BBC presenter to step down as chief of motor neurone disease charity

Charity

The BBC presenter Jill Douglas is to step down as chief executive of the charity set up by the late rugby union player Doddie Weir. 

Douglas, who was appointed as the first chief executive of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation in 2018, will become a patron of the charity, which raises funds for research into motor neurone disease. 

Nicola Roseman, the charity’s chief operating officer, will become chief executive from 1 May, when Douglas steps down. 

Douglas worked with Weir to launch the charity in 2017, after he revealed he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease. 

She splits her time between her broadcasting commitments and running the charity. Roseman, who has been with the charity for six years, will carry out the role on a full-time basis. 

Weir, who won 61 caps for Scotland and wore the number five shirt during his playing career, died in 2022. 

The charity has raised more than £11m for MND research and £2m for supporting people living with the disease.

Douglas said: “It has been an absolute privilege to play a part in establishing My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and I am proud to see the way the charity has grown and evolved to become a key stakeholder in the MND community. 

“We miss Doddie every day – he was not only a great friend, but also someone who inspired everyone around him. He was also very good at persuading people to get involved and I was just one of the initial team who was ‘encouraged’ by Doddie to invest our energies in the creation of the foundation.

“This has been a difficult decision, but we have built a fantastic team and I’m excited to see what the future holds with Nicola at the helm. 

There are more exciting announcements to come from the foundation about our investment plans, and I am looking forward to playing my part as patron in the years to come.”

Ian Watt, chair of the charity, said: “We wish to say a huge thank you to Jill for all she has done for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and the MND community. 

“She has been integral to putting MND in the public eye, giving hope to those living with the disease and driving forward vital research. 

“Our work continues apace until we deliver Doddie’s legacy of a world free of MND. 

“The appointment of our new CEO, Nicola Roseman, brings with it a huge amount of excitement and opportunity, and the foundation will be in safe hands.”

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