My Weekend...

Issue 100

Jane Dennison - CEO of the Dragonfly Cancer Trust.

Jane works with families, hospitals, and hospices across the UK supporting young people (aged 0-25) with terminal cancer.

Each year approximately 530 young people in the UK die from cancer and many more spend too much of their youth in hospital. For these young people and their families each moment matters.

Do you ever have to work weekends?

Yes, occasionally, I always make sure to be present at events like the Great North Run and our Annual Dragonfly Ball. Working during these weekends is more than just a commitment; it’s a heartfelt engagement with our community. The Great North Run, in particular, holds a special place in my heart. Witnessing the collective spirit and diverse motivations of runners fills me with such emotion.

Are most weekends the same?

Each weekend carries its own unique rhythm. There are times when I find it hard to switch off, especially when I read through the many applications from young cancer patients. Their stories resonate deeply with me, reminding me of the blessings in my own life, particularly my children.

What do you do at a weekend which you can’t fit in through the week?

Weekends sometimes offer an opportunity for focused work. I occasionally spend time writing funding applications and updating our accounts. With fewer distractions, it’s the optimal time to deep dive into these tasks and ensure everything is in order.

Morning exercise or a recovery lie-in?

I cherish the mornings, especially in the spring when I venture out with our rescue dogs. The fresh air and the sounds of birds singing symbolise new beginnings for me. In the summer I often head to the beach at Boulmer before 7.00 am, apart from the occasional early swimmer it is absolutely deserted and is sheer bliss!

Big night out or a night in the house?

Always a night in for me. Home is my sanctuary, where I find solace and contentment. There’s always something fulfilling to do, whether it’s pursuing one of my hobbies or simply enjoying quiet moments. I have recently started playing the guitar, I make wire sculptures and love interior design!

Do you watch or play sport at a weekend?

I have a secret passion Newcastle United, though I may not broadcast it widely. I am a keen walker and have had the privilege of walking in the Grand Canyon, Ben Nevis and many Wainwright walks.

Where do you like to eat out at a weekend?

I’m fortunate to live in an area with an array of fantastic restaurants. Nest, House of Tides, and Faru in Durham are among my favourites; however, I do like the occasional Francesca’s pizza. I especially like dining out with my son, who has a remarkable palate and is studying for his Master of Wine exams, it’s always a fun and a very enlightening experience.

What’s the best thing about weekends?

The best part of weekends is undoubtedly spending time with my family. As a recent grandparent, the joy of being with my loved ones is incomparable.

Of a weekend, you’ll usually find me most happy…

You’ll usually find me immersed in the simple pleasures of life – listening to music, exploring College Valley, and cherishing moments with my family and dogs. It’s the simple things that truly fill my heart with happiness.

To find out more about the work of the charity –

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