Meet The Team

It has always been our vision to open a second therapeutic short break centre providing a tailored programme of emotional support to children diagnosed with cancer and their families.

Management Team


Phil Alexander, Chief Executive Officer

Phil Alexander is Cancer Fund for Children’s CEO. He has been with the charity for ten years formerly as Director of Services, and prior to that as our Residential Services Manager during which time he was instrumental in shaping our programme of therapeutic short breaks. Phil has over 20 years of experience working in the statutory and voluntary sector developing services for children, young people and their families.


Belinda Kearns, Relationship Manager

Belinda Kearns is Cancer Fund for Children’s Relationship Development Manager. Belinda has 20 years’ experience in fundraising both in Ireland and the UK where she has successfully devised and managed legacy, major donor and capital campaigns that have achieved outstanding results including an award winning legacy campaign.


Rachel Burgoyne, Communications Manager

Rachel is Marketing and Communications Manager for Cancer Fund for Children. She leads a team responsible for raising awareness of the issues facing children and young people diagnosed with cancer. Rachel joined our team in 2005 and has worked in both fundraising and communication roles. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and has an MSc in Communications, Advertising and PR.

Board of Trustees / Advisers


Kate Marshall, Chairperson

Kate Marshall is Cancer Fund for Children’s Chair. She joined Cancer Fund for Children’s board of trustees in 2013 and was appointed Vice-Chair in 2017. Kate is a highly experienced Facilitator, Mentor and Executive Coach with over 20 years of working with Boards, executive teams and CEO’s in a variety of organisations. She brings a wealth of experience in developing organisations to achieve their strategic aims which will help us on our mission to make sure that every young person under-25 diagnosed with cancer has access to the vital support they need.


Joan Ballantine, Treasurer

Prof Joan Ballantine is our Honorary Treasurer. She joined the Board in 2017 and in her day job Joan is Professor of Accounting at Ulster University Business School. Joan has held external examiner positions on MBA programmes at Manchester Business School and the University of Edinburgh Business School. She has previously held the position of Chair of the ACCA Ulster Members’ Network Panel and is currently a non-executive board member of Kabosh and the Chair of the British Accounting and Finance Association, Accounting Education Special Interest Group.


Donal O’Shaughnessy, Board Member

Donal joined Cancer Fund for Children’s Board in 2017. He is an experienced Senior Executive and Active Investor with over 10 years’ experience in the highly successful Digicel Group of telecoms companies in the Caribbean and Central America including roles as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer. He was previously involved with the Irish mobile telecommunications company Esat Digifone as a member of the team responsible for the rollout of the network throughout Ireland.

Over the last 9 years Donal has been involved in developing and investing in businesses spanning technology, property, financial services, media, hospitality and utilities both in Ireland and internationally. He also provides advisory and representative services to a number of international banks and fund managers.

Donal has a professional background in Business Administration, Start-ups, Acquisition Integration, Engineering and Management. He is a Chartered Engineer with both Engineers Ireland and the Institute of Civil Engineers in the UK.


Gerry Halpenny, Board Member

Gerry is a partner in the Corporate and Commercial Department of LK Shields Solicitors. He also leads the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions practice. Gerry qualified as a solicitor in 1981 and joined LK Shields Solicitors as a Partner in 1998. Gerry joined the Cancer Fund for Children (Ireland) Board in March 2015. He has been involved since 2009 with the Haven charity which works extensively in Haiti and also served on the corporate advisory group of Paralympics Ireland in the run up to the 2016 Rio Paralympics.


Cormac Owens, Board Member

Cormac is a Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Children’s Health Ireland, Dublin. He trained initially in Dublin, followed by fellowships at Institute Gustave Roussy, Paris and the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.

He is a member of the European Neuroblastoma Society (SIOPEN) executive and clinical trials committees and the international society of paediatric oncology (SIOP) scientific advisory council. At CHI, he is the director of the clinical trials unit. Cormac joined the board in 2017.


Ken Brundle, Board Member

Ken has a wealth of Board experience in both the private and charity sector. He is currently Honorary Chairman of Bombardier Belfast, Chairman of both Bombardier Aerospace and Transportation UK Pension Boards. Additionally, in the charity sector he is Chairman of Praxis
Care, Chair of the Bombardier Foundation and Vice-Chair of Ulster Wildlife. Ken is also the Canadian Honorary Consul in Northern Ireland. His career in Aerospace started in Belfast at Short Brothers in 1973 working his way up becoming Chief Executive in 1996. From 2000-2004 Ken worked in Montreal for Bombardier Aerospace and had responsibility for all aerospace operations worldwide.

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