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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

New head at top Scots cancer charity


Current chief executive is preparing for retirement

Gillian Hailstones is to succeed chief executive Martin Cawley at the Beatson Cancer Charity.

Hailstones will take over from Cawley in August after five years at the charity, as he takes a step closer to retirement. 

Appointed chief executive officer in 2019, the charity said Cawley grew its income, developed a range of high quality person-centred services to support people with cancer, touching the lives of thousands of people each year, and enabled the organisation to develop a strong position in the field of cancer care in Scotland. 

The charity has also funded millions of pounds into research projects and new innovations in cancer care. 

He said: “I am very proud to have worked for such a wonderful organisation and have mixed feelings about leaving but it feels like the right time in my career to make this decision. 

“Beatson Cancer Charity is much loved and has a very fond place in the hearts of so many people whose lives have been touched by cancer.  

“The charity plays an important role in supporting people and their families through their experience with cancer. It has been a privilege to have played a small part in all that has been achieved. I have really enjoyed my time here.  

“I will not be a stranger to the organisation and I will continue to support in any way that I can.   

“As one of the founders of the charity recently told me, ‘You never really leave Beatson Cancer Charity’. I now know exactly what he means.  

“The charity is in a great position to move on to its next stage of development and in Gillian, they have a strong and respected leader to help fulfil its ambitions and aspirations for the future.”  

Gillian Hailstones joined the charity as director of care services in 2019 and will be taking on the position of deputy chief executive officer until August, when she will move to the chief executive role.  

Gillian comes with a wealth of experience in the cancer sector. Her professional working life began as a nurse working in oncology at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre. She then moved into palliative care in hospice and community roles across Glasgow before coming back into wider cancer support roles. Gillian has spent most of her career working in the third sector.  

Gillian said: “I am delighted to have been offered the role of chief executive officer.   

“I feel very fortunate to being stepping into the role of chief executive and I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that will bring.  

“To be able to do it within a charity that I am committed to and that I am passionate about feels like an incredibly privileged position to be in.  

“I watched Beatson Cancer Charity grow from its launch in 2014 and when I joined five years ago as Director of Care Services, I could see the key role the organisation was establishing for itself within cancer care.    

“The services delivered by the charity played an integral part in supporting people affected by cancer and their wider local communities in a way that aligns with my own beliefs and my own values. 

“In those five years I have loved being at the charity and working to ensure that support not only continued but also extended.  

“We have developed our services to reach more people, while at the same time establishing ourselves across local, regional and national networks. We have not only been part of the conversation on cancer, but we’ve been able to add to it from an informed and strategic position. 

“We strongly and passionately believe people should get the best care possible when they are going through cancer treatment and as an organisation, we do everything we can to try and make that happen. 

“I’m very fortunate to be taking over leadership of the charity when it’s in a really strong position.   

“We have been able to navigate some of the significant challenges the world has gone through during Covid times - we’re now moving beyond that and we have a solid foundation.   

“We’re well established and we have great networks. What I'm keen to do now is see how we can maximise the help and support that we offer across all our areas of work as we should always be striving to do more and do better.”  

Laura Hadley-Stove, who was appointed interim Director of Care Services during Gillian’s parental leave last year, will take on the role on a permanent basis. Laura comes from a social work background and has vast experience in the public and third sector.  



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