Get to know our board of trustees – the ladies and gentlemen who keep The RCT moving forward. You’ll see them at events, online and always reppin’ their RCT merchandise! Without them and their dedication and hard-work, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Feel free to contact them if you have a direct question for them, if you have a general enquiry then please contact us (link to Contact Us page)
Andrew is a Chartered Building Surveyor who for 22 years was Director of Estate Management for the University of Essex before taking early retirement in 2012. He has been a supporter of the RCT since its foundation and was honoured to be appointed Chairman in August 2014.
Professionally Andrew has chaired the Association of University Directors of Estates, been a member of various national advisory committees on Higher Education and construction, chaired a committee which established and operated a national Code for the Management of Student Residences, and has lectured and given seminars on related topics. He was instrumental in establishing new university campuses at Ipswich and Southend.
Andrew was a longstanding Trustee of Wivenhoe & District Sporting Facilities Trust, chairing it for 6 years, has been a Governor of Colchester County High School chairing its Premises Committee and is a Trustee of Colchester’s iconic art gallery, Firstsite, where he chairs the Commercial Committee and is a member of the Finance Risk and Audit Committee.
Andrew’s other interests include walking, swimming, watching Colchester United, attending music events, the theatre, cinema, reading and listening to music.
“Life is precious and I want to help young people have a life as enjoyable as mine is and has been.”
Mark is a founder trustee of the RCT and was elected as the Treasurer at the first meeting.
Mark works in Chelmsford and is the Managing Director of a successful Construction Project Management and Quantity Surveying Company that he set up 1990.
In terms of charity work, Mark has also been the Treasurer for a number of other local societies and charities, including the Brightlingsea Sledgehammers Basketball Club, the Queens Road Residents Association and the Wivenhoe and District Sporting Facilities Trust, of which Mark has been a Trustee since 1999.
Mark has also been a Parent Governor at the Millfields Primary School in Wivenhoe and he also ran one of the local Cub Packs in Wivenhoe for many years.
Mark has been the elected Chairman of Wivenhoe Old Boys FC, a Colchester & District Sunday League Men’s Football Team, for the past 4 years.
Mark’s outside interests include being a Colchester United season ticket holder, watching as much rugby as possible and going swimming, playing tennis or golf and going to the gym at least twice a week, as well as taking part in as many RCT events as he can manage. A newly acquired caravan may also start to take up a bit more time and give more opportunities to get away for short breaks around the country and abroad.
“What would make the charity worthwhile would be if we could save one just one life, but a hundred would be better.”
She has had previous experience of charity work, firstly as a volunteer of the local branch of B.L.I.S.S. (Baby Life Support Systems) then in the position of Chairman for a year during the late 1980’s-early 1990’s.
She has been married to Mark for thirty-four years and raised three sons – Adam, Robin & Toby – nursing Robin through his teenage years when he was diagnosed with M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, during the second term of his first year in Secondary School, until his gradual recovery by the age of eighteen.
She supported Robin daily throughout his chemotherapy treatment in 2011 after his diagnosis of Germ Cell Cancer in January of that year, staying at the hostel run by St Bart’s Hospital in London during his treatment periods, and latterly in St Helena’s Hospice in Colchester until he passed away on December 10th 2011.
Her outside interests include Reiki healing; Crystal Therapy; Indian Head Massage; Hand Reflexology; Meditation; Floristry; walking the two family dogs-Barney & Meg and has currently attended a life writing course in Wivenhoe, gaining valuable support and guidance in writing Robin’s autobiography leading up to the Trust’s beginnings.
“It is important to have hope in this life and my hope is that we can show by example that positivity can arise out of negativity by setting up our charity. The ultimate hope is that in doing so, we can help save other families from going through the awful tragedy that our family has had to deal with.”
As a family friend from childhood Martin has known the Freemans for his entire life, growing up with Toby through school and later playing alongside him and Robin for Wivenhoe Old Boys Football Club.
Martin studied Sports Product Design at Coventry University before choosing a career as an editor upon his graduation in 2010. He became an intern feature writer and editor with sports business network iSportconnect having been recognised for his work as a freelance football writer. In 2011 Martin joined football statistics website WhoScored.com, where he continues to work as an editor-in-chief. He contributes to the sports desks for the Guardian, Sky and The Independent, among others, through this capacity.
In 2012 Martin was honoured to accept the offer of Toby Freeman – the Chairman at the time – to become a member of the Board of Trustees for the Robin Cancer Trust. In 2014 he volunteered in the role of Acting Chairman to facilitate Toby’s promotion to CEO of the Trust. Martin now commutes to work in London from Wickford, where he lives with partner Simone.
“Having had the pleasure of spending a large part of my childhood with the Freeman family I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help the charity in any way that I can. The goals that the RCT have set to try and ensure a positive outcome for others from such a devastating personal tragedy are incredibly admirable and typical of a magnificent family, honouring a fantastic young man.”
After graduating with a Law degree from the University of Warwick, Jo worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau, Colchester and Tendring Women’s Refuge and taught at the University of Warwick. She then spent two years at the Law Commission and has now returned to the University of Warwick to study for a PhD, specialising in family law.
Jo has always admired the invaluable work of the Robin Cancer Trust and was delighted when she was asked to join the team as a Trustee in 2014.
“Getting involved with the Robin Cancer Trust is one of the best things I’ve done. The charity has been a catalyst for putting people in the local community in touch with each other, as well as being truly inspirational in its awareness-raising work. The charity has the most fantastic supporters and it’s a real privilege to work with such a wonderful team of people towards such a crucial goal.”