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Many of you will know our wonderful Fundraising Manager for the last seven years, Janet Cairns. Janet has announced that after seven amazing years leading the team at Children’s Cancer North, she will be moving on later this month to new endeavours. Although we will all miss her greatly, we wish her all the best in her next charity role.

Janet told us about her time at our charity and what’s next in store for her. Read the lovely comments about Janet from the trustees and staff at Children’s Cancer North.


Seven years with Children’s Cancer North


Janet has been central in the growth of our charity, a core driving force and team leader. Once upon a time, she was the only member of staff in the charity. We wanted to take some time to reflect on Janet’s time with us, which has led to fundamental key successes and the charity as we are known now. Here’s what she said:

“I’ve been with the charity seven years now, having started when North of England Children’s Cancer Research (NECCR) and Children’s Cancer Fund (CCF) were two separate charities. I was the only member of staff for a while and had since then recruited the small but fantastic team that I now work with – I’ll definitely miss them when I head off!

“I have had so many great experiences working here since then, getting to know the lovely bunch of people who volunteer or work with us on our events and other activities, as well as the many families and individuals who have raised millions of pounds in the past few years. The Children’s Cancer Run has to be one of my highlights; it has been such a privilege to help look after this event, seeing it grow and develop year on year.

“I feel really proud to have led NECCR and CCF through a successful merger and the subsequent creation and launch of Children’s Cancer North. The legacy charities had such a long history of success that, however much I knew it was the right decision, it felt like a huge responsibility to be driving this change. To have successfully launched Children’s Cancer North in the midst of a pandemic and then steered it through a successful first year of operations is what I am most proud of.”

The challenges of Covid-19


When asked about what the key challenges were that Janet had to face in her time at Children’s Cancer North, she told us about the effect the Covid-19 pandemic had.

“Covid-19 has probably been our biggest challenge, as it has for most organisations and individuals. For the staff team it was the challenge of juggling work with home schooling and the emotional pressure Covid put on everyone. For the charity it was the 60% drop in income due to the loss of mass events and most community fundraising activity. Fortunately, we went into the pandemic with very strong foundations and in the long run we have come out of it stronger than ever, but it was tough at the time.”

What’s next in store?


We all wanted to know what’s next for Janet and her new role sounds like a very exciting one!

“My love of the voluntary sector means that I’m heading off to another charity, Children North East. I’ll be joining as their Income Generation Director, an exciting new opportunity for me and one that allows me to continue to work to improve the lives of children and young people in our region.”

Working with the team at Children’s Cancer North


Our team at our charity is a small one, yet we are very tight-knit and we work closely on all projects to deliver success. Our trustees are core in the work that we do. Here’s what Janet has to say about the team and our volunteers and supporters:

“It has been a huge team effort to launch Children’s Cancer North and have a successful first year, and only possible with the enthusiasm and commitment of our trustees, staff, volunteers and of course the huge number of supporters who have come on this journey with us. Thank you to all of them.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Children’s Cancer North and I know the charity will continue to do amazing work to support children and families affected by cancer – I wish the team here a successful and happy future!”

What we all had to say about Janet


Janet will be truly missed by all, including our trustee and staff team. We wanted to give her a lovely send-off and here are some of the comments from our trustees and staff at Children’s Cancer North to thank Janet for the amazing, dedicated member of the team that she has been:

“It’s been a joy working with you Janet. I’ve loved every minute of it, and we will miss you. We have achieved a lot together and you should be immensely proud of your achievements. I’m sure you will look back on your time at Children’s Cancer North fondly, and I wish you the best of luck in your new adventure!” – Chris Peacock, Owner Peacocks Medical Group, Chair.

“Janet has been key to our success – during her time with us, the charity has gone from strength to strength and she should be proud of all of her achievements. I wish her lots of luck in her new role – they are lucky to have such a dedicated person joining them!” – Sally Cowling, Co-Founder Beyond Partners, Vice Chair.

“Janet has been instrumental in taking us from a successful local charity to a very successful local charity. She has enabled us to professionalise our fundraising and operations, unlocking growth and future potential for us as an organisation. It’s been a pleasure to work with her.” – Ian Birtwistle, Marketing Manager, Trustee.

“Goodbye and thank you Janet. I will be very sad to see you go. You have helped to set us on our way to being a more professional and effective organisation. This is of huge importance because we have a large untapped potential, but more so because by being more professional, we will be able to do more. This will be a legacy for you and real benefits for children and families with cancer will be the result. I think you should be proud of what you achieved and how that benefit will continue. I wish you all the very best for the future” – Quentin Campbell Hewson, Lead for Clinical Trials and Consultant Paediatric Oncologist, GNCH, Trustee.

“Janet has been a huge asset to the charity over her years of service.  She has helped drive us forward and has done so with a calm, approachable, positive and professional approach. She will be missed and I’ve no doubt a great success in her new role. Thanks again Janet.” – Paul Bain, Independent Financial Advisor, Trustee.

“Janet thank you so much for everything you have done for the charity over the years. Throughout my role as a trustee, you have been so supportive and welcoming. Over the years you have displayed such great leadership within the team and also been an excellent communicator between the trustees and charity team.

“As trustees we are extremely grateful for all your years of service, Children’s Cancer North will always be grateful for all your hard work and your impeccable vision to take the charity forward.

“Please accept a huge Children’s Cancer North orange heart from every patient and family who have sadly experienced cancer in the North East and Cumbria, who have been touched in many different ways by the work you have done through the charity. Keep in touch.” – Louise Ollett, Clinical Educator, Trustee.

“Janet, wishing you all the best in your new job, I have no doubt you’ll be fabulous, and I hope they appreciate your excellence! Thank you for making me feel so welcome as a new trustee and supporting the charity for so long. It’s been lovely getting to know you.” – Leah Rosengarten, Lecturer in Children’s Nursing, Trustee.

“Janet has been so influential to me both as my colleague and friend. The role I currently do has been my first and only position since becoming a mother seven years ago and I feel so lucky to have had Janet as my guiding light through all of the chaos that comes with being a working mother. She is a real human and an incredible manager, she is both focused and driven yet approachable, supportive and kind. She has worked extremely hard to guide the charity to where it now is, and I value everything she has taught me over the past six years. I will miss her immensely but wish her every success in her new role with another great North East based charity for another fantastic cause. Thank you for every bit of it, Janet!” – Abigail Hewison, Events Manager, staff member.

Janet is the most professional, pragmatic, empowering and forward-thinking person I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. She will be greatly missed, but I would like to wish her all the best in her new role. I know she will be a fantastic addition to her new team.” – Heather Peacock, Marketing Manager, staff member.

“In the short time that I have been able to work with you Janet, I can genuinely say, you have been such a caring and lovely manager with absolute dedication towards meeting the goals for Children’s Cancer North. Thank you for just being you, we will all miss you very much. Keep in touch and I wish you every success in your bright future.” – Thamy Haque, Digital Fundraising Coordinator, staff member.

“Janet is hands down the best manager I’ve ever had the pleasure of working for. She has a kind, calm and inspiring nature that motivates us all to put our best into the work we do for the charity. Thanks for everything Janet and the very best of luck for the future!” – Emma Carson, Corporate Partnerships Coordinator, staff member.

“I am so pleased to have had the pleasure of working in a team with Janet at the helm. She has been a fountain of knowledge and a brilliant teacher in all things fundraising. I have no doubt Janet will make a big impact in her new role. Good luck!” – Maud Sterne, Community & Events Fundraiser, staff member.

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