Cancer Support Scotland announces cancer charity champion Claire Donaghy as new CEO

Scotland’s national charity for the wellbeing of all those affected by cancer, Cancer Support Scotland has today announced the appointment of Claire Donaghy as its new CEO. She arrives at the charity with a tremendous wealth of skills and experience – including leading roles for the Scottish cancer charity sector.

Most recently Head of Scotland for Independent Age, Claire has previously served as Chair of the Scottish Cancer Coalition, was in senior positions for Bowel Cancer UK including Head of Scotland, and previously worked for more than 13 years in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Announcing the appointment, Suzanne George, Chair of Cancer Support Scotland, said: “We are all delighted to welcome Claire as our new CEO. Claire brings a wealth of relevant experience, matched by a genuine passion for our charity.

“With Claire leading the delivery of our vision, I am confident that Cancer Support Scotland will continue to pioneer our specialist support services. We remain guided and energised by Sir Kenneth Calman’s original vision; Claire will lead an exciting new chapter in our continued delivery of this so that we can reach many more of those affected by cancer across the country who need us.”

New chapter: Cancer Support Scotland Chair Suzanne George with new CEO Claire Donaghy (All photos © Julie Broadfoot)

Joining the team for her first day at the charity’s Calman Centre, Claire said: “I am delighted to be joining Cancer Support Scotland at this exciting time for the charity. With my long-held passion for improving cancer support for people, and my knowledge, experience and skills gained from working in both the public and voluntary sector, I am ready to lead Cancer Support Scotland in this new chapter.

“I am looking forward to working with the team, who put patients and their loved ones at the heart of all that they do, and continue to evolve and transform the wellbeing services for all people affected by cancer.”

Founded in 1980 by world-leading surgeon, oncologist and cancer researcher Sir Kenneth Calman, who held the position of Chief Medical Officer of Scotland, Cancer Support Scotland pioneered wellbeing support for those affected by cancer. It continues to offer a range of services including complementary therapies, counselling, befriending, group sessions, and more.

Claire replaces interim CEO Michael MacLennan, who was appointed in January to help the charity transition to its next permanent appointment.

Michael said: “It was clear during the interview process that Claire was the outstanding candidate with a wealth of skills and experience – and the team members who met with her on the day were just as thrilled about the possibility of having her lead Cancer Support Scotland into its next phase.

“It has been an important year for the charity, recruiting strongly to continue growing and providing wellbeing support to those affected by cancer around the country, and I am proud to have played a part in this transition as well as being hugely excited to welcome Claire into her new role.”

Cancer Support Scotland is based at the Calman Centre in the grounds of Gartnavel Hospital, Glasgow, which operates as a drop-in centre for anyone affected by cancer. All the services provided are free of charge to help reduce health inequalities, and the charity operates a hybrid model to provide services both in person and online.

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