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Third Sector Awards 2017: Charity Chief Executive - Deborah Alsina, Bowel Cancer UK

Awarded to the chief executive who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her organisation, or the wider sector, over the past year

Deborah Alsina
Deborah Alsina

Who is she?

Deborah Alsina joined Bowel Cancer UK in June 2008 as director of services and strategy, a year after losing her father to the disease. In 2009, she was appointed chief executive. In June 2016, Alsina was awarded an MBE after being nominated by patients and their families for her commitment to the cause and charity.

What has she done for the charity?

Eight years ago Bowel Cancer UK faced enormous challenges, and closure was a real possibility. Alsina has worked tirelessly to turn the charity around and build strong foundations for the future. Under her leadership, the charity’s income has increased by 33 per cent in the last two years alone and now stands at £2.3m, its highest-ever level. It is also developing a ground-breaking programme of research.

What else has she achieved?

Alsina secured funding for a risk-assessment tool to speed up the diagnosis of patients under 50, who often experience significant delays. She also led the development and launch of a global campaign for patients diagnosed with advanced cancer to have more treatment options, and has helped to ensure a more sensitive screening test is introduced in England, Scotland and Wales. She has helped to ensure bowel cancer is on the health agenda by playing an active role in numerous committees in the UK and internationally. 

What did the judges say?  

"Deborah demonstrates a collaborative and visionary approach to working and has brought success to the charity," said Claire Horton, chief executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. 

Highly commended

Judith Moran, Quaker Social Action

Finalists

Sophie Andrews, The Silver Line Helpline

Phil Maguire, Prison Radio Association

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