We respond to requests from former officers and their dependants, both for advice and information on benefits and accommodation, and provide financial assistance to those in need.
New clients call > 020 7808 4175
Existing clients (surname A-K) > 020 7808 4175 (surname L-Z) > 020 7808 4177
Vajira has over 15 years’ experience in the OA. She previously worked for Hillbourne and Dick Associates (Counselling and Coaching Organisation) as an Administrator and her previous job was at the Royal Overseas League as a Banqueting Secretary.
She looks after clients whose surnames start with A-K.
020 7808 4175
Amanda Muhammad: Benevolence Administrator (L-Z)
Amanda joined us from the Regular Forces Employment Association (RFEA) and has been with the OA for many years. She takes cares of clients whose surnames start with L-Z.
020 7808 4177
Bridget Gallagher, Benevolence Secretary
Bridget was previously Deputy Manager of the SSAFA Forces Help London based Stepping Stone Scheme, assisting service families within the scheme to secure onward Social Housing and applicable statutory benefits. She then joined The Royal British Legion’s Welfare Team at Haig House.
Bridget spent 14 years with the Legion engaged in a number of different roles and management positions including National Lead for Independent Living. This was one of the Legions Pathway for Growth Specialist Team Services whose primary aim was to continue with disablement benefit and appeals work while supporting the beneficiary with their wider independent living needs.
Bridget joined the OA in January 2016.
020 7808 4176
George Hood: Benevolence Secretary
In her previous role, George worked at Elizabeth Finn Care for seven years as a caseworker, providing support for beneficiaries, assessing applications and administering grants.
George has worked for a number of organisations providing specialist advice. She has been a Debt and Welfare Benefits advisor in a busy Citizens Advice Bureau and provided 2nd tier advice for Kent Probation service on housing and benefits issues.
She has worked for St Giles Trust as the sole caseworker within two large, busy prisons providing housing and resettlement advice for prisoners. She has also worked as a trainer as part of the charity’s innovative Peer Advisor projects.
020 7808 4179
Rosalind Murray: Benevolence Secretary
Rosalind spent 34 years with The Charity for Civil Servants (formally The Civil Service Benevolent Fund) engaged in a number of different roles; these included both Operations and Management positions, in a Help and Advisory environment, and in supporting volunteers.
Rosalind has managed and supervised staff teams dealing with individual grant giving, advice and guidance, and the support, development and training of national and regional teams of volunteers.
Rosalind also has experience of working in a busy NHS-Social Services Department of her local hospital as an Administrator providing clerical support to the Social Worker Team and ward staff in putting patient discharge plans in place. She joined the OA in January 2013.
020 7808 4169
Rose Atkinson: Benevolence Secretary
Rose graduated from The University of Kent at Canterbury in 2006. Rose worked with Housing 21 Care options as a Care co-ordinator, assessing and tailoring social care for residents of Westminster. Following this employment, she joined Elizabeth Finn Care (EFC) as a Caseworker in the Grants team. Here, she managed her own caseload of beneficiaries, providing advice in the areas of welfare benefits, housing and social care. She also assessed new requests for financial assistance and worked with the PR and Media team in identifying content for external and internal communications. After leaving EFC, she joined Macmillan Cancer Support working as part of the Grants team before joining the OA in November 2012 as a Benevolence Secretary.
020 7808 4174
Nigel Hare: Head of Benevolence
Nigel Hare leads the Benevolence Department. He liaises with the Benevolence Trustees and ensures that policies and governance are implemented. In addition, he is responsible for the recruitment of Honorary Representatives and their support. Nigel liaises with other Service and civilian charities to form close partnerships which can provide mutual support to beneficiaries.
Nigel spent 34 years in the Royal Navy before joining Warsash Maritime Academy, part of Southampton Solent University, as the Head of Maritime Professional Development.
Key jobs included sea command, running one of the UK’s busiest ports, Portsmouth, as Queen’s Harbour Master and, at Warsash, leading and managing a department of over 60 people to deliver world-renowned maritime training.
020 7808 4172
Nahid Malik: Deputy Head of Benevolence
Nahid Malik coordinates the day-to-day work of the Benevolence team. She is responsible for ensuring that the welfare support, information and advice is updated and relevant.
