New Chair for Demelza’s Board of Trustees

Categories: Leadership and People & Places.

Demelza is delighted to welcome a new Chair. Sean Reynolds CB CBE DFC took up the position on Monday 22 May 2023 – in the charity’s 25th year – taking over from David Highton, who has served as Demelza’s Chair for the past five years.

Prior to the new appointment, Sean served for four years as the Chair of the Board of Spencer Hospitals, a wholly owned subsidiary of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, where he gained a deep insight into the challenges facing the healthcare sector and how to navigate them.

It was here that Sean first learned of Demelza and the extraordinary care it provides to extraordinary children and their families across Kent, South East London and East Sussex.

Wanting to give back to his local community and utilise his extensive expertise to help children facing serious or life-limiting conditions, Sean applied for the prestigious voluntary role which will see him provide leadership and direction to Demelza’s Board of Trustees.

Sean is married to Lindy, who is the CEO of the UK National Cyber Security Centre; they have three grown-up children, and when they’re not travelling, they spend most of their time at their home in Kingsdown, Kent.

Sean said: “I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to lead the Board of Trustees of Demelza. It’s incredibly exciting to be helping Demelza continue the important work that it does and to develop and evolve its important suite of services in an ever-changing world.

“Demelza’s five-year strategy is forward-thinking and ambitious, but not unrealistic. I’m particularly interested in the commitment to extending Demelza’s reach to more families who need our support, and the commitment to recruit the right people to make that happen; it’s refreshing to be part of an organisation that is both creative and innovative in the way they deliver on their objectives.”

Sean brings to Demelza a wealth of experience. A career pilot with the RAF, beginning in 1984, he flew missions in Iraq, the Former Republic of Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. Over the course of his service, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Queens Commendation for Valuable Service and the OBE and in 2008 was made a CBE.

He held a number of senior leadership positions during his prestigious career, including Station Commander of RAF Odiham, Chief of Staff Operations Air Command, and Deputy Commander Capability and Air Member for Personnel and Capability.

After retiring from full-time service in 2018, Sean developed a portfolio career; among other pursuits, he is Air Officer for Northern Ireland, helping them to enhance the public image of the RAF in the country.

In his spare time, Sean is still a keen pilot; as a certified helicopter and light aircraft instructor, he instructs students aiming for their private pilot licenses, and he is the Chief Flying Instructor of his gliding club. He is also a qualified Day Skipper and dinghy sailor.

Commenting on Sean’s recent appointment, Lavinia Jarrett, Demelza’s CEO, said: “I am delighted that Sean Reynolds has been elected as Chair of the Board. I am confident that he, together with the rest of the Board, will continue to work to provide a clear vision ensuring governance and to work with myself and Demelza’s Senior

Leadership Team to successfully deliver the organisation’s ambitious five-year strategy.

“I would also like to thank our outgoing Chair, David Highton, for the invaluable contribution he has made to Demelza, serving as our Chair since 2018. He has been an enormous support in the development of our five-year strategy and has helped us to be ambitious as we move forward. David will continue to serve as a Trustee for the remainder of his tenure and retires in 2024 – we all wish him and his family well for the future.”

Demelza Hospice Care for Children:

  • Demelza delivers extraordinary care for extraordinary children who are facing serious or life-limiting conditions, throughout Kent, South East London and East Sussex. We’re here for them and their families with expert clinical, emotional and practical support at every step – from first diagnosis and for as long as we’re needed.
  • Our support is as unique as every family we help, and designed to wrap around their specific requirements and circumstances: from creative therapies and short breaks, to practical and emotional support for families and siblings, and care towards the end of life.
  • Our specialist nursing and care teams provide expert advice on complex symptoms and medication regimes and are here every day and every night, all year round.
  • We support families wherever is best for them: in our hospice or in their homes, online, at school and in local communities. When they need us most, we’ll be there; to reassure, to guide and to care. By their side when they feel isolated, and helping to celebrate the joy in family life, making precious memories during challenging times.
  • Demelza believes in care that doesn’t back down. We are Demelza.
  • Demelza is celebrating 25 years of providing outstanding clinical care and emotional support.

Find out more about Demelza at, follow the charity on Facebook at, @DemelzaCharity on Twitter and @demelzacharity on Instagram

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