After eight years at the helm, Alex Ford will step down as Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK in November, and will be replaced by Diana Jupp, who will join the charity from Bloodwise.
Alex has been in post since 2009 and at that point, the charity’s annual charitable expenditure was £107,000. Over the last eight years, Alex has grown the charity to an organisation of more than 50 people with an annual expenditure of £5.5 million.
Alex’s first challenge was to set up our Scientific Advisory Board, to identify the most important areas of research to be funded in pancreatic cancer. She recruited a team of leading experts and together they carried out the charity’s first round of research grants, totalling £505,000. To date we have awarded research grants of a total of more than £5.7 million.
Alex’s leadership of the charity has helped achieve significant change for patients and families. This includes routine access on the NHS to the life-extending chemotherapy treatment, Abraxane, for eligible patients in England, Scotland and Wales. We are now reaching thousands of patients each year with vital support, through our Support Line, publications, information stands and patient support days. We also offer support regionally, with two Specialist Nurses providing face to face support and working with health professionals, and three Community Coordinators promoting our services and involving people in our work.
Alex said: “A real highlight of my time at Pancreatic Cancer UK has been the chance to work with such committed and passionate supporters, staff and trustees. We have achieved so much together over the last eight years, and I have huge confidence that we will make the breakthroughs we so urgently need for patients and families. It has been a privilege to have been a part of the charity, and I know it will continue striving to transform the future for everyone affected under Diana’s leadership.”
Prior to her role at Pancreatic Cancer UK, Alex was Chief Executive at The Eve Appeal and was previously Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Breast Cancer Care.
Our Chair of Trustees, Lynne Walker, said: “Alex has worked tirelessly on behalf of everyone affected by this tough cancer, and has built a strong organisation with a committed team of more than 50 people who will continue the vital work of Pancreatic Cancer UK. We are extremely grateful to Alex for everything that she has done, and we wish her all the very best for the future.
“We are all delighted to welcome Diana Jupp as our new CEO. She has over 20 years’ experience of working for cancer charities, and brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to our charity. We are very much looking forward to the future under Diana’s leadership.”
Diana is currently interim Chief Executive at Bloodwise, a blood cancer research charity, a post that she took on in September 2016. Prior to that, she was Director of Patient Experience at Bloodwise. Diana worked at Breast Cancer Care for 19 years, with her most recent role being Director of Services and Campaigns, where she oversaw the development of the charity’s UK-wide services and national campaigns.
Diana said: “I have heard great things about Pancreatic Cancer UK throughout my career and under Alex’s leadership, the organisation has gone from strength to strength. It is a huge privilege to join the charity at this point in its journey, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to build on Alex’s many achievements.”