Deborah Layde to lead The Seafarers’ Charity

The chair and trustees of the general council of The Seafarers’ Charity have announced the appointment of Deborah Layde as chief executive officer.

Layde is currently director of impact at The Seafarers’ Charity and has played an instrumental role in delivering positive change for seafarers. Working with the senior leadership team and trustees, she has moved the charity from a reactive organisation to one which understands the root cause of problems and develops solutions.

Layde’s work includes projects that are enhancing the maritime welfare sector, such as leading work during Covid-19 to provide an additional £2m of support for maritime welfare.

Paul Butterworth, chair of The Seafarers’ Charity says: “We were unanimous in our decision to appoint Deborah Layde. 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 has worked at The Seafarers’ Charity for almost ten years. Prior to joining the charity she was employed in the wider charitable sector, transferring from fundraising to grant making. An additional 18 years in business included operating as a senior leader, working on business innovation, culture change and income generation. Layde is a fully accredited coach and a Clore Social Fellow. 

Layde says: “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.”

More recently, Layde has led a grants programme to support seafarers and their dependants facing severe deprivation due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Layde will assume the position of chief executive in early July 2022. 

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