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Leadership Team

Royal Voluntary Service is managed by a team of directors, led by the Chief Executive.

Catherine Johnstone CBE

Chief Executive

Joined August 2017

Catherine became Chief Executive having joined the charity as a Trustee at the start of 2017. She has a wealth of experience garnered over 25 years in the third sector, including acting as CEO of several other not for profit organisations. In 2016, Catherine was appointed CBE for her services to suicide prevention following her tenure as CEO of Samaritans.

Sam Ward OBE

Director of Services/Deputy CEO

Joined November 2000

Sam has 25 years sector experience, volunteering at its heart. As well as Deputy CEO responsibilities, Sam is also responsible for the charity’s service delivery, including health, social care, community services and Armed Forces support. She also holds our retail, business development and estates portfolios.

Sam was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours for services to charity.

Jim Gardner

Director of People

Joined June 2022

Jim oversees the Charity’s HR, Volunteer Management and Safeguarding functions. He has over 25 years management and leadership experience in Third Sector organisations, and has held a wide variety of non-executive roles in Public Sector and Third Sector organisations.

Clare Horwood

Director of Fundraising

Joined June 2022

Clare oversees the charity’s fundraising, working to grow our voluntary income through developing relationships with strategic partners and funders, and encouraging individuals to donate, fundraise and leave a legacy. She has a wealth of experience leading fundraising teams across the charity sector. 

Chris Hoult

Director of Finance

Joined June 2019

Chris is an experienced finance professional who has worked as a finance director in the agriculture sector, publishing & media and healthcare in the south west as well as continental Europe. His board level responsibilities have also included IT, procurement, estates & facilities and strategy.


Fiona Longhurst

Director of Communications and Engagement

Joined 2013

Fiona came to the charity having decided to bring her communications skills to the charity sector. She oversees works to develop integrated relationships with strategic partners and helps spread news of the good work of the charity and its volunteers. 

Fiona Malcolm

Director of Change and Transformation

Joined June 2019

Fiona joined Royal Voluntary Service having spent over five years at Samaritans as Deputy Chief Executive. During her time at Samaritans she held responsibility for the delivery of significant suicide prevention programmes with Network Rail, HM Prison and Probation Service and the MOD.

Catherine Nightingale

Head of Governance

Joined 2013

Catherine is a qualified solicitor who joined the charity sector after working in private practice for 15 years as a charity and commercial property lawyer. She works with the charity’s Board of Trustees, their committees and the Chief Executive's Office and also liaises with the charity’s regulators.

Our Leadership Team advise the Board of Trustees on strategy matters and are responsible for making key operational decisions for the charity.

Board of Trustees

The board is made up of volunteers from varied backgrounds and a mix of skills and experiences.

Stephen Dunmore OBE


Joined September 2019

Stephen’s career in charity and government sectors includes past roles as Chief Executive of the Big Lottery
Fund and the Fundraising Regulator and Chair of Capacitybuilders.

Margaret Moore

Deputy Chair of Trustees and Chair of Audit & Risk Committee

Joined May 2020

Since retiring from a City law firm as a commercial lawyer, she has volunteered for many charities including as Vice Chair of Sue Ryder. She is currently a trustee of Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby and Prior Park Schools and Vice Chair of the Fundraising Regulator.

Bayo Adelaja


Joined May 2020

Skilled at activating volunteers, Bayo, is founder and CEO of Do it Now Now, an organisation who’s expert volunteers support Black entrepreneurs in the UK and Africa. She is a member of the charity’s People & Remuneration Committee.

Dr Justin Davis-Smith CBE


Joined May 2020

Justin has worked in leadership positions in the voluntary sector for most of his professional life including The Institute for Volunteering Research and CEO of Volunteering England. He is Course Director of the charity master’s programme at Bayes Business School.  Justin sits on our People & Remuneration Committee.


