Who we are: the trustees

Helen Smith is the founding chairperson of Kisiizi Partners. She qualified as a doctor in 1980 and specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology. She worked at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading for nearly 30 years, initially as a junior doctor and then as a Consultant Obstetrician. Her interest in health care needs in developing countries has continued to develop since her first visit to Kisiizi Hospital in 1999, leading to her current job as a Senior Technical Officer in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. She is particularly interested in projects which address the problem of maternal mortality in developing countries and has travelled to a number of countries in Africa and Asia. Helen has led many teams of junior doctors and midwives on working visits to Kisiizi Hospital.

Alan Smith (married to Helen) has been the secretary of Kisiizi Partners since its inception. Alan worked as a film editor with the BBC News for 25 years. In the course of his work he travelled extensively, working in many war zones and areas of tribulation. After leaving the BBC he trained as a teacher and taught secondary school science for more than a decade. He is now supposed to be retired. His travels with the BBC served to ignite a concern for people in developing countries, whilst at the same time equipping him with considerable logistical skills. Alan is Kisiizi Partners’ Safeguarding Officer and is also responsible for ensuring that the charity is GDPR compliant.

Philip Haynes has been a trustee of Kisiizi Partners since its inception.

Katie Mayers has been a trustee of Kisiizi Partners since 2018. She went to medical school following what she felt as a Christian was a call on her life to work in low income settings, and first visited Kisiizi in 2008 as a medical student after meeting Richard at university. She graduated as a doctor from the University of Leeds in 2012, having also completed a BSc in International Health in 2010 completing research in Tanzania. Katie and Richard (having got married and completed foundation training) worked in Kisiizi for a year from 2014-5 as junior doctors. She is now a paediatric trainee in West Yorkshire following completion of the broad based training scheme. Katie is passionate about supporting the work and people of Kisiizi and uniting Kisiizi’s many friends worldwide. Her time in Kisiizi also sparked an interest in childhood malnutrition, and she has ongoing involvement in developing the malnutrition project.

Richard Mayers has been a trustee of Kisiizi Partners since 2018. He first visited Kisiizi in 2006 during a gap year prior to university, and it was this visit that sparked his interest in healthcare in developing countries which has developed throughout medical school and his career as a doctor. He graduated as a doctor from the University of Leeds in 2012, having also completed a BSc in International Health in 2010. He is currently working as a registrar in Acute Internal Medicine in West Yorkshire. Richard worked as a doctor in Kisiizi Hospital for 1 year in 2014-15. During this year he came to appreciate the huge potential of Kisiizi both as a place of hope and healing for the local community, and as a place where health workers can be trained to impact healthcare in wider Uganda. He also recognised the invaluable support from friends overseas such as Kisiizi Partners. He is now looking forward to helping to support the work of Kisiizi Hospital as a trustee.