Meet the team 

The Macmillan Support and Information Service is made up of several smaller teams. In this section we outline the different team members you may meet.

 Support and Information Specialist Team

Bridget Clarence-Smith, Macmillan Support and Information Specialist

Bridget Clarence-Smith

Bridget is a Macmillan Support and Information Specialist. She qualified as a nurse in 1980 and has specialised in oncology and palliative care. She has led a number of nursing initiatives to improve cancer services in the community. She has an MSc in Primary Care and is an independent non-medical prescriber. In her current role she is available with her colleagues to provide emotional support as needed, and information about many aspects of living with and beyond cancer for both patients and their families and friends. She is also a British Wheel of Yoga qualified yoga teacher and she runs a weekly class here at the Cancer Centre.

"I love the flexibility to use all my skills both in nursing and yoga, to provide a space for people to make sense of their cancer at this point in their lives."

Catrina Davy, Support and Information Specialist

Catrina Davy

Catrina is a Support and Information Specialist. She started work in the Macmillan Support and Information Service shortly after it opened, in 2012. She works part-time in the Macmillan Support and Information Service working in the drop-in in the Living room as well as facilitating workshops, groups and courses.

Catrina also works part-time as an acupuncturist at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine. She is currently studying for a masters in pain management.

Prior to starting work in the Macmillan Support and Information Service, Catrina worked as a Therapy Radiographer for fourteen years. She has worked in many radiotherapy departments in the UK as well as in Australia and Cyprus.

Bryony Eedy, Macmillan Support and Information Specialist

Bryony Eedy

Bryony works in the Living Room on the ground floor of the cancer centre. Her role as a Support and Information Specialist includes providing patients and their carers both written and practical information, as well as emotional support. She also helps facilitate groups that take place in the centre and has a particular interest in physical activity.

Bryony trained as a nurse and worked in general surgery and acute medicine before joining the trust in 1999 as a staff nurse on the Teenage Cancer Unit, where she went on the become a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Sarcoma and Haematology until 2012.

"I really enjoy having the time to listen and talk to patients and carers about their information and support needs. I think the service we provide alongside the clinical teams can offer a better experience for our cancer patients and their families and friends."

Vikky Riley, Macmillan Support and Information CNS

Vikky Riley

Vikky is the team leader of the specialist team in the living room. She has been a cancer nurse for over 27 years, the majority of was which working with the Teenagers and Young Adults Service at UCLH, where she was nurse consultant. Vikky brings her vast amount of experience in supporting patients and families to the Support and Information Service. As the Support and Information CNS, Vikky has worked with the specialist team to develop the Wellbeing Programme and the drop in service for anybody affected by cancer.

“I believe with the right support and information at the right time, the majority of people can manage the impact that cancer has on their lives, and those around them. We strive to provide a safe place where people can talk and be listened to”.

Maxene Wickwar, Macmillan Support and Information Specialist

Max joined the Macmillan support and information team in 2016. She qualified as a nurse at UCLH in 1996 where she worked in Haematology for 15 years and more recently on the Chemotherapy day-care suite. Her role as a support and information specialist involves providing emotional, practical and informational support for patients, their families and friends living with Cancer.

Bev Wilson, Macmillan Support and Information Specialist

Bev Wilson

Bev is a Support and Information Specialist. She qualified as a registered nurse in 2004 and worked on the UCLH Haematology wards until 2015. Bev joined the Support and Information Service Specialist Team in 2015 where she provides emotional support and information to cancer patients, their family and friends. Part of her role also involves facilitating groups and courses to support patients to better manage side effects of treatment and life after treatment. She also facilitates cancer support groups and wellbeing days.

“My experience as a Haematology Nurse has given me the skills I need to provide emotional support to anyone affected by cancer. I enjoy giving patients the tools they need to be able to manage the effects of cancer and to better cope with life after treatment.”

 Support and Information Assistant Team

Liz Kingdon, Assistant General Manager

Liz Kingdon

Liz has worked in medical administration and management for the Middlesex Hospital and UCLH in radiotherapy, oncology, haematology, head and neck surgery and cancer management. She joined the Macmillan Support and Information Service (MSIS) when it opened in 2012 having worked with the team setting up the department and prior to that as a project manager for the Cancer Centre.

She has responsibility for the day to day operation of MSIS and is the line manager for the Assistant Team, Welfare and Benefits and Complementary Therapy.

 Wig Service

Nicola Panara

Nicola Panara

Nicola has been the wig specialist in the Macmillan Support and Information Service since we opened in 2012. Her background is in hairdressing and beauty. She shares this experience in her current role. Previous to taking on the wig speciality, she worked in the trust for 12 years as a clinic coordinator cancer service and haematology. She also supports our Look Good Feel Better workshops and our pillar support group.

“I love my job because I help bring people’s confidence back and feel better about themselves.”

