Sue is our Executive Director. Having worked within a corporate environment at Board Level across Media, Publishing and Insurance for more than 25 years, Sue made a decision to put her energy into using her business knowledge to help start-ups and small companies.
Whilst this shift was immensely rewarding, she was continually looking for a more long term commitment within the Charity sector. The eureka moment came when the vacancy for the job at Yes to Life hit her inbox. Sue has been an advocate of alternative healthcare for as long as she can remember battling with institutions during her Mother’s long-term illness. Having also had several close friends diagnosed with breast cancer she wishes she had known about Yes to Life sooner. She is extremely excited about the future for Yes to Life and working with such a dedicated team of people.
Jacqui Eke works part-time as our Financial Controller. She also works for several other charities and small businesses, proving that working in finance need not be boring! A master of quickbooks and willing to share her milk with anyone, Jacqui makes sure that our figures are always in order so we can continue to support as many people as possible.
Edana is Junior Executive and PA to the Executive Director, Sue. Edana comes from a corporate events background and has worked with various clients, from tech giants to automotive brands. Having had enough of the corporate world, she decided she wanted to work for Yes to Life as it aligns with her values. Having lost her mother to lung cancer in 2008 and her uncle in 2016, she feels there is not enough support for alternative healthcare so is really looking forward to adding value to Yes to Life.
John became a regular volunteer in the office after losing his wife Beata to cancer in 2015. Yes To Life had supported Beata during her cancer journey, so John was keen to give something back to the charity and to help it reach out to more cancer patients who were unable to get the help they need from the mainstream charities.
John is also the founder of a cancer campaign called ‘Dying for a Cure’, which is calling on the UK Government to implement new incentives and controls to tackle the commercial exploitation of cancer, in order to speed up innovation and improve access to new medicines.
Having spent time working in start-up and agency environments, Anna decided it was time to change across to the third sector and work for a cause she could really get behind. When her Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014,
Anna was able to see first hand how beneficial integrative medicine is, as well as the importance of reclaiming the narrative around cancer.Anna's excited to volunteer with Yes to Life, and to see how she can help grow awareness of alternative healthcare.
Claire joined Yes to Life as the Help Line Administrator but now also works on Funding Administration and assisting Sue on a weekly basis with all funding enquiries. Claire is a reflexologist who practises in Hertfordshire, after having held a keen interest in Complementary and Alternative Medicine for many years for both her and her families’ own health and wellbeing.
Yes to Life helped to provide a positive approach to her close friend’s cancer diagnosis at a time when she appeared to have very limited options open to her.
Clare McLusky BSc (Hons)
Clare has worked for Yes to Life since 2007, and as a volunteer for the helpline since 2009. She is motivated by her own experience of cancer, cancer treatment and on going healing. She has been practicing meditation since 2006 and in 2012 she gained a masters degree in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University.
She teaches mindfulness in Oxfordshire and runs courses and workshops for people living with cancer. She writes a blog for Yes to Life called Mind Choice.
Debra White Hughes
Debra is a helpline volunteer. After resolving her own breast cancer without conventional treatments in 2014, Debra is keen to support a greater awareness of nutritional approaches to health and treatments not currently available on the NHS.
Debra has an MBA and a professional background in the corporate world, in financial services and management consultancy; and has many years’ experience of coaching in the context of both professional and personal goals. Debra is married and lives in Wiltshire near Bath.
Diana's background is in science, farming and horticulture. In 2006, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and conventional medical treatment left her in a very poor state of health, which her doctors seemed powerless to improve.
She researched natural and holistic ways to improve her own health and following a series of small lifestyle adjustments, healthy nutrition, detoxification, some holistic therapies and supplements, she saw immediate and dramatic improvements. She became a Yes to Life Helpline Volunteer to help people facing cancer to know that there is so much that they can do themselves to help improve their own health.
Elaine is a 3-time cancer survivor and volunteers on our helpline. She has an MBA in Legal Practice and diplomas in Psychology and advanced Nutrition. She is a former CEO and COO of major companies as well as running her own enterprises and business networks. For nearly 20 years Elaine has been a Transformational Business Consultant and is an expert in the DISC model of Behavioural Profiling.
She is passionate about supporting senior women in business to recognise the importance of achieving optimum health and wellbeing, for their own sake and the health of their employees. Elaine lives in Nottingham, has a son with Asperger's Syndrome, a daughter and 2 grandsons, a kitten, a puppy and her son has a pet rat!
Elisabetta came across Yes to Life shortly after having been diagnosed with cancer in 2009. She was already aware of a lump since 2008 but it took a while to diagnose. After being diagnosed she decided to take an alternative way to heal herself. She met Robin at a workshop given by the herbalist Margi Flint at the CNM and joined Yes to Life as a Help Line Volunteer in 2013.
She continues to follow a healthy regime, including a raw food diet, doing gi gong and yoga as well as healing and acupuncture. She believes we all have to find our own way through cancer. It is really about listening to yourself and your body. Cancer is not a one size fits all, but very individual.
Fiona's background is in sales within the dental industry although she initially trained as a dental nurse. In a change of direction she has also completed a 2 year University Certificate in Counselling. Fiona has had experience of cancer in her family as her mother died of breast cancer at the age of 42 and her aunt of uterine cancer just a few years later.
