Teamwork Is Key AT CLAN


CLAN Cancer Support has praised the dedication of its team of staff and volunteers as the organisation’s longest-serving employees reach landmark work anniversaries.

Four members of the CLAN team, who are all based at CLAN’s wellbeing and support centre in Aberdeen, reach significant milestones with the charity this year.

Duncan Charles, CLAN’s Senior Finance Administrator is the longest-serving member of the team and has reached 14 years of service with the organisation.

Colleagues Claire Craik, Finance Administrator, Susan Christie, Head of Finance and Legal and HR Administrator Bee McNaught all mark eleven years with CLAN this year.

Dr Colette Backwell, Chief Executive of CLAN Cancer Support, which celebrates its 35th birthday this year, said: “When people think about CLAN they recognise the reputation we have for supporting people affected by a cancer diagnosis across many local communities. However, to deliver this we need a professional team behind the scenes to support every area of our work.

“Duncan, Claire, Susan and Bee have 45 years of service between them, which is an excellent reflection on the supportive and positive working environment we have within the organisation for employees and volunteers who all do such a fantastic job.

“This outstanding level of commitment to CLAN has been a key asset to the organisation during a period of change which saw CLAN move from Rosemount Church to our purpose-designed wellbeing and support centre and accommodation facility on Westburn Road, responding to an increasing need for our services.

“I’d like to thank them for their commitment to CLAN over the years and the role they have played in ensuring we have continued to provide vital cancer support services in the heart of the communities we serve.”

In her role as Head of Finance and Legal, Susan Christie is responsible for CLAN's current and future financial wellbeing. This includes setting the financial strategy and setting, monitoring and reporting against annual budgets.

She is responsible for producing the annual accounts and oversees the financial systems and procedures to ensure the organisation meets legal and audit requirements.

Mrs Christie said: “I started at CLAN on the day of the internal launch for the 123 Campaign and I felt extremely proud in November 2011 when we moved in to CLAN House and opened our doors to the public.

“It was a huge effort by everyone involved and it was very rewarding to see this ambitious project realised.

“In the 10-year period, I have watched CLAN’s network of cancer support services grow in both offering and geographical coverage, providing the best possible support for those affected by a cancer diagnosis right in the heart of local communities. In 2008, it cost us £830,000 to deliver the services provided and it now costs £2.6 million such is our expansion and growing need for our services.

“I am so proud to work for a well-respected local charity that is innovative and forward thinking and has managed to not only provide services to everyone affected by cancer, but also develop and expand these in the current difficult local economic climate.

“Although CLAN has developed over the 10 years I have been here, our staff, volunteers and contractors continue to be committed to CLAN’s vision and providing the best service they can to our clients. It is a huge part of my job satisfaction to hear from clients we have supported and see the difference we have made to their cancer journey.”

Mr Charles started work with CLAN’s fundraising team while he was studying at university and took the opportunity to cross to the finance team.

He said: “After spending time with the fundraising team, it was great to see the other side of CLAN, spending of money rather than bringing it in!

“I am now the longest serving member of staff, and it has been amazing to see how CLAN has grown from a small charity to a large organisation with more than 60 staff, but what has never changed has been our ethos and care for our clients.

“My two best memories of CLAN, are coming up with the name for our fundraising campaign for the development of CLAN House. It was called the 123 Campaign – 1 charity has 2 years to raise 3 million pounds.

“The other stand out memory was flying over Balmoral Castle in a helicopter as part of our Balmoral fundraising ball.”

Claire Craik joined the team as an administrator to the finance and fundraising teams during the start of the charity’s 123 campaign.

She said: “I’ve been very fortunate to share a lot of happy memories with my team at CLAN, including getting married and having my two boys. I was determined to be back from my maternity leave for the opening of CLAN House in November 2011. It was amazing to be part of the team for the 123 campaign, and to finally see the new centre open.”

Bee McNaught originally joined CLAN as PA to the Chief Executive at the time, Debbie Thomson, and after she had her children she secured the role of part-time HR Administrator.

She said: “Being part of CLAN since 2007, I have seen significant growth and changes over the years. I’m very proud to work for an organisation that supports people to make positive changes in what can be a difficult time in the lives. No matter what our role is within CLAN, we can all help to make that difference to people accessing our services on a daily basis.

“I am truly humbled to be part of such a wonderful team at CLAN and to make a difference to the lives of so many people affected by a cancer diagnosis across the areas we support.”

CLAN is an independent charity, which provides a range of cancer support services and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Crimond, Elgin, Buckie, Forres, Fraserburgh, Inverurie, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

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