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Our trustees

Ian Ellington Chair of TrusteesIan Ellington (Chair)

I have worked for my whole career in the food industry in a variety of commercial roles spanning sales, marketing, strategy and general management.  I have worked for 2 (American) blue chip organisations : Mars Incorporated and Pepsico.  I have lived and worked in the UK and France and had roles at both domestic market level and also with international / global responsibilities. I have extensive experience and a good network of contacts in communications and PR, design / printing and UK retail sectors. I have also had lots of exposure to general management issues, finance and budget management and strategic planning.  I’m currently the MD of Walkers Snacks Ltd.

I am married with 4 children. My youngest, Tom, was diagnosed with unilateral RB in November 2008 and had an enucleation, losing his right eye....which was the beginning of my association with CHECT.  I became a trustee in 2011.

 

 

Trustee Oliver ComynOliver Comyn (Vice chair)

I am a research fellow in Ophthalmology at Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in London. My interest in retinoblastoma is personal as well as professional, having met an inspiring individual affected by Rb at medical school.

Although my research is currently in the field of diabetic eye disease, I hope to bring my knowledge of science and research processes to the board of trustees and use it to good effect on the research subcommittee, on which I have been asked to serve.

In my spare time, I enjoy training for triathlons by swimming and cycling regularly and occasionally forcing myself to go running. Sometimes I am brave enough to enter a race, so there’s a good chance you’ll see me doing some fundraising for CHECT at an event soon.

I look forward to serving on the board and meeting the members of CHECT.

 

 

Frank Maskell - TreasurerFrank Maskell (Treasurer)

I first became aware of CHECT’s work through Brian Thorogood. Brian is a Trustee of the charity whose grandson was born with Retinoblastoma. I’d known Brian for many years both as a colleague and close friend and I was really impressed with how CHECT had supported and continue to support his family. Daft as it may seem when I saw his grandson playing with his monster with the removable eye it bought it home to me how such a charity can really make a difference.

I’ve been involved working in financial and commercial roles within industrial and service companies for 30 years, having graduated as an economist and qualifying as an accountant. I currently work for the UK arm of a large American engineering business.

The chance to use my experience in supporting such a worthy charity became a reality when my predecessor - Andrew Spillane – decided to return to Australia. Andrew’s going to be a hard act to follow but I’m really looking forward to working with the team to continue its great works.

 

 

Ffion Miles

I was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma as a baby in 1975/6. I was then diagnosed with an osteosarcoma (bone cancer in my knee) in 1990 and have an extensive knee prosthesis.

I attended mainstream education at Welsh language primary and secondary schools before gaining a 2:I in Law at Aberystwyth University. I then gained a Masters in International Politics before passing my legal practice exams at Cardiff Law School. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in education and though encountered some difficulties I received a lot of support from my teachers, local authority, parents and friends. All necessary equipment and support was provided.
Having worked as a trainee solicitor for a while, I decided this was not the career for me and joined the BBC on a work placement scheme. I am now a community researcher for the BBC's community websites for North West Wales (one Welsh, one English) and greatly enjoy my work. My other interests are singing (member of choir), travelling, reading, socialising with friends and live music.

I was very happy to become a trustee of CHECT as I am keen to represent the views of younger Rb survivors (and those who have gone on to be diagnosed with further tumours) and share any advice/knowledge I have to further the interests of the charity.

 

 

Dr Rowan Chowdhury

I was treated for unilateral retinoblastoma aged three with enucleation. I am delighted to be a trustee again having served on the committee from 2001 to 2004.

I studied medicine at Oxford University and Guy's and St Thomas' hospitals. I am training in oncology and I work as a specialist registrar at University College Hospital, London.

I enjoy travelling and have previously worked in Tanzania and Bangladesh. I am training for a half marathon and I am an enthusiastic, if untalented skier.

 

 

Trustee Benjamin RevillBenjamin Revill

Ben is a charity professional with personal links to the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust. Educated at Goldsmiths College (University of London) he became an IT sector professional 12 years ago and has specialised in providing business solutions to the charity and not for profit sector for the last 6 years. At IRIS Group (the UK’s largest software supplier to the sector) he is CARE Business Manager where he is responsible for providing the company’s flagship solution to over 50 of the UK’s top 100 charities including Guide Dogs, CLIC Sargent and Save the Children UK. He spends most of his time developing solutions in partnership with such charities to improve almost all aspects of business processes in the modern charity - Fundraising, Finance, Reporting, Service Delivery, Web integration and online strategies.

Ben is married to professional violinist Caroline, with two sons Hector and William. In August 2009 William (then aged 4) was diagnosed with unilateral Rb and was treated at the Royal London. During this life changing event Ben and Caroline became aware that there are many families in less fortunate positions than themselves due to Rb, that CHECT has a vital role to play in tackling the disease and that involvement with the charity is one way they could help.

