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UX Expert Volunteers Precious Time and Expertise

In memory of her sister, lost to a brain tumour, a former director at Bunnyfoot, Becs Gill, is providing invaluable insights to our website redesign and BRIAN projects pro bono as volunteering work.

cartoon showing lots of ux research activities, surveys and fingers pointing at charts
Becs Gill makes a charitable donation of her precious time as a UX consultant
Becs Gill in her Brain Tumour Charity tee

After working as part of the leadership team at the renowned UX design consultancy Bunnyfoot for 15 years, Rebecca ‘Becs’ Gill is now working as a freelance UX Consultant and Design Educator. And, she’s put up her precious time and expertise as volunteer work to help us find a cure for brain tumours as fast as we can.

Sadly, she has personal experience of this terrible disease, having lost her sister Heather to a brain tumour. But that motivation to help others living with brain tumours is why we couldn’t think of anyone better than Becs to ask for support with our website redesign.

In an ongoing commitment to our community, The Brain Tumour Charity is currently in the midst of a full redesign of the website. Our aim is to ensure that it is fulfilling the needs and expectations of the people that use it. The brain tumour community is truly at the core of this project. We are leaning on the lived experiences and honest feedback of our audience in order to deliver the best possible results for them.

The brain tumour community consists of a wide variety of wonderful people who we have the privilege of interacting with. These are our service users, supporters, researchers, healthcare professionals, volunteers, and of course, anybody who has been affected by a diagnosis. This includes those who have lost loved ones to a brain tumour.

Becs and The Brain Tumour Charity

“I first encountered The Brain Tumour Charity when two members of the staff team came on a UX course I was delivering”, Becs told us. “By coincidence this wasn’t long after I lost my sister. She’d been living with a brain tumour for nearly 5 years. I guess this gave me particular insight into how important The Charity’s work is in supporting those with a diagnosis and their family and friends as well as funding research. I just wanted to help in any way I could with any skills or knowledge that might be useful to the team, to do something positive that my sister would be proud of. 

“Heather was 48 when she was diagnosed with her brain tumour. She had been behaving in unexpected ways for a while, but everyone had been putting it down to stress until she was rushed into hospital and underwent surgery straight away for a brain tumour. Life changed for the whole family that day. So many questions to be answered, so much to learn and to adjust to over the next 4 years. As her sister I wanted to know everything I could about her diagnosis, what to expect, how to support her. But these are questions you can’t necessarily easily talk about with your family member who has the diagnosis. Access to trustworthy detailed information is so important.

Becs’ volunteering work

“I was so pleased when The Brain Tumour Charity’s Digital Team later approached me asking if I could spare some time to help out – of course I could! It’s such a pleasure to be able to use my UX and research experience to support Tom and Shabs, whether as a sounding board, or helping them define or refine their research approaches to build that deeper understanding of their audiences and improve their experiences at what is such a challenging time.

My sister Heather worked with Alzheimer’s sufferers and their carers for much of her career – helping people to access crucial support. She was one of the most caring people you could possibly meet, and her energy for this never stopped – raising money for the day hospice she attended and supporting others with a brain tumour diagnosis. I don’t think she ever really understood what on Earth I did for a living, but she’d be chuffed to bits that I’ve got the opportunity to do something that should ultimately help people access the support they need”.

Becs’ sister Heather at the 2016 Shakespeare Hospice Glow Run
Becs’ sister Heather at the 2016 Shakespeare Hospice Glow Run

Tom Kay, Website Manager for The Brain Tumour Charity, said:

“Becs is a really experienced consultant in her field and has provided us with support and reassurance in our work and approach. She’s also great at directly giving feedback and contributing on tasks.

There is no way we would have been able to achieve what we have within the team without Becs’ support. We could not dream of having the budget to afford bringing in a consultant with her expertise. And without it I think we would have been on the back foot from the start, questioning our approach, being tentative and using much slower and likely less effective methodologies.

Becs is a pleasure to work with and everyone in The Charity who has spoken with her would agree. Her passion and dedication to help The Charity is clear and I hope we are lucky enough to continue to be able to work with Becs in future.”

a screenshot of the Brian App on iPhone
BRIAN is The Charity’s app that helps people affected by a brain tumour diagnosis cope.

Shabnam Makee, BRIAN app Product Manager, said:

“Becs has provided me with support and expertise in the UX field, taking the time to talk through User Research plans and has participated in a workshop to deliver those results internally. From a personal perspective, Becs has been a fantastic sounding board for ideas and planning next steps within the product discovery phase and has provided invaluable mentorship, encouraging confidence and stretching my thinking to be bolder in project plans.”

The whole team at The Brain Tumour Charity are grateful to Becs for her volunteering work. It supports our work to improve life today for people affected by brain tumours. And we are excited to see the results of the website redesign and BRIAN projects!   

Becs now works as a freelance UX Consultant and Design Educator and can be found here on LinkedIn.

Do you have time to volunteer?

If you have some time and you’d like to contribute to our cause, we’d love to make that happen. It doesn’t have to be anything technical. Any and all volunteering work is more than welcome.

Check out our site to see how you can get involved in helping The Brain Tumour Charity!