Committee Members

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

Elizabeth Wood-Dow

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.

Catherine Varney

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.

Alison Knapp

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.

Joan Orford

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.

Gill Charlesworth

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.

Rosemary Campbell

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.

Nicola Marks

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.

Judy Cook

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.

Maggie Nichol

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.

Amanda McGough

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.

Susan Merry

Honorary Secretary, Benevolent Fund: Mrs Susan Merry

Susie trained at Barts from 1980 to 1983 (set 16), staffed on Radcliffe then worked as the research nurse on the pressure injury study established by Pam Hibbs. She then went to university to study social science and had a brief career as a criminology researcher before having children and settling in Guildford. Later she re-joined nursing as a breast care nurse in both the screening service and hospital. She retired a couple of years ago from a post as nurse consultant in breast cancer with a specialist interest in genetics at the Royal Surrey Hospital. She now enjoys travelling and volunteering at RHS Wisley.

Jill Gillet

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.

Diana Sherlaw

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.

Rachel Rowe

Honorary Website Manager: Miss Rachael Rowe

Rachael trained at Barts from 1982-1985 (Set 25). When she qualified she staffed at Barts for one year on Robert Bridges Ward and a year on Harvey Ward. Following this she worked in Switzerland on a trauma unit. She was a sister in Birmingham in Coronary Care, and in A&E assessing patients with cardiac problems and pioneering nurse led thrombolysis. She also worked at the Royal College of Nursing. Most recently she led on the Long Term Conditions programme in Somerset which included working as a vaccinator during the pandemic and implementing digital programmes. Now retired from the NHS Rachel works as a writer, journalist, and project manager.

Rosie Clasby

Honorary Countrywide Network of Friendship Coordinator: Mrs Rosie Clasby

Rosie qualified at Barts in August 1982. She then staffed on Harmsworth 1982-84 and A&E 1984-1993. After that Rosie worked as ‘Tour Nurse’ with European Union Youth Orchestra….travelling with 120 young musicians across Europe and South America, following this she continued to work in the A&E field in several other major London hospitals, at the same time she served as a QARANC(V) with 257 Field Hospital. Moving to Herefordshire in 1997, joining the A&E team locally she remained there until her retirement as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner in 2016. Rosie has previous experience as an Executive Committee member and enjoys cooking, travelling, yoga , ongoing learning of Greek language.