Board of Trustees
Solving Kids’ Cancer UK is governed by its voluntary Board of Trustees, who have overall control of the charity. They manage the charity and decide how it is run. They are responsible for making sure Solving Kids’ Cancer UK operates in accordance with its charitable aims and fulfils its legal obligations.
Chair of Trustees
Chair of TrusteesNick Bird first became involved in the charity in 2009 when his youngest son, Adam, was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma. After Adam showed little response to standard frontline therapy, Nick and his family travelled with him to both Germany and America for treatment. While seeking options for Adam, Nick became more involved in research, attending symposiums and meetings. Following Adam’s death in 2013, Nick continued to engage in activities relating to research and advocacy on behalf of other children with neuroblastoma. In 2016 he became a member of the National Cancer Research Institute Children’s Cancer & Leukaemia Clinical Studies Group (NCRI CCL CSG), as well as a member of the specialist sub-group for neuroblastoma. Nick joined Solving Kids' Cancer UK's Board of Trustees in April 2016 and became Chair in November 2018. He is committed to trying to improve the outlook for children in the UK diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Outside of his voluntary life, he works for a technology company in the financial services sector and lives in Epsom with his wife and their two other children. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, cycling, and running, and has completed a number of marathons … with several more to come (he says!). "Neuroblastoma claims the lives of infants and young children, just starting out in life. Whilst there are brilliant doctors and researchers trying to find new ways to beat this disease, at present the most effective weapons continue to be the old artillery of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. And despite the most intensive treatment regime for any cancer, over half the children diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma still go on to die, whilst the majority of those who survive are left with serious, life-long, side-effects. Researchers need our help; to engage with them, challenge them, steer them, support them, push them, and provide the funding commitments that make research happen, that in turn makes change happen. We must speak up for the children affected by this terrible disease, for they are simply too young to have a voice of their own."
TreasurerDavid Coulon became a Trustee of Solving Kids' Cancer UK in August 2017. He is a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he provides audit and advisory services to the resources industry. A Frenchman, he moved to the UK in 1999 for a two-year secondment, which ended up lasting a little longer! Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his partner, Elena and children. He also runs the odd half marathon to keep fit enough to live his real passion for food and wine! “Throughout my life, I’ve been lucky to benefit from a strong community, and for a while now, I’ve felt that it was my turn to contribute to it, which Solving Kids’ Cancer UK gives me the opportunity to do so. “As a Trustee, my focus is to bring my financial expertise to bear and to help us to achieve our strategic objectives set out in our five-year plan. “As soon as I joined, I was humbled by the stories of the children and their families, by their courage and their resilience and I witnessed this first hand at our annual conference in 2017. I am also impressed by the passion, energy and commitment of our staff. What motivates me is to work with them, and the other board members, to contribute to making a difference to those suffering because of neuroblastoma, in the hope that one day, all children will recover from it.”
Alexandra LaneAlex first became aware of Solving Kids' Cancer UK when her eldest son Archie, was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma. He was two years old at the time. Despite initially suffering with the toxicity of treatment, Archie showed no sign of disease after induction chemotherapy. However, he relapsed shortly after high-dose chemotherapy and the disease progressed very rapidly. He passed away at Great Ormond Street Hospital in June 2018. Since Archie’s death, Alex returned to work as a lawyer specialising in health care regulatory work. She has continued to follow Solving Kids’ Cancer UK and shares our drive and passion to find kinder, more effective treatment and better outcomes for children like Archie. She lives in Hertfordshire with Archie’s younger brothers Oscar and Cooper and their dad, Max. You can read more about Archie on his Facebook page ‘Super Archie’s Army’. “Like most people I had never heard of neuroblastoma until Archie was diagnosed in 2017. And like most people I was shocked to discover how little awareness, understanding and funding there is of childhood cancer generally. It is simply unacceptable that children are still being treated with the same brutally harsh treatments that were available 50 years ago. So little progress has been made. Society has let these children down, when we need to be their advocates. They are too young to understand let alone demand the funding, research and future that they deserve. “I am honoured to join the team at Solving Kids’ Cancer UK and share their passion and commitment to make a difference to children and families affected by neuroblastoma. Having a child with cancer changes you forever. Whilst I know there will be more children like Archie, I have hope that by collectively driving forward awareness, funding and research we can and will make a real difference in the future.”
Áine McCarthyÁine McCarthy studied genetics at University College Cork, Ireland before making the move to London in 2010 to carry out a PhD in cancer biology at Barts Cancer Institute. She completed her PhD in 2014 and then joined the science communications team at Cancer Research UK. In 2018, she became the first Senior Communications and Marketing Manager for Children’s and Young People’s cancers at the Charity. While in this role, she began working with Solving Kids' Cancer UK, meeting with the team at conferences and learning about their work. Having left Cancer Research UK and taken up a role as a Head of Communications in the NHS in London, Áine wanted to continue helping children with cancer and maintain her ties with Solving Kids' Cancer UK, and so joined the charity as a Trustee in July 2021. “I’ve always been so impressed by the work that Solving Kids' Cancer UK do to help children with neuroblastoma and their families and to drive forward research in this area. When I took up a new role in the NHS, I knew I wanted to continue helping children with cancer and Solving Kids' Cancer UK seemed like a natural fit to do this. “Solving Kids' Cancer UK do so much for so many, and I’m so excited to become part of the team and to help them achieve even more and help even more children with neuroblastoma.”
Board Policy & Safeguarding Lead
Board Policy & Safeguarding LeadJoey Tabone is Founder and Chief Executive of Sixty7.green, sustainability consulting. For 12 years prior to this, he was a Director at Business in the Community, The Prince Responsible Business Network. Joey joined the Board of Trustees in 2015, bringing with him his experience from within the UK charitable sector. His initial interest was to support building governance structures and grow the charity’s capabilities. Joey was Chair of the Board between 2016 – 2018. Joey holds other non-executive roles in the UK including Trustee and Vice Chair of The Environmental Law Foundation and Trustee and Chair of The Pink Singers, an LGBTQ+ Community Interest Company - Europe’s longest-running LGBTQ+ choral charity. Before coming to the UK in 2007, he spent two decades with the Australian Government’s Climate Change Department and served on the board of the Australian Capital Territory AIDS Action Council, where he was President for seven years. “My personal motivation to help Solving Kids’ Cancer UK is twofold, firstly to learn more about cancer treatment and care, having lost family members to cancer-related diseases, and secondly to demonstrate the important contribution to society that a user-led charity makes. In my professional life, I believe I have gained more experience and empathy in working alongside and within charities and firmly believe that charities and the people that work within them, make an invaluable contribution to society and at their heart, are a force for good.”
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead