The Executive Committee, led by the president, meets 10 times a year to ensure the League continues to thrive and modernise to attract new members and to oversee the running of our two charitable funds.
We are always on the lookout for new committee members so if you are interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
President: Elizabeth Wood-Dow (née Tysoe) OBE
Elizabeth trained at Barts, September 1980-1983. Following this she worked as a staff nurse for 3 years before leaving to undertake an A&E course. After several management posts in the NHS and a stint as head of health care in a high security prison, Elizabeth was appointed to HM Inspectorate of Prisons. She became Head of Health Inspection, for which she received an OBE. Elizabeth now works part-time as an Employer Liaison Advisor for the GMC. Within the League, she has served 3 terms on the Scholarship Committee. In 2018 Elizabeth became President of the League. Elizabeth’s many interests and commitments include being the Chair of the Faith Awareness in Children Trust, Chair of her local independent food bank and a Governor of two federated special needs schools.
Life Vice President: Mrs Catherine Varney
Catherine trained from 1949 and following her staff nurse year, she worked in the community. After a break from nursing raising a family she returned to working as a clinical teacher, lecturer and co-ordinator of a theatre course. Moving then to Guy’s Catherine developed an occupational health service and completed varied courses adding to her expertise. Catherine was President of the League from 1999 until 2005.
Life Vice President: Miss Alison Knapp
Alison trained at Barts from 1965-69. After her 4th year she went into Pink on theatres and was promoted to Sister on Theatre G in 1970. In 1979 she became Head of Nursing Services, Theatres and three years later was promoted to Theatre Superintendent. In 1994, on the merger with the Royal London and London Chest Hospitals, Alison was appointed as Director of Nursing at the Royal London and Deputy to the Chief Nurse for the Barts and The London NHS Trust. Whilst in this role she gained an MSc in Executive Management. She retired in 2003. Alison served on the League Executive in the 1970s and on the Benevolent Committee in the 1980s. She became the League President in 2005, retiring in 2012.
Life Vice President: Mrs Joan Orford
Joan trained at Barts from 1958-61. In 1964 she became a Pink on the Surgical Unit, then a Night Sister. She was Sister Lawrence from 1965-7, moving across the corridor to Percival Pott for 2 years. She is a director of the family business and has worked with Friends of the Elderly for 30 years, with a particular interest in dementia, finishing in 2010 as Vice-Chairman. Joan served as the Honorary Treasurer from 1981-2013 and was appointed a Life Vice President in 2014.
Vice President: Mrs Elaine Law
Following time as a qualified physiotherapist, Elaine decided the team spirit of nursing was more for her and started training at Barts in 1970. Elaine’s career spanned 34 years, mostly at Barts holding posts in vascular surgery, medicine, neurosciences and on night duty. Later, Elaine held more senior posts in the corporate nursing structure with various responsibilities at Homerton, Hackney and St Leonard’s Hospitals. Elaine was the most senior nurse at Barts from 1994 – with corporate responsibilities within Barts and the London NHS Trust.
Vice President: Mrs Gill Charlesworth
Gill trained at Barts from 1961-1965. She then trained as a midwife returning to Barts as a “Pink” on the Bowlby/Heath Harrison wards. In 1968 she was appointed as ward Sister on Annie Zunz, a position she held for 4 years. Gill then followed the academic route, first as a Clinical teacher and then as a Senior Lecturer at Thames Valley University, now West of London University. She became Programme Leader for Adult Nursing and academic link for the Reading students. Her speciality was in “Long term needs” and Palliative care. She was a volunteer bereavement visitor at the local hospice. Current interests include walking in the countryside, tending her garden and allotment and spending valuable time with her 3 children and their families. Gill previously served on the Executive Committee of the League when Miss Little was president and more recently on the Scholarship Committee.
Honorary Treasurer: Mrs Rosemary Campbell
Rosemary trained at Barts from 1972-76. She spent 18 months as a Night Sister before being appointed Sister Bowlby in 1979 and later Sister Harmsworth. She then spent 7 years as a Clinical Nurse Manager at St Thomas’ Hospital. Following two periods on the Executive Committee she became Hon. Treasurer in 2013. At Barts, Rosemary was involved in many musical events, travelling to Europe and Israel with the Barts Festival Orchestra. She has been a member of the Royal Choral Society for 40 years and is also active in her local Cathedral representing them on their Diocesan Synod.
Honorary General Secretary: Mrs Nicola Marks
Nicola trained at Barts from 1972-76. She left to visit relatives in Zimbabwe for 6 months and worked in theatres. In 1977 she returned to England to study and qualify in Midwifery at Cambridge in 1979. Nicola stayed in this field in Addenbrookes Hospital. She then worked as a senior occupational health (OH) adviser at the Cambridge University Hospital providing services for the NHS and external companies. Nicola achieved a post graduate diploma in OH at the University of Surrey. Nicola was on the Executive Committee from 2012-18, then spent 2 years coordinating the All-Day Meetings before taking over the role of General Secretary in October 2020. Nicola has also been involved with St John Ambulance, holding the post of County Nursing Officer for Cambridgeshire.
