JULIE Russell is general manager of York Against Cancer, the charity funding cancer research, care and education in York, North and East Yorkshire.

The former PA with Northern Rail is originally from Cambridgeshire, but has lived in York since she was eight.

She has been at the helm of York Against Cancer for ten years, overseeing many projects, including the purchase of a respite apartment in Whitby for recovering cancer patients and their families.

Last year she commissioned a new minibus to take patients for radiotherapy at St James’s Hospital, Leeds, after spearheading a successful public fundraising appeal.

Julie co-ordinates the funding of bladder cancer research worth £1 million every five years at the University of York’s Jack Birch Unit, and the backing for research into prostate cancer by Professor Norman Maitland, also at the university.

She oversees the funding of a range of support services provided by the Cancer Care Centre at York Hospital. The centre was created thanks to fundraising by York Against Cancer and The Press.

Julie heads a small team of staff and a committed band of volunteers who run the charity’s two shops in Huntington and at York Hospital, as well as organising a string of fundraising events, including the R U Taking The P? run at Rowntree Park on June 19. Proceeds from this event will boost York Against Cancer and the fight against prostate cancer.

She is also heavily involved in planning events for the thirtieth anniversary of York Against Cancer next year.

What job would you like to have had other than your own and why?

I’m not sure, but it would have to be something helping the public, not working in an office.

Greatest achievement?

Running the London Marathon in 2005. It was probably one of the best days of my life – it was such a fabulous atmosphere.

What makes you most angry?

Bad manners! I get quite cross if people are rude. The world needs kindness and consideration.

Biggest mistake?

I wish I had gone into this kind of work a lot earlier. I think I was guilty of being a bit of a plodder and I should have been looking for more of a caring role.

What do you need to make life complete?

I am interested in what I eat, and in keeping active. I come into contact with some very poorly people, so good health is all I want and for my family to be healthy as well.

Why do you make a difference?

I am a very small piece in the jigsaw but I hope I can show people support and care, to signpost them to where they can get help . I would like to think that I do make a difference and that I help our staff and volunteers to do the same.