Donated for you

Cancer Central is a young social enterprise with a big mission. We are the first award winning HealthTech cancer platform using AI to guide people affected by cancer to find the support and information they need.

Everyone involved in Cancer Central volunteers in their spare time. To date, we've received an incredible 55,000+ donated hours. Please check out the heroes on our 'thank you' and 'sponsorship' page who've given so generously, in addition to our team.

Our Executive Team

Are passionate about supporting you during an already challenging time. You're going through enough already. That's why the team are building Cancer Central and training Ask Ave, to bring relevant information to you, so you don't have to search. Also if you are comfortable, we aim to connect you with people who are going through similar experiences. Together we can create a central place for all affected by cancer.

Avril Chester

Founder & CEO Avril loves good food, big dreams and a giggle. She is an award-winning technology entrepreneur, executive, speaker, author and cancer thriver. Featured in Computer Weekly's most influential women in UK IT 2021 & 2020 long list, Avril won Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2019 Women in IT Awards, is the Chief Technology Officer at Royal Institute of British Architects, one of the 3 Digital Amigos (podcast series) and author of 'Be with me, it’s c'.

Avril realised the need for Cancer Central when she was being treated for breast cancer in 2015/16 and began her mission to build Cancer Central in January 2018. Avril documented the first year of her journey from technical executive to hopeful entrepreneur, in a business book that is interspersed with a sense of humour called 'Taking That Leap of Faith'.

Mathew Mallett

Mat is currently Chief Digital and Information Officer at the UK Space Agency. He is a board advisor and technology executive with international experience in successful transformations dealing in digital transformation, crisis management, turnaround and recovery, across multiple industry sectors including Law enforcement, Central Government, Retail and Oil & Gas. Mat has been instrumental in the development of Cancer Central from the inception and has the dual role of Non-Executive Director and resident Chief Commercial Officer. Mat, when not spending time with his daughters, enjoys mentoring and developing others to fulfil their full potential and opportunities to improve public services for the greater good.

Timothy Dundon

Tim is an experienced software engineer and Solution Architect with a with a passion for creative technology. Tim is our CTO working as part of the exec, and with our technology partners to help make Cancer Central the community it is.

Our Non-Executive Board

The Board is collectively responsible for promoting the success of Cancer Central by directing the company’s affairs, constructively challenging and scrutinising the performance of management in meeting agreed goals and objectives, in accordance to Cancer Central’s Social Enterprise purpose. The Board has a legal governing function within Cancer Central.

Avril Chester and Mathew Mallett have a dual role as Executive and Director.

Alison Mckinna

Alison is an experienced Executive and Non-Executive director, having worked in six different industry sectors and been a Non-Executive Director for over ten years. Alison has worked in a number of complex regulated industries and reconfigures businesses for success both nationally and internationally. She has been a Non-Executive Director within the NHS for over ten years, currently at Chesterfield Royal Hospital Foundation Trust and previously at Primary Care Trust level. Alison is also a Non-Executive Director for a number of organisations from a wide variety of sectors. As a member of the Board and the Risk and Audit Committee, Alison brings her strategic planning and risk management experience, as well as a knowledge of technology, financial planning and change management.

Nigel Hall

Nigel is an Internationally experienced board level, NED, Interim CEO, COO, MD and CTO/CIO. He has led operational units for Companies such as PRS for Music, KPMG McLaren, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Telefonica O2 & France Telecom. Nigel was part of the original start-up team for Orange UK and later led the International launch teams responsible for building the ‘disruptive’ Customer centric brand overseas. More recently, Nigel has been involved in growth focused businesses at Angel, Venture Capital and Private Equity level in a variety of roles both Executive & Non-Executive level covering change & international business growth.

Professor Matthew Cooke

Professor Matthew Cooke has spent his career as a clinical academic in the NHS. He has been a consultant in emergency medicine in the West Midlands and Professor of Clinical Systems Design at Warwick Medical School. He has also worked as the National Clinical Director for Urgent and Emergency Care at the Department of Health, as an emergency medicine advisor at the World Health Organisation, as a Director of Strategy of a large NHS Trust and medical director for NHS111 in England. Although he has retired from the NHS, he continues to work as the Chief Clinical Officer at Capgemini and works in an advisory role to several NHS improvement and safety bodies as well as being on the advisory Board of Health Navigator Ltd. He is also a keen cyclist.

