About us Our history Our history The Addison's Disease Self-Help Group was founded in 1984 by Deana Kenward on her dining room table, following her diagnosis of Addison's Disease. Over the following years, the organisation has grown to almost 1,800 members, an internationally recognised patient support and advocacy group with a flourishing, engaged adrenal insufficiency community. Our History It all began when Deana wanted to find out more about Addison’s following her diagnoisis. She went to the library and wrote to every magazine she could think of only to find out there was nothing. In the end, she wrote to Katie Boyle at the TV Times. They printed Deana's letter in the TV Times in July 1984. The response to Deana’s letter was better than she could have hoped for, with many people responding saying they too lived with Addison’s Disease. Deana proceeded to answer each and every letter by hand, asking everyone if they would like to join a support group and thus the Addison's Disease Self Help Group was born! Deana carried on doing everything by hand at her dining room table. In April 1992 she sent out the first newsletter having asked Professor Mike Besser, one of the leading adrenal specialists in the UK at St. Bartholomew's Hospital to answer medical questions in the newsletters. The Lion Club's donation of a word processor to Deana, enabled her to send typewritten letters to members. Through Deana's hard-work and dedication, our charity has gone from strength to strength, increasing the support and information we are able to provide to people with Addison's and those who support them. In 2012, Deana Kenward was awarded a MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the charity and its community and her example to others. Deana receiving her MBE, with son Daniel. In 2018, the charity appointed its first professional Chief Executive, having previously been run entirely by volunteers. In 2019, with the assent of the Charity Commission the charity became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (UK registered nonprofit). Get Involved Throughout the past 35 years, we have been powered by volunteers. We continue to hold high the principles of mutual self-help, active patient engagement and hands-on volunteering. Become a member Help us with fundraising Become a volunteer Want to read more? One of our longest standing volunteer's Noel Hawks, charts the story of the Addison's Disease Self-Help Group's founder Deana Kenward. From her diagnosis, the journey of starting the charity, until her MBE award and current retirement. ADSHG Founder Deana Kenward: From an Unusual Tan to the TV Times and beyond!