Meet our staff

Headshot of Nick Caplin, smiling with the Blind Veterans UK badge on his suit.

Nick Caplin CB

Chief Executive Officer

Nick joined Blind Veterans UK as CEO in 2014. As a Major General, he has over 33 years’ experience of command, leadership and management of military and civilian personnel in all three Defence Services. In addition to his CEO responsibilities, Nick is also a Director of Cobseo, Director of Action Against AMD and Director of Foresight Research. Married to Isobel, their home is in the Outer Hebrides: windy, wet and far from the madding crowd!

Nick Caplin CB on LinkedIn
Headshot of Andy Cash standing outside Blind Veterans UK, London offices.

Andy Cash

Chief of Staff

Andy joined us in 2017. He is responsible for ensuring cross-departmental coherence in the development and implementation of strategy, plans, performance, risk and governance. He provides support to the Chief Executive and Trustees. Andy is married and they live in the South West, with their two dogs and ‘collective’ of rescue hens, escaping as often as they can in their small camper van to places of natural beauty for trekking and new experiences.

Andy Cash on LinkedIn
Head shot of Jackie Harbor smiling as she stands outside the Blind Veterans UK London offices.

Jackie Harbor

Director of Engagement

Jackie joined us in 2018. Prior to this she held a variety of senior global commercial positions specialising in product development, sales leadership and marketing strategy within the media sector. She is a member of the Institute of Fundraising and is an active and passionate volunteer and campaigner. Jackie lives with her husband and 11 year old daughter in Berkshire. To relax she walks her dog, plays the flute and practices yoga.

Jackie Harbor on LinkedIn
Headshot of Simon Hopkins, smiling and standing outside the Blind Veterans UK London offices

Simon Hopkins

Director of Resources

Simon joined us in 2019 after holding a variety of roles in the third sector, including a spell as CEO for Turn2us and finance director at BHF. Simon started his career in finance and subsequently held a series of senior financial positions in commerce, specialising in financial strategy, commercial finance and contract compliance as well as related areas, such as business development and service management. Simon publishes and speaks regularly on financial sustainability, leadership and governance and lives with his family in Surrey.

Headshot of Nicky Shaw smiling

Nicky Shaw

Director of Operations (West)

Nicky joined us in 2015, building on a career within the voluntary sector where she led in operational delivery, change management, and business expansion programmes. Nicky has a background in Social Care and nationwide outcome based programme delivery, and is a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. Within Blind Veterans UK, Nicky is responsible for the strategic development of a national regionalised model of service delivery, consisting of community and residential centre based services.

Nicky Shaw on LinkedIn
Headshot of Mark Lovatt, smiling wearing a check shirt.

Mark Lovatt

Director of Operations (East)

Mark joined us in 2011 as a Centre Manager. He is now the Director of Operations (East), and is responsible for delivering a range of welfare, training and rehabilitation services to beneficiaries. Mark is a keen skier, cyclist and yoga enthusiast, who also spends his spare time gardening and studying for his MSc in People and Organisation Development. He lives with his wife and grown up children in Newark.

Mark Lovatt on LinkedIn
Head shot of Billy Baxter smiling

Billy Baxter

Rehabilitation & Training Liaison Officer

Billy is part of our National Training Centre team in Llandudno and has been a member of Blind Veterans UK for over 12 years, after losing his sight to a rare virus. He served just shy of 21 years with the Royal Horse Artillery. Billy is in a unique position to support members, providing practical and emotional support helping them to learn there is life after sight loss.

Head shot of Fran Mcsweeney smiling standing in front of a blue background

Fran McSweeney

South East Regional Manager, Community Services

Fran joined us in 2014, bringing more than 15 years of charity sector experience. She is responsible for leading and developing a range of services for our members in the community, including casework support, rehabilitation and training, peer support and social activities.

Head shot of Mark Wheeler smiling inside the Blind Veterans UK London offices

Mark Wheeler

PR and Communications Manager

Mark has been at the charity since 2014 and he and the rest of the Brand and Marketing team are responsible for ensuring that as many people know about the life-changing work of Blind Veterans UK as possible. Luckily, there are hundreds of stories of our blind veterans achieving amazing things every day which makes his job an easy and enjoyable one. Mark also plays in the staff band “The White Stix” as well as in the charity softball team.

Martha Romero Zambrano

Community Support Worker

Martha joined us in 2017. Her role involves supporting our blind veterans, including actioning the individualised support they require and providing emotional and social support. Martha also organises recreational activities, including lunch clubs or coffee mornings, which encourage our blind veterans to maintain healthy and socially active lifestyles while also developing closer friendships with other veterans and charity members. Outside of work Martha enjoys drawing and painting, salsa dancing, walking and spending time with family and friends.

Head shot of Anita Gillam smiling

Anita Gillam

Receptionist, Brighton Centre

Anita joined us in 2012. She works in the Reception and Security Team at our Brighton Centre. Anita's role is central to engaging with visitors, members and staff coming to the Centre and handling our extremely busy switchboard, fronting a large number of calls and enquiries. Anita is very active and outdoorsy, when she's not dealing with the switchboard at work you'll usually find her on either a paddle-board, surfboard or snowboard.

Isobel Whelan

Rehabilitation Officer for the Visually Impaired (ROVI)

Isobel has been with the charity since 2017. In her role she works across 32 boroughs to support our veterans in their communities, helping them regain and maintain their independence. No day is the same, with travel, planning member activities, home visits, and assessing veteran’s needs, including teaching new skills or finding the right sight loss equipment. Isobel also provides sighted guiding training to staff. Outside of work Isobel enjoys singing in choirs and a bit of baking too.

Filip Lament

Wood Work Instructor

Filip joined us in 2011 at our Llandudno Centre. Working firstly as a Health Care Assistant and then as a Wood Work Instructor in the busy workshop. His role involves engaging with blind veterans and supporting their rehabilitation. Filip is also involved in a number of centre activities, such as kayaking and sea fishing. Filip is a football and history fan and enjoys spending time outdoors with his family doing craft projects.

Head shot of Julia smiling at the camera at a park

Julia Bobkova

Housekeeper, Llandudno Centre

Julia joined us in 2015 as a member of the Housekeeping Department at our Llandudno Centre. The department manages the Centres household requirements for members and guests. A key part of Julia’s role is ensuring members feel well supported and happy during their stay at the Centre. Outside of her role, Julia enjoys keeping active, as a keen Zumba and swimming enthusiast, and loves travelling to new places.

We would love to hear from you, take a look at our current vacancies.