The French Hospital Almshouses

· SUPPORTING PEOPLE IN NEED SINCE 1718 ·

Staff

Ian Mackenzie

Ian Mackenzie

Clerk

Ian Mackenzie joined the French Hospital from the Armed Forces, in October 2012. As a regular army officer, Ian led teams, both at home and on operations, in dealing with a wide range of challenges. As a Staff Officer, Ian served with French forces, and operated in the area of corporate communication, public relations and information operations. Ian was engaged in operations throughout the world, whilst serving in the UK’s military operational headquarters and completed operational tours in Bosnia and Iraq, where he led the UK’s efforts to rebuild Iraqi forces. Ian holds an engineering degree, an MBA and a Dip CIPR and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

Ian was drawn to The French Hospital because of its history and its purpose; and for the exciting opportunity to be involved in the positioning of the charity to deal with future challenges. Since joining The French Hospital, Ian has become experienced in the running of affordable housing and all that is associated with it, including the management of commercial properties, governance and charity law. Ian was involved in the creation of the Huguenot Museum, which is now a separate charity, and he is now heavily engaged in all aspects of fundraising for The French Hospital. Ian speaks French and enjoys diving, skiing and cooking.

Jon Corrigan

Jon Corrigan

Steward

Jon has worked in the civil engineering and construction industry for most of his life and has travelled to over thirty countries during the past 30 years. During Jon’s twenty years at Pirelli Construction he oversaw civil, electrical and hydraulic works associated with power projects around the world, including the Middle East, Spain, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia and the US.

Jon is responsible for the day-to-day running of The French Hospital, overseeing our maintenance programme, and leading our dedicated team of Deputy Stewards who provide 24 hour assistance for our residents should they need it. Originally from Rochester, Jon joined The French Hospital in 2011 when he and his wife Sue wanted to live closer to their children and grandchildren. Jon feels very fortunate to work in such a historic environment and to be able to make a different in the lives of our residents. Jon still enjoys travelling and is at his happiest with his children and grandchildren around him.

Jeanette Harris

Jeanette Harris

Deputy Steward

Jeanette was born in London and moved to Kent in 2004 to begin work as the Deputy Steward at The French Hospital. Jeanette’s professional background is largely health and social care, including work on the busy switchboards of her local hospital and police station. Jeanette’s family connection to The French Hospital began in the 1980s when her mother and stepfather came here to work as Deputy Steward, and later Steward. Jeanette takes pride in cooking for the regular Directors meetings and enjoys using the same recipes her own mother used when cooking at The French Hospital.

Jeannette enjoys working at The French Hospital as it has become like a second home; an unique place to work with a real sense of community and history. Jeanette describes herself as a friendly person who offers support and shares in the daily lives of our residents. Away from work, Jeanette is a busy mother and grandmother and enjoys gardening, reading and cooking for her family and friends.

Lee Heard

Lee Heard

Deputy Steward, Caretaker & Handyman

Lee joined The French Hospital team in August 2008 and really enjoys working with all residents, helping them with day-to-day jobs. Lee also enjoys listening to the amazing stories of our residents. Away from The French Hospital Lee is a qualified football coach and coaches his son’s football team. Lee’s interests include sports, gardening, bike riding and DIY.

Sue Corrigan

Sue Corrigan

Deputy Steward

Sue is originally from Rochester and joined The French Hospital in 2014 after travelling the world with her husband Jon and their children. Before joining The French Hospital, Sue and Jon settled in Cyprus for eight years, where they had a successful small property management business. Sue feels privileged to have visited so many countries over the years, but is happy to be back in Rochester, close to her children and grandchildren. Sue really enjoys working with our great team and being part of such a special place.

Sarah White

Sarah White

Deputy Steward

Sarah joined The French Hospital as Deputy Steward in July 2016 after working for 12 years in the prison service. Sarah’s last appointment in the prison service was as a Senior Officer. Sarah is an animal lover, and the proud owner of two dogs who occupy most of her spare time. As an active supporter of Medway Hedgehog Rescue, Sarah fosters injured and unwell hedgehogs, helping to prepare them for release. In her spare time she enjoys walking and considers herself lucky to be surrounded by such beautiful countryside. Sarah also enjoys reading and listening to music, and has broad tastes in both areas. A keen interest in history is one of the many reasons that drew Sarah to The French Hospital.

Tony Akerman

Tony Akerman

Deputy Steward

Tony was born in London, but moved to the Medway towns at the age of six. He has worked in care for 30 years, holding the Registered Manager Award and is also a qualified trainer and assessor in Health and Social Care. Tony also worked in the Department of Child Psychiatry and Psychology for six years before a career change led him into elderly care, where he has a special interest in Dementia.

Tony gains a lot of satisfaction from providing help and support to other people, and he has worked in sheltered housing for 7 years with two major housing associations. He is married to Jill, who is also a qualified Care Trainer, and together they managed their own domiciliary care company. Tony spends much of his time watching sports and listening to all types of music, and he is also an avid games player. Tony is a member of Diabetes UK, supports animal charities, and admits to being mad about cats.

Vanessa Weddell

Vanessa Weddell

Fundraising Manager

Vanessa moved to Rochester in December 2013 and joined The French Hospital in April 2015. Originally hailing from Oklahoma in the US, Vanessa moved to the UK over seven years ago to study at the University of Glasgow on a postgraduate exchange programme, following a Master’s degree in Museum Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Fundraising is a real passion for Vanessa as it brings together her education, experience and skills to make a difference in the lives of others. Vanessa has worked in a wide variety of UK charities including the Royal Horticultural Society, the Freud Museum London, Historic Royal Palaces, King Edward VII’s Hospital, King’s College London & King’s Health Partners and The Lullaby Trust. A particular highlight for Vanessa is attending the monthly Social Club lunch where she has the opportunity to get to know our residents over a delicious homemade lunch. Vanessa enjoys her busy and varied role at The French Hospital where no two days are the same. Vanessa’s hobbies include exploring museums, gardens and historic properties, reading, travelling, cooking and catching up with friends.

Reverend Howard Daubney

Reverend Howard Daubney

Chaplain

Howard spent his working life managing a manufacturing company in the neon lighting industry before being ordained. Howard joined The French Hospital as Chaplain in 1993 after he had left the commercial world and was working as an unpaid curate in the Parish of Rochester. Subsequently, Howard became the Vicar of the Church of St Francis of Assisi in Strood from which he retired in 2014. Howard is the Chair of the Strood Community Project which he helped to start whilst at St Francis. Howard is happily married to Marion, who teaches piano at a local grammar school. Howard is also a musician and composer himself, and residents who attend our weekly Communion Service are familiar with Howard’s love of music.