 Complementary Therapies

Elaine Charlesworth, Complementary Therapist

Elaine Charlesworth

Elaine is a complementary therapist. She qualified as an aromatherapist in 1993, followed this by gaining diplomas in Swedish and Thai massage and Reflexology. In 2011 she completed a MSc in Integrated governance in health and social care. She has worked as a therapist in many settings including private sector, corporate, public sector and running her own clinic. She has been working at UCH as a complementary therapist since 2002. She is currently lead complementary therapist in cancer services. She delivers complementary therapy sessions for patients and carers in the busy outpatient clinics. She also works with her team and the support and information team to provide group session for patients, manages the complementary therapy team and develops, evaluates and promotes the teams work.

“I am excited to bring the many benefits of the complementary therapies I practice into an NHS hospital. I feel very passionate about the need to offer a holistic experience of healthcare. It is so rewarding to hear from patients and their carers how much it has changed their experience of being a patient for the better to be able to access complementary therapy alongside or after their treatments."

Victoria Dalgleish, Complementary Therapist

Victoria Dalgleish

Victoria is a Complementary Therapist. She qualified in 2002 as a Reiki Professional Practitioner. More recently she gained a diploma in Relaxation Techniques at the Christie hospital in Manchester. After working as a volunteer with cancer patients for many years, she started at UCLH in 2007. Victoria was on the Reiki Profession Specific Board for the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC.) The board developed the Reiki Professional standards and Core Curriculum for practitioners. Victoria wrote the policy for Relaxation Techniques and implemented the pathway for them to be practised within the service. She co-facilitates relaxation workshops and delivers sessions at the Wellbeing days in the Macmillan Support and Information Service.

“I work with cancer and red cell patients here at UCLH. I deliver Reiki to patients who feel they want to ‘let go’ and relax. I also teach techniques to those who want to use them to self-manage. I am passionate about our service; we offer the opportunity for space and peace in a potentially stressful environment. It is a great privilege to be present and involved with patients through their journey.”

Sharon Findlow, Complementary Therapist, Cancer Services Division

Sharon is a fully qualified Reflexologist and Aromatherapist and has been a member of the Complementary Therapy Team since 2009. She has provided reflexology, aromatherapy and massage sessions to adult haematology and oncology patients and over the last 4 years to paediatric and teenage cancer patients.

“I am passionate about delivering supportive, relaxing and holistic complementary therapy sessions to enable the patient to better cope with the illness and symptoms they are experiencing.

I enjoy working with the multi-disciplinary teams and being involved in the Macmillan Support and Information Service Wellbeing Days offering short therapy sessions to patients.”

 Psychological and Emotional Care Team

Dr Matt Brown, Macmillan Clinical Psychologist

Dr Matt Brown

Dr Matt Brown is a Clinical Psychologist, Chartered by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC). He has worked in a variety of settings, having started his career in the Prison Service, before moving across to the NHS in 2005 where he worked in both mental health and physical health settings. In recent years he has been specialising in psycho-oncology and started working in the general oncology psychological care team at the Macmillan cancer centre since June 2016. He enjoys being a part of a dynamic, professional and friendly team working within the Macmillan Support and Information Service and, having completed his doctoral training just found the corner at UCL in 2009, it has felt a bit like coming home.

Maria Castilla Perez, Specialist Haematology Counsellor-Psychotherapist

Maria Castilla Perez

Maria is a member of the Haematology Psychology and Counselling Service at UCLH. She has been a senior Counsellor/Psychotherapist for the past 19 years, working in the field of haematology for the last nine years at The Royal Free Hospital and here at UCLH. Her current roll involves offering therapeutic psychological support to haematology patients and their families.

Previous specialist psychological work includes addiction, emigration issues, trauma and women issues.

She is interested in the application of mindfulness to addressing the psychological issues for haematology patients, in particular, pre and post BMT patients.

Helen Demarco, Senior Clinical and Health Psychologist and Team Lead for the Haematology Psychology and Counselling Service

Helen Demarco

Helen is Team Lead of the Haematology Psychology and Counselling Service at UCLH and has been a Clinical and Health Psychologist for over 22 years. She has worked in both the NHS and education in the fields of mental health, student services, couple and family therapy, pain management and haematology.

Helen is trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches (including CBT, MI, solution-focused, psychodynamic and mindfulness approaches). She has advanced training in systemic couple and family therapy and extensive experience of groupwork. She is interested in the role of self-management, patient engagement and family support in managing illness and has a special interest in sickle cell and thalassaemia.

Helen has been working in her current role within UCLH for the past 8 years and offers psychological support to patients, families and carers living with various haematological conditions.

