Kate Alden, Chief Executive Officer
I have worked for Helen Rollason Cancer Charity since April 2015. My initial role was Fundraising Manager until November 2018 when I was appointed as CEO. I am responsible for the overall running of the Charity with the support of the three senior managers. I am also responsible, in conjunction with the trustees, for the strategic planning as well as still having responsibility for fundraising.
A typical day could involve a visit to one of our shops, undertaking an interview on a local radio station, planning content for the next Moment magazine, attending a monthly trustee meeting or spending time talking to clients in one of our cancer support centres. Since being appointed as CEO I have had to deal with a significant build/development project at Yvonne Stewart House and a global pandemic!
I enjoy the variety of my role but the one element that motivates me to do my best are the people. The clients, volunteers, supporters and staff are incredible and each group relies on the others to meet their needs. Attending a Tea for Helen hosted by a supporter, talking to a retail volunteer who has thanked the Charity for giving them the skills to go on to paid employment, observing staff members doing all they can to ensure we can enable quality of life to people living with cancer makes me proud.
I have always been a people person. After graduating I went into the hospitality sector and managed pubs and hotels but moved into the charity sector, on both a voluntary and professional basis, in 2000. I now live in North Essex. Outside of the Charity I volunteer for my local youth football team as the Club Welfare Officer and help at the various events. Football is a passion – watching not playing – and most weekends I will spend time on a touchline, at a stadium or watching from my sofa although I may be swapping the land for the water as I have a developing interest in kayaking.
Sue Hayden Sargeant, Financial Controller & Office Manager
I started my working life in a small local accounting practice. After qualifying as an accountant in 2001, I worked for a top 20 audit firm where I became a member of the Not For Profit Team. From working closely with the charity clients I decided I would like to progress my career in that sector and came to Helen Rollason Cancer Charity as Financial Controller in May 2007.
My role is very varied at the charity. As well as the expected finance and accounting tasks, I am involved in various administrative duties, HR, IT and company secretarial work.
The best thing about working for the charity is being part of a great team who help make a positive difference to the lives of those living with cancer.
Over the years I helped at and attended many events held by the charity and its supporters, and in 2011 completed the Maldon Mud Race in aid of the charity.
Alison Matthews, Head of Retail
I have worked for Helen Rollason Cancer Charity since 2009; my background is in Retail Management and I worked for Woolworths for 26 years, before being made redundant. I then joined HRCC and have not looked back since!
I very much enjoy my day job where no two days are the same which makes the role interesting and many of my skills from my previous role have helped me in my current role. Every day I have to problem solve, and overcome situations that maybe you would think would not happen in a charity but I endeavour to solve problems with the help of a wonderful team of volunteers and staff, who I could not do the job without.
The thing I enjoy most is the people, our lovely volunteers and our customers, what a fantastic crew they are! A wide variety of ages but each and every one helps us in some way and I really enjoy finding out what a volunteer enjoys doing and help them to develop their skills; there is such satisfaction in seeing new volunteers grow in confidence and gain new skills which in turn helps the charity to raise funds.
It has also been good across my time with the charity to help shop teams raise funds for equipment they may need; this in turn means the money we raise can go direct to services as we have raised the funds for certain equipment amongst the shop team.