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ISWAN welcomes new Chief Executive Officer

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ISWAN welcomes new Chief Executive Officer

Simon Grainge

The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) is delighted to welcome Simon Grainge as its next Chief Executive Officer. Simon takes on the role on 14 June on the retirement of Roger Harris, who has led ISWAN since its establishment in 2013.

Simon has extensive experience in the charity sector and joins ISWAN from Emmaus UK (a federation of 33 homelessness charities/social enterprises) that he has led since 2012. As its CEO, Simon represented and advocated for its members with Housing Associations, Government, HMRC and the Charity Commission and was responsible for managing relationships with donors and the delivery of a federation-wide strategic plan. He was successful in increasing fundraising income and maintaining financial sustainability throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He has experience in leading change and in the development of leadership, governance and high-quality membership services, including through organisational restructuring.

Simon also has international experience as Trustee and Vice President of Emmaus International (a Paris-based, international federation of 337-member NGOs) and was country director of Handicap International implementing and delivering HI’s country strategy in Pakistan and overseeing the efficient and effective running of a post-earthquake programme. Simon was also Overseas Development Adviser to VSO where he worked in Nepal to develop and promote the organisational capacity of organisations supporting disabled people. His first career was in the UK Police Service.

Ahead of joining ISWAN, Simon said: ‘Recent events have shown just how important the work of ISWAN is, I am really looking forward to the challenges that leading such a respected organisation will bring.’


International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN): A charity and membership organisation which works to promote and support the welfare of seafarers all over the world. The free, 24-hour, multilingual helpline, SeafarerHelp, is one of the direct welfare services that ISWAN provides to seafarers. Others include relief funds for seafarers and their family members in need and a range of health information resources. ISWAN works with companies, unions, governments, welfare organisations and ports for the implementation of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. ISWAN supports those who establish and provide welfare facilities and services in port and on ships. ISWAN is funded by membership subscriptions, grants from foundations, sponsorship and earned income. For more information, visit www.seafarerswelfare.org.

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