Ali's Dream charity was set up by Alison Phelan's family and friends to raise funds for research into discovering the causes, advancing treatments and finding a cure for childhood brain tumours.

Sadly this was spurred on by the loss of Alison at the beginning of June 2001, three weeks before her eighth birthday. Ali was diagnosed with a brain tumour in August 2000. Her family did not give up hope, exploring many avenues to find their miracle cure. They discovered that there is very little research being undertaken in this particular cancer area. The chances of finding a cure in the next five years are very remote. What's more, after accidents, brain tumours are now the biggest cancer killer of children under fifteen.

Having lost Ali, the family are united in grief, but also united in the determination to do something so that a cure can be found sooner rather than later. The following have kindly agreed to be patrons: Lorraine Kelly (TV presenter), David Connolly (Republic of Ireland and Wigan footballer), Mr & Mrs Colin Montgomerie (Golfer), Susan Hampshire (Actress), Sheila Hancock (Actress)
Ali's Dream needs your help in the fight against childhood brain tumors by way of donation. If you would like to help us in this fight, please click on the button below and donate using Just Giving.

It only takes a minute and will help us more than you can imagine in our battle against this dreadful illness.

Everyone working for Ali's Dream is voluntary, therefore every penny donated goes directly towards research into finding a cure.

Please click on the button below.


Gary and Julie Phelan

Ali's Daddy & Mummy

Gary and Julie Phelan live in Stanmore with their two sons and lots of happy memories of Alison, along with various extremely, pampered pets.

They are extremely proud of the achievements of Ali’s Dream and all the people who have helped fundraise along the way.

Gary works as a Fleet Manager and Julie as a Teaching Assistant. In their spare time they do as much fundraising as they can, real life permitting.

Matthew Phelan

Ali's Brother


Although he has played a big part in the running of Ali’s Dream from the beginning he recently joined the board of Trustees in 2012.

Graham Phelan

Ali's Brother

Graham lives in Stanmore with his parents and brother.

Having had the worst news any sibling could receive, that his sister had died. He felt it  was down to him and his family to make her proud, to achieve what we could to stop other siblings feeling the way that he did. This gave him determination, drive and ambition in his life to achieve the best personal goals possible to make his sister proud.

Graham graduated from the University of Hertfordshire after completing a business and marketing degree.

Design advertisement is his passion and he will use his expertise to help Ali’s Dream achieve their goal of finding the cures and causes of Brain Tumours. Graham provides the marketing and design services for the charity, designing and updating the website, wristbands and badges each year as well as running the day to day twitter and Facebook pages.

Although he has played a big part in the running of Ali’s Dream from the beginning he recently joined the board of Trustees in 2012.

Jon Hey

Ali's Uncle

Jon lives with his wife Penny and 13 year old daughter Ashley in Pinner, Middlesex. Cats are also involved in the family structure, but are probably not vital to this summary.

He started his professional career as an engineer, but soon found his way into Finance after deciding that engineering was far too much like hard work. After a long spell working for the food retailer Safeway and a stint at the International Division of Blockbuster Video, he now works for a hotel company.

Having joined Julie and Gary's family circle many years ago, he knew Alison from the day she was born and is honoured to be part of Ali's Dream, fighting against this horrendous disease in her name.

His responsibility to the charity covers all financial undertakings and liaison with the Charities Commission and other government bodies. It really is as dull as it sounds - honestly.

Sue Farrington-Smith

Ali's Aunty

Sue lives with her husband Justin and their two children on their farm near Buckingham.

Their farm hosts several Ali's Dream fundraising events and they provide open house to family and friends most weekends, and in particular somewhere to stay after a drop (or two) of wine!

A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Sue held a variety of senior finance roles for several blue chip companies, before moving into marketing to head up business development and customer care for Safeway. She started her own marketing agency in April 2000 and along with her team, provided marketing and advertising services to a variety of businesses. From 2002 to 2007 she was on the board of the local Business Link.

In 2008, when Ali’s Dream and other brain tumour charities founded Umbrella Charity Brain Tumour Research she devoted 100% of her time to establishing and building the charity and was appointed Director in January 2011.  She provides the secretariat to the Brain Tumour All Party Parliamentary Group, which was established by Sue’s local MP, John Bercow (now Speaker of the House of Commons), in July 2005.

Harry Taylor

Ali's Nurse

Harry's real name is Sharon, but is regarded to friends, colleagues, children and parents as 'Harry' and to family and pre nursing friends as 'Shassy'. She met the gorgeous and inspiring Alison Phelan when she worked as a Senior Staff Nurse on Parrot ward at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Harry feels very honoured to have nursed her and the other incredible children and families she has met.

Harry has been nursing since 1989. She has practiced in Ipswich, London and now Cambridge.

Harry is now working as a paediatric specialist palliative care nurse, sadly a large proportion of the children she nurses are children dying from brain tumours. She struggles to find the right words to capture this final journey, as a child losing their battle implies they have some control. She is inspired everyday by the enormous strength and wisdom of the children alongside the courage, determination and spirit of the families carrying on at such a desperate time. The Phelan family being the first and she is honoured now to call them dear friends.

Harry lives in West Row with her husband Graham, daughters Grace and Darcie and their dog Bailey.Harry and her husband Graham are determine to be the best parents they can be, alongside attending charity events and contributing to Ali's Dream any way they can.

Beverley D'Lima

Beverley lives in Finchley, North London with her husband Albert and their two boys; Tom and Charlie.

Since losing Jack, Beverley has been working as a teaching assistant at the primary school that her three boys attended.

Beverley and her family became involved with Ali’s Dream after being introduced by Harry Taylor who had cared for both Ali and Jack on Parrot Ward at Great Ormond Street hospital.

Inspired by the bravery of Jack, Ali and the other children who continue to fight this devastating disease Beverley has been fundraising since being introduced to Ali’s Dream in 2003.  She hopes to use her previous experience in both publishing and promotions to continue to help fund the fight to find a cure.

Beverley also works under the name of Jack’s Goal named as a tribute to her precious Jack and has made an amazing contribution to the funds raised through Ali’s Dream.

Charles Derbyshire

Charles has been involved in charities and related activities mainly concerned with the rehabilitation of socially excluded persons. In close liaison with the Probation Service he currently provides his time to a local prison, assisting in the running of a self-help group.

Having known the Phelan family since 1996 he was one of many people witnessing all they went through during Ali's illness and having been made aware of the need for funding for research into Childhood brain tumours, has supported Ali's Dream since it's formation.

He joined the Board of Trustees in September 2001