MEET OUR MANAGEMENT TEAM
Our management team is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Charity and is proud to help lead Team Help for Heroes and work with such a passionate and dedicated group of people.
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Melanie Waters OBE | CEO
Melanie joined us in 2016.
Before taking up her role here, Melanie was Chief Executive at The Poppy Factory, a leading Armed Forces charity which puts the recovery and employment of disabled ex-Service people at its heart.
In addition to her role with us, Melanie holds a number of non-executive roles. She is a Director of the £35m Big Lottery grant-giving body Forces in Mind Trust, a member of NHS England’s Armed Forces Clinical Reference Group, and elected Vice-Chair of Cobseo (Confederation of Service Charities).
Melanie's background is in both the commercial and charitable sectors, where she has focused on External Affairs, Business Improvement and Operations for companies such as the AA.
Bryn & Emma Parry
Bryn was commissioned into The Royal Green Jackets in 1975 and served in 1 RGJ and 2 RGJ between 1976 and 1985. He completed one United Nations tour of Cyprus and three tours of Northern Ireland. In 1981 he returned from under a bush in South Armagh and married Emma. He was the last Adjutant of the Rifle Depot at Winchester and held various instructor jobs including teaching jungle warfare in Australia. In 1985 he decided to leave the Army to fulfil his ambition to become a cartoonist.
Bryn and Emma ran their business, Bryn Parry Studios, successfully for twenty two years, designing and selling various gift products illustrated with his cartoons, mostly with a country theme. He has had nine books published including Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Sex in the Country, Horses for Courses and Shooting Top Tips. His most recent book, Shooting Types: The Second Barrel was launched in the summer of 2011.
Bryn and Emma have three grown up children, Sophie, Tom, and Louisa. Tom is currently serving with 2 Rifles and spent the summer of 2009 fighting in the Sangin area of Helmand.
In October 2007 Bryn and Emma, after a visit to Selly Oak hospital, were moved to found Help for Heroes, which supports our wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.
Bryn and Emma live near Salisbury in Downton; their hobbies include country sports, cycling and mountain walking.
Elisabeth Skeet | Services Director
Lis Skeet joined us as Services Director in 2018. Drawing on over 20 years combined charity, commercial and statutory experience, Lis is focused on evidence-led best practice to achieve positive outcomes for service users and other stakeholders. As The Poppy Factory’s Head of Employability Services, she oversaw the delivery, growth and evolution of the service, maximising performance and continually developing quality. Prior to this Lis was a Rehabilitation Services Manager in the insurance sector, leading a field-based team of Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants. Having qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1995 Lis has also worked primarily in neurological rehabilitation within both hospital and community NHS services where she developed a strong interest in occupational rehabilitation. Today, as Services Director, Lis has responsibility for the design and content of the Psychological Wellbeing, Welfare and Veterans Clinical Liaison services, as well as Health and Physical Wellbeing, Career Recovery and Sports Recovery.
Peter Smith | Performance Director
Peter Smith joined us in 2013. Joining the Army in 1973, Peter served in Northern Ireland, Germany, Belize, Canada, Cyprus, and former Yugoslavia. His varied military career has included: Working for the UN Refugee Agency in Sarajevo during the Balkans War. Commanding a Territorial Army Battalion that trained soldiers for operations. And project managing a commercial logistics solution for the Army’s training areas across 180 sites from North Cornwall to the Orkneys.
In 2010 Peter was Project Officer for Army Recovery Capability - working with us on the delivery of recovery at the, then planned, Tedworth House Recovery Centre. Whilst there, Peter oversaw some 750 seriously wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel and Veterans - all who benefitted from the recovery programmes on offer.
Today, as Performance Director, Peter is responsible for Evaluation and Audit, Grants, Fellowship and the management of the relationship with the Ministry of Defence, including the UK Invictus Games delegation.
Claire Barnes | Head of Grants
Claire Barnes joined us in 2016. A trained Chartered Accountant, Claire has worked in areas as diverse as Receivership and Liquidation to Finance Director of Airwaves. Taking a ten-year career change to teach in both Special Needs and mainstream schooling, the call to use her financial training and make a difference drew her to Help for Heroes. When asked about her role with us, Claire said: "It is both a challenge and an honour every day to work within the Help for Heroes family, supporting our wounded injured and sick from the transition away from their military career to a rewarding, meaningful and secure future."
Ronnie Allen | Head of Career Recovery
Ronnie Allen joined us in 2016. Born in Peru and brought up in Argentina, Ronnie joined the Royal Navy as a Warfare Officer in 1992.
Amongst one of the first women to go to sea, Ronnie's career took her from the Bridge of various warships, to interpreting for NATO Commanders. Advising the French Navy on Women at Sea, to Britannia Royal Naval College as Assistant to the Commander.
Upon leaving the Navy Ronnie joined the John Lewis Partnership and worked in various managerial roles. During this time the Golden Jubilee Trust funded her secondment with us in order to set up an ILM accredited Coaching Course for both our staff and those we support.
Today Ronnie leads a team with the vision to deliver a comprehensive career service to the wounded, injured and sick in order to inspire and support them on their journey outside of the Armed Forces. Her ultimate aim is to support an individual in achieving a fulfilling, sustainable and purposeful role.
Martin Colclough | Head of Sports Recovery
Martin Colclough joined us in 2011. Having served in Army from the age of 16, Martin's military career developed his interest in rehabilitation and Paralympic sport. This led to a career break in 2006/7 when he worked as the Senior Paralympic Performance Manager at UK Athletics.
