The value of lived experience

We say farewell, and welcome, to members of the Wessex Cancer Trust team who are all testament to the value of lived experience.

Farewell Ros
Farewell Ros

We recently bid a sad farewell to Ros Beckett who’s retired after more than 15 years as a Wessex Cancer Trust counsellor.

Throughout her time supporting many clients, Ros says she always remembered the words of a senior oncologist she heard at a lecture: that there is no, ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to cancer support.

She says: “What each patient, family member and carer feels is individual to them. It’s their lived experience. No one can tell you how to feel or how to do the work through diagnosis, treatment and recovery, but we can be there and provide support through listening or practical help.  I’ve seen lots of change since I joined Wessex Cancer Trust in 2005 and I feel encouraged by how professional the charity has become.  I send my very best wishes to those living with cancer and those who support them. I will miss being with you, but I do value you and I know how much you mean to those you help. I’m proud of you, Team Wessex Cancer Trust.”  

Thank you for your dedication, Ros, you’ll be missed. 

Welcome Iain, Laura and Maureen  


Iain Cooper, Deputy Head of Service Delivery

We’re delighted to introduce Iain Cooper as our deputy head of services delivery, as we continue to invest in personalised emotional support for everyone who needs us. Iain knows about the fear and anxiety cancer can bring, as he’s had cancer himself. His own lived experience prompted him to move on from the consultancy business he ran, where he helped organisations reshape to best meet the needs of their clients and customers. We’re grateful Iain’s professional and personal experience has led him to us as he’ll be a huge asset in helping to evolve our services. Iain says: “If you’re living with cancer, you’re on an individual journey and that can be lonely. I’m delighted to be joining a team that is going even further to invest in personalised care, so that everyone who needs us feels enabled, supported and equipped.”  

Laura Fleming, Manager of our Isle of Wight Cancer Wellbeing Centre

We also extend a warm welcome to Laura Fleming, who’s joined as the new manager of our Isle of Wight Cancer Wellbeing Centre, as we say goodbye to Mike Sizer-Green. Mike’s own cancer diagnosis led him to support Islanders with cancer and after four years he’s moving on to focus on renovating his 300-year-old home.    

Laura brings a wealth of experience in public services and believes everyone should get the support they need, no matter their background. She says: “I simply love working with people and immediately connected with Wessex Cancer Trust’s determination to be here for everyone who needs us. The charity is unique on the Isle of Wight and provides a vital service to Islanders who would find it very hard to cope without it. I consider it a real privilege to be a part of Wessex Cancer Trust.”   

Maureen Robb, Manager of our Waterside Support Centre, Hythe

Also joining us is Maureen Robb as the manager of our Waterside Support Centre in Hythe. Maureen brings lots of experience looking after people, having spent almost 28 years in the travel and tourism industry working for Carnival UK and Red Funnel before joining University Hospital Southampton as a ward clerk.  She says: “When the opportunity arose to run the Waterside Support Centre I was thrilled at the prospect of providing such an important service to the local community and I’m really looking forward to being here for everyone who needs our support.”

Good luck Iain, Laura, Maureen, Ros and Mike!  


Iain Cooper

Iain Cooper, Deputy Head of Service Delivery

Maureen Robb

Maureen Robb, Manager of our Waterside Support Centre