing amount of some surgeons' work involves re-doing hips that have worn out through use. This is revision surgery. Some of the implants that were put in 25 years ago are still knocking about, but the great expansion in orthopaedic implant surgery about 15 years ago is now coming home to roost with an increasing number of revisions requiring doing. Until the discovery of this System we have now acquired, one of the problems was the removal of quite well fixed acetabular components. If these were uncemented, they were difficult to get out, and damage could be caused to the pelvis in the process. Then, Zimmer produced this extremely competent system for removal of these implants. The use of this system now in our local hospitals has revolutionised the quality of revision work, and reducing risk to the patient's overall well-being.

Anterior Cruciate Kit & Meniscal Stitcher Set £8,500 ( for the knees)

This equipment is the newest of its kind and makes knee surgery generally more successful in avoidance of the onset of arthritis. Since our purchase of this kit, this modern set of instruments, together with the special stitcher set has improved the ease with which surgeons have managed to minimise the risk of arthritis occurring.

Arthroscopic Power Shaver £26,500 (for the knees)

This major piece of equipment was supplied to the Day Surgery Unit at Tetbury Hospital. It is vital to addressing one of the main problems in orthopaedic surgery. The most common type of damage to the meniscal cartilage is a meniscal tear. These tears cause inflammation and small bits of the meniscus can break off from the main body. Both cause irritation to the articular cartilage, which encourages the onset of arthritis in the knee joint. The condition of the knee joints and meniscus can be seen using a rigid fibre-optic scope ( four of which GAT also provided for Tetbury recently). Meniscus, which has a ragged, frayed edge, can degenerate further with bits of meniscus coming away from the main body and floating in synovial fluid. This can cause pain and swelling as well as articular cartilage inflammation. A Power Shaver blade is inserted into the joint and can be used to shave and/or resects damaged meniscus. This can delay the onset of arthritis, reducing symptoms of pain and swelling and increase mobility.

Microdriv System £7,000 (for the feet)

The instruments in this system, now being used at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, are small but powerful for small joints. They are required to perform intricate surgery needed for work on ankles, feet and toes

Examples of GAT providing much Physiotherapeutic Equipment for our County's Hospitals.


Cryo Cuffs for Knees and Elbows £650 a set

This special therapy, involving cuffs applied to the joints and working together with a tube assembly and cooler system, stops swelling in joints following surgery and prevents a lot of post-operative pain.

In our picture, an enthusiastic GAT supporter is "modelling" one of the cuffs!

Cryo Cuffs for Knees and Elbows

Exercise Wall £4,500

The Wall is here being demonstrated by a member of the Physio Staff at Cirencester Hospital, where GAT presented this piece of equipment.

The idea of the wall is to touch the lights as each one comes on, and to do this as fast as possible, the whole exercise making the patient reach and stretch and stoop and constantly transfer weight!

It's a fun way to exercise!

exercise wall

Cyclotherapy Equipment £5,000 per cycle

This Uni-Cam Cyclotherapy Bike seen here being demonstrated by Physio Staff at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, was presented by GAT in recent months.

The bike is a particularly versatile model. With green bands for all "right foot" fittings and red bands for all "left foot" fittings, the pedals and their settings can be changed to suit the individual, balancing correctly their requirements for each leg according to which one is damaged or recovering.

A very sophisticated piece of machinery, the staff are pleased with it and patients are finding it very beneficial.

GAT has also purchased Junior versions of this kind of therapy for children and young people who are patients at the Paediatric Physiotherapy Department at Cheltenham General Hospital, as well as at many other hospitals in the County.

Uni-Cam Cyclotherapy Bike

Treadmill £6,500

This picture shows the Treadmill donated to Delancey Hospital being demonstrated in their Gym. This is designed to help patients recovering from orthopaedic surgery to exercise gently but firmly, strengthening muscles and building confidence of movement. The prompt attention to correct exercise after surgery on hips and knee joints, not only brings the possibility of pain relief to those who have suffered from arthritis, but can also prevent the further development of that disease in joints having undergone that surgery. The beauty of the treadmill idea is that it supports the patient completely, through the control of the harness to which the patient is attached, making sure that the body weight is kept off hips and knees while the healing process is taking place. The machine has several "speeds" , so that the patient can move at almost any rate, from a slow and gentle stroll to a brisk walk!.....the one place where you can walk for miles on the spot! There's even a mileometer to say how much distance you've travelled!

Hydrotherapy Equipment

GAT has bought Hydrotherapy Treatment from which patients of all ages have benefited enormously. One group, however, who have especially enjoyed the exercise this treatment provides, are children!

Hydrotherapy Equipment

Special Beds

Our picture shows GAT making a presentation to Moreton District Hospital, of a special electric bed which cost £1,500. Another one, exactly the same, was also presented by GAT to Moore Cottage Hospital at Bourton on the Water.

GAT has always tried to support local community hospitals. In present times, they need our support even more. While ever they are there, we shall support them! Wherever possible, we'll help to keep them there too!

Special Bed

Electro Thermal Generator

Here we see the generator's function being explained by a senior member of the Day Surgery Team at Tetbury Hospital, on the day this equipment was presented to them by GAT.

