National blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia is delighted to announce the appointment of four new Trustees to the Cure Leukaemia Board of Trustees – Phil Whitehead, Alston Owens, Jo Murphy and Michael Doolin.

Their appointments come at a significant time as the charity looks to continue funding blood cancer patients’ rapid access to pioneering drug and transplant treatments through a network of specialist research in 12 major blood cancer centres  across the UK to deliver world-class clinical trials through the Trial Acceleration Programme (TAP) network.

Phil Whitehead brings extensive Senior Executive experience to the Board of Trustees through his role as Managing Director (Western Europe) of Molson Coors Beverage Company having spent the past 15 years with the organisation and has spent the last 10 years of his career at both Board and Chief Executive level. Phil also recently completing two years as Chairman of the British Beer and Pub Association.

Phil is thrilled to be joining the Board of Trustees and hopes to help drive the organisation forwards as we continue our work to find a cure.

I am delighted to be joining Cure Leukaemia as a Trustee and very much looking forward to supporting the team on the next phase of their ambition to cure this terrible disease.  Every 14 minutes somebody in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer, often with life-changing impacts and I firmly believe that with the right support, the right medical intervention and the right profile we can change the outcome for so many families in the UK and worldwide. In the next 10 years we will transform the progress in this area, and I will be proud to have played a small part in it.”

Alston Owens brings a wealth of experience obtained in the Healthcare Advisory and Financial services industry. He has a special interest in healthcare innovation, bridging the gap between health and digital transformation for improved quality. He is also a keen advocate of helping others both in a coaching and mentoring capacity and has been involved in several initiatives both in personal and professional capacity.

Alston’s family has affected by blood cancer in the past so when the opportunity to become a Trustee was advertised, he has been inspired to make a difference.

Knowing the impact leukaemia can have on families all too well, having lost my uncle to this terrible illness as a young adult. I am proud to be part of the Cure Leukaemia team, which is changing the lives of so many through its clinical trials.”

Jo Murphy has been a qualified Solicitor for over 20 years and currently works for Global – one of the world’s leading media and entertainment organisations – as part of their legal team for the past 10 years. She previously headed up a small corporate, commercial and company law team at Sheridans Law before moving in-house as Head of Legal/Sole Counsel for a video games developer.

Similar to Alston, Jo has also lost a family member to this terrible illness.

I have experienced first-hand the devastation caused by the loss of a loved one to leukaemia, so I was delighted to be selected as one of the new trustees of Cure Leukaemia and I’m looking forward to supporting the work they do in finding a cure for this terrible disease”

Michael Doolin has almost 35 years of experience in Commercial HR exposure in global Organisations and currently heads up Clover HR as Managing Director. He has a strong interest in the Charity sector and its ethos while his own business has spearheaded a series of educational webinars and blogs on Wellbeing. He frequently speaks at Business conferences and has lectured at Warwick Business School for the past 10 years.

Michael can’t wait to get to work and is looking forward to making a difference:

I was inspired when I read and understood more about the work that Cure Leukaemia supports. I am very excited about the potential that the Charity has to make serious change in the future with many people’s lives, I want to be part of helping to make this happen alongside my many impressive colleagues.”

In addition to the four newly appointed Trustees, Laura Shoaf and Lareena Hilton also joined the Board in February 2020, just prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Laura is the Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and in that time has overseen the delivery of the region’s first international summit on climate change in partnership with UK100; helped to secure more than £1 billion of Government funding for transport; and led the development of the organisation’s ambitious proposals for a further devolution deal as part of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper.

Laura is hoping that her involvement with the charity will it move from strength to strength.

It is my privilege to be a trustee of Cure Leukaemia. It is an amazing charity, based in the West Midlands but with a global impact helping save the lives of people with blood cancer. The clinical trials supported by Cure Leukaemia bring potentially life-saving opportunities to people which they would not have through standard care routes.”

Geoff Cousins, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Cure Leukaemia is delighted with the calibre of Trustees that he is welcoming onto the Board.

“After an exceptionally competitive search, we are delighted to be welcoming Phil, Alston, Jo and Michael to our Board of Trustees in addition to Laura and Lareena who joined the Board just prior to the countrywide lockdown. Together they all bring a wealth of skills, experience, and shared passion for Cure Leukaemia’s work, and we look forward to their contributions as we start developing our ambitious future plans.”