The executive team


Ray Lock, Chief Executive

Ray is a retired Royal Air Force pilot and commander, whose extensive operational career included flying Tornado, Hawk and Hercules aircraft.  He commanded Royal Air Force Lyneham and the Joint Services Command and Staff College, as well as operational detachments in Kuwait, Iraq and Qatar.

With many years spent in Germany, 5 years at the Defence Academy, and a series of ground-based deployed and staff appointments in multi-national and tri-Service environments, he brings significant breadth and understanding to the Trust.  His recent experiences in leading academic research and his own transition add further depth.

A former chairman of Combined Services Rugby Union, Ray continues to referee through his local Society in Gloucestershire.  He joined the Forces in Mind Trust as Chief Executive in December 2012 on his retirement from the Royal Air Force as an air vice-marshal.

20160617-mm-1560-cropMeri Mayhew, Head of Policy

Meri spent 14 years in the RAF as an air traffic control officer, serving at several bases in the UK and overseas.  Following military service Meri became Director of Bridges – a medium-sized independent charity addressing a diverse range of charitable objectives including welfare, education, disability, and health.

Meri graduated with an Honours Degree in Business Studies from the Open University in 2013.  She has also held several voluntary positions including; Management Committee member of a domestic violence charity and a SSAFA volunteer.

Meri became the Development Manager for Forces in Mind Trust in May 2012, before becoming Head of Policy in June 2015.

20160617-kw-1613-cropKirsteen Waller, Research and Support Manager

Kirsteen started her career as a Royal Air Force (RAF) Officer in the Administrative Branch where she spent four years across three roles: supporting Station Headquarters in the Fighter Controller and Search and Rescue base of RAF Boulmer; Careers Liaison Officer (Glasgow and Ayrshire) for the RAF Inspectorate of Recruitment; and Armed Forces Recruitment Office Commander (Leicestershire and Bedfordshire).again supporting the Inspectorate of Recruitment.

Following military service, Kirsteen held several Human Resource positions for various small and large businesses, as HR Manager for DialogueDirect (UK); lead HR Consultant at Snowdrop Systems to establish a new consultancy business; and European HR Project Manager at Brother International Europe. After graduating in 2013 with an MBA from Ashridge Business School, Kirsteen supported new businesses with market research and website content before joining Forces in Mind Trust to support operations and Research Commissions in November 2013.

20160624-lc-1570-cropLucy Caruana, Grants Manager

Lucy has over 12 years’ experience working in grant-making having joined the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in 2003. During her time at HLF Lucy worked in a number of roles including Grants Officer and Senior Grants Officer and worked on a large portfolio of grants ranging in size. She has experience working with a variety of different organisations and advising on all areas of grant-making from project conception through to project completion.

Lucy has a Postgraduate Certificate in Grant-making, Philanthropy and Social Investment, a degree in Ancient History, and is a PRINCEII Practitioner.  She joined the Forces in Mind Trust as Grants Manager in November 2015.

20160624-sf-1582-cropSam Freston, Assistant Head of Policy

Sam graduated from Cardiff University in 2014 where he was a member of the Wales University Officer Training Corps for 2 years. Since then, Sam has participated and worked with a range of overseas and domestic non-profit organizations including; International Citizen Service, TREE AID and National Citizen Service.

Sam joined the Forces in Mind Trust at the beginning of September 2015 through the Charityworks Graduate Scheme. Charityworks aims at placing graduates who are keen to pursue a career in the third sector within their charity partner organisations.

Sam’s role is Assistant Head of Policy and he works closely with Meri to develop and evaluate various projects funded by the FiMT.

Robert Thorburn – Grants Officer

Robert has worked in the charity sector since graduating in 2006. Having been elected as Ethics and Environmental Officer and subsequently President of his Students’ Union Robert developed a keen interest and passion for driving forward positive change in the world. This motivation initially took him overseas for 24 months where he co-managed Frontier’s conservation and education programmes in Central America, followed by a placement with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), advising and facilitating community development initiatives in West Africa.

When Robert returned to the UK he continued working with VSO as a Corporate Partnerships Executive and Marketing and Events Officer. Robert left VSO to pursue his interest in charitable grant making and worked for the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) as their Trust Officer – managing relationships and awards from a portfolio of charitable foundations and trusts. In January 2017 Robert took up the position of Grants Officer with FiMT where he’ll help deliver the Grants and Commissioning Plan.


© Simon Hanna 2014 – 2015