Spokespeople and Experts
Ali has over 25 years of senior executive management experience in the field of Public Health, specialising in Cancer prevention and support and HIV and Sexual Health within the third sector.
Ali is a trained nurse and qualified social worker and a BSC honours graduate of Sociology Applied Social Studies with CQSW (Certificate of Qualification in Social Work). He is also a trained UK BSL Stage I & II (British Sign Language) interpreter from Durham University and holds a certificate in Training & Development.
Ali joined Orchid in September 2017 to lead the Big Lottery-funded programme “Changing lives – engaging black African and black Caribbean men at risk of or affected by prostate cancer, as well as men from disadvantaged communities”. Previously Ali worked for The British Heart Foundation (BHF), The Prostate Cancer Charity (TPCC), NAZ Project London where he was responsible for regional and national remits designing and implementing health awareness initiatives and equality and diversity, health & wellbeing, sexual health and inclusion strategies.
During his time at Orchid Ali developed and produced the acclaimed short film, “A Letter to my Unpresented Self” to help healthcare professionals gain a better understanding about how a diagnosis may affect men from black African and black Caribbean communities. More recently he has produced the short film ‘Uncle Mike’ which explores a young mans mission to help raise awareness of prostate cancer following the death of his uncle to the condition.
This initiative was built on his previous portfolio of creative mixed media interventions to generate service improvement and innovation. At the Prostate Cancer Charity Ali commissioned poet Benjamin Zephaniah to write an educational comedic studio piece to communicate key health promotion messages, around prostate cancer health. This resulted in performances at the Hackney Empire, libraries and other community venues across the UK.
This model was replicated to great success at the British Heart Foundation with a number of initiatives resulting in poster submissions to annual Public Health England (PHE) conferences and commissioned local authority partnerships of health promotion programmes.
With a proven track record in procurement and fundraising Ali is experienced in securing full cost recovery funding for public cancer awareness programmes such as 7 London borough roll out of prostate cancer awareness initiative funded by North East London Cancer Network and the celebrated BHF Social Cooking project, due to its success was further funded by PHE to a nationwide roll out.
As a passionate advocate of accessible and incluive services, Ali believes the intersectional experiences of marginalised people’s lives must be recognised and addressed if the gap between poor health outcomes for different communities is to be reduced.
Ali is also the Chair for Cancer Equality (a charity committed to improving access to cancer information and support for BME and Refugee communities).
A Founder Trustee of Orchid and a former testicular cancer patient. He was diagnosed in 1994 – ironically, he discovered his lump at the same time as his wife discovered she was pregnant with their second child. An ultrasound scan showed the lump was malignant and he underwent surgery. Following this surgery, blood tests and CT scans showed the cancer had spread to his abdomen and Colin’s long fight for survival began.
Colin uses his personal experience of battling testicular cancer to raise public awareness of the disease. He has appeared on several television shows – notably “Esther”, “Open House” with Gloria Hunniford and “Good Morning” with Richard and Judy. Articles were featured in most of the national newspapers and magazines as well as local press and radio. 2004 saw Colin win the prestigious Daily Mirror Pride of Britain award, which was featured on ITV and GMTV.
Rob qualified as a Registered General Nurse (RGN) in 1991 at Barking Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust (BHR) where he undertook his training. He began work as a staff nurse on the urology ward and continued to work within urology at BHR for the next 12 years culminating in the role of Charge Nurse from 1997-2003. He left the ward in 2003 and took up a position as a Clinical Trials Nurse through St Bartholomew’s Hospital, a post partially funded by Orchid. In 2004 he became Uro-oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist at BHR. He then left this role to work as Orchid’s permanent Information Nurse Specialist. He chairs PHASE; a large support group based in Essex for men and their families who have been affected by prostate cancer.
Professor Dan Berney MA MB B Chir, FRCPath
Professor Dan Berney MA MB B Chir, FRCPath leads the Orchid Research Tissue Bank in Charterhouse Square, London. He is one of the UK’s leading genito-urinary pathologists. Our Tissue Bank addresses the lack of a bespoke tissue bank for translational research, providing a link between the laboratory and the clinic.
It houses one of the largest collections of penile cancer tissues in Europe and the resource is used by researchers and clinicians from the UK and internationally. Professor Berney’s team continues to collect vital genito-urinary tissue and to construct conventional tissue micro arrays and biopsy tissue microarrays for current and future research and the interrogation of currently used clinic-pathological predictive and prognostic biomarkers.
Previous Orchid Experts
Professor Thomas Powles MBBS, MRCP, MD
Professor Thomas Powles is Clinical Professor of Genitourinary Oncology at the Barts Cancer Institute, Centre for Experimental Cancer Medicine. He qualified from St Bartholomew’s Medical School in 1996 and trained in medical oncology at Imperial College. He completed his post-graduate training in oncology in 2005 and received an MD from the University of London in 2006. His thesis was in mechanisms of resistance to therapy in urology cancers. His main research interests are in genital and urinary cancers, leading a spectrum of clinical studies from phase I to randomised phase III. He is regular spokesperson on male specific cancers, latest research developments, treatments and management issues.
Professor John Kelly
Professor John Kelly is a Consultant Urological Surgeon, Professor of Uro-Oncology and Clinical Lead for the largest urology pelvic cancer centre in the UK at University College London Hospitals (UCLH). He is Director of the Chitra Sethia Minimal Access Centre at UCLH which trains the next generation of robotic surgeons from the UK and abroad. His clinical interest are Bladder and Prostate cancer.
Professor Kelly has practised at some of the most prestigious organisations in the world. He moved to UCLH in 2009 from Cambridge University, having been a consultant urologist working in complex cancer surgery at Addenbrookes Hospital. Previously, he was a fellow at the Cornell University Hospital in New York.
Professor Kelly was the Orchid Chair in Male Genito-urinary Oncology from 2011-2016.