Our executive team
Our executive team are the people that make sure Young Lives vs Cancer runs like a well-oiled machine. Each Director has an area of expertise and experience, and together they manage the day-to-day of the organisation. They report through the Chief Executive to the board of Trustees.
Rachel has worked in the not for profit sector for the past 15 years.
Following a role as Head of High Value fundraising at Diabetes UK, Rachel joined Samaritans in 2006 and was there eight years, the last five as Executive Director of Fundraising & Communications.
She was responsible for overseeing a 50% growth in income during that time by increasing income from individual givers, establishing a Major Donor team and securing multi-million pound project funding from corporates, government and Big Lottery.
Before moving into the charitable sector Rachel spent eight years working in sales and marketing for a high-tech multi-national.
Rachel is a governor at a local primary school and is a member of the Institute of Fundraising’s Policy Advisory Board.
Rachel formerly led our Income and Engagement teams, with roles including Director of Fundraising and Director of Income and Engagement.
Helen joined Young Lives vs Cancer in 2008 as a service development and programme management specialist. During her time at Young Lives vs Cancer, Helen has led many of the charity’s flagship projects and worked to establish much of the infrastructure that underpins the charity’s services.
Before moving to the charity sector Helen was a consultant at Deloitte & Touche LLP where she worked with a range of public sector clients. Prior to that Helen was on the National Graduate Programme for Local Government. Here she completed a post graduate diploma in local government management.
Although she is a northerner at heart, Helen now lives in Hackney with her husband and two young children.
Helen became Young Lives vs Cancer’s Assistant Director of Services in 2015, leading on strategy and major projects. In January 2018 she started her role as interim Director of Services and in June 2018 she was appointed Director of Services.
Roger started his career as a teacher in the mid-1970s, beginning work in a prison before moving into mainstream Education. He later became a Head Teacher in West London, at the time when devolution of budgets and accountability was growing in Education. His role as secretary of the NAHT led him into his HR career and CIPD fellowship.
Roger later shifted careers into the voluntary sector as Head of Training at The British Red Cross. He held eight different jobs over a 25 year period, latterly managing Strategic Change, HR, Carbon reduction, Health and Safety and International Security. He was also acting CEO for 6 months, and managed internal communications, facilities management, property and procurement. Roger left the Red Cross after 25 years in early 2018, and joined Young Lives vs Cancer as Interim Director of People and Learning soon after.
Roger has a lifelong interest in development work and education, and has taught at Brunel University, University of East London and VOLPROF (now CASS Business School). He has worked extensively in management and leadership development, and continues to coach developing managers.
He has worked in Moscow, Siberia, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Haiti, Georgia, USA, and widely across Europe. He loves walking, camping and travelling, and hopes to eventually get his two grandchildren to join him.
Jenny joined Young Lives vs Cancer, and the charity sector, in 2011. Before this she developed strategy and plans and managed programmes, research and change in the public sector. Jenny started her career in children’s services in local government on a management training scheme alongside a postgraduate diploma in management studies, before moving to the Healthcare Commission to develop corporate strategy and plans.
She led a team to improve access to early childhood education at the Victorian State Government in Australia and has project managed research projects in a university.
Jenny started at Young Lives vs Cancer in strategic planning and performance management. As an Associate Director she led the development of Young Lives vs Cancer’s corporate strategy and plans and put in place planning and reporting to underpin the strategy before becoming Director of Strategy and Governance in July 2019.
Jenny loves doing research and art and culture and is progressing towards a PhD in contemporary memorial culture; she also teaches postgraduate students occasionally and is editor of an arts journal.
Leading our Finance, Technology, Trading and Property teams, Tony brings a wealth of multi-disciplinary expertise from a range of industries within both the corporate and SME sectors.
Dual qualified CIMA and Chartered Institute of Marketing, he was most recently CFO for Unique Homestays. Prior to that Tony was the UK Finance Director at Arjo Huntleigh and Head of Commercial Finance at Bupa Home Healthcare, working with both the NHS and Pharmaceutical industries.
Earlier in his career Tony held a number of high profile commercial and finance roles at EE, General Motors, Scottish & Newcastle and Unilever.
A sports lover, his real passion is rugby. Having coached mini rugby for many years, his playing days are now confined to chucking a ball around with his two teenage sons and following his beloved Exeter Chiefs and Scotland.
Luke is responsible for leading Young Lives vs Cancer’s Income and Engagement directorate, which includes our fundraising, media, engagement and brand marketing teams.
