In this ninth episode of the season of the Her Spirit podcast BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin and BBC Triathlon presenter Annie Emmerson talk to Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support Lynda Thomas.
After starting a family at twenty-eight, she decided to shift direction and volunteered with NCH Action for Children. This led to a full-time position and launched her career in the third sector.
She joined Macmillan as joint Head of Media in 2001 and became Director of External Affairs in 2007, playing a significant role in transforming Macmillan into one of the UK’s most trusted charities. In 2011 Lynda became Director of Fundraising, overseeing the launch of successful new fundraising events and a significant growth in donations.
Lynda became Chief Executive of Macmillan in 2015, 14 years after she first joined Macmillan.
Her biggest challenge at Macmillan is now and the significant affects of COVID19 to the organisation. As head of an organisation, Macmillan will have a shortfall of income up to £100 million in 2020. The cancellation of London Marathon in 2020 alone has meant a loss of fundraising up to £2 million.
Lynda knows that people are at the heart of Macmillan and you should never forget the power of volunteers. She never does and makes sure the 22,000 volunteers are always thanked the supported.
As a mum of three she talks openly about her daughter Bella's battle with food and her eating disorder. The impact within the family unit was complicated and she acknowledges that this is the hardest thing she has ever had to overcome.
She loves exercise and running especially, and how if it was bottled it would be a "wonder drug". She is a massive Arsenal (Gooner) supporter and misses Saturdays on the stands with her husband.
Let the hero leaders... be the hero leaders.. Lynda knows that other people are what makes you great and surrounding herself with a great team. She loves being part of a team and when asked what she would tell her younger self, she said "Take the opportunities presented to you, don't take yourself seriously and ask for the support you need".
These podcasts have been made possible through the support of Medichecks www.medichecks.com and Sport England www.sportengland.org
For more information on Her Spirit go to www.herspirit.co.uk