Veterans’ charity expands health knowledge with new trustees

Issued: 20 March 2018

FirstLight Trust, a charity helping former veterans of the armed forces and emergency services get back on their feet, has appointed two new trustees.

Kate Schroder MBE originally qualified as a forensic archaeologist in the 1980s and has worked in the NHS for 20 years. She was a CEO for eight years, working across six hospitals at one time, Chief Officer of an Ambulance Service covering eight counties, and a Director of Surgery. Kate also worked as a non-executive director of the Queen Alexandra, a hospital for disabled and injured servicemen and women. She was awarded an MBE for services to health in 2009.

Simon Hodges, a former Coldstream Guards officer, served on operational tours including Bosnia in 1994. As a chartered accountant, he was CEO of the Family Office of one of Middle East’s oldest trading families. He was also a partner of the international trust services firm. Today he helps transform people’s lives in his coaching practice and works on improving family dynamics and wealth transition at Oxford Place.

“We are extremely excited to have Kate and Simon join us at such a pivotal time,” said Dorinda Wolfe Murray from FirstLight Trust. “Their experience of the armed forces and emergency services will be invaluable. We have just opened our fourth hub/Sharpe’s café for veterans in Lancaster to add to those in Gosport, Redcar and Scarborough and have more in the pipeline. We are also expanding the treatments we offer ex-service personnel to help transform their mental and physical wellbeing. Myself and all the trustees are very much looking forward to working with both Simon and Kate over the coming years.”

Speaking about her appointment Kate Schroder MBE said: “I have worked with both serving and retired armed force personnel. My work in the NHS has also required close working with emergency services. Mindful of the pressures they all experience, and how much has yet to be achieved to support them and their families, I am very grateful for the opportunity to work as part of FirstLight Trust.”

Simon Hodges said: “As a result of my own life journey and seeing PTSD’s impact, I am passionate about teaching people the tools for great mental health. I believe they are not taught nearly widely enough in society today.”

Best-selling author Bernard Cornwell OBE, author of the Sharpe novels and The Saxon Stories featuring Uhtred of Bebbanburg, continues as patron of the charity.