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Director of services and policy, brainstrust – the brain cancer people.


Helen has experienced cancer from a carer’s perspective and also as a cancer patient. Her daughter, has had a grade 2 brain tumour and Helen has had salivary gland cancer. She uses the experience of being a patient, relative, member of the public and a carer to support 1000s of patients who have brain cancer. This 360 degree view means that she is well placed to understand the perspectives of patients, carers and health care professionals.


Her roles in brainstrust, a national brain cancer charity which she founded, and as a consumer representative with various bodies are as a disseminator of information and the provision of a network and community, so that she can provide advice on achieving effective consumer involvement and creating a voice. Helen’s key drivers are the patients, their carers and healthcare professionals, with whom she interacts daily. Her ethos of ‘none of us is as smart as all of us’ is a core value for her.


Elemental to Helen’s work is high performance coaching. This sets brainstrust apart. When we are no longer to able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves. The coaching relationship enables people to face these challenges, so that they learn how to develop resilience and utilise resources to their full potential.


Helen stays up to date with relevant research, ensuring her reading is not brain centric. The skills she developed whilst studying for her PhD means that she is tenacious in spirit, but with a listening ear.