General Sir John McColl KCB CBE DSO is the Chairman of Cobseo. He acts as the voice of the Service Charitable Sector within Government and the Private Sector and is charged with encouraging cooperation and collaboration across the Service Charitable Sector to enhance the support given to the Armed Forces Community. He chairs the Confederation’s Executive Committee and is a member of a number of cross Government committees including the Covenant Reference Group and the MOD Service Charities Partnership Board. He meets regularly with Ministers and is widely consulted by the MOD.
Brigadier (Retired) Ian Caws OBE CEng MICE is responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient operation of Cobseo and providing support to the Cobseo Executive in pursuance of Cobseo objectives, projects and initiatives. His main responsibilities are to execute the decisions of the Cobseo Executive, whilst managing the day-to-day running of Cobseo to meet the Confederation’s purposes as the overarching organisation for the Service Charities. He represents Cobseo in various environments, attending a number of MOD meetings and working groups; working with the Cobseo Chairman and Executive Committee to promote Cobseo through the Cluster process; developing the relationships between Service Charities, Government Departments and many other organisations. He has tactical management of Cobseo and responds to approaches from a wide spectrum of people, from members of the Royal Family, through Government Ministers to individuals seeking help and support. Ian also acts as the Company Secretary for the Registered Company limited by Guarantee and oversees the Cobseo finances, accounting and budgeting.
Roy Brown joined Cobseo as Director of Governance Support in February 2019. Although Roy joins the team on secondment from the Ministry of Defence, which included appointments with all three Services, and senior Board governance roles with the RN and RAF, he also has experience of the Service Charities Sector from his attachment with SSAFA, which also included governance responsibilities. His remit is to continue the work to support Cobseo Members in improving, assuring and sustaining good governance practices in an increasingly demanding regulatory environment; and to assist the Cobseo Chairman and Executive team in representing Members’ interests and advocating on their behalf with Government, Regulators and other key external stakeholders.
Caroline Wood is responsible for advising the Executive Committee on the suitability of organisations for Membership of the Confederation, including due diligence and assessment of new applications. Other matters relating to the Membership include external liaison, with Central, Devolved and Local Government, Regulators, and other stakeholders. She is also responsible for the Cobseo budget. Prior to joining in 2016, Caroline jointly founded consultancy Purple and Red as part of the London 2012 legacy, to transfer lessons from the workforce programme that included the recruitment and training of the c.70k strong ‘GamesMaker’ volunteers. Before that she led the sales team at ELLE magazine, responsible for generating £10m+ revenue annually.
Charlotte Fiander leads on all communications work for Cobseo and oversees all internal and external communications. She is the main contact for all media and press enquiries and manages the day-to-day communications between Cobseo and its members. Charlotte oversees the weekly newsletter, newsfeed and website, and is responsible for developing and managing the communications strategy. Before joining Cobseo, she worked in a variety of membership organisations including the National Federation of Women’s Institutes and The Hurlingham Club. Charlotte is on hand to assist and advise all members with any communications, media, or digital issues they may encounter.
Rachel joined Cobseo in September 2019 as the Positive Pathways Programme Coordinator supporting the coordination and delivery of the Positive Pathways Programme, working closely with the AFCFT team and providing a focus for applicants where needed, and became the Programme and Cluster Manager in August 2021. Rachel also assists in the ongoing development of common assessment and case management frameworks between charities and other providers; and support the Service Charities Sector’s work to improve the local, regional and national provision of services and wider pathways to recovery for veterans facing mental health challenges. Following on from a career in the cosmetic industry, Rachel has lived and worked in the military community for over 23 years, most recently at The Warrior Programme and previously to that at The Poppy Factory.
Natalie Chambers joined Cobseo in February 2020. She works closely with both the Head of Membership & Finance and Director of Governance Support, to administer, coordinate and deliver support services to Cobseo Members. Alongside this, she coordinates the routine administration for Cobseo meetings and events; primarily the Executive Committee Meetings, AGM, and webinars. Before joining Cobseo, Natalie worked for a global membership association and registered UK charity, the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) and was responsible for membership. Prior to this, she worked at East Kent Housing as a Housing Administration Support Officer and later as a Systems Officer.