HomeAboutMeet the team


Our team provide support to patients and staff on each of the three sites, Royal Free, Barnet and Chase Farm

Chris Burghes

Chief Executive

020 7472 6677

Chris Burghes was appointed as the Charity's first Chief Executive in the autumn of 2010. Since then he has led the organisation through its re-branding exercise, merger with the Friends and the Charity’s growing fundraising function. Chris is responsible for implementing the Trustees’ plans and managing the charity on a day-to-day basis. He was formerly the Business Development Director at the Fire Fighters Charity and, prior to that, worked for the National Farmers’ Union.

Ikram Hirse

Executive Assistant to CEO

020 7472 6677

Barry Aspland

Director of Finance

020 7794 0500 Ext 23074

Barry joined the Charity in October 2018 with responsibility to provide robust financial management across the Charity’s range of activities including construction of critical infrastructure to operational services to support the needs of patients of the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust.  Barry has over 10 years’ experience as a finance director across a wide range of charities delivering services to vulnerable people and has held comparable roles in the private sector.

Julio Grau

Director of Fundraising

020 7317 7774

Julio joined the Royal Free Charity in 2013 to lead the philanthropic campaigns for the major projects of the Charity and manages the fundraising team that secure gifts from individual supporters,  legacies and trusts and foundations, and the charity's retail team. His wide experience in the sector has been acquired at senior fundraising roles held at leading academic, arts and social welfare organisations. Julio is also the charity's Data Protecion Lead and chair of the Works of Art Committee of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

Richard Scarth

Director of Operations

020 7317 7773

Richard joined the Charity in 2015 and has responsibility for the growing number of patient and carer services the Charity provides, and for our Volunteer Teams across all sites. In addition he is a Director of The Royal Free Charity Recreation Club. Richard will oversee the Patient Hotel to be located in The Pears Building, where the Institute of Immunity and Transplantation will also be based. Richard started his career in financial services and has held senior positions within large healthcare organisations, where he gained significant experience in delivering support services to a broad range of people. He is also a mentor through the renowned Career Ready Scheme and in his spare time is a busy firefighter with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Genevieve Grimshaw

Head of HR

Genevieve joined the charity in September 2015 as a HR consultant to deliver a HR transformation programme to include the development and embedding of a HR framework for the organisation. This has involved change management, organisation restructure and the development of a leadership team.  Genevieve developed her senior level career in company governance and quality assurance as Assistant Chartered Secretary and ISO Quality Manager and has wide experience working across PLC, private and not for profit sectors in senior chartered secretary, operational and HR roles.  Genevieve is a member of CIPD and CMI and holds a Bachelor of Arts Business Management degree.

Diane Ryan

Head of Community Fundraising

020 7472 6761 ext 34582

Diane Ryan joined the charity in September 2008 with the responsibility of managing and acknowledging the donations received and maximising the impact these donations made. With the charity becoming a fundraising organisation she is now also responsible for the fundraising activites of the Charity and supporting fundraisers.

Alison Kira

Head of Project Development

07494 479 593

Alison was appointed in December 2014 initially with responsibility for establishing the charity at Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals. She is now responsible for the development of projects that will ensure the delivery of the strategic objectives of the Charity. She has over 20 years experience in the charity sector and has previously held project management, development, and service delivery management roles.

Fred Adams

Legacies Manager

020 7317 7772

Fred joined the Royal Free Charity in June 2015 with 15 years of fundraising experience gained with national welfare, health and sector infrastructure charities.  Fred has responsibility for overseeing the development and implementation of the fundraising strategy for gifts in Wills.  Please contact Fred if you require any information about legacies or if you are interested in supporting the Royal Free Charity with a gift in your Will.

Carla Bispham

Community Fundraiser (Barnet)

Carla joined the charity in September 2015 as the Community Fundraiser for Barnet Hospital. She supports individuals, as well as groups, organisations and businesses who would like to fund raise for the hospital or a specific ward or department. She works with the staff to identify how the charity can improve the patient experience. Carla has previously organised many successful fundraising events in the community. 

Jonathan Mulligan

Community Fundraiser (Royal Free)

Jonathan joined the charity in October 2017. He plans and delivers community fundraising events coordinating with fundraisers and supporters. Jonathan brings a long experience as a lead fundraiser in both emerging and established charities in the UK and Ireland, where he developed fundraising strategies, and ran campaigns to engage individuals and communities.

Olumide Ojagbemi (Lumi)

Community Fundraiser (Chase Farm)

020 8375 2186

Ellen Blessington

Fundraising Assistant

Ellen joined the fundraising team in September 2017. She assists the Director of Fundraising with research and the administration of major gifts, provides general support for the fundraising team, and is the first point of contact for all fundraising enquiries. While at university, Ellen volunteered in Uganda building playgrounds for school children and the local communities, and after graduating she moved to Argentina to volunteer with Doctors of the World for four months.

