I work as a doctor, and am training to become a psychiatrist. I spent my medical elective in Madagascar as a student, and realised what a great country it was – but also how poor the infrastructure was, and how that directly impacted people’s lives. The ability of HoverAid to reach and help people regardless of the infrastructure really attracted me. Ensuring that everyone can access medical care, wherever they live, is also something I think is essential!
Andy has been involved in HoverAid since 1994 and has worked with hovercraft in countries from Nicaragua, and Papua New Guinea, to Zambia, Mozambique and Madagascar. After 10 years as a Consulting Engineer and partner with Max Fordham LLPand with Masters degrees in both Engineering Science, and Development Management he joined us in 2006 to head up our UK team. Andy is based at our office in Cambridge and is responsible for HoverAid UK’s operations and growth both at home and overseas. Andy’s key focus is on technical development in the UK and in Madagascar.
Andy is one of our star volunteers at events. He is a proper engineer in the audio-visual industry. If we need equipment finding, repairing, moving, or adapting, he is your man. Indispensible for hovercraft piloting and preparation, AirShelta assembly, event support, and calm encouragement to hassled team-mates. He escapes on his precious Triumph Tiger motorbike.
Anna loves the focus on ‘reaching the unreachable’: providing partnership and support for people in difficult-to-reach communities who might otherwise be left without it. She came to Cambridge as an undergraduate, and now works for Cambridge University, fund-raising to support students to enable them to study here.
She studied Russian and French at university, including a year abroad working with a charity in Siberia. This confirmed her desire to work in the not-for-profit sector.
Catherine is a webmaster and website designer, and accountant by training. She took on the role to establish HoverAid France in 2019. She lives in Vetheuil north of Paris, where Claude Monet once lived.
This is a great organisation that I have the privilege of supporting a couple of days per week. They provide practical care to very remote communities, enabled by innovative technology and driven by local enterprise. Message me if you want to get involved with designing, building or funding some new hovercraft!
I am Rwandan but have lived in many places, including most recently Kenya. I know Madagascar well. In joining HoverAid, I am looking to deploy my gifts and experience in a manner that serves God and achieves lasting impact amongst those in real need. My message to our team is: “Together we are going to make this work and bring Glory to God’s work”.
Gillian has been a supporter of HoverAid since taking a ride on a Hovercraft at the Greenbelt Festival quite a few years ago now and continued to be inspired by the compassion, commitment and creativity of those who work from the workshop to the world to change lives.
Joining the board of Trustees in March of 2022 she is gaining a wider lens into the work of the organisation and enjoying contributing in a new way.
Gillian is an ordained minister in the United Reformed Church and currently serving in a pastorate of two churches is Essex.
Having been fortunate to be a member of the 1990 British Hovercraft Expedition to China, Gwyn has been a supporter since HoverAid’s early days. He has travelled very widely around the world for his work managing the leases of commercial airliners and has become very conscious of the gap in wealth between the world’s rich and poor. Living near HoverAid UK’s office in Cambridge, Gwyn is now looking forward to raising the awareness of HoverAid’s work with a wider community.
Hugh is a policy advisor at the UK Department of International Trade, having studied African history and French at university and worked as a wellbeing consultant with healthcare providers in UK. He worked as an intern with HoverAid Madagascar during 2018 generating communications, and providing much of our drone-based video footage
John is motivated by a drive to make a difference to those who need it most. He brings leadership experience in business and charities large and small. He is one of those rarities who like strategy and operational work, and has established his name making change really happen. He joined us in 2019 to lead our growth plans. He has worked in 22 countries, plays hockey, and is a triplet.
Jon retired from paid work in 2015 after a 40 year career in High technology. He worked in the area of wireless communication and was a key player in the development of Wi-Fi.
Seeking to serve God’s Kingdom, Jon took up the role of overall manager of Cambridge City Foodbank for a 5 year term and is still a significant contributor including managing finances. He also manages finance for several other charities in addition to the recent appointment with HoverAid. He has be much involved with Prison Ministry and also serves as Chair of Trustees for Cambridge & District Youth for Christ. Jon is excited to be part of the HoverAid ministry.
José originally joined the team as a driver but soon became the first of our malagasy staff trained to operate the hovercraft. As well as operational duties in the field he assists in the workshop and keeps stocks, maintains and repairs the camp gear.
MAHOLINIRIANAHARIJAONA Sidonie Tatiana, otherwise known as “Maholy” has been part of our team since 2014, and has been accounting secretary, finance manager, MMS organiser and now programmes manager.
She schedules and budgets the MMS work, purchases the medicines and medical equipment and coordinates between the government ministries, MAF, our volunteer medical team, mayors, medical inspectors, chief medical officer, pharmaceutical wholesalers. Basically everyone.
She love the MMS work as it allows her to help people, see their smile after being consulted by our doctors, and bring hope to many.
In her spare time she makes pastry, and is training as a caterer
Mario joined the team in mid 2015 and is now working as our IT Manager as well as assisting with Events and our regular working parties.
Trained in Chemistry Neil is now a development Chemist employed in the development of new catalytic converters to clean up emissions from Diesel vehicles and mean cleaner air for millions of people globally. His work combines science and engineering and means he has an interest in Hoveraid’s technical objectives as well as its humanitarian ones. Aside from his professional experience Neil brings experience as a trustee for a national orchestra and choir and a passion for getting the most out of people. Outside work he is a keen runner and cyclist as well as playing the French horn in various musical theatre and orchestral settings.
Ony’s full name is Rakotondrasoa Onimalala. She is the finance manager in Madagascar, and joined HoverAid in 2019. She is married with two boys, Loick and Loan aged 14 and 10. When not busy in the office Ony loves to swim and dance! A big fan of travelling, she accompanied Maholi on one of our MMS’s to see how things happen in the field. She will make sure that we keep on budget and will be stretching our resources as far as possible.
Patrick majors in mechanics, electricity and electronic. He is in charge of the reparation and maintenance of the hovercraft and other vehicles.
Peter has been a long term volunteer with HoverAid for over twenty five years and was pivotal in setting up the Zambezi Hover-Lifeline a HoverAid project which ran from 1996 to 2000 working on the Zambezi river from Zambia to Mozambique.
Originally from France, Pierre studied theoretical physics before working in finance in London. He has worked a lot with companies based in developing countries and is passionate about bringing infrastructure and resources to the less fortunate. Pierre joined HoverAid’s Board in September 2019 and advises on strategic, governance, and financial issues. Pierre is a member of Hillsong Church London.
Robin joined HoverAid in 2008 directly from the technical school to work in the garage as an assistant mechanic, and where he works with the trainee mechanics as they progress to becoming fully qualified too. He is responsible for servicing the vehicles on a regular basis.
Roger is a retired Senior Tutor and Lecturer in Civil and Structural Engineering at Loughborough University. He has just stepped down from being a Trustee after 14 years but continues to volunteer when he can.
Tantely dreamt of travelling when he very young, so chose to be a driver. In 25 years there are few places in Madagascar where he has not been. As he traveled he noticed the beauty of the country, but also saw the problems of poverty. Then he met Peter van Buuren, who asked him and his legendary LandRover “The Black Pearl” to join the team.
Since then Tantely has built walls and bridges, dug wells, distributed anti-COVID supplies, and waded along crocodile-infested rivers. He hopes for big change in Madagascar, and this is what gives him the courage to continue
Vic is looking after the social media for Hoveraid and working to try and really make it work for raising awareness and donations for us.
She is married to Simon, who is Samoan, and they have a son Theo. They like to go dinosaur hunting on weekends.
Vic drives our Facebook campaigns to reach a growing number of people