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Our leadership team

Supporting the Blood Cancer UK community is a team responsible for the day-to-day leadership of the charity.

Helen Rowntree

Chief Executive

Helen became Interim CEO in November 2022 and CEO of Blood Cancer UK in January 2023.

Portrait of Helen Rowntree

About Helen

Helen's role is leading our mission to beat blood cancer by funding lifesaving research, providing the information and services that people need, and campaigning on the issues that matter to people with blood cancer. She ensures that we work collaboratively with our wider community of researchers, clinicians, carers and people living with blood cancer. Helen is passionate about putting the needs of people with blood cancer at the heart of everything we do.

Prior to joining Blood Cancer UK, Helen worked at a senior level in the NHS leading the development of digital services for patients, including nhs.uk. Throughout her career in health, she’s worked to use technology and data to make people’s lives easier and make the complex more simple.

Follow Helen on Twitter @rowntron

Lisa Freshwater

Director of Organisational Effectiveness

Lisa Freshwater joined the charity as Director of Organisational Effectiveness in March 2018.

Lisa Freshwater portrait

About Lisa

Lisa ensures that our people, processes and systems perform to a high level and offer value for money. It is a broad-ranging role, with responsibility for human resources, IT, data, facilities and performance.

Lisa has over 25 years of experience of working within HR & organisational development, delivering both operational and strategic plans at pace. She is passionate about driving positive cultural change, transforming organisations and ensuring inclusion for all.

Nils Wieboldt

Director of Finance

Nils joined Blood Cancer UK in May 2019 as Director of Finance.

Nils Wieboldt portrait

About Nils

Prior to joining Blood Cancer UK, Nils was Head of Planning & Reporting at the British Heart Foundation and before that, Lead Business Partner at the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID). Nils discovered his passion for the charity sector when volunteering as Finance Manager in Borneo, Malaysia, for Raleigh International. Before embarking on a career in charity finance, Nils worked as a professional cellist travelling all over Europe.

Nils is a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA) and holds degrees in Accountancy from the University of South Australia and in Music from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.

Follow Nils on Twitter @nilswieboldt

Matthew White

Director of Fundraising

Matt joined Blood Cancer UK in August 2021 as Director of Fundraising.

Matthew White portrait

About Matt

Matt leads our Fundraising team, helping to make sure we’re raising as much money as effectively possible with the goal of bringing forward the day no one dies of blood cancer. Matt loves the commitment and passion of our supporters, and the often inspirational and powerful stories behind their fundraising.

After beginning his career in marketing, Matt moved into the charity sector where he spent more than 20 years fundraising for disability, environmental and humanitarian aid causes before joining Blood Cancer UK.

Dr Rubina Ahmed

Director of Research, Policy and Services

Rubina joined Blood Cancer UK in July 2023.

A distant headshot of Rubina, staff member at Blood Cancer UK.

About Rubina

Rubina is responsible for overseeing the delivery of all our mission-focused programmes, including our research funding schemes; the services we provide for people affected by blood cancer; our policy and advocacy work; and our volunteering and involvement opportunities.

Rubina holds a PhD in Immunology and an MSc in Management. She has a background in scientific research funding, policy and public affairs, organisational strategy and change management. She has worked in both the public and charity sector for a number of years, including with the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK and the Stroke Association.

Alongside her work at Blood Cancer UK she is a Trustee of the British Science Association (a charity focused on the engagement of the public in science) and for Pro Bono Economics (an organisation that helps charities demonstrate the impact of their work).