A new Chair of Trustees is taking on the reigns at the region’s main cancer charity with big plans underway for his time in office.

Mark Harris, 63, is a former cancer patient himself and is taking over the role as Chair of Lingen Davies Cancer Fund from Mandy Thorn MBE DL who has been in post for the last six years. Mandy will remain on the board of trustees as the charity looks to continue its work raising awareness about cancer and supporting patients and their families throughout Shropshire and Mid Wales.

Lingen Davies this year announced it had achieved the £1,000,000 income mark for the first time in its 43-year history. Building on that position is key to the charity’s plans which also include opening an office in Powys and growing its presence in communities throughout the region.

Mark is a well-known Shropshire business consultant and runs The Business Company with his wife, former High Sheriff of Shropshire Dean Harris, who supported the charity during her time in the honorary role. He said the opportunity to take on the role came at just the right time for him personally and he is honoured to have been given the chance.

“It’s 10 years since I was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma and underwent treatment at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital’s Lingen Davies Cancer Centre. I don’t dwell on my diagnosis but decided to read up on it after talking to fellow cancer survivor Kelda Wood, I’m now one of the top two percent of survivors, a very privileged position,” he said.

“There have been many turning points in my life. My cancer diagnosis was a really big one. It changed my personality in a very positive way, I’ve always been chasing something in business and suddenly all I wanted to do was give back.”

Mark came up with idea for the charity’s annual cycling challenge which has so far raised more than £76,000 to support cancer patients. His involvement with the charity team spurred him on to do more.

“Working with the team on Pedal the Borders I came to understand more about Lingen Davies Cancer Fund and the more I wanted to be part of it. Taking on this role is a natural fit. I’m honoured and delighted to be Chair. We are here literally to save lives and help people on their cancer journeys.

“We’ve got lots of planned initiatives to make that happen and we’re looking to grow,” he added.

Mandy Thorn MBE DL said: “Mark is an amazing person who has the strongest of reasons for wanting to be the Chair of Lingen Davies. He has boundless enthusiasm and I know 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.”

Naomi Atkin, CEO for Lingen Davies, said: “We’ve recently seen tremendous growth in the charity’s income, and we’ve invested in our executive team to enable us to meet our ambitious goals and further support our community.

“It’s a very exciting time for us as we look to continue our cancer awareness raising work, and develop our fundraising activities.”

Lingen Davies Cancer Fund has a busy programme of fundraising events lined up for 2023, for more details on how to support the charity visit www.lingendavies.co.uk

Pictured: Mark Harris, Lady Heber-Percy Patron of Lingen Davies, and Mandy Thorn MBE DL.