Our trustees

We're led by a dedicated, experienced and voluntary board of trustees. Together with our board committees, our trustees direct the strategy for the British Red Cross.

Board of trustees

The board can comprise up to seven elected members (chosen from our active volunteer base) and up to six co-opted members appointed by the board (which include the roles of chair and treasurer). Trustees can serve up to two terms of four years each.

The board is committed to ensuring that our governance arrangements are effective and relevant, as well as ensuring that the board members reflect the communities in which we operate. As part of both that commitment and our desire for continuous improvement, the board will work to the Charity Governance Code as appropriate.

Selected for their expertise, the trustees all give their time and energy for free to lead the British Red Cross.

Liz Padmore, British Red Cross Chair of the Board.

Elizabeth J. Padmore

Elizabeth J. Padmore, Chair of the Board

Liz has extensive experience at Board level in private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Throughout her career, she has specialised in scenario planning, strategic comms, CSR and relationship management. She was previously a strategy partner at Accenture creating and running their global strategic think tank.

Currently, Liz is chair of Housing Solutions and also on the Council of Management of the Ditchley Foundation. She also chairs the Renumeration Commitees for Green Templeton College, Oxford, and Brasenose College, Oxford.

Previously, Liz chaired Hampshire Hospitals NHS FT for nine years and was a member of YBI (Prince of Wales’ Youth Business International) having been a trustee for over 10 years.

Liz is also a member and previous vice chair of IWF UK; a member of Women Corporate Directors and an elected FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts Manufacturing and Commerce).

Liz read both Philosophy, Politics and Economics and Jurisprudence at Brasenose College, Oxford.

Liz Hazell, Trustee

Liz Hazell

Liz Hazell FCA (treasurer)

Liz was appointed as a trustee in the role of treasurer and as chair of the finance and audit committee by the board in December 2016. Prior to this, she was a member of our finance and audit committee for more than five years. In 2022, she also joined the Risk and Assurance Committee.

Until April 2022, Liz was a partner at Saffery Champness and head of the firm’s not-for-profit team for 7 years. Liz began her accounting career in London in 1983 and moved to Cambridge shortly after qualifying, joining PwC’s audit practice and focussing on commercial start-ups and hi-tech businesses. She returned to work in London with charity clients in 2002 and headed the national charities practice at PwC for 6 years before moving to Saffery Champness in 2014.

Liz is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and brings her financial, business and charity sector experience to the British Red Cross.

British Red Cross trustee Yaseer Ahmed

Yaseer Ahmed

Yaseer Ahmed

Yaseer joined the board in January 2019 after volunteering at the British Red Cross for eight years.

An award-winning entrepreneur and Clore Social Leadership Programme Fellow, Yaseer is now director of strategy and organisational development at Roccia.

Yaseer is passionate about values, people and wellbeing, and has a special interest and expertise in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. He is also experienced in supporting community and stakeholder engagement, and in values-led organisational and leadership development.

In addition to working with the NHS, Yaseer has worked with the Commission for Racial Equality, communities and local government and the Greater Manchester Police Authority. He has also worked with many other organisations at a national, regional and local level.

His professional skills include being an accredited Cultural Transformation Tools consultant with the Values Centre, an MBTI (Myers-Briggs) practitioner and a MSP qualified programme manager. Previously, he has served as a non-executive director, governor, chair, and vice chair of his local CVS.

Trustee Howard Bell

Howard Bell

Howard Bell brings significant operational knowledge and commercial acumen from his Executive and Non-Executive roles enabling organisations to grow and develop, and has served on multiple Boards for both non-profit and private sector organisations.

Throughout his career, Howard has specialised in strategy development and the design, launch, and scale of innovative new business models and new propositions.

He was co-founder of PayPal Europe, chief product officer at Content Technologies, and was chief commercial officer at JustGiving, where he led new product and channel innovation to help thousands of charities raise nearly £500 million per annum.

Howard has also led transformation strategies as general manager at blue-chip organisations including Dow Jones, where he worked as global product manager, and Barclaycard. In his early career, he worked as management consultant for Gemini Consulting.

Howard serves as Chair for two non-profits: FairforYou, a UK ethical lending organisation, and OnPurpose, a leadership development organisation which aims to equip leaders to build organisations with purpose. He has also advised and mentored venture CEOs and leadership teams for over 60 companies across the United States and Europe.

Howard has a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Physics from Imperial College London, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Cranfield School of Management.

British Red Cross Trustee, Sir John Holmes

Sir John Holmes

Sir John Holmes

After graduating from Oxford, John was a British diplomat for over 30 years. This included spells as Overseas Adviser to John Major and Tony Blair, working notably on the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, and later as Ambassador to Portugal and then France.

He subsequently worked for the UN as Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, coordinating global emergency relief efforts, between 2007 and 2010.

John then returned to the UK and became Director of the Ditchley Foundation, a charitable institution bringing together thinkers from around the world to look at major contemporary issues.

