Jump to content, skipping navigation

Become a member|Contact us|Osteoporosis Forum|Forum help|Print|Log in

National Osteoporosis Society

Osteoporosis helpline

0845 450 0230

9amĀ - 5pm Mon-Fri

Looking Back 25 Years

Together we have shared some fantastic achievements over the last 25 years. Just some of the milestones can be seen below.

In 1986 few people had even heard of osteoporosis and there were no national campaigns to raise awareness of the disease and the steps that can be taken to prevent it. 

Life for those affected by osteoporosis in 1986 was tough, especially in terms of diagnosis. Patients were only identified as having osteoporosis if they were fortunate enough to have a doctor with a specific interest in the disease. 

The National Osteoporosis Society was set up in 1986 when doctors at a Bath hospital realised that people were worryingly unaware of osteoporosis.

Twenty five years later, as the chariy marks its special anniversary year, the organisation is providing a lifeline for the millions of people across the UK affected by this debilitating fragile bone disease.


• Charity is launched.


• Membership of the Charity grows to 5,000.

• We hold our first major conference for Health Professionals in the UK


• Charity fashion show highlights the affect that osteoporosis can have on body shape.


• We receives support from Her Majesty The Queen.


• We are featured on TV-am, watched by 10 million people.


• We develop our first education pack for schools helping young people to build stronger bones.


• The first National Osteoporosis Week is launched.


• We launch our first Research Appeal to fund groundbreaking research into osteoporosis.


• Membership of the Charity grows to 20,000.


• The first government strategy on osteoporosis is launched, following years of lobbying.


• Actor Ross Kemp launches a bone friendly logo to help educate the general public about products that are beneficial for bone health.


• We launch “It could happen to you” television advert to raise the profile of fragile bones.


• Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is made President of the National Osteoporosis Society in recognition of her tireless work on behalf of people with osteoporosis and the charity.

• Actress Susan Hampshire becomes Patron of the charity.


• Our 10th national conference attracts nearly 900 scientists and clinicians.

• Supported by the National Osteoporosis Society, the All-Party Parliamentary Osteoporosis Group (APPOG) at Westminster conduct an inquiry into services for older people; the report finds that the development of integrated osteoporosis services in England requires more focus from the Government and the NHS.


• Following APPOG’s 2004 inquiry report, the Government announces £20 million extra funding for DXA bone density scanners in England.


• Our 20th anniversary: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall marks the occasion by visiting the Charity headquarters to bury a time capsule detailing the futures hopes for those with osteoporosis.


• 24,000 people signed our petition to call on the Prime Minister to review government guidance which recommends only one treatment for osteoporosis, which a quarter of people are unable to take.

• A £3 million pledge from the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons is awarded to 14 NHS Trusts in England and Wales to help them improve scanning services.

• We help to stage the 'Next Steps' conference in Scotland to look at the development of an integrated approach to the management of falls, fragility fractures and osteoporosis.


• TV dance judge Craig Revel Horwood (working with Dr Miriam Stoppard) creates Boogie for your Bones, a dance plan that encourages people to build their bones through a lively and fun dance.

• We begin to distribute free information leaflets.


• A World Osteoporosis Day event at St Clement Danes school in London attracts the world’s attention when Her Royal Highness dances with Craig Revel Horwood.

• We launch separate manifestos for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland; these set out the steps which politicians, policy makers and the NHS need to take to improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of osteoporosis and fragility fractures; the Westminster launch attracts over 50 MPs and Peers.


• 170 health professionals attend our learning events; these promote the importance of identifying older people at risk of further fractures.

• 375,000 free information leaflets are sent out.

• Over 20,000 young people use online tools to learn about the dangers of being too thin as part of the 'Body Gossip' campaign.


• The Helpline celebrate having helped 100,000 enquirers on the charity’s helpline since records began in 2003.

• Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall appears on BBC’s ‘The Archers’ and helps to raise awareness.

• We launch our ambitious 'for a breakfree future' campaign.


for a breakfree future

Help us continue or vital work over the next 25 years.

The number of people with fragile bones in the UK continues to grow dramatically. Fragile bones lead to 300,000 fractures in the UK annually; this compares to the 275,000 heart attacks and 110,000 strokes.

Together we can do something to help prevent these fractures.  Please help us to make a difference and create a breakfree future for everyone.  

Donate today.

Any donation you are able to make will be gratefully received and used to improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of people at risk of fractures from fragile bones.

Can you help?


Make a difference with a regular gift



Take part in an event


Coronation Street Story


Get involved

Find a support group near you


Connect With Us

Follow us on Twitter

Donate with JustGiving and PayPal

smiling lady in a red shirt

Back to top