Cancer charity We Hear You (WHY) said goodbye to Chief Executive Officer Melissa Hillier on 31st January, as she takes up a new role at The Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE) in Bath.

Melissa Hillier joined the charity in 2015 and has overseen a significant expansion of the charity’s services and staff, as well as a rebranding project that saw Positive Action on Cancer (PAC) become We Hear You (WHY) in 2016.

In response to a steep and sustained increase in referrals since 2015, Melissa worked with We Hear You’s clinical team to add new one-to-one counselling services for adults in Midsomer Norton, Bradford-on-Avon, Chippenham, Street and Yeovil and new children’s services in Street, Yeovil and Bath. Other innovations include an online counselling service in 2016 and the launch of The Good Gallery, which was to become to WHY Gallery social enterprise, still trading on Stony Street in Frome and donating its profits to WHY. Group counselling, couples’ counselling, art and drama therapy, mindfulness courses and the charity’s very popular WHYoutdoors nature-based therapy have provided new avenues to reach people affected by cancer and life threatening conditions in the way that suits them best.

Melissa’s special interest in research led her to build relationships with the universities of Bath and Exeter, and King’s College London, to investigate aspects of We Hear You’s existing services and provide an evidence base for future service developments. Melissa said:

“It’s been a fantastic six-and-a-half years at WHY and I’m proud of how we’ve grown and supported so many people affected by life threatening conditions. The team at WHY is a very special one and I will miss everyone very much, but I look forward to new challenges at RICE and continuing in my role on the Board of the WHY Gallery. A special thank you to our founder, the late Jill Miller, without whom WHY would never have existed, and all the best to my successor, I look forward to watching WHY grow and continue with its vital work.”

To refer yourself for WHY’s free services for children and adults affected by cancer or a life threatening condition, please call 01373 455255 or email .

More information about RICE Bath is at

An announcement of We Hear You’s new CEO will follow in March 2022.


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