Meet the team

Your Maggie’s Centre is staffed by friendly professionals who can help you find the support you need. Their expertise is freely available to you in one-to-one sessions, workshops or supportive groups. 

Read more about our team below – and find out who they are and how they can help. 

  • Karen Verrill

    Karen Verrill

    Centre Head
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  • Sari Harenwall

    Sari Harenwall

    Clinical Psychologist
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  • Maureen Elliott

    Maureen Elliott

    Cancer Support Specialist
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Karen Verrill

Centre Head

I manage Maggie’s Newcastle, the permanent staff and the volunteers. A typical day can include meeting and greeting new visitors to the Centre and telling them about Maggie’s unique programme of support, there may be a specific cancer type support group to facilitate, or a workshop or course to run.

The daily ‘drop in’ can bring people through the doors with all manner of problems, such as those newly diagnosed with cancer who will want support to cope with the associated shock, or people who have been told there are no more possible treatment options for them, and so are facing the end of their lives. It’s such a varied and challenging role, but so rewarding to be able to help all these people.

Sari Harenwall

Clinical Psychologist

I see my role as a Clinical Psychologist at Maggie’s Newcastle as an opportunity to empower people to pursue value based living and personal growth during adverse life circumstances.

I have an interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) that has a strong evidence base and puts a lot of emphasis on mindfulness and commitment to behaviour change in the service of personally meaningful pursuits. I have found this way of working very helpful when supporting people affected by cancer.

The best thing about working at Maggie’s is the unassuming relaxed atmosphere and community feel that gives opportunities for therapeutic interactions across the dinner table and in the corridor that may prevent people from needing one-to-one therapy later on.

The accessibility of support for ALL people affected by cancer and the ethos of helping people live a meaningful life regardless of their diagnosis and prognosis is something unique to Maggie’s.

Maureen Elliott

Cancer Support Specialist

My job is to support people with cancer and their families and friends, from diagnosis and beyond. This includes offering information as well as practical and emotional support. My role also includes co-facilitation of support groups and workshops, as well as running relaxation classes I love working so closely with people, giving them help in a time of need.

Maggie’s philosophy “do not lose the joy of living in the fear of dying” is inspiring. People need places like Maggie’s – a place that compliments their medical treatment. Maggie’s programme of support has been shown to strengthen physical and emotional wellbeing, by providing emotional, practical and social support, and I feel privileged to be a part of this support.

  • Stephanie Howard

    Stephanie Howard

    Benefits Advisor
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  • Marissa Magee

    Marissa Magee

    Centre Fundraising Manager
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  • Fiona Ray

    Fiona Ray

    Fundraising Organiser
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Stephanie Howard

Benefits Advisor

My role is to provide advice and information to anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis to enable them to access their full entitlement to welfare benefits. I complete all of the paperwork and liaise with the relevant authorities on their behalf, and when problems arise, challenge decisions on their behalf. I try to make the whole process as stress-free as possible.

It’s great to work in such an inspiring and positive environment. A cancer diagnosis can be so stressful for all those affected, and this is often compounded by financial worries. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to support people during such a difficult time and to help them to regain control of their finances.

Maggie’s is important because it offers support on a drop in basis, which allows any concerns to be addressed before they have the opportunity to escalate. It gives people a beautiful place to come to meet other people who are in similar circumstances and where support is available if it is wanted.

I’m really proud of the North East, and have even been known to construct local landmarks out of cake. Maggie’s Newcastle is such an amazing addition to this area.

Marissa Magee

Centre Fundraising Manager

I work with our community and corporate supporters to raise awareness and funds for Maggie’s Newcastle. All of the money raised in the North East goes towards the running of the Centre. It costs £590,000 a year to keep our doors open.

I wanted to work for Maggie’s because I’m passionate about art, design and culture and immediately saw how valuable Maggie’s unique approach to cancer care can be. I have previously worked in the cultural sector and for a leading cancer charity so was excited about the opportunity of merging these two worlds. 

Maggie’s is so important because cancer affects everyone either directly or indirectly. From personal experience, I know that a cancer diagnosis really does affect the whole family. Maggie’s is for everyone affected by cancer, including family and friends.

 

Fiona Ray

Fundraising Organiser

My role is to help organise and support fundraising for the Centre. This includes coming up with new fundraising ideas, working closely with supporters to make sure they have everything they need to make their activity a success and telling our story on social media.

It’s a very rewarding role and no two days are the same which I love! I get to meet inspiring people daily and hear wonderful stories of how Maggie’s has helped them which in turn inspires me to ensure fundraising continues to help others.