Honorary Assistant General Secretary: Ms Judy Cook
Judy trained at Barts from 1969, staffing on Henry ward. She then worked in various London hospitals before becoming a sister at the Wellington Hospital. From 1977 Judy spent three years working overseas in Saudi Arabia and the USA. On her return she studied part-time for a MSc in Health Education while working in occupational health and safety in both the public and private sectors. She retired as Head of Occupational and Passenger Heath for British Airways. Judy served 17 years in the Territorial Army as a QARANC officer. She served several years on the Executive Committee becoming Assistant Secretary this year.
Honorary Editor, League News: Professor Maggie Nicol
Maggie came to Barts in 1977 to attend the Intensive Care Course and returned as Senior Sister in ITU from 1981-84. After a spell in nurse management at Whipps Cross Hospital, she returned to Barts in 1989 as a Lecturer in the School of Nursing and never left. Her specialist area was clinical skills, and she has published several books and developed workbooks and video learning resources. Maggie was President of the League from 2012 until 2018, when she became Honorary Editor.
Membership Secretary: Ms Amanda McGough
Amanda trained at Barts from 1985-90 on the City University course (City 18). She has worked for the NHS for over 30 years in primary, secondary care and public health. Amanda still works clinically as a nurse in the NHS and is a trained aromatherapist and mindfulness teacher. Amanda also serves on the Benevolent Committee and is the regional co-ordinator for the North Yorkshire network of the League.
Honorary Secretary, Benevolent Fund: Mrs Hilary Mathews
Hilary trained at Barts from 1969-73. She first worked as a staff nurse on Theatre G before becoming a relief Pink for both general and specialist theatres. She moved to Cheltenham General Hospital as a theatre Sister, returning to Barts as relief Sister on theatres, finally moving to the cardiac theatre until 1980. Hilary then left the NHS to work in the private sector as Theatre Manager, commissioning two new hospital theatre suites before moving to general nurse management as Matron, and finally overall hospital management. Hilary has served on both the League Executive and the Benevolent Committee. She became the Honorary Secretary of the Benevolent Committee in 2013.
Honorary Treasurer, Benevolent Fund: Mrs Jill Gillett
Jill qualified in 1973 and staffed on Annie Zunz (medical). She trained as a health visitor in Croydon and worked in Hertfordshire. This was then followed by community management posts in Kent and West Sussex returning to the acute sector in 1982 as Director of Nursing at St Peter’s Chertsey until leaving to have two sons. Before joining League committees in 2016, Jill worked as an adviser for 13 years with Citizens Advice in Kent.
Honorary Secretary, Scholarship Fund: Miss Diana Sherlaw
Diana trained at Barts from 1972-76 and was the Pink on Paget Ward until 1977. Following a varied nursing career in both South Africa and this country, in 1984 she returned to Barts as Sister Fleet Street. Five years later she became Sister Surgical Outpatients and in 1990 she moved to Guys Hospital. She has been a clinical nurse specialist in pancreatobiliary cancers since 2002. She was an Executive Committee member in 1986-1990 and 1998-2002 and was appointed Honorary Secretary of the Scholarship/Education Committee in 2002.
Honorary Treasurer, Scholarship Fund: Ms Alex Hayward
Alex trained at Barts September from 1983-1986, first staffing role on Henry Butlin, Ear Nose & Throat, after which she moved to Barts Accident and Emergency where she got her fifth year cap. Diversifying into pharmaceuticals, Alex worked for various companies including as part of the first team in the therapy area of anti-retrovirals for HIV. Staying in the business world Alex has worked in the cosmetic industry and the commercial property sector and currently works in finance part time. Alex became Treasurer of the Scholarship Fund in October 2020.
Honorary Website Manager: Mrs Merryl Lawrenson
Merryl trained at Barts from 1971-1974. She then worked as a staff nurse and pink on operating theatres. She completed a health visitor course at Oxford before returning to Barts in 1977 as a Sister in the operating theatres and then Clinical Teacher. She then worked as a health visitor in SE England also training as a specialist nurse in sexual health. She set up and led the young persons’ sexual health outreach service in the Canterbury and coastal part of east Kent, retiring in 2012. Merryl joined the Executive Committee in October 2015 and took over the post of Website Manager in October 2016.
Honorary Countrywide Network of Friendship Coordinator Benevolent Fund: Mrs Sue Finney
Sue trained at Barts from April 1963 until June 1967. She worked as a Staff nurse on Kenton children’s ward and the ENT theatre. After bringing up three children she worked in the community as a Practice nurse, District Nursing Sister and School Nurse. She spent time working and living in Nigeria, Liberia and Swaziland, where there is no NHS and only medical care for those who can afford it. She was on the Executive Committee from 2000 – 2002 and the Benevolent Committee from 2001 to the present day. She is now retired and is a hospice volunteer.