Seafarers’ Charity names next CEO

The Seafarers’ Charity has promoted its director of impact Deborah Layde to be its next chief executive.

She takes over the role in next month after ten years at the charity and replaces Catherine Spencer who is leaving to take a role outside of the maritime sector.

As director of impact her work includes collaborating with partners to support the welfare of maritime workers and leading on Covid-19 help. She has also led on a grants programme to support seafarers facing deprivation due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A priority in her new role will be to oversee the charity’s ‘Thrive’ strategy to improve support for maritime workers.

“We were unanimous in our decision to appoint Deborah Layde,” said Seafarers’ Charity chair Paul Butterworth.

“She has a strong track record of delivering for seafarers and is well positioned to lead The Seafarers’ Charity as we continue to deliver on our ‘Thrive’ strategy.

“You can expect to see even more innovative work as we keep doing more for seafarers.”

Layde added: “I am proud that trustees have entrusted me to deliver on our 'Thrive' strategy, which aims to tackle the unique disadvantages of a seafaring life.

“Our strategy to work proactively, using research and advocacy to support grant-funded solutions to create impact, has already seen benefits - from increased awareness of suicides at sea and our Fishing First Safety Management pilot project to working through issues impacting crew working conditions in the UK fishing industry.

“My ambition is to ensure that our charity always acts as a champion for everyone who works at sea.”

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