Trustees and staff
Our trustees founded UCARE in June 2007. They are responsible for UCARE's governance, and are involved in the charity's management and direction.
Jim Mitchell, Chairman
Jim trained as an accountant but at the tender age of twenty five decided there was more fun to be had in Marketing and Sales. He worked for Unilever/Birds Eye for a 15 year period before starting his own companies specialising in energy saving lighting and later solar voltaics in the commercial market.
He is now happily retired, living in the lovely market town of Thame with his wife of 49 years, Carol. He gets the golf clubs out a couple of times a week take them for a walk then pop them back in the garage.
David Cranston MB ChB D.Phil FRCS(Eng) FRCS(Ed)
David is a Consultant Urological Surgeon in Oxford and an Oxford University Lecturer in Surgery. His special interest is in renal cancer and transplantation and was awarded his D.Phil in 1986.
In 1992, David set up a research programme with Professor Adrian Harris, Director of the Cancer Research UK unit in Oxford, and has had 10 research fellows who have carried out outstanding work in investigating bladder and kidney cancer.
Since 2001, he has been the lead co-ordinator in a major research project on High Intensity Focussed Ultrasound as a novel way of treating cancer without surgery.
Ken has worked in the golf and leisure industry for the last 32 years, during this time he has designed owned and operated 14 leisure facilities including Country Clubs, Hotels, Health Clubs, Restaurants/Bars and Night Clubs.
His current business is Studley Wood Golf Club, Oxford.
Alastair Lamb MA(Oxon) MBChB PhD FRCS(Urol)
Alastair is a Senior Fellow in robotic surgery and Honorary Consultant Urologist.
His research goal is to provide a robust molecular platform for accurate decision-making in early stage prostate cancer.
His clinical work focuses on delivering excellent and timely prostate cancer care, using state-of-the-art diagnostics. He has a particular interest in pushing the boundaries of minimal access surgery (MIS), for example to performing cytoreductive radical prostectomy in locally advanced or metastatic disease and RARP in older men.
Tom Leslie MB ChB BSc(Hons) D.PHIL FRCS(Urol)
Tom is a Consultant Urological Surgeon in Oxford and Milton Keynes. His main clinical areas of interest are robotic prostatectomy, diagnosis of prostate cancer including targeted and template biopsies, minimally invasive treatments for prostate cancer such as HIFU and brachytherapy, general urology, and vasectomy.
Tom completed his undergraduate and basic surgical training at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. He moved to Oxford in 2004 and completed a D.Phil in Surgery at the University of Oxford. He was then appointed as a Clinical Lecturer in Urology in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford; in this post he combined research with specialist registrar training in Urology in the Oxford Deanery.
He is married with two children. Outside work, he is a mad keen sports fan and watches (or plays!) cricket, rugby and golf when family life allows.
Seetal qualified as a dental surgeon in 2000 and currently owns a dental practice in Oxford. Her late husband, Mr Nilay Patel was appointed as a consultant urological surgeon in February 2012. He was a renal surgeon with a specialist interest in renal cancer and autotransplant surgery. Nilay was passionate about his work and cared deeply for patients.
Because of Nilay's commitment to this field Seetal felt inspired to join the UCARE board of trustees since October 2014, and she hopes to build a lasting legacy in his memory.
Jeremy Posnansky QC
Jeremy was at the Bar for 35 years before becoming a partner in Farrer & Co, solicitors. He has also been a Deputy High Court Judge for many years, deciding cases in the Family Division. His practice is now highly specialist in divorce and family law, in which he has appeared in many of the leading cases of recent years. In his early days in practice he had a more varied professional diet.
Jeremy is now semi-retired and a Consultant with Farrer & Co. When not at work, he enjoys travel, theatre, vegetable-growing(!) and family life (he has two daughters and four grandchildren). He was an Ambassador for UCare before becoming a trustee in 2019.
Lynda is a teacher and she also runs a Buckinghamshire company that manufactures biological products. Her husband was successfully treated in Oxford over a ten-year period for prostate cancer.
Val Berry, Senior Executive
I am responsible for all aspects of the day to day running of UCARE, assisting the Trustees in the charity's development and fundraising, and ensuring that we operate according to charity sector governance. In various capacities over the past few years, my workplace experience has provided me with a valuable perspective of differing modes of practice and ever increasing responsibility in the charity sector.
I come from a background of nursing and have experience in working in both the NHS and independent research environment, all of which have contributed positively UCARE's development.
I started working for UCARE as their Development Officer in 2008, and for a long time have been their only member of staff! So, my previous roles which included the organising and hosting of national and international academic symposiums, as well as working in the governance and management of pioneering research served me well.
I am proud to have been with UCARE since it's inception and see each stage of growth.
Val was interviewed by Alex Iszatt on That's Oxfordshire on 15 April 2016. See our media updates.
Gemma Crane, Lead Community Nurse
Gemma qualified from Nottingham with a Masters in Nursing and initially worked in London, before moving to Oxford as a cancer nurse specialist working in Uro-Oncology. During this time she helped to establish and develop the service concentrating on the holistic care and management of patients. She was involved in the initial set up of the TYA service as well as a role within the cancer network and was a member of the National Cancer Research Institute Testicular Cancer Clinical Studies Group.
Gemma also has worked as a Macmillan Development Manager in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire before moving into the private sector on a nurse consultancy basis both developing services and raising standards.
She works part time for UCARE as the Lead Community Nurse to enable her to coordinate a busy life with young children. Gemma has led the UCARE community strategy and has set up numerous innovative community events to raise awareness of urological cancer as well as how to live healthier lives.
She has extensive experience within the NHS, independent providers and charities. She believes in the quality of service that should be offered to the patients and is an advocate for high quality standardised care.
Karen McKenna, Charity Officer and Fundraiser
I first discovered UCARE in 2012 whilst I was researching which charity to choose for my Charity of the Year as Lady Captain at my golf club.
Having experience of Charity Fundraising and knowing the sector quite well, I wanted to ensure that the charity I chose would really benefit from the generosity of the golf club members, and would not simply be swallowed up.
UCARE was perfect, not only were they a charity where the money raised would be highly appreciated and put to great use; it was obvious when I met Val and the Trustees that this was a charity run with passion and total commitment to the cause. The other, more personal reason was that my father had died of urological cancer, and a friend’s eighteen year old son had just been diagnosed with testicular cancer. This was obviously a disease that touched us all.
In January 2015 I started working for UCARE part time. My main duties are fundraising and events and I help Val where I can.