Our Advisory Panel

Cancer Central’s Advisory Panel is a group of professionals who provide specialist expertise, diverse knowledge and perspective, connections to local or national colleagues or peers, philanthropic support or other forms of assistance to meet the objectives of Cancer Central.

Andrew Smith

Andrew is currently a Vice President driving Capgemini’s growth with Salesforce across Europe. As a senior executive, with over 20 years experience, Andrew is a deeply curious digital architect and strategic thinker who’s passion is in building teams and global strategies to drive the digital advantage for leading organisations on the FTSE 100 and NASDAQ.

Jon Downing

Experienced innovation, service and technology leader, with over 25 years successfully delivering significant business & technology service improvement at multiple global companies - including Visa, American Express, J P Morgan, & HP Enterprise Services. Jon was a key member of Visa Europe’s Innovation Hub, Visa Collab, which was responsible for identifying and testing the most exciting and revolutionary ideas in payments and developing them into a commercial reality.

Kali Bagary

Kali currently holds multiple Non-Executive and Advisory positions including the role of Chair. He is a senior executive with over 30 years’ experience of IT and software in insurance and financial services within the UK, Europe, Nordics, and South Africa. Kali’s key strengths include developing and marketing propositions with a focus on business development. Kali was one of the founders and co-chair of the “Finance IT Network” (FITN), a network for CIO’s looking at innovation in technology within the financial services.

Mark Duffell

Mark established his own business, MCD Communications, in 2018 after holding senior marketing and communications roles with Centrica, Morrisons and Irwin Mitchell. Prior to that, he was a journalist with the Press Association and the BBC. Cancer is close to Mark’s heart after the loss of his father in 2017 and also three close friends, all before their 40th birthdays, and is delighted to be working with Avril and the team to help people affected by cancer find the support they need. Mark is also a dad of two, a Liverpool fan by choice and a Carlisle fan by birth.

Sandhya Sharma

Sandhya has extensive HR & OD experience gained within the private, public and charity sectors. She is currently Director at BowHaven, a small mental health charity based in East London and continues to deliver HR & OD projects as a Consultant too. As a cancer survivor, Sandhya has a keen interest in all work that supports and educates people in breast cancer.

Simon Nelson

Previously an officer in the Royal Navy and now 27 years serving in the police service, becoming the head of the Criminal Justice Custody Department in Sussex in 2017 and more recently appointed to the National Executive Committee of the Police Superintendents Association and as President of the Disabled Police Association. Simon was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2004 and underwent twelve months of treatment including having his stomach removed. Although Simon has some disability challenges to manage he remains operational as strategic incident and firearms commander, and active through running, kayaking and surfing (badly).

Our Risk & Audit Committee

Cancer Central’s Risk & Audit Committee assists the CEO and board by providing advice and guidance on the set up and operation of a value-led ethical and legal framework to drive corporate governance and control. The Committee is chaired by Nigel Hall and works in a quasi-legal capacity with a panel of subject matter experts on a voluntary basis, covering a range of areas requiring frameworks and governance to mitigate operational risk, including verification, safeguarding and data governance.

Gillian Boston

Gillian qualified as a chartered accountant in London and subsequently led finance and regulatory teams predominantly in the financial services sector. Moving into FinTech, Gillian specialised in data management, financial controls and regulatory reporting. As a business leader she has supported organisations through their digital transformation, advising on operational and regulatory change. In her spare time Gillian flies light aircraft and is an active member of her flying club.

Jaspreet Takhar

Jaspreet is a Senior Associate in the IP and Technology team at Baker McKenzie. Jaspreet advises Cancer Central and market-leading tech and healthcare companies on issues at the cutting-edge of healthtech. Her practice has a particular focus on data privacy, contracting with hospitals, and the use and regulation of new tech in healthcare.

Cancer Central C.I.C Registered in England No, 10733608. Registered office, Chantry House, 22 Upperton Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex