Kate Collins, Chief Executive
“Teenage Cancer Trust is a force to be reckoned with. Everyone puts the needs of the young people we serve first when making decisions about what we should or shouldn’t do. That makes an enormous difference.” Follow me on Twitter!
I’ve worked in the charity sector for nearly 20 years and I thrive on seeing the passion and commitment of supporters turn into the funds that charities need to make a difference and change lives. I joined BBC Children in Need in 1999 as Marketing Manager, working on the brand and marketing for three appeals (and getting to meet Pudsey Bear of course!) and in 2002 I joined Cancer Research UK, holding a variety of senior roles in Community and Corporate Fundraising.
I arrived at Teenage Cancer Trust in 2009, tasked with developing our regional fundraising programme and became a Director in 2013 and, most recently Chief Executive. All of my fundraising and marketing roles have been within organisations that are focussed on either cancer or young people, so working for a charity that brings everything together is a joy.
The Board of Trustees – the volunteers who lead our charity – appointed me as CEO in 2018. It is my job to ensure the organisation is well-led and on course to deliver our ambitious strategy to help more young people with cancer than ever before.
I work closely with my Senior Leadership Team to make sure we are using the money raised by our supporters to make the biggest difference to the lives of young people with cancer in the UK. Every young person deserves the best treatment, care and support from the moment cancer is diagnosed.
From the first visit I made to a unit - when I showed up at 10am and no-one was awake because young people are allowed to lie in and don’t have to keep hospital hours - I knew I was somewhere that put young people first. I’m enormously proud to lead this organisation and know that, with young people, their families and friends, our staff, nurses, youth support coordinators, volunteers and supporters we’re a force to be reckoned with!
Teenage Cancer Trust and me
Whenever I meet someone we’ve helped or someone who has helped us I am reminded why what we do is so important. Teenage Cancer Trust is a remarkable place to work. Everyone puts the needs of the young people we serve first when making decisions about what we should or shouldn’t do. That makes an enormous difference - it means politics have no place here, we’re one team. I’ve been here eight years and I’m as happy to be here as I was when I was new to the charity. It is a place where things constantly feel fresh and we’re always making progress.
When I was a teenager I was quirky, gawky, studious and keen to be an adult. I used to want to be Wonder Woman when I grew up (it was the gold bangles and invisible plane) but for much of my teens I wanted to be a lawyer. I’m glad I’m neither (although I’m still on the lookout for an invisible plane). I love what I do at Teenage Cancer Trust, it feels like home.