Kids Like Us started in 1992 when a group of staff from the Birmingham Children's Hospital wanted to raise money to take some of their patients away for a weekend of independence.  

They organised a fun day with a sponsored walk which gave families a chance to meet, have fun and chat.

Others found their enthusiasm infectious and a group quickly formed to help raise funds for future trips now known as 'independence breaks' or 'break aways'.


In 1998 we become a registered charity.  Our aim is to raise funds to help those living with JIA, as well as awareness so that young people are diagnosed quickly and families find help and support as soon as possible.

The committee is made up of some of the original members of the sponsored walk day as well as parents of young people affected and other members who want to help.

You can find out more about our members below.

Irene Bannister, Founder Trustee

Irene has suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 30 years. Recently retired Deputy Head of King Edward VIIth High School for Girls in Birmingham, completing over 40 years in the teaching profession.

Meet our Committee Members

Debbie Southwood, Committee Member and Minute taker

Debbie is a retired manager at Barnado's, with extensive experience in social care for children and young people in the UK.  A strong devotee to physical fitness, including ironman triathlete, and swimming for Australia in the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Shaun Clee, Chair and Trustee

Shaun is Chief Executive of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.  He has a passion for ensuring carers have access to high quality information to support them to be equal partners in care with NHS professionals.

Kirsty Turner, Treasurer, Trustee, Parent and Community Outreach Committee Member

Kirsty's daughter was diagnosed with JIA at 20 months and was put in touch with KLU.  Kirsty joined the committee several years later and is committed to providing support to families like her own living with JIA.

Moira Green, Secretary, Parent and Community Outreach Committee Member

Moira joined KLU after her daughter Louise was diagnosed with JIA aged 8 in 2000.  She shares the role of Secretary with Irene and as part of the team organises and helps at Family events.

Tauny Southwood, Trustee and  Committee Member

Tauny is Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Rheumatology, with 35 years experience across the UK, Australia and US.  A strong devotee to physical fitness and is an active endurance cyclist and long distance triathlete.

Louise Green, Community Outreach Committee Member

Louise was diagnosed with JIA at age of 8.  KLU has always been part of her life and since recently joining the committee, meeting and helping new children & families living with the disease has been her favourite thing.

Gemma Turner, Virtual Committee Member

Gemma was diagnosed with JIA at 20 months old and has been involved with the charity ever since. She recently moved to New Zealand to further her career in Occupational Therapy. She stays in touch and is still helping with our social media.

Marion Scott, Vice Chair and Community Outreach Committee Member

Marion is now an executive coach, following 25 years in Business, working in finance, and project management.  As our newest committee member Marion has joined as she is passionate about making a difference to the lives of all the children whom the charity can reach. 

Hear from our Parents and Young People

Over the last year we have taken the time to talk to some of our parents and young people, sharing their own stories and experiences.  You can hear from them by clicking on the link below.

To find out more about Kids Like Us

Download our leaflet here

View our annual charities commission report here

View our annual financial information here

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