We are often described as an ‘emotional A&E’ and I think that is a lovely way to describe the work of Maggie’s. We are a lifeline to many people with cancer and however they need support, Maggie’s is always here.

Karen Verrill

Karen Verrill

Centre Head
Accordian open icon Accordian closed icon

I manage Maggie’s Newcastle, the permanent staff and the volunteers. A typical day can include meeting and greeting new visitors to the Centre and telling them about Maggie’s unique programme of support, there may be a specific cancer type support group to facilitate, or a workshop or course to run.

The daily ‘drop in’ can bring people through the doors with all manner of problems, such as those newly diagnosed with cancer who will want support to cope with the associated shock, or people who have been told there are no more possible treatment options for them, and so are facing the end of their lives. It’s such a varied and challenging role, but so rewarding to be able to help all these people.

Sari Harenwall

Sari Harenwall

Clinical Psychologist
Accordian open icon Accordian closed icon

I see my role as a Clinical Psychologist at Maggie’s Newcastle as an opportunity to empower people to pursue value based living and personal growth during adverse life circumstances.

I have an interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) that has a strong evidence base and puts a lot of emphasis on mindfulness and commitment to behaviour change in the service of personally meaningful pursuits. I have found this way of working very helpful when supporting people affected by cancer.

The best thing about working at Maggie’s is the unassuming relaxed atmosphere and community feel that gives opportunities for therapeutic interactions across the dinner table and in the corridor that may prevent people from needing one-to-one therapy later on.

The accessibility of support for ALL people affected by cancer and the ethos of helping people live a meaningful life regardless of their diagnosis and prognosis is something unique to Maggie’s.

Maureen Elliott

Maureen Elliott

Cancer Support Specialist
Accordian open icon Accordian closed icon

My job is to support people with cancer and their families and friends, from diagnosis and beyond. This includes offering information as well as practical and emotional support. My role also includes co-facilitation of support groups and workshops, as well as running relaxation classes I love working so closely with people, giving them help in a time of need.

Maggie’s philosophy “do not lose the joy of living in the fear of dying” is inspiring. People need places like Maggie’s – a place that compliments their medical treatment. Maggie’s programme of support has been shown to strengthen physical and emotional wellbeing, by providing emotional, practical and social support, and I feel privileged to be a part of this support.

Stephanie Howard

Stephanie Howard

Benefits Advisor
Accordian open icon Accordian closed icon

My role is to provide advice and information to anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis to enable them to access their full entitlement to welfare benefits. I complete all of the paperwork and liaise with the relevant authorities on their behalf, and when problems arise, challenge decisions on their behalf. I try to make the whole process as stress-free as possible.

It’s great to work in such an inspiring and positive environment. A cancer diagnosis can be so stressful for all those affected, and this is often compounded by financial worries. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to support people during such a difficult time and to help them to regain control of their finances.

Maggie’s is important because it offers support on a drop in basis, which allows any concerns to be addressed before they have the opportunity to escalate. It gives people a beautiful place to come to meet other people who are in similar circumstances and where support is available if it is wanted.

I’m really proud of the North East, and have even been known to construct local landmarks out of cake. Maggie’s Newcastle is such an amazing addition to this area.

Marissa Magee

Marissa Magee

Centre Fundraising Manager
Accordian open icon Accordian closed icon

I work with our community and corporate supporters to raise awareness and funds for Maggie’s Newcastle. All of the money raised in the North East goes towards the running of the Centre. It costs £590,000 a year to keep our doors open.

I wanted to work for Maggie’s because I’m passionate about art, design and culture and immediately saw how valuable Maggie’s unique approach to cancer care can be. I have previously worked in the cultural sector and for a leading cancer charity so was excited about the opportunity of merging these two worlds. 

Maggie’s is so important because cancer affects everyone either directly or indirectly. From personal experience, I know that a cancer diagnosis really does affect the whole family. Maggie’s is for everyone affected by cancer, including family and friends.

 

Fiona Ray

Fiona Ray

Fundraising Organiser
Accordian open icon Accordian closed icon

My role is to help organise and support fundraising for the Centre. This includes coming up with new fundraising ideas, working closely with supporters to make sure they have everything they need to make their activity a success and telling our story on social media.

It’s a very rewarding role and no two days are the same which I love! I get to meet inspiring people daily and hear wonderful stories of how Maggie’s has helped them which in turn inspires me to ensure fundraising continues to help others.

We are often described as an ‘emotional A&E’ and I think that is a lovely way to describe the work of Maggie’s. We are a lifeline to many people with cancer and however they need support, Maggie’s is always here.