She came across Yes to Life whilst helping a friend in her battle against ocular melanoma. Sadly she died but her death has strengthened Fiona's belief that empowering people with knowledge and information to enable them to make their own decisions and then supporting them, whatever their chosen path, is the way forward when faced with cancer.
Gladys Hall, BA (Hons)
Gladys has over 12 years of working in the public sector, mainly the NHS and the Department of Health before that. Gladys is now a qualified massage therapist with an interest in holistic nutrition and hoping to gain a qualification in the latter.
Her personal experience of cancer led her to Dr Young-Snell who introduced her to Yes to Life. After learning more about the charity she decided to volunteer as she strongly identifies with what the charity does, i.e. helping people with cancer making informed choices.
Juliet has had experience with family and friends who have had cancer, and working as a volunteer with Yes to Life makes her feel less helpless, that she is helping in some way. Juliet really believes that Yes to Life is an amazing charity which offers cancer patients a ‘line’ in which they can make choices in regards to the treatment they receive, which otherwise they may not have.
Juliet is a nutritional therapist and understands clearly the importance of food and chronic disease.
Melanie is a qualified nurse, who works part-time in a GP practice in London.
Ruth Sharif DipNut, DipNat, BComm Int (Hons), mBANT
Ruth is a committed and passionate naturopathic nutritionist. She graduated from the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London in 2011 in Nutritional Therapy and Naturopathy. Before having children and embarking on her training at CNM, she worked for various consumer goods companies in brand management.
She has always been interested in natural therapies and discovering and treating the root causes of illnesses however and relished the opportunity to take a different path once the children were old enough. Ruth has her own nutrition practice at home and is thoroughly enjoying the process of helping people to optimise their health and well-being.
Her own personal experience of recovery and return to vitality was triggered by a diagnosis of early stage, non-invasive breast cancer. She complemented my treatment and recovery with nutritional and herbal support which has helped her to feel stronger and more balanced in myself than ever before.
“I feel I can use my experiences to help others overcome challenges in their own lives and emerge feeling stronger as a result.”
Suzanne is Mother to a Teenage Son, runs a Holistic Centre in Hertfordshire and is passionate about providing access to Complementary Therapies, so helping to support this by volunteering with Yes to Life makes perfect sense. Suzanne has now joined the Helpline having supported the charity before with call checking administration.
Wendy Smith BSc (Hons) Nutritional Therapy, MBANT, CNHC, AFMCP Graduate
Wendy started her working life as a legal secretary, moving on to become a personal assistant in the film industry. Having held a deep passion for food, health and the environment, she found she could combine these interests by pursuing a career in nutritional therapy.
She decided to take a leap of faith and go back to full-time study, graduating from the University of Westminster in 2001. She has been helping people to optimise their health through nutrition and lifestyle changes ever since.
Wendy has had experience with clients, family and friends who’ve had cancer. She became aware of Yes to Life some years ago through her work and has referred many people to what she considers to be a much-needed information service that helps people find their own way during a difficult, confusing time.
Pauline is a recent recruit to Yes to Life. Since the 1970s, complementary therapies running alongside orthodox medicine have been a permanent part of Pauline’s ethos.
In 2010, she was diagnosed with a rare and rapidly-evasive soft tissue sarcoma, needing immediate surgery followed by six weeks of radiotherapy. She was put in touch with Patricia Peat of Cancer Options whose sterling advice was instrumental in Pauline making a full recovery.
Seven years later, Pauline decided to use her own experiences of her cancer journey and long-held beliefs in integrative therapies, to volunteer to help others. Patricia introduced her to Sue de Cesare at Yes to Life – and there begins the next chapter in Pauline’s own life ......
Pauline will helping us carry out maintenance on our Life Directory which is one of the valuable tools we have to signpost people to therapies, practitioners and organisations.
Hilary has worked for 30 years as a neonatal nurse and trained to be a nutritional therapist in 2005. During her career, she has taken an active role in counselling bereaved parents. She has used integrative therapy throughout her life, particularly at the time of both her husband’s and her own cancer experience.
Her personal experience of using nutrition to improve a long term health condition led her to take a university course in Nutritional Medicine. She strongly believes that integrative treatment for all health conditions is vital for the future. Hilary has supported Yes to Life for many years, being instrumentive in helping get the Wellbeing Workshops off the ground. With her wealth of knowledge she is now working as a Moderator on our Life Directory Forum.
Dan is a freelance web developer, developing websites for various companies, who volunteers his services to the charity. Personal experiences with cancer and related conditions have led Dan to believe that it would be a significant step to see complementary medicines being incorporated into the traditional medical system.
Jane is a psychotherapist and specialist cancer counsellor with over twenty years’s experience of working with cancer patients and those close to them, at all stages of the disease. She was one of the founders of the charity The Cancer Counselling Trust where for ten years she was part of the clinical team as well as tackling fundraising and outreach work.
She has always had a particular interest in the role of complementary and alternative approaches to cancer, keenly aware of the benefits but also the difficulties that a desire to think outside the medical box can bring in its wake. For this reason, she supports the work of Yes to Life, knowing that having a reliable source of information is an essential part of the support structure for anyone facing a cancer diagnosis and its consequences.
Helen provides external supervisory support for our Help Line Operators. She is a counsellor with twenty years' experience of working with people with cancer and their friends and families. She has also worked extensively with helpline staff in the mental health field.