Nahid graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Social Science and took up the role of Project Coordinator at a Welfare Advisory Centre funded by London Borough of Wandsworth in 1986. She then joined the London Borough of Merton as part of the Housing Benefit Assessment team reviewing applications for assistance. She took a career break for several years while raising her two sons before joining Haig Homes as Rent Officer in 1997. She was then promoted to the role of Tenancy Liaison Officer. While working in this role she obtained an MA in Housing. Nahid joined the Benevolence Department at the Officers’ Association in 2006 and was promoted to Deputy Head of Benevolence in 2011.
020 7808 4173
Angela Bailey: Honorary Representative Support Manager
Angela joined us in November 2014 from Elizabeth Finn Care (the charity for professional people) where for 13 years she supported and briefed its 350 visiting volunteers across the UK. She has extensive experience of the volunteering world and has been Chair of Bath Volunteer Centre and a Trustee of NCVO. She continues to visit beneficiaries for EFC. Prior to working in the voluntary sector she gained an MBA from the London Business School, was a Marketing Manager with British Telecom, and at the beginning of her career taught for the Inner London Education Authority.
All queries regarding volunteering or if you are an OA Hon Rep, should be directed to Angela.
There are three Trustees who act as the Benevolence sub-Committee and, as well as reviewing and deciding on policy issues, they deal with the more complex and costly applications for assistance. They liaise closely with the Department Secretaries and provide oversight of the benevolence procedures and guidelines. The Benevolence Trustees are members of the OA Executive Commitee.
Jocelyn Lynch: Chairman, Benevolence Sub-Committee
Jocelyn spent over 30 years working in financial services, latterly as a company director. She worked at Strand Insurance and Wilsons’ Hogg Robinson, market leaders in offering insurance and financial planning to Army and RAF officers, before 12 years setting up and building the financial planning arm for Horwath Clark Whitehill (now Crowe Clark Whitehill), Chartered Accountants, specialising in tax and investment planning. She acts as a mentor for individuals funded by The Prince’s Trust as well as Oxford Brookes University’s Business School students. She is married to a former Army Officer.
Deanne Thomas: Trustee, Benevolence Committee
Deanne trained as a chartered accountant working predominantly in food manufacturing. During a 20 year career working in PLCs, she was promoted from Trainee Accountant to Financial Controller to Commercial and Operations Director. Following the birth of her youngest child she spent a number of years as a consultant providing valuable financial skills during business reorganisations. At the same time she began to volunteer with Prince’s Trust as a Business Mentor for ex-prison offenders. In 2007 she joined Sailors’ Children’s Society. As Chief Executive, she leads the team providing financial, emotional and practical support to over 450 disadvantaged children of seafarers throughout the United Kingdom.
Surgeon Commodore Robin McNeill Love MB BS FFOM MSc MRCGP DRCOG DA(UK) DAvMed: Trustee, Benevolence Committee
Robin has served in the Royal Navy since June 1981 and graduated from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, University of London, in 1984. Initially qualifying as a General Practitioner (1991) with additional diplomas in Anaesthetics (1995) and Aviation Medicine (1997), he was appointed Consultant in Occupational Medicine in 2005 and Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine in 2014.
He has served on global deployments in HM Frigates BROADSWORD (1985-6) and ANDROMEDA (1988-9), HM YACHT BRITANNIA (1992-4) and the Aircraft Carrier HMS ILLUSTRIOUS (1995-7). Early tri-service appointments included RMO 3 rd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets (1990) and Princess Mary’s RAF Hospital HALTON (1991). Appointments to RN Air Station Yeovilton (1997-2000) and Naval Medical Officer of Health (Fleet) (2001-2) were followed by Commanding Officer of the Royal Naval Hospital (RNH) GIBRALTAR (2002-6). Promoted to Surgeon Captain in 2006 as President of the Naval Service Medical Board of Survey, he was in charge of determining the future medical employability, or invaliding, of significantly ill or injured RN and RM personnel. Deputy Defence Postgraduate Medical Dean (2009-10), the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) (2011) and Assistant Head of Medical Policy at HQ Surgeon General (2011-13) followed. In 2013, he was privileged to be both appointed Honorary Physician to HM The Queen (QHP) and promoted to Surgeon Commodore as Head of the RN Medical Service. Due to the 2014 Redundancy Programme, his last day in regular uniform was 11 December 2014. The following day his son commissioned into the Welsh Guards.
Since January 2015, Robin became Medical Director (London) for Health Management Ltd, a UK healthcare organisation providing Occupational Health services to large corporates, medium sized and small companies and the public sector. A Freeman of the City of London, he is a member of the Court of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, the Royal Society of Medicine, Chatham House, the Travellers Club and the Royal Over-Seas League.