David Jones, Senior Counsellor in the Haematology Psychology and Counselling Service

David Jones

David is a senior counsellor in the Haematology Psychology and Counselling Service at UCLH. He is a registered accredited counsellor with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).He has worked in the NHS and Hospice movement for over 30 years and has been Counsellor for over 25 years. He specialises in the fields of: mental health, HIV, sexual health, end of life, bereavement and haematology.

David originally trained as a registered nurse in both general and mental health. He is trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches (including psychosynthesis, transpersonal, CBT, solution-focused and mindfulness). He has advanced training in clinical supervision, group and individual work, bereavement and mental health.

Maria Parker, PA/Team Coordinator Haematology Psychology & Counselling Team

Maria qualified as a Medical Secretary/PA in 2004 and has since worked in a variety of healthcare settings both within the NHS and in private healthcare. Maria has worked as a Senior PA in a corporate environment for a time too. She began working for the Haematology Psychology & Counselling Team in March 2016 and has helped introduce robust administrative procedures within the team. Maria is a key point of contact for patients and the haematology department and supports their liaison with the team.

"My role is important because with the administrative side of things taken care of the team are freed up to work more extensively with its haematology patient group. I always do my best to help facilitate as smooth a service as possible."

 Patient Information

 Macmillan Cancer Follow-Up Project

Alia Nizam, Macmillan Cancer Follow-Up Project Manager

Alia is the Macmillan cancer follow up project lead. She joined UCLH in January 2014 as a pharmacist within the cancer pharmacy team. She has worked within haematology and oncology until she went on a year’s secondment to do the Darzi fellowship within the organisation. Following the Darzi fellowship, she has joined the Macmillan support and information service team in November 2016 to work on the project three days a week and the other remaining two days within the cancer pharmacy team.

For Alia, the Darzi fellowship programme was a year of ongoing reflection, learning and self-development. Being a front line clinician for a number of years, Alia began to reflect on her existing skills and recognised that she needed to develop and refine her leadership and project management skills and the Darzi fellowship programme was the perfect platform to embark on such a journey. The fellowship gave Alia the opportunity to take a step back from the routine work and have the head space to think, learn and reflect.

"My year as a Darzi fellow has been a fantastic and positive experience. It has broadened by lenses and given me the confidence to think laterally and challenge my comfort zone which has led me to the project management role which I am immensely excited about!"

 Creative Specialist

Lizzie Burns, Creative Specialist

Lizzie Burns

Lizzie encourages people to use time as an opportunity to get creative during treatment. Described as a 'holiday for the mind' this can help bring focus away from illness and bring moments of joy. Lizzie has been working on projects to spark creativity in others over the past 15 years. Originally a scientist, Lizzie completed a Doctorate and a Research Fellowship in cell biology from the University of Oxford. Since 2008, Lizzie has worked once a week as part of the Macmillan Support and Information Services in UCH. Her work has been made possible thanks to charitable funding from the UCH Cancer Fund.

 Heads of Service

Lallita Carballo, Joint Clinical Lead for Supportive Cancer Care and Head of the Support and Information Service

Lallita Carballo

Lallita took up her post as the joint Clinical Lead for Supportive Cancer Care and Head for the Macmillan Support and Information Service in March 2012 with her job share partner Hilary Plant. Together they are developing a programme of work that will ensure that patients, families and carers and the staff providing the clinical care are enabled to deliver the best supportive care.

Having completed her nurse training at the Middlesex Hospital in 1986 she has worked in a in a variety of cancer nursing positions ranging from clinical practice, research and management.

Lallita has a particular interest in the impact of cancer care on staff and involved a number of initiatives aimed at improving staff support including being a Schwartz Rounds facilitator. Her PhD work focussed on the effectiveness of multi-disciplinary cancer teams.

Lallita’s vision and ambition is to ensure that access to personalised supportive cancer care is an integral part of every patient’s experience at UCLH.

Hilary Plant, Joint Clinical Lead for Supportive Cancer Care and Head of the Support and Information Service

Hilary Plant

Hilary took up her post as the joint Clinical Lead for Supportive Cancer Care and Head for the Macmillan Support and Information Service in March 2012 with her job share partner Lallita Carballo. Together they are developing a programme of work that will ensure that patients, families and carers and the staff providing the clinical care are enabled to deliver the best supportive care.

Hilary completed her nurse training at University College Hospital in 1981 and has subsequently worked in a variety of roles in cancer care in clinical practice, research and project management. Hilary’s longstanding interest is to find ways of providing support for people with cancer and their families to enable them to live as wells as possible with cancer and the impact of its treatment. To this end Hilary is also an accredited Psychotherapist and she completed her PhD studies in 2000 which looked at understanding the impact of cancer on close family and friends.

Hilary is also interested in the impact of working in cancer care on staff and is involved in a number of initiatives aimed at improving support for staff including being a Schwartz Round facilitator.

Hilary’s vision and ambition is that is to ensure that access to personalised supportive cancer care is an integral part of every patient’s experience at UCLH