Mandy Thorn MBE DL has been our Chair of Trustees for the past six years. Her term of office is now at an end – although Mandy will remain as a member of our trustee board.
Here Mandy reflects on the last six years…
* What made you decide to become Chair of LD? What attracted you to the role?
I was browsing the Shropshire Star one evening and noticed a small article that Lingen Davies were seeking to recruit a new Chair of their Trustees. Both my parents had cancer; my Father died in 2013 from his cancer but had received wonderful support from the Lingen Davies staff so I knew how amazing the work of the charity was, and what a difference it could make to our community. I thought I would apply but really didn’t think I would get the role as the Trustees were such an impressive bunch of people. I was thrilled when they offered me the role, and rather daunted at the same time!
*When you became Chair did you have a list of things you wanted to do/achieve for the charity? What was on it?
Anyone who knows me knows I am not good at lists however I was clear that I wanted Lingen Davies to be better recognised throughout Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Mid Wales for the incredible work it enables and to strengthen links with the business community to seek to raise more funds for our work.
Ensuring the Lingen Davies could become a charity that was first choice when businesses were looking at their Corporate Social Responsibility budgets was something that I felt was important. All of us know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer and many businesses have staff who have been diagnosed so making the link between better funding for Lingen Davies enabling us to purchase better equipment and fund specialist programmes seemed really important.
*What on that list has been your proudest achievement?
The development of such a strong team of staff who deliver each and every day to make sure that Lingen Davies can meet its aspirations of being the region’s leading cancer charity which makes a real difference.
*Do you have any highlights from the last six years’ involvement with LD?
The first Colour Run which was held on a cold and windy morning where runners had to contend with a stroppy swan as well as wet weather! Pedal the Borders – watching the cyclists leaving and listening to their stories about why they are participating. Meeting so many wonderful people who volunteer for the Charity, fund raising in their own communities and doing amazing things – I think it has been the inspirational people that I have listened to that will stay with me for life.
*How have you managed to balance being Chair of this vibrant charity with everything else you do?
I am blessed (or cursed!) with a “butterfly brain” so enjoy doing lots of different things and I am incredibly nosy. I have been incredibly lucky that I have built a great team of people who support me, when I had my business I had amazing people who managed the day-to-day operation. And, as we have developed Lingen Davies we have built the dream team who make my life as a non-exec chair very easy.
*I know you’re staying on as a trustee (which is great!) … what would you like to do in that role?
I am thrilled that I can stay involved with Lingen Davies – it is right that the Chair role is time limited, good governance means that you should have a refresh of leadership on Boards but being able to stay and support our new Chair is important to me. As a trustee my role will be to continue to support and advocate for Lingen Davies and to continue to reach out to the communities I know to spread the word about our great charity
*Why have you decided to stay on?
My term as a trustee is separate to my term of office as Chair so I am able to stay……………however I have made it clear to our next Chair that if he would prefer for me to step down I will! There is nothing worse than someone saying things like “ …in my day ….”
*I’m sure you’ll have words of encouragement/wisdom etc for Mark… anything you’d like to share here???!
Mark is an amazing person who has the strongest of reasons for wanting to be the Chair of Lingen Davies and he has boundless enthusiasm so I don’t think he needs any words of encouragement or wisdom – he knows he has the support of the Board and I am sure that we will all support him, and the wider LD team to continue to move the charity forward
*As well as being an active LD trustee what else do you personally and professionally have planned for the next 5-10 years??
Having sold my business last year I am fortunate that my focus can be on volunteering and supporting great causes such as Lingen Davies. I have been very honoured to have been appointed a Deputy Lieutenant so support the work of our hard-working Lord-Lieutenant, Anna Turner to promote the beautiful county of Shropshire. I am involved in some other local and national charities which keeps me busy and have some interesting opportunities coming up in the months ahead.
*Anything else you’d like to add….
I would like to thank the army of Lingen Davies supporters and fundraisers who do so much to enable us to provide equipment and services to prevent cancer, enable speedy diagnosis and more effective treatment and to support living well with cancer. Without our community support we would be nothing and I am blown away by what our supporters achieve.
Massive thanks to Naomi and all the team at Lingen Davies for all their loyalty, hard work and ability to pull off the most amazing results which make a real difference. Also, to thank our wonderful Patron, Lady Jane Heber-Percy, whose unwavering support is so vital for the charity and last, but by no means least to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible work of my fellow trustees who are, quite simply, awesome!
CEO Naomi Atkin said a big thanks to Mandy for her support, vision and drive over the last six years.
“Mandy has been instrumental in pushing the profile of the charity and enabling networking opportunities with corporate partners. Her drive has encouraged the Trustee Board to widen interaction with charity fundraising and get more involved.
“Her own time and energy in promoting us to circles we weren’t known in or active in before has been vital to our growth and we’re tremendously grateful to Mandy for leading the Board and supporting the charity through significant change.”