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Leadership Team

The Leadership Team are responsible for making key operational decisions for the charity.

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

Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief of Services & Volunteering

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 for services to charity.

Emma Gervasio

Chief Operating Officer

Joined May 2024

Emma is a passionate people-focussed leader with extensive leadership experience across a range of global businesses. Her wide-ranging skills and experience are key to the forward momentum of Royal Voluntary Service and our delivery of outstanding impact in our communities, making a difference to the lives of those who need us most. Emma’s role will include transforming our digital capability and uplifting our sustainability, as well as leading our talent and training.

Chris Hoult

Chief Finance Officer

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

Chief Knowledge Officer

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. 

Extended Leadership Team

They are supported by an extended leadership team of directors and assistant directors.

Steve Amos

Director of Health & Community

Sam Barrett

Assistant Director of People Services

Louise Dee

Director of IT

Mel Garfield

Assistant Director of Communications

Chris Gray

Director of Retail

Duncan McLeod

Assistant Director of Business Innovation

Jamie Murinas

Assistant Director Asset Management & PMO

Denise Murphy

Director of WRVS

Ashley Paget-Miles

Assistant Director of Finance

Dr Allison Smith

Director of Research & Insight

Dave Stott

Assistant Director of Volunteering & Safeguarding