Luke joined Young Lives vs Cancer in 2016 as Associate Director of Fundraising. He has been responsible for the development of the charity’s public fundraising programmes including individual giving, legacies, regional, event fundraising, supporter experience and innovation.
Luke has worked within charity sector fundraising and management since 2001, including time leading teams at the British Heart Foundation, DHIVERSE and Save the Children UK. Luke is a qualified member of the Institute of Fundraising. Luke is a mentor with the Tony Elischer Foundation and a member of the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention Board.
Outside of the world of fundraising, Luke lives in the Midlands and is a local government councillor. He is an avid traveller, walker and spaniel owner.
Our Trustees guide our work and are responsible for the direction of the organisation. They’re all volunteers and give their time for free to help families face everything cancer throws at them.
Sir David joined Young Lives vs Cancer from his most recent role as Chair of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Earlier in his career, Sir David was a GP for 36 years in Cambridgeshire and was later President and Chairman of Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners, President of the British Medical Association, and a vice-chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.
Will is an experienced managing director / CEO who has worked principally in the food business at organisations including Premier Foods and United Biscuits, where he has gained extensive experience in brand building and strategic marketing.
Will has experience as a trustee, having been treasurer and then chair of a charity in support of the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit and wishes to participate more in the not for profit sector.
Farrah is a senior audit manager at Sayer Vincent, an award-winning firm of chartered accountants with a focus on charities and social enterprises. Farrah has worked in the charity sector for 15 years and as well as her experience at Sayer Vincent, she has worked in the finance team at the NSPCC.
Farrah is a qualified chartered accountant and has a Diploma in Charity Accounting.
Niamh is a qualified accountant and Finance Director at Tesco plc. During her 20 years at Tesco, she has worked across multiple departments in senior finance roles including retail, online and property.
Niamh has been involved with Young Lives vs Cancer for the past two years working with the executive team as an independent member of the finance committee.
Dr Julia Chisholm was appointed as trustee in September 2014.
She was appointed consultant paediatric oncologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 1999. In 2010 she moved on to a new consultant role at the Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, with particular responsibility for developing the new Teenage and Young Adult service.
She is a member of the Clinical Oversight Group of RM Partners and a member of the national Clinical Reference Group for Children and Young People’s Cancer.
Dr Chisholm specialises in the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma in children and young adults. Alongside her regular clinical work her research interests include supportive care of children with cancer and improving treatments for patients with soft tissue sarcomas, particularly through the introduction of novel therapies in clinical trials.
Dr Chisholm is a member of the paediatric Drug Development team at the Royal Marsden Hospital and part of the European Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer clinical network.
She is a board member of the European paediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Group.
Stephen is a Fundraising & Leadership Coach and consultant. He was most recently Executive Director at Action on Hearing Loss and Director of Fundraising at Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre’s in the UK.
From 2006 to 2010 was Development Director for Legacy Fundraising at the NSPCC. He joined the NSPCC in 1998 as Director of Community Appeals where he was responsible for Local volunteer and community fundraising, schools, and national events across the UK. In 1999 when the Full Stop appeal was launched Stephen managed the appeal in the regions, which raised £55 million.
Before joining the NSPCC, he was Head of Regional Fundraising at Unicef for three years and prior to that spent 12 years in a range of fundraising and management roles at Scope. He was previously chairman of Remember a Charity, a consortium of over 145 charities promoting gifts in wills. He is now Vice Chairman of the Institute of Fundraising.
Peter has over 35 years experience working within the public and voluntary sector in London. He is a registered social worker with extensive senior management experience in the delivery of children and adult services both at an operational and strategic level.
Prior to taking early retirement he was the Assistant Director of Children’s Social Care for an inner-London local authority. He now works as a freelance consultant specialising in audit work, case reviews and investigations.
He is currently the Chair of the Westminster Diocese Safeguarding Commission and is a non-executive Director with responsibility for overseeing safeguarding at Board level for a number of third sector organisations.
Jason is a young person with lived experience of cancer. Prior to his appointment as a trustee, Jason was an active member of the Young Lives vs Cancer Young People’s Reference Group (YPRG) and the Children and Young People’s Advisory Group (CYPAG).
Since his cancer diagnosis, Jason has been a passionate advocate of better care for young people with cancer and has been working on raising awareness among the general public. He has spoken at numerous events and conferences, such as the Eyeforpharma Barcelona conference, where he urged attendees and medical professionals to be mindful of the unique emotional and psychological needs of young people with cancer which are often very different to adults.
Jason is a graduate from University of Warwick and is currently a trainee at KPMG, a professional services firm. He is working towards the Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification and has passed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 exams.
