After some weird and wonderful student jobs both here and abroad, and a few gap years, I decided to train as an accountant so that I could emigrate to Australia. I trained with a firm specialising in the not for profit sector, where I acted as audit manager to Teenage Cancer Trust when it was just starting out.
After having break to have children, I re-engaged with Teenage Cancer Trust at a fundraising event and wanted to get involved. That was 2001. Since then, Teenage Cancer Trust, and my role within it, has grown beyond recognition. I became Director of Finance in 2008 and since 2015 I have led on Strategic Performance as well as Finance, IT and Risk Management.
Every day we aim to improve the lives of young people with cancer. In order to do this in an increasingly competitive sector we need to constantly get better at everything that we do. This endless need to improve is the challenge that motivates me every day and it remains an enormous privilege to be involved in this charity.
My role has two major elements. As Director of Finance I have overall responsibility for the financial viability of the charity both now and in the future. I support staff and Trustees to understand our financial position and processes, and work closely with all our stakeholders to deliver high quality financial information that enables timely decision making.
Secondly, as Director of Strategic Performance it is my role to lead on the delivery of our current strategy – the overriding goal of this strategy is to reach every young person with cancer. I work closely with directors and deputy directors from all directorates to ensure that we work collaboratively on our agreed strategic priorities. I am also responsible for ensuring that all staff understand how their role is contributing to our strategic goals.
I also lead on IT and Risk Management.
Teenage Cancer Trust and me
Teenage Cancer Trust is unique, inspiring, dedicated and a great place to work. I have seen the charity grow from its humble beginnings with 5 members of staff, to a dynamic organisation of 180 that is endlessly working to ensure the best for young people with cancer. The colleagues that I have worked with over the years have pioneered a service that leads the world in the care for young people with cancer. I am so proud to have been part of this journey. Today, the charity sector, is more challenging than ever before, but there are also opportunities, and we are committed to doing all we can to make sure all young people with cancer have access to the support they need.
As a teenager, I loved school and sport (especially netball and swimming) and I spent my time reading and dreaming about all of the places that I wanted to travel to. Some places I visited, but others are still on the list. I became an accountant so that I could emigrate to Australia, but never quite made it back there. No regrets. I could not have worked for a better charity had I travelled the world over!