Running a charity, at any time, is a challenge. When that charity has two main assets which require significant investment, as well as a society which has been going through austerity for a number of years, it is even more difficult. It is remarkable that we have been able to keep two ships running for all these years. The decisions taken over the past months have been extremely difficult for all our stakeholders. However, they have been necessary.

A number of questions have been raised over the past few days around compensation and fundraising which we wanted to address directly:

– Trustees do not get paid any compensation

– Trustees do not get any expenses refunded to them for their JST contribution, they pay out of their own pocket

– Duncan Souster, CEO, receives a monthly salary. He does not receive a bonus. Out of his own choosing, five years ago when he became the CEO he decided not to take his pension entitlement to which he was legally entitled. This was a contribution to the charity he made, from his own pocket. He did not broadcast his decision but it is an example of his complete and utter commitment to the JST

– Duncan, nor anyone else at the JST, received any form of commission from the recent emergency appeal or any other appeal for that matter. Every penny raised went to the JST

– The purpose of the recent emergency appeal was to save the JST and its mission, not a particular ship. This is what the Trustees are focused upon

– Following the decommissioning of Lord Nelson, a decision as to what will be the next steps has not yet been taken by the Trustees. We cannot afford two operational ships, therefore we need to see what options there are for Lord Nelson. Bristol has very kindly agreed for us to berth the ship there for the time being, cost free

We are regulated by the Charity Commission and regularly report to them. We must adhere to all necessary MCA rules and receive regular inspections. We pay VAT to HMRC. We are audited by PWC. Our legal advisors are Hill Dickinson. Therefore, we operate in a very transparent and highly governed environment.

The current Trustees have a mixture of tenures with the JST. Some more recent and some for many years. Therefore we have people who have a very good grasp on the history and development of the JST. This helps to ensure that any decisions taken are done so with context and understanding.

We thank all of our supporters for their ongoing support in delivering the mission of the JST. If anyone has any further questions on this, please get in touch with our Vice Chair of Trustees Martyn Cuff on or 00491607478377.