Our people


Sara Baade

Sara joined the Society as CEO in September 2020, bringing with her a strong background in management and strategic policy, as well as extensive experience in leading an international welfare charity from her previous role as CEO of The Army Families Federation. Her career also includes working as a senior civil servant for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, a directorship at the charity UK Skills and substantial experience in investment banking.

Andrew Pitcher

Andrew qualified as a chartered certified accountant with Ernst & Young in 1988 and later moved to a smaller local firm. He was a company auditor in public practice for 14 years specialising mainly in owner managed businesses. As Director of Finance & Administration, Andrew is responsible for financial governance, human resources and facilities management. Andrew is also Company Secretary for Sailors' Society's UK group companies. He joined the Society in 1998.

Melanie Warman

A journalist for most of her career, Melanie Warman joined the Society in October 2015 as Director of Media and Advocacy. Having worked in newspapers, television and radio, Melanie spent some time in Brussels as Media Officer for the Conservative Party in Europe before working with a number of national and international brands on PR, marketing and reputation management.


Sailors' Society's Trustees provide governance and oversight to the Christian maritime charity. They lend support and advice to the senior leadership team, who are responsible for executing the mission and vision of the Society. They are also legally responsible for ensuring compliance with the expectations of the Charity Commission.

Our Trustees voluntarily contribute their time and come from a variety of professional backgrounds, including business and legal. Some bring experience of seafaring and together they offer a diverse range of skills.

The Trustees regularly review and comment on plans and performance, review any major issues bearing on the well-being of the organisation and its endeavours and decide important new strategic directions.

It is the Trustees’ responsibility to formally approve our budget, annual report and accounts and report to the Charity Commission on annual achievements of the charity and delivery of public benefit to the community we set out to serve.

Our Acting Chairman is Peter Swift; the charity's governance advisor is John Harte. Further information on our Trustees is below.

A copy of Sailors' Society's annual accounts can be found here.

Sailors' Society's senior leadership team and trustees are kindly supported by Convene who provide a digital portal to facilitate secure, paperless board and committee meetings.

peter swift

Peter Swift’s career includes senior management, commercial and technical roles in the maritime and other international industries, which followed research and lecturing positions in engineering, marine transportation and economics. Having worked extensively in all five continents, his charity involvement today spans, among others: seafarer welfare, piracy and crisis response, maritime knowledge awareness, and the promotion of quality in ships and their management.

catharine bacon

Catharine Bacon retired from Cargill in 2016, having been a dry cargo broker, principal, and office manager in London. She has been a member of the Baltic Exchange since 1977, twice serving as a director. She is now on the Council and a trustee of the Baltic Exchange Charitable foundation. Catharine lectures in dry cargo chartering and has assisted in an expert witness case. She joined the Sailors’ Society board in 2018 – 15 years after she first got involved with the charity, completing the three peaks challenge and helping at subsequent events.

peter goldberg

Peter Goldberg served at sea with Port Line, Shell and British Rail Ferries, he left in 1966 as Chief Officer with Masters Certificate. He founded a computer bureau, which he sold in 1979. Peter founded a garden products business, which he sold in 2009 to retire. He became a Trustee of Sailors’ Society in 2004 and currently chairs the development committee.

Kay Penney

Kay Penney has been an HR leader across a number of sectors and companies, and has operated in countries across the Far East, Europe, CIS countries and Africa. Her most recent role was a Director for Associated British Ports, but she has worked in leadership roles in Premier Oil, AES Corporation and Invensys among others. Her board experience includes membership of the Berkshire Learning and Skills Council and the Port Authority for Milford Haven.

jacqueline zalapa

During her legal career, Jacqueline Zalapa has represented the maritime community in domestic courts and international arbitrations on legal issues in her areas of expertise. She is a partner at an international shipping law firm, chairs its Charity Committee and is tri-qualified in the U.K., U.S. and Australia having practiced in London, New York and Sydney. She holds an LLM and BA/LLB and is ranked in the Experts’ Guide for Shipping 2018/2019.

Joshua Hutchinson

A former Royal Marine Commando, Joshua Hutchinson transitioned to the Ministry of Defence as a civilian in 2013 to cover technology and communications activities. In 2014 Josh co-founded ARX Maritime, concentrating on pioneering change for safer seas. Under his leadership ARX Maritime has grown as a business and now supports some of the world’s largest oil, gas and cargo carriers with cutting edge risk prevention solutions.

Patron and Presidents

Sailors’ Society’s Patron is Her Majesty the Queen. His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh is Honorary President of the International Sailors’ Society of Canada.

Our Vice Presidents are The Free Churches’ Moderator for England, The Right Reverend the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, The Right Reverend and Right Honorable the Lord Bishop of London, The Right Reverend the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, David Morris BSc, Captain Reg Kelso MBE, Ross Sinclair FCA and Frank Taylor BA CA J DIP MA.

“Sailors’ Society is here today, as it has been for the past two centuries, to care for those who work on our seas, and upon whom we all rely.”

Her Majesty The Queen, Sailors’ Society Patron

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