Frankie Herbert


Joined May 2020

Frankie has a successful record of leading growth in SME’s and steering change in consumer and retail companies including Costa Coffee, Fiorucci and Moet Hennessy. He sits on our Investment & Finance Committee.

Charlotte Lambkin

Trustee and Chair of People & Remuneration Committee

Joined November 2018

Charlotte specialises in communications and issues management and has worked for BAE Systems and Diageo. She is a non-executive Director at Intertrust plc and sits on the UK Advisory Board of Edelman Communications. Charlotte chairs our People & Remuneration Committee.

Matt Moorut


Joined May 2020

Matt spent five years running the digital and marketing operations for Charity Digital (formerly known as Tech Trust). Now supporting Gartner in an advisory role, he brings a wealth of experience in digital implementation. He sits on our Audit and Risk Committee.

David Rose


Joined March 2018

David has senior experience at CEO level in two NHS hospital trusts, and more recently, as CEO of Dr Foster, delivering digital services to help improve care. He is also a member of two NHS Advisory Panels. David sits on our Audit & Risk Committee.

Josephine Swinhoe


Joined January 2017

Josephine has 25 years of experience in fundraising, marketing and volunteering with notable roles at NSPCC and the Alzheimer’s Society. Josephine sits on our Investment & Finance Committee.

Richard Williams

Trustee and Chair of Investment & Finance Committee

Joined May 2020

Richard chairs our Investment & Finance Committee and sits on our People & Remuneration Committee. Richard has a wealth of experience in the not for profit, charitable, commercial and volunteering sectors. He is CEO of the Honorary Treasurers Forum and a trustee of the London Welsh Centre.

About the Trustees

The trustees provide leadership and strategic direction for Royal Voluntary Service and work closely with the Chief Executive and her leadership team who implement the strategy.

The trustees have legal responsibility for ensuring Royal Voluntary Service resources are properly managed and are used only for the legal purposes of the charity.

The Board of Trustees has a maximum membership of 12.  Each trustee can serve for a maximum of two terms of three years.

The Board of Trustees is supported by three sub-committees:

Audit & Risk

The Audit and Risk Committee meets to consider reports from both external and internal auditors regarding the charity's internal financial control systems, risk management processes, financial reporting and the annual financial statements. It also considers the charity's risk register and horizon risks.

Investment & Finance

The Investment and Finance Committee meets to consider and make recommendations on financial budgets, forecasts and performance. It also scrutinises the business cases for the charity's proposed project investments and oversees the performance of the Royal Voluntary Service investment portfolio.

People & Remuneration

The People and Remuneration Committee meets to consider volunteer and employee issues and to review the performance and remuneration of the Chief Executive. It also considers the charity's pay policy and remuneration strategy and the size, structure and composition of the Board of Trustees. 

Our People and Remuneration Committee is constituted by three of our trustees and acts in accordance with its own terms of reference to consider, amongst other things, setting remuneration for the Chief Executive. It also considers and recommends to the Board of Trustees the charity's pay policy and remuneration strategy.  The People and Remuneration Committee considers a wide variety of factors when making a recommendation regarding pay and remuneration. This may include:

  • the demands of the charity’s strategic direction
  • the importance of attracting and retaining suitably skilled, experienced and motivated employees
  • the ability of those employees to lead the charity and it’s volunteers in delivering the charity’s objectives
  • the importance to the charity of achieving its aims in line with the charity’s values, the needs of its clients, participants and it’s volunteers
  • the need to balance the charity’s ability to pay any proposed remuneration with the need to deliver its charitable objectives and to develop the charity for future success.

It may also take into account external independent reference works and remuneration details published by other organisations from which comparable information may be drawn.

The approximate ratio of highest basic pay to lowest basic pay is 10:1 reflecting the size of the organisation and assuming a 35 hour working week.

  Catherine Johnstone CBE
Job title
Chief Executive
Basic pay 2021/22 £154,684
Basic pay 2020/21 £153,153
Basic pay 2019/20 £153,153
Other benefits
Car allowance
Pension as % of pay