Who We Are
Our CCPA team has a very personal perspective of childhood and adolescent cancer. Most of our leadership team have had a child with cancer or have undergone treatment themselves in childhood. So we know just how devastating cancer in childhood can be, as well as the life-long implications the diagnosis, treatments and outcomes.
Rachael Olley has served as Operations Manager since 2005. Under the supervision of the Board of Trustees, she manages day-to-day running of the charity, fundraising and marketing activities and charitable operations. She maintains direct contact with member groups, organises support worker meetings, specialist interest groups and national conferences.
Locally, Rachael provides support and advice to families who have a child or teenager with cancer. She also responds to enquiries from families and their advocates across the country, signposting them to appropriate local support, or providing help directly if no local service is available.
Rachael also provides input to various charities and study groups on aspects of paediatric cancer services from a parental / family perspective.
Rachael is Mum to two boys: Connor and Max. In 2002, Connor was five years old when diagnosed with Leukaemia, and Max was just a babe in arms. Connor endured three years of chemotherapy to achieve the good health he enjoys today. So Rachael fully understands the difficulties faced by families whose children are receiving cancer treatment.
Abby was born with bilateral retinoblastoma (cancer in both eyes). She has an artificial eye and limited vision in her remaining eye that is now failing due to late effects of radiotherapy in infancy.
Abby studied geography at university, with emphasis on African development. In 2004, she co-founded Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund (now World Eye Cancer Hope), which focuses on building sustainable high quality retinoblastoma care for all children and families and survivors, especially in developing countries. Abby co-ordinates the organisation’s day-to-day activities while also assisting individual families worldwide.
Abby has been involved with CCPA since 2008, and joined the board in 2009. She organised our 2010 national conference in Oxford. Continuing her Global focus, she represents CCPA at meetings of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology, and Childhood Cancer International, and serves on the Projects Committee of World Child Cancer.
Chris Gibbs is the father of a child diagnosed with cancer in 1991. He has been involved with Cancer support for over eighteen years as a general committee member and Treasurer with SPoCC (the Society of Parents of Children with Cancer), a parent run support group at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Together with his wife Liz, he has also served on the committee of ROHBoTS (the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Bone Tumour Support Group).
As SPoCC representative to CCPA, Chris has served as Secretary and Vice-Chair.
Chris was a User Carer representative on the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guidance Development Group that drew up Guidance for Improving Outcomes in Children and Young People with Cancer. He is a member of the National Implementation Group involved in ensuring those guidelines are followed.
Eddie Hincks has been married to Brenda for over 40 years and has 2 children Col & Jenny.
He has been a trustee of CCPA/NACCPO since its inception in 1999. His group CHICS joined the group as one of its founder members.
He has been a member of CHICS, Children’s Cancer Support Group since his son was diagnosed in 1991. For the last 10 years he has been their family support worker after previously holding the posts of treasurer, vice chair & chair. He also chaired the CHICS Executive Group for a number of years.
CHICS supports families that are treated at Alder Hey hospital, and covers the areas of Merseyside, Wirral, North Wales, Isle of Man and parts of Cheshire & Lancashire.
His main role is to introduce CHICS to all newly diagnosed families and to support them in whatever way is needed. CHICS celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016.
Ros Francis is a mother of two whose son Guy was diagnosed with osteosarcoma just before his 18th birthday. Whilst in remission Guy raised thousands of pounds for research and when he lost his own battle against this rare and aggressive bone cancer in 2002, his family and friends promised him they would continue.
Since then Ros has gained much experience in founding and running charities both as a trustee of the Guy Francis Bone Cancer Research Fund run locally in Guy’s name from York and also as Clerk to the Trustees of the national Bone Cancer Research Trust.
Ros and her husband Mike have been members of CCPA for many years and are now pleased to be able to become more involved. As parents and particularly bereaved parents, they are especially keen to promote parents’ voices within medical and research communities.
During her teaching career, in disadvantaged areas, working with children with special needs and running courses for parents, Ros gained experience in providing support to families. She also brings this to her role as a trustee of CCPA.
Margaret son was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia aged 12 and her father had lymphoma. Personal experience led her to become fervently involved in cancer advocacy. She served on the committee of a support group for parents of children with cancer in Cambridge, and trained in counselling to effectively support families. She also volunteers at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
Margaret has a degree in Zoology. PhD studies at Newnham College, Cambridge were ended by a road accident, but her son’s diagnosis reignited her passion for science. She has worked with many local and national cancer services and research development programs since 1997. Her particular interests within childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer care are medical education and late effects, pain management and palliative care.
Margaret has 4 children and 5 grandchildren. She cares for her husband who has narcolepsy, and her father who has cardiac disease. She also cared for her mother who had Alzheimer’s.
Non-Trustee Board Member
Mike Francis’s son Guy was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, aged 17. Guy raised thousands of pounds during his time in remission, but died aged 23. Before his death he founded, in York, the Guy Francis Bone Cancer Research Fund which, in 2004, joined with 4 similar groups to create the national charity, Bone Cancer Research Trust (BCRT). Mike became BCRT’s founding Chairman of Trustees, bringing to the organisation his skills as a Chartered Manager, Chartered Marketer and Professional Lecturer.
He became a NICE Registered Expert Witness, and led the BCRT Lay Team to successful approval of the break-through osteosarcoma treatment drug MEPACT.
Since 2006, Mike has served on the CCPA Executive Board. He is also a member of the Editorial Board for CCLG’s (Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group) Contact magazine and is a Patient and Public Involvement UK Representative to the Euro Ewing Consortium, an EU €5.6 million long-term research project.
David Hill and Lynda Hill
David and Lynda were introduced to Rachael Olley at the Childhood Cancer conference held in Oxford in 2010 and joined CCPA in 2011. They have 3 children. Their youngest son was diagnosed with Leukaemia when he was 5 so they have first-hand experience of caring for a child through cancer. They are very keen to support CCPA as they understand how valuable it is to share with others and be part of a national voice to help families across the country. David and Lynda founded their own charity, The Joshua Tree in 2006, supporting families in and around Cheshire who have had experience of childhood cancer.
Marketing Manager & Fundraising Assistant
Amanda began her involvement in the charity sector over 25 years ago when she volunteered in a local hospital. Although her working background started in conference and video production working on product launches and promotional videos she retrained as a garden designer in 1996.
Her career took a different direction about 15 years ago when she began working in the charity sector in fundraising and PR for both national and locally based charities including St John Ambulance, Penny Brohn Cancer Care and The Royal British Legion. In 2016 set set up Danells and Bewley Consultants helping charities and small business with income generation and marketing communications.
Amanda has 4 children, and 2 step-children and lives in Yorkshire with her husband and youngest daughter.