A BASINGSTOKE-based charity has welcomed a new chair of trustees.

The Pelican Cancer Foundation welcomed Mary Edwards, former chief executive at of the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to the fold recently.

The governor at the University of Winchester joins Professor Bill Heald, a Pelican founder and colorectal surgical director, to support the charity’s research into ‘below the belt’ cancers.

Chief executive at Pelican Cancer Foundation, Sarah Crane, said: “We are all delighted to welcome Mary Edwards as the new Chair of Pelican Cancer Foundation and look forward to working with her developing the charity’s plans for the future.

“Mary brings great understanding and experience of the NHS, including research. She has always been a friend to Pelican although never involved directly with the charity in the past.

“Mary is taking over from Sir Peter Michael, and I would like to thank him for his enormous contribution, giving guidance and oversight for the charity.

“During his time as chairman, Pelican has worked with doctors and nurses from across the UK and Europe to research and embed major changes in both bowel and prostate cancer treatment.”

Mary joined Basingstoke hospital in 1995 as director of nursing and patient services and was appointed chief executive in 2003. Mary led the successful integration of Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust with Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare Trust to form Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in January 2012.

Mary said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Chair of Trustees for Pelican Cancer Foundation.

“Pelican focuses on a cause that is very dear to my heart, having spent my whole career working alongside clinicians pushing the boundaries of diagnosis, treatment and care for patients who are diagnosed with cancer.”