Meet Olivia Gray, Head of Learning and Development

Olivia Gray Head of Learning and DevelopmentWe’d like to introduce you to Olivia, who ensures that people are given the right tools to communicate about cancer, whether it’s through an individually tailored workshop or an online e-learning module.

“Most of my time is spent connecting with organisations about how we can support their people. But I also enjoy working with my colleagues at Cancer Support UK, to come up with innovative ways in which we can reach out and help people have difficult conversations about cancer.

“Cancer Support UK is a wonderful (and very small) charity, with a team of passionate and brilliant individuals. To be able to offer emotional support to people who have finished cancer treatment, as well as practical help to people receiving treatment, is incredible.

“When we first started building the training side of the charity, it was just myself and the late Anna James who was an outstanding communicator and teacher. Her legacy lives on through our e-learning and the core elements of all the courses that we offer.

“All our courses aim to ensure that no person is left feeling isolated or uncomfortable when cancer rears its head in the workplace. We want to enable people to be able to communicate effectively and have the tools to support and be supported.

“We’ve developed a range of workshops and e-learning modules to meet a wide range of needs. For example, our Communicating about Cancer workshop is designed to help employees who may have colleagues who are affected by cancer. It gives them tools to help make conversations less difficult.

“Our latest offer is the Cancer Support Ambassador course, which is similar to being a Mental Health First Aider. It’s aimed at people who wish to fulfil an extra-curricular/voluntary role within their organisation and enables them to provide emotional support/signposting.

“We also offer a fantastic e-learning programme, which gives learners a top level introduction to cancer and equips them with information that enables them to talk to someone affected by cancer. It takes away the fear of saying the wrong thing.

“As we grow the training side of Cancer Support UK, I am constantly expanding my knowledge and developing new ways in which we can support different organisations and individuals. Our ultimate goal is to reach a point where everyone is confident to speak openly about cancer.

“When we first started to develop the training side for Cancer Support UK  the timing was completely wrong – two weeks after I started work at the charity, the world shut down. Every organisation turned its focus to working from home and how to cope with the many other challenges of a world at stand-still.

“However, this actually gave us the opportunity to develop our e-learning courses, which are an incredibly useful resource for organisations.

“Now, people are back in the office and there is a huge emphasis on looking after the wellbeing of the workforce, I am busier than ever, working with a huge variety of organisations to establish the most effective means of helping them.

“Because the majority of my work is remote, it’s important to maintain my own mental and physical wellbeing. I keep fit with regular workouts at a boxing gym (for exercise purposes only, as I have no intention of ever stepping into a ring). I also like to spend as much time as possible on or by the sea, where you will frequently find me in a kayak or fishing.

“I welcome all conversations with anyone wanting to learn more about Cancer Support UK’s training courses and how we can provide solutions and support for your needs.”

Contact Olivia either by email: or by telephone: Tel: 07763630954. Or visit our communicating about cancer corporate training page