Anthony Simonds-Gooding CBE, joined Breast Cancer Haven as our Chair of Trustees in July 2013. 

We knew straight away how lucky we were to have him leading the charity. He had spent a long and varied career in senior marketing and brand roles. He famously signed off the Heineken strapline ‘refreshes the parts that other beers can’t reach’ which went on to became one of the most famous advertising slogans of all time.

As well as working for some of the country’s top brands he also made a huge impact on the development of Macmillan when he took on the role of Appeal Director for the Macmillan Nurse appeal in the 1990s. He was also played an integral part in the creation of Macmillan’s hugely successful Coffee Morning campaign which last year raised nearly £30m for the charity. He became the Life Time Vice President for Macmillan and was Chairman of The Rose Theatre in Kingston-on-Thames.

When Anthony first arrived here he visited each Breast Cancer Haven, speaking to staff to fully understand their perspective on the charity, as well as speaking privately to each member of the Senior management Team and every Trustee. By the end of his first month as Chair he had a firm grasp of our strengths and weaknesses.

He was convinced of the good work we do but decided that we should be more ambitious and that many more people should know about it. His aim was for us to grow from a boutique charity in West London with two regional centres, to become a charity with centres all over the country. He wanted BCH to have ten centres in operation by 2025.

He also wanted us to be more innovative and to embrace other modes of operation and work to increase our footprint so we could help many people who needed us.  He was very clear on the need to increase awareness of our services, so that more people knew about us. He felt sure that as we became better known then the income required to keep us growing would begin to grow.

Today we have five full centres, and offer outreach services in four other centres in Worcester, Cheltenham and London.  Our footprint has grown considerably under his guidance.  We have rebranded and have increased our awareness hugely.  There are of course challenges to be met, but none that we are not equal to.

We are all greatly saddened that Anthony will not be leading us as we continue to grow towards his 2025 goal.  He had such a big heart and was not afraid to take risks.

Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with his wife Marji, his family and his many, many friends around the globe.