Meet the team
Ali Orhan – Chief Executive
Ali has over 25 years of 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 is 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).
Rob Cornes – Male Cancer Information Nurse Specialist
Rob Cornes is the Orchid Male Cancer Information Nurse. Rob qualified as an Registered General Nurse (RGN) in 1991 at Barking Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust (BHR) where he had undertaken 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 and remained in this post until 2013 where he was the designated key-worker for anybody diagnosed with a urological malignancy.
Over the last 25 years he has met literally thousands of men affected by male cancer and gained a valuable insight into the sort of information that they need. He is an active member and chair of PHASE; a large support group based in Essex for men and their families who have been affected by prostate cancer. He is a firm advocate of both written and verbal information, having learnt from experience that both make a huge difference for patients and their families. In his spare time Rob enjoys 40’s and 50’s music, reading esoteric non-fiction and strumming his Gretsch guitar.
Johnny Larran – Engagement officer – Overcoming the Barriers of Prostate Cancer Project
Johnny joined the team in May 2021 for the ‘’Overcoming the Barriers of Prostate Cancer” project. Johnny’s background is primarily in digital marketing and has delivered projects across a myriad of industries including non-profit and healthcare. Johnny has worked for both the NHS and HCA Healthcare at The Harley Street Clinic, a private oncology clinic. Johnny is also a street artist whose work can be found across Europe, Canada, and the United States.
Julia De Petrillo – Project Manager – Overcoming the Barriers of Prostate Cancer Project
Julia joined the team in May 2021 as the Project Manager for the ‘’Overcoming the Barriers of Prostate Cancer” project. Julia is a qualified Sexologist and has a wealth of experience with marginalised and BAME communities around sexual health, sexual orientation, gender identity and male specific cancers.
Julia has experience in counselling and developing educational programs around self-esteem and body image for LGBTQIA+ communities. She has organised and delivered educational workshops, seminars and awareness events to help individuals build their knowledge to overcome the misconceptions about various sexual health topics and prostate cancer.
Katherine Mutsvangwa – Male Cancer Information Nurse Specialist
Katherine Mutsvangwa supports Orchid as a part-time Male Cancer Information Nurse. Katherine was born in Zimbabwe and came to the UK in 1990 to train and qualify as a Registered General Nurse (RGN) at Princess Alexandra and Newham School of Nursing and Midwifery – Royal London Hospital. She knew during her nurse training that she wanted to be a specialist cancer nurse and has worked as one since she qualified in 1993. During her nursing career she had an opportunity to become a Grasp (workload measurement tool) Project co-ordinator for cancer services. In this role she trained all the staff and rolled out the project out in all cancer wards within the given project time frame. She worked carefully with all ward managers in cancer services, finance managers and the matron to identify patient care activities, identify the nursing skills required to meet patient activities and to help set up budgeting with the findings.
In 2000 she received a BENTLEY award following this post at Barts and the London Hospital for being the best nurse and best achievement as a Grasp Project nurse. In 2001 she specialised in Haematology Oncology Nursing. In this role she became interested in new treatments for cancers and wanted to spend more time educating, supporting patients and relatives undergoing cancer treatment or with a cancer diagnosis. In 2004 she had an opportunity to work as Research Nurse funded by Orchid, specialising prostate and testicular cancer.
In her free time she enjoys gardening, sewing and doing some DIY. She teaches bead jewellery making and sewing in summer and half term holidays.
Dani Freedland – Community and Events Fundraising Manager
Dani is our latest recruit, joining Orchid in July 2020. Dani has a wealth of fundraising experience, working within the sector for nearly 15 years, heading up fundraising teams at leading charities including Action on Hearing Loss, Bowel Cancer UK and more recently at the National Advertising Society Benevolent Fund. Prior to that, Dani worked within the PR and sports marketing industry supporting high profile brands including British Airways and Barclaycard – often referred to as the Queen of Tennis as she directed the Stella Artois Tennis Championships for 10 years.
Margaid Gosschalk – Trusts and Statutory Manager
Margaid has been part of Orchid’s fundraising team since 2014. She is responsible for securing income from Charitable Trusts and Foundations, and is happy to provide tailored information about Orchid’s work, or to answer questions in support of applications. She entered the voluntary sector straight from university, and has been in variety of fundraising and volunteer support roles over a 30+ year period, working for a number of charities including Help the Aged (now Age UK), Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK), UNICEF, and Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres.
Working part time enables Margaid to continue volunteering within her own community. Over the years she has spent many hours listening to children read and has helped young people to access sporting opportunities. She has also gained charity governance expertise through taking on the roles of Chair and Company Secretary for two different Haringey charities.
Allison Vickers – Business Development Manager
Allison joined the team in August 2021 as the Business Development Manager. She is responsible for identifying and developing partnerships, new business opportunities including those in the pharmaceutical industry, sponsorship, payroll giving, the Orchid Employee Support Programme and maximising income from our existing supporters.
Allison has a Masters in Family and Child Psychology and prior to joining Orchid she worked with a range of charity’s delivering safeguarding awareness workshops and fundraising events.
Suresh Rambaran – Male Cancer Information Manager
Suresh has over 30 years of experience in cancer nursing, and extensive experience in cancer information through his work with the NHS, Cancer Backup, Cancerlink, Prostate Cancer UK, Macmillan and Orchid. Throughout his career he worked tirelessly helping hospitals and other health facilities improve their service provisions, making them culturally appropriate and sensitive to the needs of the patients’ religions, customs and cultural.
In 2013 he was awarded a Queen’s Medal Diamond Jubilee award for his work and contribution within the NHS and voluntary/charity sector. His area of specialisation being prostate cancer — Suresh was the UK’s first Black and Ethnic Minority to be appointed as a Cancer Information Specialist (CIS).
He has played a vital role providing specialist nurse support at Male Cancer Roadshows across the UK.
Evelyn Henderson – Male Cancer Information Manager
Evelyn Henderson has worked in the NHS for over 40 years. She worked in the cancer unit in Edinburgh for 12 years including further training at the Royal Marsden Hospital. The next 30 years saw her working in psychiatry delivering health education and/or therapy to individuals, groups and working with others from across different disciplines. Evelyn qualified as RGN, RMN, CPN and CBT therapist. She retired two years ago but still retains her interest in cancer and those affected by the disease.
Elizabeth Reid – Male Cancer Information Manager
Elizabeth Reid has been a registered nurse for over 40 years. Following training at the Royal Marsden Hospital she was a Senior Charge Nurse in Scotland – with cancer nursing within her remit. She also acted as advocate for a patient support group within her speciality. Elizabeth retains her interest in cancer and is particularly keen to support Orchid’s work in addressing the issue of the higher incidence of penile cancer in Scotland.
If you would like to contact a member of the Orchid team please don’t hesitate to call us on 020 3745 7310.