He also became UK Chair of the international humanitarian NGO, the International Rescue Committee, until 2020. From 2016-2020 he was Chair of the UK Electoral Commission, which regulates elections and political finance.

Close up shot of Alan House.

Alan House

Alan House has been a member of the British Red Cross for over 13 years, volunteering with the emergency response team based at Eastleigh, Hampshire. During this time, he has also been a representative voice for British Red Cross volunteers across the UK, serving on strategic and operational committees developing the volunteering experience within the organisation, and improving the delivery of services.

Prior to volunteering with the British Red Cross, Alan served for over 40 years with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, and was awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service. Alan is Chair of the Fire Heritage Network UK, and is also a Trustee for the Firefighters Memorial Trust, an organisation dedicated to the remembrance of members of the Fire Service who have died in the line of duty.

He has a passion for the history of the Fire Service and Civil Defence; he was Founding Chair of the Hampshire Police and Fire Heritage Trust, and is Chair of the Fire Heritage Network UK. He remains a volunteer with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, serving as their historian and archivist, and is the author of several books on the Fire Service and Civil Defence.

Dennis Dunn, a British Red Cross trustee

Dennis Dunn

Dennis Dunn MBE JP DL

Dennis Dunn, formerly Cheshire president of the British Red Cross, is a specialist in business information systems, advising universities around the world. Previously pro vice-chancellor international of the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), he was made honorary fellow of MMU in 2010. He was also awarded the MBE by Her Majesty the Queen in that year for his services to higher education.

Dennis has acted as specialist advisor to European Commission projects and is former chairman of BITWorld. Currently, Dennis also holds positions as chairman of the Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is a deputy lieutenant of Cheshire and served as a magistrate for over 20 years.

Deborah El Sayed, Trustee

Deborah El-Sayed

Deborah El-Sayed

Deborah was appointed to the board in December 2016.

Deborah has over 25 years of health care experience. She has a particular interest in exploring opportunities for using technology to improve social care and support the health and wellbeing of people.

In her current role as senior director with the NHS, Deborah is responsible for public-facing digital services in the NHS. She leads the digital strategy for the transformation of the urgent and emergency care system. She is an experienced board member and holds board-level roles across a range of organisations.

Louise Halpin

Louise Halpin

Louise Halpin (vice chair)

Louise has been an active British Red Cross volunteer for over ten years. She was a volunteer council member and chair for a number of years, and represented the British Red Cross at an International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies conference in 2012. She is currently a volunteer tutor, delivering courses across Scotland. 

Louise works in the Scottish public sector as a senior policy adviser. Previously, her career has involved strategic and project management in the humanitarian sector and operational work in a children’s charity. 

Louise has a masters degree in international law and international security, with a specialisation in international humanitarian law.

Photograph of trustee, Katie Igras

Katie Igras

Katie Igras

Katie joined the Board in January 2021 after volunteering at the British Red Cross for six years. She is Special Advisor to the Independent Film Trust and Vice President at a leading UK bank. 


Prior to this, Katie studied at the London School of Economics and University of Miami, while gaining a broad range of experience across the nonprofit and government sectors. 


An international election observer and an elected Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, she deeply appreciates civic life and the power of creative practice to activate kindness and enable positive change in communities.

Lewis Iwu, a British Red Cross trustee

Lewis Iwu

Lewis Iwu

Lewis joined the board in January 2018. He is a director at Finsbury, a strategic communications firm. His area of expertise relates to campaigns, coalition building, public policy and the role of business in society. Lewis was formerly the founding director of the Fair Education Alliance, an advocacy coalition of over 90 charities and corporates seeking to change the education system. Prior to that he worked at Brunswick.

Lewis is the coach of the England Schools Debating Team and was a former world university debating champion for Oxford University. He has coached debating and public speaking in over 11 countries over the past 10 years.

He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at New College Oxford and served as president of the Oxford University Students Union

Geeta Nargund, Trustee

Geeta Nargund

Geeta Nargund (vice chair)

Geeta became a trustee in January 2018. A doctor by training, Geeta is also the founder and medical director of Create Fertility; a senior consultant gynaecologist and lead consultant for reproductive medicine at St George’s Hospital, London.

She is a member of the Tiffany Circle, a society of women leaders who support the British Red Cross. Geeta has also previously served as a senior governor of primary and secondary state schools in south London. She has been involved in charities promoting education, women’s health, equality and social mobility for over a decade. 

British Red Cross trustee, Kirsty Robeson

Kirsty Robeson

Kirsty Robeson

Prior to joining the Board in 2021, Kirsty was British Red Cross President for Co. Durham and Teesside for five years, and for two years was Chair of the Presidents’ Advisory Panel.

These roles have given her an in-depth knowledge of the range of services provided by the Red Cross and the dedicated nature and passion of its volunteers. Before having children, Kirsty worked for a financial communications company in the City of London.

Since returning to her home county of Durham, she has chaired several local charitable organisations helping with fundraising and acting as spokesperson for local and national media campaigns. Kirsty is a governor and has been chair of governors at her local school.