The HCCN Trustees
Chair of Trustees
Jan’s career was spent as a senior Human Resources leader, specialising in developing managers in in complex, global environments. She has worked both in the UK and Internationally, mostly in oil, gas and mining companies. Taking early retirement, Jan set out to find worthwhile ways of giving back – as a park ranger on the South Downs, developing people policies at Gilbert White’s house in Hampshire, and facilitating leadership development courses for a charitable trust in Windsor.
Jan moved to East Northants in 2015 and reconnected with Susan – a lifelong friend and colleague from shared time in British Telecom. Jan was keen to get involved with HCCN as she could see that the charity made a real difference to people’s lives. Jan brings to HCCN her experience of leading and implementing projects and programmes, and currently acts as Chair of HCCN.
Trustee and Programme Manager
Sallie Crawley has over 13 years’ experience as a coach and therapist. She is a qualified Life Coach and ILM Executive Coach and Mentor, a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and trained as a Hypnotherapist (BIH). She is also the author of The Basics of Heart Health Management At Home.
She’s says ‘I am honoured to be a trustee of HCCN, I am passionate about helping people make a real difference in their lives after experiencing a life changing event. I am on a mission to raise awareness about the services provided by the nursing team and the programmes of education, exercise and wellbeing offered free of charge by the charity.’
In 2016 she went through her own journey in overcoming breast cancer and surviving a heart attack. She now specialises in helping people that have had a heart attack learn recover emotionally and practically so they can live their life happy.
Originally as North Londoner, her career was in Printing and Communications industry. She spent some 16 years gaining experience working in the commercial, report & accounts and food labelling printing industries. She has managed teams in admin, production and sales.
After a year out to be a full-time mum and her move to a small village, Sallie had a career change.
In 2002 she joined a national conservation charity, The RSPB. She has supported volunteering development throughout the UK for over 17 years. As the HQ Volunteering Operations Team Manager, she is inspired and proud of the contribution that the 12,000+ volunteers make to the cause.
On the subject of volunteering with HCCN ‘without the kind donations of time and money we could not provide the resources needed for people living in Huntingdonshire with a cancer diagnosis. Whether you have 1 hour or 1 day, your time is priceless. Every moment makes a real difference in your community – so join our family and volunteer with us today.’
She lives in Hilton with her daughter, their two dogs and three cats, and she’s also a bit of a coffee snob!
Trustee and Conference coordinator
Gill has lived in the area since 1982 whilst bringing up her three daughters.
After graduating as a veterinary surgeon from Cambridge she worked in general practice before returning to Cambridge to do a PhD in immunoparasitology. She decided, however, that the world of pure research was not for her and for twenty years she was a partner in a Bedford practice where working with people and treating their animals was what really motivated her.
Besides clinical work she organised nurse training, client relations and overseeing the quadrupling in size of the practice.
Gill loved the close relationship with her clients and patients, caring for many pets from birth to the end of their lives and helping owners make the difficult final decisions.
Early in 2016, just before retirement, she met Susan Moore and Gini Melesi at a talk about HCCN, then in its infancy. They were inspiring speakers and Gill said to Susan that she would like to be a volunteer when she retired and had time to give.
Susan quickly realised that Gill’s academic scientific background made her ideally suited to organising the twice yearly HCCN conference and she gradually took over this role from Susan. She was honoured to be asked to join the Trustee team in 2021 and be able to help this wonderful organisation fulfil its aims. Having lost her parents and several friends to cancer in recent years she realises how very important it is to support people in this way.
Gill was a Breast Feeding Counsellor for NCT (National Childbirth Trust) for 10 years. She has been active in many village groups and helped to organise many events in the local community.
As an experienced veterinary surgeon she sits on the Veterinary Fitness to Practise Committee at Cambridge University Veterinary School.
She is an active member of Bedford de Parys Rotary and sings (enthusiastically but not very well!) with St Neots choral society. She is currently Chairman of the Friends of Cambridge Early Music which involves organising concerts, stewards and newsletters for the members of the group.
She has two grandchildren, a scruffy dog and a “psycho” cat and enjoys cooking, travel, skiing and country walks.
Amanda Orchard has worked for several years in the field of Marketing and Communications on consumer brands: She had headed up marketing teams in larger FMCG corporate businesses, where she has led teams working on brands such as Loyd Grossman sauces and Jeyes Fluid, involved with developing and leading strategic marketing plans on new product development programmes and large scale marketing campaigns involving TV and digital media.
She has also owned bridal shops and a local events business, driving the businesses forward locally, with a much envied reputation of quality and dedication.
She currently works as a marketing consultant on various national and international projects bringing her wealth of expertise and knowledge to different business environments.
She complements her busy working and family life, with some local volunteering and is chair of a local patient association as well as being a trustee on several other local community projects.
She is a JP sitting on the Cambridgeshire bench as well as sitting on disciplinary panels for England Netball and British Canoeing. She contributes work and delivers input on national projects for the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Surgeons as well as investigating complaints as the independent person for Kings Lynn Borough Council as well as the City of London Corporation.
Amanda was keen to get involved with HCCN following a close friend’s battle with cancer, where she could see that the charity made a real difference to peoples lives.
She’s passionate about making a difference to people who are affected by cancer as it can affect anyone, at any age, and is driven to ensure everyone locally finds out how lucky we all are to have access to services provided by HCCN.
Karen qualified as a nurse in 2000 and started her career on a busy medical ward before moving into Accident & Emergency. After a few years she took a leap and went to work in the community where she developed her skills and went on to study for her degree in Primary and Community care. She worked in the Huntingdon area as a District Nurse Sister and enjoyed this work. The GP practice approached her about working with them and she took the Lead Nurse post at a GP practice in Huntingdon and it was whilst here that she studied for her prescribing qualification. She worked at the practice for 9 years and during this time her personal life changed. Karen got married to Stuart in 2008 and now has 2 children Ava and Thomas. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, running and attending the gym.
In 2015, Karen decided she needed a change and saw a job advertised to work with HCCN. She spoke to Gini Melesi, who was the Lead Nurse at that time and it was her passion and commitment to HCCN that spurred Karen on to apply for the job which she was successful for. Karen started working within the HCCN team as it was just being expanded after the Pilot stage. After Gini left to work for NHS England, Karen continued her work as Lead Nurse for the team.
Founder (1948 to 2020)
Susan had a varied career. She worked as a progress chaser in a factory setting and then for the Birmingham Coroner before finally realising that her passion was people and her skill supporting their development.
After completing an MBA she joined British Telecom, initially to act as a management trainer but ultimately to work as a talent spotter and management development specialist identifying people with senior management capability and supporting their growth within the company.
She retired from full time working in 1999 and planned for a long and full retirement. However, in November 2010 she was diagnosed with an incurable rare blood cancer.
As a result of her diagnosis she met Gini Melesi, a haematology specialist nurse, who was to go on to found Hunts Community Cancer Network. Liking the plan to support people long after treatment had ended and believing that her workplace experience could be valuable to the development of the project, they joined forces to create the charity.
Two such different personalities joined by a common aim they started to raise money to offer free support.
Susan acted as a Trustee of the charity and carried out the day to day management roles that are necessary to keep things running smoothly. Her development background allowed her to work on the design of new activities and to plan events like conference. She often acted as spokesperson, along with colleagues.
Both Susan and the Charity were recognised by the Third Sector Care Awards 2017 for their work in developing the charity from a standing start.
The skills she used most in support of the charity were her “can do” attitude; her ability to spot and nurture the good ideas that others bring and her determination that people know what’s best for themselves but they just need a little help sometimes.