Meet the new LUPUS UK Trustees

Meet the new LUPUS UK Trustees

We are delighted to welcome and introduce three new fantastic Trustees who joined LUPUS UK’s Board in spring 2023.


A photo of Colin da SilvaColin Da’Silva (Northamptonshire)

I am Colin and I was diagnosed with SLE in 1992 at the age of 27. Perhaps not surprisingly, I had never heard of lupus before my own diagnosis. My mother was diagnosed with SLE more than ten years later, when she was in her fifties, and sadly passed away in 2015 from complications of the condition. She cherished her membership of LUPUS UK and received such wonderful advice and support from many members.

I have just finished a 39-year career in the Royal Air Force where I was lucky enough to do many amazing things: starting with an enjoyable career flying fast jet aircraft, I later moved on to a range of interesting command and staff roles in the UK and overseas and finished my career as Assistant Chief of the RAF and as a member of the RAF’s Board. My key responsibility was in understanding how to set out an effective strategy and then how to measure the opportunities and risks as that strategy was delivered. I hope to use this experience to support the Board and the Charity in achieving its aims and objectives.

Above all else, I think that I have always been considered to be a people person. In my experience, the solution to almost every challenge lies within the group working on it. I am passionate about inclusivity and making sure that everybody has the opportunity and confidence to perform at the level of their own potential. I feel truly honoured and grateful to have been appointed as a trustee of LUPUS UK and look forward to working with everyone to raise awareness of the condition and improve the lives of those living with it.

A photo of Shiasta AhmadShaista Ahmad (North London)

I have a great passion to serve humanity and make a difference in the lives of others, which I have demonstrated through my ongoing charitable work. I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve as a LUPUS UK Trustee. I am committed to raising awareness of the challenges faced by those with lupus, especially individuals from ethnic minorities, and supporting the charity to reach new heights.

Working within the healthcare sector, I have also been involved in delivering several projects to improve healthcare for patients and their families. As an example, I worked on the review of the core set of NHS access standards and recommended required updates and improvements to ensure the most unwell patients can access the right service and that the standards are easy to understand for patients and the public. Prior to this, I strategically engaged with stakeholders and developed the patient and public engagement strategy to establish key areas of engagement and obtain feedback on key policy areas. I am currently working as an NHS Manager to provide workforce expertise and support the diagnostic workstream in delivering our national elective targets. I am confident I will be able to use these skills to shape the work of the charity to the best of my ability.

Having been involved in national patient groups and research studies I have developed an in-depth understanding of how lupus impacts people from all walks of life. Through these experiences, it became apparent to me that there remains a prominent lack of awareness about lupus in the UK compared to other countries across the globe. I would also like to use this opportunity to educate individuals from ethnic minorities to increase their understanding of lupus. 

Outside of work, I love travelling and exploring different cultures and am still working on my desire to travel the world. I also have a sweet tooth so naturally love baking. Aside from this I love exploring nature, walking, and trying my hand at photography.

Throughout my charitable and professional work, I have always worked hard to impact others. I am committed to ensure I continue to work with the same principles in mind and always keep the interests of LUPUS UK at heart. I am excited to join LUPUS UK on this journey and will work hard to support the charity to flourish and reach new horizons in improving the lives of all those affected by this condition.

A photo of Matthew StinchcombeMatthew Stinchcombe (Kent)

I was diagnosed with lupus 18 years ago when I was just about to turn 30.

I woke up one day not feeling great and put this down to catching a bug. However, I became progressively worse over the following few weeks and trips to the GP just meant further blood tests that yielded inconclusive results. The GP was then forced into action after my condition turned cerebral and I started talking about shaving off my hair to save time! I was then immediately sent to hospital in South-East London.

The initial week in hospital was incredibly scary for myself and my family. Nobody seemed to have an idea of what was wrong and my days were filled with a myriad of tests. Once a specialist had diagnosed SLE lupus I was more calm. My condition had a name. We had something to focus on and fight against. My specialist (Dr Patrick Gordon) was excellent all the way through my hospital journey and for years afterwards. There was one positive of the entire episode and that is how it brought my family closer together.

I’ve been very lucky since and have had limited episodes.

The Covid pandemic gave me some time to think and I believe now is the time to contribute towards helping others. This is why I’m very happy to become a Trustee for LUPUS UK. I work for an Asset Management company as a Sales Director and spend my time helping clients towards succeeding in their investment needs. I believe that this has helped me acquire a rounded set of skills that can hopefully add something to an already excellent LUPUS UK Trustee team.

We are looking forward to working with our new Trustees and benefitting from their passion and expertise. We hope you can join us in congratulating them and welcoming them to LUPUS UK!


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