31 Oct 2022 Other

Leukaemia UK appoints new Director of Communications job share from Shelter to lead their ambitious strategy

Blood cancer research charity, Leukaemia UK, has hired Anna Wilson and Lizzie Afonso from housing and homelessness charity, Shelter, to job-share its new Communications Director role. This is the first time the charity has created a communications role on the senior leadership team and signifies the organisation’s commitment to building its brand and reach.

In May, Leukaemia UK launched a bold new strategy hailing the power of research to save and improve lives devasted by leukaemia. This was followed by a full rebrand in August to enable greater visibility of the organisation.

Central to their new strategy is making sure that the charity’s core values of boldness, curiosity and collaboration are positively aligned with all their work. The Communications Director will help to promote the charity’s vision to stop leukaemia devastating lives and ensure that Leukaemia UK’s story is one that stakeholders and supporters are inspired to be a part of. The role will involve managing a team of three with freelance/agency support.

In a decade at Shelter, Anna and Lizzie have led a number of functions within the organisation including media, strategic communications, brand and marketing, recently working on their 2021 rebrand and accompanying awareness campaign. Having worked as part of a successful job-share for several years, they are looking forward to taking on a new challenge together and continuing to prove the value of this flexible working model.

Anna started her career as a graduate trainee at PR agency Fishburn Hedges, working across a wide range of clients before focussing on the charity sector with a move to Cancer Research UK. After spending six years in the PR team there, Anna moved to join Shelter as head of media in 2010.

Beginning her career in TV production, Lizzie made the move into public relations, initially working agency side for a variety of clients including Disney, Cadbury and Kenco. From here she took on her first role in the charity sector as part of Shelter’s in-house media team.

Passionate about delivering impactful, innovative and insight-led campaigns, they are both excited to join Leukaemia UK and use the power of great communications to help deliver on the charity’s ambitious growth plans.

Fiona Hazell, Chief Executive of Leukaemia UK, said:

“Our communications team is central to achieving Leukaemia UK’s ambitious strategy to save and improve more lives through research, awareness and advocacy, so this is a great step forward as we continue to strengthen our staff team and build our communications activity.

“We know that investing in our people and making Leukaemia UK a great place to work will help drive forward the charity’s success. The easier we make it for people to work for us, the happier and more productive they will be, so we’re delighted to be able to put this into action by enabling our Director of Communications role to be one that is to be job-shared between two outstanding candidates.”

Anna Wilson and Lizzie Afonso, Director of Communications at Leukaemia UK, said:

“We are thrilled to be joining Leukaemia UK and look forward to working with the team to deliver a communications strategy that will spread the word about the charity’s life-changing research and help improve the lives of even more people.

“The opportunity to continue with our successful job-share model means that we can take this next step in our careers whilst maintaining a flexible working pattern, and we are grateful to Fiona for seeing the advantages of this set-up. We believe that two brains can be even better than one, and hope that job-sharing will soon become much more common across the sector and beyond.”

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