Welcome to our new Trustees

02 Nov 2021

In recognition of Trustees’ Week this week, we’re excited to welcome not one but two new Trustees to Friends of Rosie.

Welcome Lesley

Lesley Dowdall
Lesley Dowdall

Firstly, we welcome Lesley Dowdall. Lesley has over 20 years’ experience in fundraising and donor relations. She is Director of Development at Withington Girls’ School and previously served as Deputy Director of Development at the University of Manchester. There, she was responsible for all aspects of fundraising. This included the regular giving programme through to the transformational gift strategy. She helped ensure all donors were recognised and stewarded in the best and most meaningful way possible. Lesley also serves as a Governor at her local state primary school.

Says Lesley, “I am excited to be joining Friends of Rosie. It is a small but mighty charity that has an incredible impact on research into childhood cancers. Having worked in higher education, I fully understand the crucial need for innovative and far-sighted funders to pump-prime early-stage research. Without it, promising avenues of progress would be left unexplored. If my children were suffering, I would want no stone unturned.”

Welcome Mahesh

We also welcome Mahesh Vara to our Board of Trustees. Mahesh is a graduate of Durham University and a solicitor at DWF Law LLP. He specialises in Banking Litigation and Regulation, advising major banks, private lenders and companies. Mahesh is our youngest trustee and, further to his professional skills, provides an invaluable perspective in the treatment and diagnosis of cancer in children and young adults. He was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma when he was 8 years old and later at the age of 21. Mahesh remains a Young Ambassador for Friends of Rosie and has also campaigned for various cancer charities.

"<yoastmarkSays Mahesh, “It is a real privilege to become a Trustee of Friends of Rosie. As a former patient, I have seen little real advancement in the treatments and diagnosis of cancer in children and young adults. Especially in contrast to the advancements made in treatments and diagnosis for other cancers, like prostate cancer or lung cancer. Meanwhile, children’s cancer treatment remains incredibly harsh. Those lucky enough to survive, like myself, often also pay a heavy price as they learn to adapt to long-lasting and life-changing side effects.

“I am absolutely clear in my mind that there are great strides to make in cancer treatment for children and young adults. I cannot wait to get started with Friends of Rosie as we make those strides!”

Volunteer-led charities, like Friends of Rosie, simply couldn’t do what we do without the commitment and dedication of our Trustees. Mahesh and Lesley join the UK’s one million trustees supporting charities across the country. Trustees’ Week is a celebration of all those who volunteer their time, effort and skills to positively impact the work of charities.