This generator, costing £8,000, is the most versatile system available for arthroscopists, offering the widest range of tissue modification devices for temperature control, cutting and simultaneous soft tissue resection and coagulation ablation applications.

The accompanying autoprobes increase accuracy, taking the guess work out of setting selection, as these probes "recognise" each specific set of requirements. In other words, this handy little machine provides "designer" treatment, especially for you!

Electro Thermal Generator

Historic GAT Fundraising Activities

Gloucestershire Great Arthritis Trek raised £8,420 in 2010

Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust (GAT), the County's leading Arthritis charity, asked for help from the tens of thousands of Arthritis sufferers in Gloucestershire to raise at least £10,000 for much-needed medical equipment between April and October 2010.

In a tough financial climate supporters raised a magnificent £8,420 which will be used to buy Ankle and Elbow surgical equipment for Cheltenham General Hospital.

Based on the well-known 3 Peaks Challenge (Snowden, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis) GAT have designed a much simpler fundraiser that will enable everyone from 4 to 94 years of age to walk the equivalent of at least one mountain and have already raised over £5,100.

GAT has donated over £2.2m in the last 28 years and despite of the recession donated an additional £75,000 in the last year. Two of the County's top orthopaedic surgeons, Guy Rooker FRCS and Charles Crawshaw FRCS, are GAT Trustees and they are backing the Great Arthritis Trek.

GAT Trek

According to Steve Morton, GAT's Secretary "If you suffer from Arthritis, tackling the 3 Peaks Challenge is pretty much impossible, until now. By removing the additional walking around the 3 Peaks and having to drive the 500 miles between them and home, GAT has created a Trek that is much more achievable, but is still the equivalent distance of scaling all 3 Peaks".

It comprises walking the equivalent of up & down Snowden (2,170 metres), up & down Scafell Pike (1,956 metres) and up & down Ben Nevis (2,688 metres). But you can Trek anywhere you want. This way anyone in Gloucestershire, whether they have Arthritis or not, can do their own Great Arthritis Trek.

The Joint Supporters Club

The Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust does do serious work, but we also have fun too....

Our 1400 strong membership helps us in raising funds for our work. The Joint Supporters Club (JSC) is largely made up of people who themselves have benefited from the support GAT has been able to give to them personally during their own medical treatment. In being members of JSC they are trying to help others.

The GAT 21st birthday cake

In the summer of 2004 GAT celebrated its 21st birthday.
We have here some pictures showing the celebrations and some of our supporters in action at our Summer Fair...

Summer Fair Summer Fair Summer Fair
Summer Fair Summer Fair Summer Fair
Summer Fair Summer Fair Summer Fair
Summer Fair Summer Fair Summer Fair
Summer Fair Summer Fair Summer Fair

The children enjoyed themselves as well...

The children enjoyed themselves as well The children enjoyed themselves as well The children enjoyed themselves as well The children enjoyed themselves as well The children enjoyed themselves as well

Some more recent fund raising events, sales and coffee mornings run by our wonderful supporters...

sales and coffee mornings sales and coffee mornings sales and coffee mornings
sales and coffee mornings sales and coffee mornings sales and coffee mornings

Trust us, the art of cake and jam making is alive and well!!!

The art of cake and jam making is alive and well

More historic news from our Fundraisers and Supporters

Some of our supporters have the skills to make some beautiful goods for sale on our stalls. Many of our members recycle greetings cards and these are appreciated on all occasions. Other skills range from needlework which produces fine knitted baby clothes and soft toys to woodworkers who make everything from bird boxes to hand carved figures, wooden toys and marquetry.

This picture shows one of our supporters who is a cabinet maker and that weekend he delivered to us a bus, a truck and a caravan. Here you see him bringing the caravan into the office.

Bus, Truck and Caravan being Presented to GAT
Norm Lane presenting medical equipment

Our next picture shows Norm Lane who ran (with his two bionic hips!) from John O'Groats to Lands End raising thousands of pounds for GAT.

Here, along with the GAT Chairman and other supporters he is presenting medical equipment to the Hospitals at a special presentation buffet held at the Post Graduate Medical Centre in Cheltenham.

A couple of GAT's busy supporters helping in despatching the latest edition of the GAT magazine. Members of the Joint Supporters Club receive this publication three times a year.

It contains reports of how we have spent the money, e.g. on surgical and physiotherapeutic equipment, on research and on other current projects; it gives up to date news on current awards being made by our trustees; it makes acknowledgement of the kind and generous gifts we have received; It contains reports and photographs of recent presentations; it shows pictures of recently held fundraising events and activities.

Despatching the latest edition of the GAT magazine
Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra

Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra regularly give concerts to raise funds for GAT. We are very grateful to them and they always provide a most wonderful evening. This picture was taken at their most recent GAT concert held in All Saints Church, Cheltenham.

The programme featured the works of Debussy, Brahms and a particularly stimulating and comment provoking piece of Messiaen!

Contact Us


Phone: 01242 221005


Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust,
Parkside, Cheltenham General Hospital,
Sandford Road,
GL53 7AN

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Registered Charity 288346