Our Board

Our board of trustees plays a vital role within the charity.

Their role is not merely symbolic, as they decide how to spend your money and which projects the charity funds within the Cancer Centre.

Our board is made up of a diverse range of people from all sectors, ensuring that we have the expertise and knowledge at hand to make such important decisions. This includes senior doctors from the Cancer Centre and leading business figures. 

They volunteer their time to ensure that the charity is governed correctly and the money you raise is used to its maximum potential to help patients.

Our board members

Brian is a retired business owner, having spent over 30 years running a risk management and process improvement consultancy business with clients across the world. He joined the Board of Friends of the Cancer Centre in 2017 and became Chair in 2023. Brian has extensive experience of governance across a wide range of areas, including the Executive Committee of Holywood Rugby Football & Cricket Club, the Board of Governors of Sullivan Upper School and as Honorary Treasurer of Holywood Golf Club. Brian also holds internationally recognised qualifications in both Environmental and Health & Safety management.

Brian Cave - Chairman

Claire is MD of AIKEN, Integrated Comms Agency. Claire established AIKEN 30 years ago to help clients across the island to develop communication strategies and deliver campaigns targeting government, regulatory, political and investor audiences to build reputation and effect change. As well as her Trustee role with Friends of Cancer Centre, Claire is on the Board of Governors for Royal Belfast Academic Institution (RBAI). She is also a Member of Women in Business and QUB Chief Executive Club. Claire was a recent member of the Independent Monitoring Board for HM Prison Service.

Claire Aiken

Dr McAleer is a Consultant Oncologist at the NI Cancer Centre and academic at Queens’ University Belfast. He qualified as a medical trainee in the late 1970s, working firstly at Altnagelvin Hospital, and then moving to Belvoir Park Hospital in 1985. Dr McAleer’s work has played a vital role in advancements in local cancer treatment over the last 40 years. Having become involved in the charity’s work at Belvoir Park Hospital, Dr McAleer has served on the Board for a number of years. His cycling career has also inspired many a fundraising event, raising over £250,000 to support the work of the charity.

Dr Seamus McAleer

Alastair is Emeritus Professor in Real Estate Economics and a Fellow of both the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland. He has over four decades experience in higher education, former Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Ulster University and academic lead on the new £360M Belfast campus development bringing 16,000 students and staff into the city centre. He is a Deputy Lieutenant for Belfast, a Non-Executive member of the Boards of the Friends of the Cancer Centre, Belfast Charitable Society, RFCA NI, Honorary Captain RNR and Hon RSUA.

Professor Alastair Adair

John is Senior Investment Director at the Belfast office of Rathbones. He is Head of Charities for Belfast, and also on the Senior Management Team. John is responsible for managing investment portfolios for private clients, trusts, corporate clients, pension schemes and charities. With over 25 years’ experience in wealth management, John is a Past President of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments (NI). He is a Chartered Fellow of The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments having graduated with a BSc (Economics) and MSc (Finance) from The Queens’ University of Belfast.

John Cubitt

Caroline is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, having graduated from Queen’s University, Belfast with a BSc (Hons) Economics. For almost 14 years she has been leading Taxation Practice at ASM Chartered Accountants, and is one of the shareholders of the business, having previously been a Partner at PwC. Caroline advises family owner managed businesses on both corporate and personal tax matters. In addition to her role of Honorary Secretary for the charity, she holds Board appointments with the Aerospace Defence Security & Space (ADS) Group in NI, the Ulster New Zealand Trust, and is the Honorary Consul for New Zealand in NI.

Caroline Keenan - Honorary Secretary

Suneil is a Professor of Clinical Oncology at Queens University Belfast and Consultant Clinical Oncologist at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre. He is an expert in advanced radiotherapy and systemic therapies for prostate cancer. He is Chief Investigator of the international SABRE phase III clinical trial and Clinical Lead for the PACE NODEs phase III clinical trial. He is Co-Director of the Belfast-Manchester Movember/PCUK Prostate Cancer Centre of Excellence, Co-Director of the Prostate Cancer Centre of Research Excellence at QUB, a member of the RCR radiotherapy board and past-Chair of the Irish Radiation Research Society.

Professor Suneil Jain

Phillip is currently a tax and financial consultant working in conjunction with Hill Vellacott, a firm of chartered accountants in Belfast, and Richmond Wealth, an Independent Financial Advice practice in Holywood. Phillip is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, having completed a law degree from Queens University Belfast in 1986, and has subsequently had a long career as an accountant, mainly as a tax adviser, firstly with PwC and then as a partner in KPMG from 2005 until April 2022. He was previously on the Board of Governors at Glencraig Integrated Primary School.

Phillip McMaw

Professor Durkin is Executive Dean of The Open University’s Faculty of Business and Law. Prior to joining Open University, he was Professor of Marketing and Executive Dean of the Ulster University Business School with a presence across Northern Ireland, London, Birmingham and Doha. Prior to entering academia, he spent over a decade in various service, sales and strategic marketing roles within the Bank of Ireland Group. Mark is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Institute of Banking, and the Institute of Directors and is a Senior Fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Academy.

Professor Mark Durkin

Caroline is a consultant medical oncologist at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre (NICC), specialising in the treatment of kidney cancer. She helps deliver the acute oncology service in the Royal Victoria Hospital and is acute oncology lead for the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. In this role she focuses on strengthening and further developing acute and supportive care services for NICC patients. She also has an interest in supportive and palliative care research, with her PhD focusing on clinical trials relating to neutropenic sepsis and the role of exercise in colon cancer.

Dr Caroline Forde

Richard currently serves in a full-time capacity as Pastor at Newtownards Baptist church and as trustee in a voluntary capacity in a number of charitable organisations. Previously Richard worked for 30 years in financial services in a wide rage of different roles , up to and including Executive level within Ulster Bank, whilst also serving as a trustee/director in a voluntary capacity in a range of business related entities. Richard has BA in Business Studies from the University of Ulster , Masters in Business Administration from Queens University and a BTh (Hons) from Chester University.

Richard Donnan - Honorary Treasurer

Dr Damian Finnegan

Joe has been a practising solicitor since 1980 and established his own firm in 1984, where he remained Senior Partner and Director until 2020. He currently works as a Consultant and retains his own portfolio of cases, appearing regularly in the Crown Courts. He has previously served as Chairman with Social Security Appeals Tribunals, and as a Board member of the Historic Mounuments Council, the Arts Council of NI and National Museums NI. Joe is the Chair of the Referees’ Committee at the Irish Football Association, and a Committee member at Down Royal Corporation.

Joe Rice

Brian Fee KC

Discover more about us...

Who We Are

Friends of the Cancer Centre has a long and proud history of helping local cancer patients across Northern Ireland for over 35 years.​

Our Team

The team at Friends of the Cancer Centre are passionate about the charity and the difference it makes to the lives of people locally.​

Our Volunteers

The work carried out by Friends of the Cancer Centre simply wouldn’t be possible without our volunteers.
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