THE Seafarers’ Charity will undergo a change in leadership in the coming months, with CEO Catherine Spencer having announced she will step down from the role.

Ms Spencer has led the charity since July 2019, working with the senior leadership team and general council to enable the organisation to maximise its support for seafarers and their families.  

On 6 July this year, she will step down and take on a new role outside of the maritime sector.

Paul Butterworth, chair of the general council at The Seafarers’ Charity, said Ms Spencer would be greatly missed.

“Catherine has been our chief executive for nearly three years, during the most testing time for any organisation – including The Seafarers’ Charity,” he said.

Mr Butterworth said Ms Spencer had successfully rebranded the charity, delivered a new strategic plan, and had rebuilt the leadership team during her time as CEO.  

“She has … seen the charity emerge from the COVID-19 global pandemic on an even firmer footing, ready to meet the challenges of our second century of tackling seafarer welfare, head on.


“As witnessed through the swift management of the Seafarers International Relief Fund and the response to the Ukrainian seafarer crisis, she has been front and centre in the maritime welfare community and she leaves us with a proud legacy upon which to build.

“Our deepest thanks and our very best wishes as she embarks on the next phase of her career.”

Ms Spencer expressed her gratitude to her team and confidence that their work would continue to support the seafaring community.

“I am fortunate to work with a fantastic team and board of trustees at The Seafarers’ Charity,” she said.

“Together we’ve made meaningful changes that are making significant improvements to the lives of seafarers.

“It’s a great charity to work for and I know my dedicated colleagues will continue to innovate and create new ways of supporting seafarers now and into the future.”

The charity said the process of appointing Ms Spencer’s successor is now underway.