We are a dedicated and motivated team committed to achieve positive outcomes for our beneficiaries in support of our strategic objectives. In particular, working according to our core values, striving to be responsive to seafarers in need, demonstrating compassion and respect for the individual, valuing our partner organisations, seeking continuous improvement and always acting with integrity.
Sandra joined Seafarers Hospital Society in 2020 at an interesting and exciting time in its history as it moves towards its bicentenary in 2021.
Initially trained as a music teacher, Sandra later gained a Theology Degree at the University of Aberdeen, as well as gaining a master’s degree in human resource management. She brings versatility and depth of experience to Seafarers Hospital Society, having occupied a variety of senior roles, including six years at Sailors’ Society, initially as director of programme and then chief operating officer with overall responsibility for the creation and development of crew welfare and wellbeing programmes and community development projects for seafaring communities in 26 countries.
Tom is passionate about helping people and making a positive difference in their lives, which Seafarers Hospital Society does on a daily basis.
Tom believes in social justice and community. He has worked in charity, local authority and private sector roles in counselling, mental and physical health and wellbeing; Cancer workshops and clinics; grant and programme administration for community regeneration projects in south east London; an independent employment resource centre; CAB/ Family Law; and PA support to CEO of large London Council.
Grants Assessor and Administration Assistant
Emily joined the Seafarers Hospital Society in 2016. She feels honoured to work in her role as Grants Assessor, which makes a positive change in the world.
After completing a BA in European History and MA in Russian Language & Society, she worked in the financial services industry for 13 years.
Following this she decided that a change in direction was needed and set herself up as picture-framer and part-time volunteer guide at the Old Royal Naval College for three years.
Caroline began her career as a history teacher and worked in schools in north London and Kent. Whilst working as a teacher, she also completed an MA in Historical Research. Caroline gave up teaching when she had her daughters and decided to care for them full time. During these years she was involved with several local oral history projects which recorded the experiences of people who had lived and worked in London during the Second World War.
Caroline returned to the workplace in 2017 when she joined the Seafarers Hospital Society as an Administration Assistant for a period of maternity cover. When that ended, she was appointed to archive the Society’s considerable store of historical documents. Most recently she has worked on an interactive timeline of the history of the Society for the website.
Health Development Manager
Lysanne is an experienced senior manager with extensive experience of leading, managing and delivering complex health programmes both overseas and in the UK. Lysanne joined the Seafarers Hospital Society in 2017 initially working as the Health Development Manager, and latterly as the Interim CEO. In her role as Health Development Manager she has developed exciting and innovative health programmes and pilot projects.
Originally graduating from the University of Leicester with a BA Hons in French and German, Lysanne went on to graduate from the School of Physiotherapy at Guy’s Hospital, in London and later achieved a Masters in Health Systems management from the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Lysanne has a passionate lifelong commitment to improving the life chances, and health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable in society and reducing inequalities. Lysanne is currently seconded to Seafarers UK.
Our trustees provide essential governance and support to the Seafarers Hospital Society. We are grateful for their voluntary work and expertise.
Find out about the general roles and responsibilities of our trustees by reading their individual bios.
Peter McEwen MBE MNM BSc Econ (Hons)
Trustee of Seafarers Hospital Society since 1999 and Chair from 2010. During this period and with the Trustees worked on new initiatives for the fishing fleets and the Merchant Navy; the establishment of SAIL, Mental Health projects; Dreadnought issues; and drafted the new Governance Scheme updating and replacing much of the SHS 1821 Act of Parliament.
Secretary of Nautilus Welfare Funds, for 15 years up to December 2010. Responsible for the HUB Project (a £4m+ construction at Mariners’ Park) until August 2014. Past Trustee of Seafarers UK, Mission to Seafarers, Merchant Navy Welfare Board and Maritime Educational Foundation. Secretary JW Slater Memorial Fund for 25 years to April 2010. Founder Trustee and Chair of ISAN (now ISWAN) from 2000 to 2010 and currently Director of Swan Ltd). Employed by Nautilus International from November 1978 to August 2014 and Deputy General Secretary for many years.
Peter is also a Trustee of Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund (MNOPF) since 1983 and Chair from 1999 to 2014. Chair of Merchant Navy Officers Pension Plan (DC) to 2014 and of the administration company MNPA/Ensign. Secretary and now Trustee of the MNAOA SPF (a Nautilus Fund) from 1979 to date.
Sandy Nairne CBE FSA
Sandy Nairne is a writer and curator based in London and until 2015 was Director of the National Portrait Gallery. He has previously worked at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Arts Council and as one of two deputy directors at Tate. During his time at the Tate he worked with Nicholas Serota on the early stages of creating Tate Modern and on creating the Centenary Development at Tate Britain, as well as overseeing Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives and the development of Tate’s digital and wider engagement work.
His publications include State of the Art, 1987, the anthology Thinking about Exhibitions, 1996; The 21st Century Portrait; Art Theft and the Case of the Stolen Turners, 2011, and more recently The Coincidence of Novembers, 2020
He is currently Chair of the Fabric Advisory Committee at St Paul’s Cathedral and the Maggie’s Art Group for Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres. As well as serving as Deputy Chair of the Seafarers Hospital Society he is a Trustee of the Courtauld Collection, and the National Trust, and a member of the Bank of England Banknote Character Advisory Committee.
He was appointed CBE, and elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, in 2011.
Mark Carden is the assistant national secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT). He is a skilled negotiator, determined to work hard for fair conditions and pay for RMT members.
