NI Cancer Charity Announces New Look Board of Trustees

Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland has announced new appointments to its Board of Trustees. Boyd Carson, Co-Founder and Partner at Sapphire Partners LLP, will take on the role of Chair while Professor Mark Lawler, a leading voice in international cancer research and care, will support him as Vice-Chair. Taking on the position as the charity’s new Treasurer and Chair of the Finance & Policy Committee is existing board member Violet Spence, a chartered certified accountant with a career in public sector finance and with Danske Bank.

Boyd, a highly experienced leader in investment fund management and venture capital projects that include technology, fintech, and life sciences, previously served as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Policy Committee at Cancer Focus NI. Taking on the role of Chair at an exciting time for the charity, Boyd and his Board of Trustee peers will play a pivotal role in the build, delivery, and sustainability of the charity’s first Therapeutic Cancer Support Centre that will open in Enniskillen later this year.

Speaking of his new appointment, Boyd commented on how his role will help the charity to delivery its mission of supporting local people on their cancer journey:

“I am truly honoured to take on the role of Chair at Cancer Focus Northern Ireland at such a crucial time as we prepare to open the first Therapeutic Cancer Support Centre in Enniskillen. Having served as the Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Policy Committee, I have witnessed the charity’s unwavering commitment to supporting local people on their cancer journey.

As we embark on this ambitious mission, I am keen to see more businesses and key individuals stepping forward to support the charity. By leveraging my extensive networks in investment fund management and venture capital, I will strive to promote the charity’s needs and foster valuable partnerships to help us deliver on our goals. Together with our dedicated Board of Trustees, I look forward to working tirelessly to ensure that the charity continues to make a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by cancer in our community.”


Speaking of how he will enable the charity to deliver its vision of a Northern Ireland where people can live their most fulfilled lives with access to world-leading, equitable cancer support, treatment, diagnosis, prevention, and research, Vice Chair Professor Lawler stated:

“I’m particularly keen to help enable the charity to deliver and build on its existing cancer support service provision and cancer prevention activity. Through the support centres, our charity can empower communities to live healthier lives, reduce the risk of cancer, and support those who need us most during a cancer journey. I am also keen to expand our research portfolio so that patients get access to the excellent science that we do here in Northern Ireland. Research saves lives.”

Ensuring that the charity can confidently achieve its goal of opening five Cancer Support Centres in towns and cities across Northern Ireland, Treasurer Violet Spence detailed:  

“I am delighted to be taking on the role of Treasurer and Chair of the Finance & Policy Committee at this exciting time for Cancer Focus NI. All monies raised in Northern Ireland stays in Northern Ireland, with 80 pence in every £1 currently being invested back into our services across the province. We want people to understand the massive impact their donations make to local people and families impacted by cancer.”

Welcoming the three to their new roles, Richard Spratt, Chief Executive at Cancer Focus NI thanked them for their continued passion and support of the charity’s work:

“We’re greatly looking forward to seeing Boyd, Mark, and Violet step into their new roles at Cancer Focus NI. To say that our charity, the clients we support, and the sector in general will benefit from their extensive experience and insights is an understatement. Like many charities, we face challenges around how best to adapt to changing beneficiary needs, how we respond to funding challenges, and how we create the best environment for our staff to thrive. These are all key matters that the whole Board of Trustees oversee for our charity. I am confident that their committed strong leadership and strategic thinking will mean that our charity can continue to ensure we’re fit for the future and put those we support at the very heart of our work.”