Jenny Todd

Head of Volunteering

Jenny joined the Royal Free Charity team in August 2016 as the new Head of Volunteering. Managing the volunteer teams at the Royal Free, Barnet and Chase Farm, her remit is to support and grow volunteering across the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust in order to reach more patients with a wider variety of services. Her previous experience includes managing diverse large scale international and local volunteering programmes for a broad range of charities that include Business in the Community and Plan International UK.

Gill Hyatt-Lachs

Volunteer Team Manager (Royal Free)

020 7830 2306

Gill started with the Friends of the Royal Free in 2001, recruiting volunteers for the hospital shop and trolley service. When the Friends merged with the Royal Free Charity in March 2011, Gill came under the umbrella of the Royal Free Charity and now manages the volunteer team at the Royal Free Hospital.  She liaises with volunteers, clinics, wards and services to ensure that volunteers are appropriately placed as well as working with partner organisations and ensures that the Charity adheres to best volunteering practice.

Sharon Howarth

Volunteer Assistant Team Manager (Royal Free)

020 7830 2306

Sharon joined the Charity in September 2013 as administrator to the Volunteer Team and became Volunteer Coordinator in 2016. Now as Assistant Manager she is responsible for volunteer recruitment and daily co-ordination and management of volunteers across the Royal Free. Her role involves liaising with wards, clinics and departments in order to establish and develop volunteering placements.

LaDonna Casey

Young Volunteer Coordinator (Royal Free)

020 7830 2306

LaDonna joined the volunteer team in October 2016 to help us organise the volunteer rota and their duties and she now assists with the recruitment, selection and support of all new young volunteers at the Royal Free Hospital and satellite sites. She works with Trust staff to develop new fulfilling opportunities for young volunteers that in turn support the needs of the Trust and ensures that young volunteers are placed in suitable roles. LaDonna has been in the charity sector since 2008 working at the Big Lottery Fund, Mencap and Save the Children. She is a keen volunteer, a fitness enthusiast and a tutor of English and Spanish in her spare time.

Monika Sobanska

Young Volunteer Programme Coordinator

020 7830 2306

Alix Temple

Volunteer Team Administrator (Royal Free and Edgware Neuro Rehab)

020 7830 2306

Alix joined the volunteer team November 2016. She is responsible for answering incoming volunteer enquiries, administering the recruitment process and helping the team with other admin tasks. Alix is helping to increase the number of fundraising volunteers for the charity, and has helped young volunteers fundraise in the local community, with hopes of creating many more fundraising opportunities for volunteers in the future. She comes from a medical administration and recruitment background.

Angela Constantine

Volunteer Administrator (Royal Free)

020 7830 2306

Angela began working at The Royal Free Hospital volunteer team over 25 years ago when it was part of the NHS Trust and there were only 2 members of staff to run the service.  She has been integral in growing the volunteer service to what it is today and now in her retirement, Angela helps out in the office with administration for 2 days a week.

Samantha Boyce

Receptionist Administrator

020 7830 2306

Louise Bellass

Volunteer Team Manager (Barnet and Chase Farm)

020 8216 4449

Louise joined the volunteer team in September 2015 and became Team Manager of the Volunteer Teams at Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals in June 2019. Louise delivers the volunteers programme and her duties include recruitment, daily support of over 150 volunteers and development of appropriate roles that add value to the work of the hospitals and enhance the patient experience. 

Mee Ling Woo

Volunteering Team Administrator (Chase Farm)

020 8375 1349

Mee Ling is the team administrator based at Chase Farm Hospital available Monday - Thursday and can support volunteers with enquiries.

Alison Brooking

Database Administrator

Ext 32589

Alison joined the Charity in July 2018 and leads on gift processing. She is delighted to be involved with thanking the Charity’s wide range of supporters for their generosity. Alison also supports the Databases Manager on maintaining the quality and integrity of the data held by the Charity.

Kedir Mohammed

Finance Manager

020 7794 0500 Ext 23077

Basia Coltman

Assistant Accountant

020 7794 0500 Ext 37511

Andrea Petrou

Management Accountant

Gosia Grela

Accounts Assistant

Laura Butler

Retail Manager

07487 241875

Laura joined the Charity in February 2017 as Shops Project Manager to set-up our first charity retail shops.  As Retail Manager, she is now responsible for implementing the policies and procedures for the shops and line management and recruitment of the shop staff.  Laura previously managed community development projects including the first charity shop for Groundwork South in Hillingdon.