Mark is a dedicated and committed trade unionist, who puts the membership he represents foremost. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic he has worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of RMT members.
Mark has a keen interest in the mental health and wellbeing of seafarers, long before it became a matter of interest for many, and had significant input into bringing about the current Mental Health Awareness course for seafarers.
Sitting on the boards of a number of maritime charities, Mark dedicates his time to helping those within the maritime and seafaring community.
Dr Tim Carter
Tim Carter has had a career specialising in the prevention of occupational health risks. He has worked both in industry and in government. For 15 years he was the senior doctor in the Health and Safety Executive.
More recently he has advised on transport safety, especially the health of seafarers. In the UK, he was medical adviser to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
He also worked internationally, as a special adviser to United Nation agencies and as a professor at the Norwegian Centre for Maritime and Diving Medicine.
Rupert Chichester has been a solicitor for a number of years and is one of the partners in a legal practice in London. Whilst this practice mainly deals with residential conveyancing and property related work, he primarily handles civil litigation and dispute resolution work.
He has a long-standing connection to Greenwich, where the Society’s office is situated, and south east London. As well as being one of our trustees, for many years he has been one of the trustees of an alms house charity based in Eltham, which provides homes for elderly people.
In the past he has also been a director of Greenwich Citizens Advice and a director of the South East London Chamber of Commerce.
Valerie Coleman has had a varied career, including regional and national roles with Citizens Advice focusing on policy and campaigns work and the national implementation of equalities legislation.
Valerie has been a member of the grants committee of The King’s Fund and has served as a councillor and chair of a local parish council.
Her most recent role was with the Maritime Charities Group where she was the Programme Development Manager and worked to support the coalition of 10 maritime charities. She has commissioned extensive groundbreaking research on the UK’s maritime welfare charity sector.
Since 2007 Valerie has worked closely with the Seafarers Hospital Society on several projects and publications, including in 2020 the Standard for Seafarers’ Mental Health Awareness and Wellbeing Training. Valerie became a trustee at the Seafarers Hospital Society in 2021.
Dr Charlotte Mendes da Costa MBBS MRCGP MFHOM
A trustee of the Seafarers Hospital Society since 2009, Charlotte has strong family connections with the Society as a relative, John Lydekker, who died in 1832, was a generous benefactor. Several family members have served as trustees, including her father, Anthony Lydekker and her great grandfather Captain Guy Lydekker.
Charlotte is a qualified doctor and works as a GP in the NHS and has a particular interest in prevention of disease, holistic and complementary medicine. As such she is well placed to take a strong interest in the health and wellbeing of seafarers and supports the work of the Society in all aspects, but especially with regard to its health projects.
As well as working in a busy General Practice and having a private practice specialising in homeopathic medicine, Charlotte’s other charitable work includes serving on the Parochial Church Council for her local church where she is also a church warden.
Captain Rachel Dunn MNM
Rachel Dunn started her career as a cadet with Shell Tankers where she served on tankers and bulk carriers and obtained her Masters Certificate of Competency. Rachel left Shell and joined Wightlink as their first female officer, rising to the rank of Senior Master. After a number of years, she left Wightlink and became an Admiralty Pilot in Portsmouth Harbour where she was able to continue her love of ship handling, mainly piloting naval vessels from an assortment of countries and assisting in the training of the bridge teams.
Rachel is also a Younger Brother of Trinity House and a Trinity House liaison with Portsmouth Sail Training Trust. She was awarded the Victoria Drummond Award in 2011 for raising the awareness of women in the marine industry and the Merchant Navy Medal in 2019 for services to the careers of young seafarers. Rachel became a trustee at the Seafarers Hospital Society in 2018.
Mike Jess BEM
Mike is senior policy adviser at Nautilus International, a position he has held since semi-retirement from the union in August 2016. He was previously assistant general secretary of Nautilus International, secretary of Nautilus Welfare Fund, a trustee and director of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, and Maritime Charities Funding Group, and chair of the Maritime Education Trust.
Mike was appointed a trustee director and deputy chair of Ensign Retirement Plan Trustees Limited in May 2015 when the Fund was incorporated. In addition to his role on the Ensign Retirement Plan Board, Mike has served as a member-nominated trustee of the MNOPF since 2011 and appointed Vice-Chair from 1 September 2014.
Mike was awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2017 New Year Honours in recognition of his work in support of seafarer welfare services.
Graham is a trustee and Honorary Treasurer at Seafarers Hospital Society and has been with the Society since 2011.
Graham has an accounting background, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this role. He is involved with a number of charities including one in the maritime world.
Dr Frank Leonard
Dr Leonard joined the Royal Naval Reserve as a student in Dundee in 1979 and, after graduating in 1980, enjoyed a wide range of duties with the RN Medical Services in parallel with NHS work.
He joined the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Service in 1988, serving in the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic, before becoming Principal Medical Adviser to the RFA, a singleton post, in 1992. Building on lessons from the Falklands conflict and experience in the Gulf, he worked to align the RFA Medical Branch, in operational terms, with that of the Royal Navy (RN), and to establish an effective occupational health function for the RFA which was, and remains, the largest single employer of UK-registered merchant personnel.
Transferring to the RN in 2004, Dr Leonard served as NMOH (Fleet) and PMA RFA until 2006 and became the first Senior Medical Officer (Service Entry), responsible for the application of medical standards for entry to the Royal Navy. From 2010 until retirement in 2016, he was consultant occupational physician at HM Naval Base, Faslane.