The Joshua Tree is delighted to announce the appointment of five new trustees, as part of our ongoing mission to offer an appropriate and much needed support environment for families and children of all ages, touched by Cancer. This is on the back of the highly anticipated launch of the new, state of the art support centre, offering some the leading support services in the country.

The centre features a multi-functional activity room, counselling suites, soft play and sensory equipment, a games room, office facilities, an outdoor play area and landscaped gardens all of which will further enhance the support services offered.

Following the easing of lockdown restrictions, the charity has seen an unprecedented increase in family referrals. In the last three months alone, they have accepted over 25 new family referrals; a normal average over a 12-month period is 15. The families supported are some of the most vulnerable in society and the challenges they face has only been made more complex during the on-going Covid-19 pandemic.

Today, in response to increasing demand and to support our ambitious plans for 2022 and beyond, we are announcing the expansion of the board with the appointment of five new trustees.

Dr Susan Gilby, CEO of the Countess of Chester Hospital; Dr John Archer, Head of Radiotherapy Services at The Christie NHS Foundation; Martin Keelagher, Serial Entrepreneur; Paula Byrne, Employment Lawyer; Nerys Price-Jones, Group Head of HR.

Commenting on their appointment, Andy Seferta, Chair of Trustees said: “We had a number of high calibre applications, and I am delighted we have been able to appoint five trustees, bringing a great diversity of experience, knowledge and skills to further strengthen our board at this key moment. We have exciting plans for The Joshua Tree in 2022 and beyond.”

Martin Keelagher said: “It is a great privilege to be invited on to the board of such an important children’s cancer charity, being something very close to my heart. The challenge of ensuring that ever individual touched by children’s cancer, can access the support they require for all members of their family affected, for as long as needed, is a challenge that we shall tackle head on. I am very much looking forward to helping to support this incredible charity, with this essential mission, as we move forward.”

Dr Susan Gilby said: “I am thrilled to be joining the board of trustees and supporting the work of The Joshua Tree at this important time. I personally recognise the value that diversity of experience brings to an organisation and whilst great progress is being made, there is much more to do to make the real change we need and I'm looking forward to getting involved and playing my part.

Rich Driffield, CEO of The Joshua Tree expressed his delight at being able to strengthen the Board with the new appointment of five excellent trustees. "Their experience, enthusiasm and understanding of the work of The Joshua Tree will help us to deliver our new business plan and shape the future strategy of the charity over the coming years. I look forward to working with them all."

Click here to find out more about our Board of Trustees.