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The Seafarers’ Charity welcomes new trustees

Posted on: 28 June 2022

The Seafarers’ Charity is delighted to welcome five new trustees to the charity following the retirement of three trustees who stepped down at the end of their tenure at the charity’s Annual Meeting; two further trustees will retire at 2023’s Annual Meeting.

The Seafarers’ Charity is governed by a strong General Council (trustee board) made up of trustees who both set the direction and ensure the charity meets its work plan as set out in the strategic plan ‘Thrive’. New trustees, working with existing trustees, will not only provide solid governance of the whole charity but will also work to support staff to drive ambitious, creative, collaborative and evidence-based solutions to identify and target systemic issues which can lead to seafarer adversity.

New trustees include:

Captain Lee Clarke, MN, Managing Director of Isle of Man Maritime, Hon Secretary of KGFS Isle of Man and who works for the maritime technology business Tapiit Group is a strong advocate for seafarers, whose lived experience and connections with cadets and the maritime industry will undoubtedly bring valuable insight.

Debbie Cavaldoro, Chief Executive of Port Skills & Safety, is an experienced leader in the maritime industry and trade union movement. Skilled in policy, strategy creation and implementation, communications, campaigning and diversity and inclusion Debbie is also currently studying for an MSc in Governance, Economics and Public policy. Debbie brings breadth and depth of valuable experience.

Martyn Gray, Executive Director at Nautilus International, continues the charity’s long association with maritime unions. Martyn is a fully qualified Engineering Officer of the Watch with comprehensive knowledge of the sector from his extensive work at Nautilus International. His input will be of vital importance in informing both direction and strategy to alleviate the disadvantages of seafarers.

Surgeon Commodore Fleur Marshall RN, Head of the Royal Navy Medical Service, will ensure that the charity benefits from a medical professional with relevant seagoing and senior management experience to help inform our health and wellbeing outcome and vitally broader strategic and governance input through her wide-ranging skills.

Nigel Blazeby brings a mix of skills honed during a career at sea, including as Principal Fishing Vessel Surveyor at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, as a Port State Control Inspector, and most recently as Managing Director of Waterdance, a large UK fishing company. His knowledge and connections will undoubtedly support the charity’s impact and advocacy work in safety.

Paul Butterworth AFNI, Chairman of the General Council commented, ‘I am excited to welcome new colleagues as we continue to diversify the General Council and draw together the very best talent the industry has to offer.’

Grateful farewell to retiring trustees
Three trustees retired at our Annual Meeting, having each provided ten years of outstanding service.

Mark Carden, Assistant National Secretary of the National Union of Rail Maritime, and Transport Workers; Mark Dickinson, General Secretary of Nautilus International and Surgeon Commodore Peter Buxton, OBE Royal Navy, have all served the charity well. Their input during the development of the new strategy was vital in terms of their deep understanding of the challenges, and opportunities, affecting seafarers and was instrumental in not only influence but also direction of the charity’s ‘Thrive’ strategy. Peter Buxton’s direction of the SeaFit programme, run by The Fishermen’s Mission and funded to the tune of £739,000 gave important direction and insight.

All three trustees played a vital part in ensuring £2m of Covid-19 emergency funds were awarded to organisations supporting seafarers effectively and swiftly to alleviate real and immediate need during the pandemic.

Paul Butterworth AFNI, Chairman of the General Council, paid tribute to Mark Carden, Mark Dickinson, and Peter Buxton’s tireless service. ‘I am hugely grateful to our departing trustees for their time and dedication over 30 years’ collective contribution. They will be much missed.’

Deborah Layde, Chief Executive Designate at the charity said, ‘Their combined knowledge, passion and commitment to The Seafarers’ Charity has been hugely valued and greatly appreciated. On a personal level I will miss their support and laser like focus on the needs of seafarers.’

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