In 2008 he helped establish the Ministry of Defence's Battle Back Programme at Headley Court, a founding partner of which was Help for Heroes.
Today, Martin's role is to ensure we remain the leading provider of adaptive sport and adventurous training opportunities to wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel - helping them maintain an active and independent lifestyle, participate in competitive sport and undertake vocational training courses.
Much of this work involves exploiting existing opportunities and developing innovative programs with key partners such as the British Paralympic Association and National Governing Bodies for sport.
John Crudgington | Head of Health and Physical Wellbeing
John Crudgington joined us in 2015. With over a decade of experience in the field of health and wellbeing, John initially set out as a personal trainer before moving into health screening and training delivery. Moving on to join AXA PPP healthcare, he helped develop a corporate wellbeing business to support workplace health and wellbeing. Having worked in private healthcare for some time John decided it was time for a change and joined us as Head of Health and Physical Wellbeing, before moving into the role of Central Operations Manager in 2018.
Ollie Metcalfe | Head of Fellowship
Ollie Metcalfe joined us in 2010. Trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Ollie initially worked as an actress until joining us as part of the Challenges and Events team. Since 2011 she has managed the Band of Brothers Fellowship, and is passionate about making a difference to the lives of wounded, injured and sick, as well as their family members: "I feel incredibly privileged to be able to work with these inspirational men and women and be part of such a fantastic organisation."
NAVAL SERVICE RECOVERY CENTRE, PLYMOUTH
Jock Easton | Recovery Centre Manager
Jock Easton is our Plymouth Recovery Centre Manager. Following a rewarding career in the Royal Navy, Jock's final appointment, as First Lieutenant in Devonport Naval Base, gave him the opportunity to help establish the Recovery Pathway at Plymouth. The role led to his collaboration with Help for Heroes in order to deliver our Plymouth Recovery Centre facilities.
Today, as General Manager of the Recovery Centre, Jock is proud to play a part in offering first class service and recovery support to the wounded, injured and sick based in the South West: "I see Plymouth Recovery Centre taking full advantage of its terrific location to become a unique focal centre for water sports activities, and a centre of excellence for Paralympic training modules."
Finance and Infrastructure
Clive Emerson | Chief Financial Officer
Clive Emerson is our Chief Financial Officer.
Clive has extensive leisure, FMCG & telecoms experience. Before his role with us, he was Divisional Financial Director during the £3bn listing of Merlin Entertainments.
Marketing, Fundraising and Trading
Beth Miles | Fundraising and Marketing Director
Beth Miles joined Help for Heroes in February 2017 and is our Fundraising and Marketing Director. Beth and her team are responsible for all of our fundraising activities that raise money to support to our wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women. Beth’s team also create and execute our marketing campaigns, which help to drive awareness of the work we do and communicate the ongoing need for donations. In addition, Beth’s team includes Help for Heroes Trading, our retail channel which gifts all of its profits back to the charity.
Beth is passionate about helping us to ensure that every penny we spend on raising funds is spent in the most effective way, to maximise donations for our veterans and their families. She has a wealth of experience in helping brands to develop and communicate their messaging, having previously worked in senior marketing roles at companies including Coca-Cola, GSK and United Biscuits.
Martin Wildsmith | Managing Director of Trading, H4H Trading
Martin Wildsmith joined us in 2018.
In the days when video recorders came in two flavours, VHS or Betamax, Martin started working as a Trainee Manager for Curry’s.
His love of the retail sector has since led him working for many brands, including Smythson, his own online business and most recently Head of Retail for the National Trust:
"I’m thrilled to be part of Team Help for Heroes, and especially proud to be part of an organisation that looks holistically at the support needed by people, far braver than me, who put their life on the line for us."
Kevin Rennie | Strategy Innovations & Partnerships Director
Kevin Rennie joined us in 2017. An experienced Executive Director, Kevin has led major national and global change programmes within the public, private and charitable sectors for over 25 years. Formerly working as a partner-level management consultant, with the likes of KPMG and PA Consulting, Kevin has focused his energy in recent years on helping improve performance and drive collaboration and transformation in the charitable sector.
Today, Kevin is responsible for developing strategy, innovation and partnerships across and beyond the organisation:
"I am excited to help this major national charity secure a fair deal for all those affected by military service."
Mark Elliot | Chief Advocacy Ambassador
Mark Elliot has been with us from the very beginning. Having spent 25 years in the Grenadier Guards and eight years in the insurance industry, Mark was asked by our founders, Bryn and Emma Parry, to help raise money for wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel, Veterans and their families.
On 1 October 2007 the doors to our first base, the Tin Hut, opened… the rest, as they say, is history. Today, as Head of External Operations, Mark is responsible for generating income through the management of our National Volunteer Team, Supporter Relationship Team and National Campaigns Team. In addition to this, he oversees the day to day running of all aspects of the Tin Hut in Tidworth and coordinates all of our major events from concerts to rugby and cricket matches. “My time with Help for Heroes has been exciting, humbling, but above all rewarding.”
Susan Turnbull | Director, People Strategy
Susan Turnbull is our Director for People Strategy. A fellow of CIPD, Susan has worked in Human Resources for over 30 years. Her time in HR has seen her working for John Lewis, British Waterways, Virgin, Viacom and the Carphone Warehouse - where she was Group HR Director.
Prior to joining Help for Heroes, Susan ran her own HR consultancy practice for 16 years and was the CEO for Glotel PLC - a recruitment agency.
Today, Susan's role with us focuses on working with our staff to create an environment where all feel Inspired, enabled and supported.