Guide Dogs' fundraising director moves to Marie Curie

Maria Novell succeeds Meredith Niles, who has stepped down after almost eight years at the end of life charity

Maria Novell
Maria Novell

Maria Novell, fundraising and commercial director at Guide Dogs, has been appointed to the top fundraising job at Marie Curie

Novell is the long-term successor to Meredith Niles, who stepped down in June after almost eight years at the charity. 

A Marie Curie spokesperson said: “After achieving incredible success and following much reflection, Meredith wanted to move on to a new challenge. Before she does this, she wanted to spend quality time with family over the summer months.

“Meredith was an inspiring and compassionate leader with huge integrity and hugely respected and valued by colleagues across the charity.”

Before joining Guide Dogs, where she worked her way up to director level during 14 years with the charity, Novell held roles at the RNLI and the British Liver Trust. 

She will hold the role of chief fundraising, communications and marketing officer at Marie Curie, and will be responsible for areas including fundraising, integrated marketing and communications and retail. 

The position, which was previously known as executive director of fundraising and engagement, involves oversight of about 800 people and 139 shops around the UK. 

Tom Wright, chief executive of Guide Dogs, which this week reported a record income for the second year running, said Novell had been “one of the most successful fundraisers in the sector over the last decade”.

He said: “During her time, Guide Dogs has more than doubled its income and become one of the most efficient charities to raise funds.”

Matthew Reed, chief executive of Marie Curie, said: “Maria’s strong experience and expertise will be invaluable as we continue to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and build towards a better future, where everyone has the best possible end of life care and experience.”

Novell said: “I have long admired the vital care and support that Marie Curie provides to people at the end of life and was hugely impressed by the way the charity responded during the pandemic.  

“Everyone at end of life deserves the best possible experience and I look forward to working with the executive leadership team to deliver an ambitious new strategy.”

Novell is the third senior appointment to be made at Marie Curie this year, after Tiffany Willcox and Amanda Oakley Smith joined in the spring as chief technology officer and chief financial officer respectively. 

She will join Marie Curie on 13 December.

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