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Business & Economy

Dragonfly Cancer Trust appoints two Sunderland business leaders as trustees

The Dragonfly Cancer Trust has appointed two Sunderland based business leaders Matthew Cook, Managing Director of The Mussel Club and Financial Advisor at Northern Spire Ltd and Claire Pickersgill, Managing Director of House of Hype & Co. to the Board of Trustees.

The Trust works with families, hospitals, and hospices across the UK supporting palliative cancer patients from 0-25 years old. The focus of the Dragonfly Cancer Trust is on memory making and helping young patients to make each moment matter with their loved ones and this is done by providing Cash Gifts, keepsakes and creative therapy.

The Trust which recently held their 10th Annual Ball ‘The Dragonfly Ball’ raised over £25,000 predominantly from the generosity of the business community and key partners. The Trust are keen to continue to forge links with the B2B community to further develop and grow the charity which operates on a regional and national scale.

Jane Dennison, CEO, Dragonfly Cancer Trust said: “I am delighted that Claire Pickersgill and Matthew Cook have joined the Board of Trustees at Dragonfly Cancer Trust. They bring with them a wealth of knowledge, connections and expertise. This is an exciting time for the Trust and I look forward to working on some innovative projects and plans for the future.”

The team at the Dragonfly Cancer Trust work collaboratively with every Young Person’s Oncology Unit throughout the country and collaborate with hospices across the UK, together providing the best possible support for young palliative patients in the UK.

Claire and Matthew join the versatile Board of Trustees which include Sanjeev Vadhera, Director of Retail Operations for James Hall and Co (SPAR), Neil Sewell, IT Consultant, David Harker, Management Consultant and former partner with Deloitte, Tom Cumming, Associate Solicitor at Samuel Phillips Law and Sam Lock, Regional Chief Operating Officer for HCA Healthcare UK.

Matthew Cook, Financial Advisor at Sunderland based Northern Spire Ltd owns and runs the 5000 strong North East Mussel Club business networking community.  The group holds regular events across the region in leading venues such as Beamish Museum, Sunderland Empire, the Fire Station, Sunderland, Hard Rock Café & Above Newcastle.

Matthew Cook said: “I was introduced to the Dragonfly Cancer Trust through a client at Northern Spire and was so impressed by what they do.  We try to bring a little light into the darkest of days, helping young patients to make each moment with their loved ones matter.

I’m proud and honoured to have been asked to join the board at such an important and worthwhile charity and will do everything I can to help Dragonfly achieve its aims.

We make a real difference in the lives of young people and their families, and I’ve been so impressed by the charity’s staff, wonderful volunteers and committed trustees – they’re all absolutely and totally focused on the needs of young cancer patients.”

Claire Pickersgill is the founder and managing director of House of Hype & Co. a PR, Social Media and Personal Branding agency based in Sunderland and operating across the UK. With 15 years plus experience in the communications arena Claire has a wealth of experience in communications strategy, specifically in the field of PR, social media and forging B2B collaborations and partnerships. Her background at the Sunderland Empire theatre saw her manage regional communications campaigns for some of the biggest touring theatre productions.

Claire Pickersgill said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed to the board and am really looking forward to working with Jane and the rest of the trustees to continue to support the Trust  through their vital work. When I first met Jane, I could see how passionate she was about the Dragonfly Cancer Trust and everything they embody, and I knew straight away it was the charity board for me to join.

Money is a vital lifeline to charities, but support from individuals is also key and I can’t wait to bring my own business insight to the table. It’s only early days but I’m astounded by the high volume of projects and support the charity offer, they are such a hardworking and innovative team. I look forward to working with the board to further strategize and elevate their communications strategy further through the role.”

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