The sister of a young Slaithwaite woman who died from cancer has been appointed to the board of a group which strives to provide excellent cancer care throughout West Yorkshire and beyond.

Tasha Dawson, 23, has been appointed as a lay member to the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance which works with organisations such as NHS hospitals and services, hospices, charities and community groups to ensure people get the best cancer care possible. She will be working with the Patient Experience Strategy and Improvement Group.

Cancer Alliance programme director Jason Pawluk said: “Natasha’s considerable experience will bring added strength and vision as we work to deliver the strategic early diagnosis and survival goals set out in the national cancer strategy.”

Tasha, a cancer exercise practitioner, works for the Ella Dawson Foundation, a national charity she helped set up in Huddersfield in memory of her sister, Ella, who died of leukaemia aged just 24 in July 2021.

The Ella Dawson Foundation provides wellbeing support for young adults with cancer and their families both during and after treatment.



Tasha said: “During Ella’s treatment the clinical side of things was excellent but we found that wellbeing support tailored towards the unique needs of young adults with cancer in the UK was limited.”

During her treatment, Ella set out how to shape a blueprint of how young adults with cancer could be better supported holistically and the charity was born.

Tasha added: “I’m passionate about doing all I can to improve the experience of cancer patients, particularly young people.”

Former Greenhead College student Natasha graduated with a first-class honours degree in Sports and Exercise Science at The University of Leeds and originally aimed to pursue a career in sports performance.

But in 2019 when she was 19, Ella, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Tasha became driven to use her sports and exercise background to help young people with cancer like Ella (pictured below).


Through her diagnosis Ella was passionate about the power of movement and exercise through cancer and Tasha saw firsthand how much exercise and movement helped her sister.

She became driven to use her knowledge and skills to make a difference by helping provide exercise rehabilitation and supportive care to young cancer patients.

Tasha has specialist cancer, exercise rehabilitation and chronic obstructive respiratory disease qualifications and now works as a health and wellbeing coach at Active Leeds, helping people with long term conditions to lead active and healthy lives beyond their diagnosis.

In 2022, Tasha became a founding trustee of the Ella Dawson Foundation, launched as a legacy to Ella to provide physical, psychological, emotional and wellbeing support to young adults with cancer and their families.

Tasha is health and wellbeing coach for the charity, working with young people and providing rehabilitation exercise and movement programmes.

The charity has now provided one-to-one support programmes to more than 280 young people through and beyond cancer.

In September 2023 Tasha worked with Huddersfield, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust and the Move Against Cancer charity to set up 5k events around Greenhead Park on the last Saturday of every month.

The monthly park runs are not fundraisers – it’s all about people getting out, having some exercise and meeting others who have been through similar traumas.

The aim is to encourage those now living with cancer or have survived it, families, friends, those who have lost a loved one to cancer and people working in cancer services to walk, jog, run, cheer or volunteer. People can do as little or as much as they want on the day.

Meet in the park at 8.45am for a 9am start and to register go to or email

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.


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