Who We Are

FOUNDING COMMITTEE

The founding committee of the Gynaecological Cancer Fund is a group of ten motivated and multi-talented women who have all lost someone they loved from a form of women’s cancer. All members of the committee share the same passion for fund-raising and awareness-building for the gynaecological cancers.

ASTRID HARBORD

PR MANAGER, BULGARI HOTEL GROUP

Astrid has been in PR and event management for most of her career, working in the corporate, lifestyle and fashion sectors. She has also been involved with many charities such as The Children’s Trust, WSPA, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Care Corfu, raising funds and awareness through PR and events.

Why is Astrid involved?

‘I am thrilled to be part of this exciting campaign as it is time that beating gynaecological cancer becomes a cause that is talked about and no longer a silent killer.’

 

Bridget Barker

SENIOR ADVISER, MACFARLANES

Bridget was head of the investment management group at Macfarlanes. She advised clients on establishing both onshore and offshore private funds for private equity and on a variety of financial services and regulatory issues. Bridget was listed in the table of ‘Most highly regarded individuals’ in the International Who’s Who of Private Fund Lawyers in 2016. In 2011 she was shortlisted for IFLR’s Women in Business Law awards in the investment funds category.

Why is Bridget involved?

‘My mother died at 55 after a seven-year fight with breast cancer. Having reached that age myself, I now better understand why my mother felt so angry that she had to die while she was relatively young and before she saw her grandchildren. My hope is that Dr Banerjee’s research will bring greater understanding of how to treat female cancers and give those who suffer from these dreadful diseases a far greater quality of life while they are being treated.’

CHLOE DELEVINGNE

BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE GRADUATE

After graduating from University College London with a degree in Biomedical Science and Tumour Biology, Chloe went on to study Clinical Physiology. She has currently put these studies on hold to concentrate on becoming a first-time mother.

Why is Chloe involved?

‘I wrote my dissertation on cervical cancer – and then experienced it myself, first hand. Had I not been made aware of it through my own studies, my current happy situation might have been quite different. This made me want to be very active in raising both awareness and money to fund research into the gynaecological cancers.’

Clare Beckwith van Dam

HYDRATION SPECIALIST, CO-FOUNDER OF G-C FUND

Clare graduated in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a showbusiness journalist/presenter on programmes such as The Look for Living TV and Lorraine Kelly for GMTV. She is now a top UK Kangen Water distributor, supplying ionised water to bespoke spas. Her clients include Grace Belgravia, health practitioners, businesses and individuals. She educates people about how ionised water can promote health and prevent sickness – and the importance of hydration.

Why is Clare involved?

‘My beloved mother Paula was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in 2010 and sadly in December 2011 she passed away. My sister Tamara and I were both devastated. I am therefore passionate about supporting The Royal Marsden and its gynaecological department in raising funds and awareness to help other women who have been diagnosed with this type of cancer.’

Emily Hambro

Emily Hambro took her training in catering and lived and worked in South Africa, helping to run privately owned game reserves before moving permanently back to London where she used her experience in Africa to help Cazenove and Lloyd market the country to their clients. Following this, she moved to work for a private company that had taken ownership of Hunter, the famous wellington boot company. In 2014 Emily, and a group of partners, opened a high-end boutique in Hungerford, Berkshire called Mojo and Mccoy.‎

Why is Emily involved?

My mother’s death in 2007 came after an incredibly tough battle with gynaecological cancer. Our world fell apart and she died gracefully and peacefully by our sides. I have searched along the way to become a committee member of the right charity to support her illness, and I was beside myself when I discovered The Gynaecological Cancer Fund. It is my mission, having begged to join this incredible group of women on their dedicated journey, to become ‘silent no more’.

JENNY HALPERN PRINCE

FOUNDER OF HALPERN PR

Jenny Halpern Prince founded Halpern, a global communications agency, part of WPP network and CHI advertising agency that represents global brand leaders. She has dedicated considerable time and energy to charities over the years – including sitting on the boards of Women’s Aid and Great Ormond Street Hospital and by creating Save the Day and the Avon Empowering Women Awards. One of Jenny’s main passions is youth and apprenticeships: she founded Access Aspiration, the work experience charity, that helps state and academy educated 15 to 18-year-olds to secure a university place or a job through experience within the work place.

Why is Jenny involved?

‘Aged 20 I was diagnosed with pre-cervical cancer cells. I had them removed and have had a yearly check-up ever since. It is essential to raise awareness of the gynaecological cancers so that research can allow us to increase survival rates.’

JOSEPHINE DANIEL

FOUNDER OF FINE JEWELLERY COMPANY

Josephine’s 19-year career began in antique jewellery. After studying gemmology, she moved into the world of contemporary jewellery at two of the world’s most prominent fine jewellery houses, Graff and Cartier. In 2004 she established Josephine Daniel Fine Jewellery, specialising in bespoke high commissions and diamond and gem-set collections. In 2009 she designed and presented a range of silver and gem-set jewellery exclusively for the QVC home shopping channel.

Why is Josephine involved?