 

 

Ayesha AwanAyesha Awan

Ayesha has a Bachelor Degree in Business Management from University of Hull, where she also completed her MBA. Ayesha has recently changed jobs after 9 years with one company and is now working for Hult International Business School which is recognized by the economist as being one of the top 27 Business Schools in World. Her role there is Immigration & Compliance Manger, ensuring the School and its international student's are always compliant with UK immigration legislation and compiling procedures and strategies to meet changing UK immigration requirements. In previous roles and her current role Ayesha has dealt with many government bodies and University's on a daily basis.

Ayesha joined the board of trustees in 2011. She feels  she brings a wealth of experience in a subject that is very personal and close to her heart as well as a background and experience which brings other skills which maybe beneficial to CHECT.

 

 

Rachel Broquard

Rachel Broquard is a principle associate in the corporate group at Eversheds and is based in London.  Rachel advises on and project manages a variety of corporate transactions. Her experience covers a wide range of corporate transactions including M&A, equity capital markets, re-organisations and joint ventures.  Rachel joined Eversheds from Slaughter and May in 2007, during which time she also gained some in-house experience on secondment to Unilever.

She is a French speaker, having attended school in France and taken the Diplome d'Etudes Juridiques Francaises as part of her Law with French degree. As part of her training contract, she spent six months on secondment to Hong Kong.

Rachel has been involved in a number of the firm’s pro bono initiatives, including fundraising activities for Barnardo’s and leading a Give and Gain day project each year at the Link secondary school in Surrey, a school that specialises in meeting the needs of children with speech, language and communication difficulties.  She also has experience advising a healthcare charity on corporate matters. Rachel joined the board of trustees in 2012

 

 

Dr Ruth Butler trusteeDr Ruth Butler

I was diagnosed with bilateral Rb when I was under a year old, long before CHECT existed. Whilst medical staff, friends and family were hugely supportive to my parents, I know they would have very much appreciated the work CHECT now does. I’m lucky to have some sight in both eyes, but still value my guide dog Waffle.

I am currently Senior Lecturer in Applied Social Research at the University of Hull. I have long been involved in disability rights campaigns, and have conducted various research projects on different aspects of disabled people’s daily experiences.

I enjoy a range of outdoor activities and have cycled on a tandem the length of South Island, New Zealand, ran a half marathon and 10k races, been canyoning, white water rafting and rock climbing. I also enjoy handicrafts and travelling to new places for new experiences.

 

 

Linden SmithLinden Smith

I work at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge as Knowledge Exchange Manager, responsible for the Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement strategy. Having started life as a Chemist, my career took a somewhat different path when I left GlaxoSmithKline to work for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust in 2006.  The charity did not exist in this form when I was diagnosed with retinoblastoma aged six months and so I was delighted to join CHECT initially as an Operations Manager and latterly as Fundraising Manager.  Since then I have continued to support the charity as a volunteer, through fundraising events and now I am very pleased to join as a Trustee.

In my spare time, I love running and cycling as well as hill walking.  Socialising and travelling also take up a fair amount of my time!

 

 

Lisa BrownLisa Brown

I currently work as a Health Visitor in North Essex. I trained at Manchester University and then worked through the nursing ranks to become an Emergency Nurse Practitioner in an East London Emergency Department. During this time I was lucky enough to travel widely and use my skills abroad, working as an expedition medic in Borneo, before moving to my current role in 2011. I am an infant school governor with special responsibility for early years provision and children with special educational needs, and have worked as a support worker for the National Blind Children's Society.

I enjoy a chaotic family life with two sons, a busy paramedic husband and a menagerie of animals.

My involvement with CHECT began when my younger son was diagnosed with bilateral RB when he was 3 months old. Since then we have travelled an extensive treatment journey with him. I bring to the trustee role a mixture of professional experience and this personal involvement of being a parent of a child with RB and the very real challenges of parenting a visually impaired child.

 

 

Jed StevensonJed Stevenson

I am an anthropologist with research interests in child development across cultures. My work centers on Africa - especially Ethiopia and Congo - and much of it is carried out in collaboration with charities promoting community health. I currently hold the position of research associate at University College London, and I also have an adjunct appointment in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, in the USA.

In January 2012 my son Isaac was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, aged 11 months. He has received chemotherapy, Intra-Arterial Melphalan, laser and cryotherapy. CHECT has been a great source of support during this journey, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve as a trustee beginning in 2014. I blog about my experience as a dad at www.asachenhoy.blogspot.co.uk .

 

 

What we do

The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) is dedicated to providing support to families affected by Retinoblastoma (Rb), funding research and raising awareness.

Our history

A brief account of the origins of CHECT, which started in 1984 as FISH, before becoming the Retinoblastoma Society and then the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.

Our staff

Meet the members of our small but effective team and read their profiles to find out how they can help you.

Our partners

Find out who has signed up to support the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust in the commercial world.

Annual reports and accounts

The facts and figures and inner workings of the charity laid out for you to explore.

Contact us

Details of how you can get in touch with us, whether you are looking to fundraise, need information or would like support for your family.