Rachel is Honorary Nurse Advisor in children’s cancer care in the Leeds Children’s Hospital at the Leeds Hospitals NHS Trust. Prior to retirement in 2018 she spent almost 30 years working in paediatric oncology and haematology in the acute sector.
Whilst all Rachel’s clinical experience was gained in Leeds, she has always played an active role in the development of children’s cancer nursing, and children’s cancer services, at the national level.
Rachel is a past Chair of the Paediatric Oncology Nurses Forum of the Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom (RCN), and now represents the RCN on the national Clinical Reference Group for Children and Teenage Cancer. She was made a Fellow of the RCN in recognition of her contribution to children’s nursing.
Rachel is a member of the nursing group within the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP). She is a former Chair of the SIOP Paediatric Oncology in Developing Countries (PODC) Nursing Working Group. In that capacity she has advocated for and worked with nurses from low and middle income countries in looking to define base-line standards of care for nurse training and education.
Harry is a young person with lived experience of cancer. He was successfully treated for a brain tumour and has since been focussed on completing his education. Before becoming a trustee, Harry was a part of the Children and Young People’s Advisory Group (CYPAG), and later the Young Person’s Reference Group (YPRG).
Ever since the start of his involvement with Young Lives vs Cancer, in 2012, Harry has been actively involved in feeding into the top level of decision making through participation with other young people and staff at numerous events and workshops. His highlights include attending a reception at the House of Lords in 2015, which was part of the launch of Young Lives vs Cancer’s three-year ‘Better Care for Young Cancer Patients’ campaign. It was attended by several MPs and Lords, including Green MP Caroline Lucas.
Harry now works full-time as a journalist.
Anna is a chartered accountant and has held a number of senior finance roles at Morrisons and Tesco. Prior to moving into more commercial roles within retail, she gained audit and corporate finance experience at Deloitte and Andersen. She is chair of governors at a local primary school.
As the parent of a child recently treated for cancer, Anna has direct experience of the critical role Young Lives vs Cancer plays in supporting children and young people both during and after treatment.
Karen is Director, Commercial Innovation at The Telegraph, previously Director of Digital Sales & Innovation. Her career in advertising has spanned over 20 years across digital media, ad tech, business, consumer and national press, radio, events, and video, including management roles at Centaur Communications, DMG Media, and Classic FM.
More recently, prior to joining The Telegraph she led transformation projects in digital and video for DC Thompson Companies Shortlist Media and Beano Studios, and was Commercial Director UK at leading video ad tech company Innovid.
Our honorary positions
Young Lives vs Cancer’s Honorary President role recognises those highly committed individuals who have made an exceptional and impactful contribution to the charity. We’re very grateful for the difference they have made.
Gordon joined the Appeals Committee of Sargent Cancer Care for Children in 1998, becoming a Trustee in 2000 and then Chairman in 2002.
He took a lead role in co-ordinating the successful merger of Sargent Cancer Care for Children and CLIC (Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood) in 2005 to become CLIC Sargent.
After the charities joined forces, Gordon continued as Joint Chairman of CLIC Sargent before standing down 12 months later, and was very honoured to be appointed Honorary President in 2014.
Gordon is also the Chairman of World Child Cancer and a Trustee of World Child Cancer USA. He was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2015.
Currently, Gordon is Chairman of the Chaldean Group, which was established to manage interests in Chaldean Estate (a Hertfordshire farming and agriculture contracting enterprise), Property Investment and Development along with a diverse investment portfolio. He is married to Mary, lives in Hertfordshire and has a son, daughter and four grandchildren.
A group of highly committed individuals, our vice presidents have made an outstanding contribution to our work over many years. We’re extremely grateful to them for their long-term generosity and dedication, and continue to work together for young lives against cancer.
- Francesca and Andrea Brignone
- Lucy Butcher
- Sara and Massimo Carello
- Johnny and Laura Greenall
- Jake and Harriet Humphrey
- Jonathan and Nicola Plumtree
- Melanie and Andrew White
Johnny and Laura Greenall
When our son Billy was diagnosed with cancer, we experienced personally how CLIC Sargent makes a difference to so many people. We wanted to help make life more bearable for families who live so far away from the hospital, and after chairing a successful appeal, I was delighted when Billy's House opened next to Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham in 2009. We are so pleased that Billy's House continues to provide an escape, by giving families space to regroup and regain strength to get through their battle! We feel proud and privileged to be patrons of such an incredible charity. Thank you CLIC Sargent.