‘When my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, aged 59, I remember one of my first shocked reactions was, ‘What is ovarian cancer?’. Although I was an adult woman, I had literally never heard of it. The Royal Marsden was outstanding throughout her treatment. However, at the time, the treatment was quite standard for ovarian cancer – and it was gruelling. I believe Dr Banerjee’s research is such a promising move towards a more personalised approach, improving survival rates and quality of life for women with gynaecological cancers.

My mother and I were both unaware that the symptoms she had been experiencing were typical of the disease, yet they were ignored and misdiagnosed for over three years. Sadly, when it was discovered, it was advanced – and after an eight-year battle she passed away.

My mother’s story was not an unusual one: quite the contrary. Women of all ages should be fully aware of the gynaecological cancers and, most importantly, their typical symptoms, which are often the only way they can be detected. We must raise awareness now. Women need to understand their bodies and recognise any signs in the hope that problems can be caught earlier and chances of survival improved.’

 

KATE PERCIVAL

CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF GRACE BELGRAVIA

Kate has extensive board-level experience in the communications and marketing industry and was Chairman of the Creative and Marketing Services division for Chime Communications PLC from 1997 to 2001. She studied for her Masters in 2007/08 and wrote her thesis on the convergence of medicine and the global spa industry. This became the genesis of Grace Belgravia, the health, wellbeing and lifestyle club for women she co-founded with Dr Tim Evans in 2012. Grace is built on a philosophy of preventative medicine and ageing well and offers a truly integrative approach to healthcare.

Why is Kate involved?

‘I lost my oldest friend to cancer 10 years ago after she had spent 20 years in and out of The Royal Marsden which treated her with such kindness and dignity. Five years ago I lost another dear friend, also to cancer, and again it was The Royal Marsden that provided such huge support. My mother and grandfather have also both suffered through cancer. I am committed to supporting Dr Susana Banerjee’s work in the hope that a major breakthrough can be facilitated by our fundraising and awareness campaign.”

 

MIKA SIMMONS

ACTRESS, CO-FOUNDER OF G-C FUND

After graduating with a BA in English Literature and Theatre Studies from the University of Leeds, Mika went onto train as an actress at the Drama Studio London. Selected work includes: ITV’s adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s Frenchman’s Creek; CH4’s BAFTA award-winning Falling ApartHappy Birthday Shakespeare for the BBC; On the Piste at Derby Playhouse; and the ongoing role of Queen Anora in the animation game, Dragon Age. In 2013 she co-wrote and produced the mocumentary drama Hitting the Wall and has just finished writing her first play, The Well. She is also a fully qualified craniosacral therapist and yoga teacher.

Why is Mika involved?

‘My mother was 54 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was likely she’d had symptoms for a year before her diagnosis – but because they were very similar to those of the menopause, they went ignored. She passed nine months after diagnosis. Two years ago, my friend Dr Susana Banerjee asked me if I could help raise funds for her ground-breaking research into personalised treatment of gynaecological cancer – and my answer was immediately, ‘Yes’.

I never had the opportunity to know Mum in my adult life and I believe the greatest thing I can give is to try to enable other daughters, sons and family members to have more time with their loved ones than I had with my mother. This is the reason I co-founded the Gynaecological Cancer Fund with friends Tamara and Clare Beckwith in 2014.

In the long-term it is critical to raise awareness and to encourage women to talk more openly about their bodies. But for the time being, while so many women are being diagnosed at Stage 4, we must focus on better, personalised treatments that will initially lengthen lives – and eventually save them.’

Tamara Beckwith Veroni

CO-FOUNDER OF LITTLE BLACK GALLERY, CO-FOUNDER OF G-C FUND

Tamara Beckwith Veroni is a gallerist, writer, presenter, and ambassador to several luxury brands. She is co-founder of The Little Black Gallery, London’s boutique photography gallery; New Business Director of events company GSP; and an Ambassador for the new International uFirst app. Tamara has contributed to many newspapers and magazines, including Tatler, Elle, LA Confidential, OK Magazine, Sunday Express and Harper’s Bazaar Australia. She is currently a contributing editor to Hello magazine.

Why is Tamara involved?

‘I lost my most precious mother to gynaecological cancer over four years ago. Over the 15 months that she was ill, I watched in disbelief and with terrible sadness. I know now that had she gone to see her doctor when any of her symptoms had arisen, we would be telling a very different story.

Cancer treatment is brutal and obviously for the ones left behind the journey is harrowing. My sister and I were not terribly well informed about cancer in general, let alone about the five gynaecological cancers.

This is probably the scariest part: most women are equally in the dark when it comes to these types of cancers. We feel strongly that awareness is the key to fighting it – and at the same time raising much-needed funds for research, more specialised doctors and everything else that cutting-edge science requires. We feel the legacy our own mother left us was to do something positive. I hope we are on the long road to doing just that.’

 

TRUSTEES

The following are trustees of the Grace Belgravia Foundation, and the Gynaecological Cancer Fund is at present the only charitable activity run by the Foundation:

Bridget Barker, Senior Adviser, Macfarlanes

Dr Tim Evans, Medical Director, Grace Belgravia

Kate Percival, Chief Executive Officer, Grace Belgravia