Regional Learning and Development Officers

Our team of Learning and Development Officers are deployed around the Territory.  They are available to consult and advise in all areas of Learning & Development, drawing on the expertise of the wider team. 

Contact your Regional Learning and Development Officer for more information.

Major John McCombe

Major John McCombe

Central East and East of England
John has been an officer for 41 years, 33 years of which was as a corps officer. He was an officer in the Business Service unit (WBC) as well as a Module Leader in the School for Officer Training. Previous to his present appointment, he was a Mission Development & Enabling Officer at Territorial Headquarters. Prior to training, he was a police cadet and then a machine operator. John is married to Jennie and they have two grown-up children and five grandchildren.

Helen Chappell

Central South, East Midlands and West Midlands
Helen commenced work for The Salvation Army in Learning and Development in February 2019. Since qualifying as a member of the CIPD (now The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) her keen interest in people development facilitated a career working within the Learning and Development team for an International Financial Services company for many years. She also has management and youth work experience in the voluntary sector from her time as a manager for Youth For Christ. Outside of work, Helen loves musical theatre and for 10 years was able to blend together her passion for helping young people gain skills and confidence, essentially through the mediums of music and acting, as Assistant Principal and Singing Teacher at a performing arts school. Helen has 2 children who both live and work in London. She lives in Swindon and worships at Swindon Citadel Corps where she has always been involved in music ministry and is now the Discipleship and Spiritual Growth Leader.
  • Certified Coach with the Institute for Leadership and Management
  • Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Graziella Welsh

North, East and West Scotland
Graziella commenced work for the The Salvation Army in April 2019. Prior to this she spent 12 years working for a large utilities company with a number of Learning and Development roles in People and Organisational Development, and in Customer Experience Training. In 2017 she completed a MSc in Human Resource Management at Strathclyde University building on her professional interest and passion for creating a culture where learning is accessible and inclusive. Graziella is an interest in learning design and learning delivery bringing her wealth of experience to the Learning and Development team at William Booth College. Graziella was born in São Paulo, Brazil, moved to Scotland in 2005 and currently lives in Glasgow with her husband and 2 daughters.
  • Certified Trainer of Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
  • Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Kevin Elliott

North West England and Ireland
Kevin is the RLDO in charge of learning for all Corps in Ireland and North West England. He is a Soldier and member of the leadership team at the Liverpool Walton corps and at present is the Deputy Songster Leader and enjoys both singing in the Songsters and playing in the band. He was a teacher for 11 years, teaching mathematics to 16- to 18-year olds, and worked at a large college in the Merseyside area. Before retraining as a teacher, Kevin worked in the Information Technology industry for 16 years as a project manager responsible for the installation of IT infrastructure across the United Kingdom for a large multi-national computer company. He lives near Liverpool with his wife Heather and son Matthew. They also have a grown up son, Alistair, who lives and works in Japan.
David Grundy

David Grundy

Yorkshire North with Tees, and Yorkshire South and Humber
David joined William Booth College in Learning and Development in February 2018. Prior to coming to work for The Salvation Army he worked in a range of social care and educational settings for over 25 years. David is particularly interested in person-centred approaches, mental capacity and mental health/well-being. He lives in Halifax with his wife and two children, is an active leader of the Scout Association and is an active member of the Calderdale Methodist Circuit.
  • Mental Health First England Instructor Member
  • Understanding and Managing Behaviour That Challenges Key Trainers Certificate

Laurence Bennett

Devon and Cornwall, Severn and Somerset, Southern, and Wales
Laurence commenced work for The Salvation Army in October 2007 where he enjoyed over 11 years in a leadership role focused on leader development and discipleship work. In 2018 he came to work for William Booth College in Learning and Development with interests in Practical Theology, leadership development, ministry practice, coaching, mentoring and team effectiveness. Prior to The Salvation Army, Laurence worked in a range of children and youth services including social services, youth services, secondary education, and a theological college. Laurence lives in Christchurch, Dorset with his wife and three daughters, where he is part of the leadership of their local church.
  • Certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Practitioner
  • Member of The British Association of Psychological Type
  • Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
Matthew Walters, West Malling RLDO

Matthew Walters

South East, South London and North London
Matthew grew up in an Army family with officer parents and now an officer sibling. He has studied Addictive Behaviours and, before becoming an RLDO, spent the last 24 years working in homelessness sector in street outreach, housing, welfare rights, money advice work, and management, predominantly in employment, training and education. Matthew is currently Corps Sergeant Major at his home corps and lives in Kent with his wife and their son. 

HSU Specialists Learning and Development Officers

Paula Sandford-Marsh

HSU North
Paula has over 3 decades of experience working for The Salvation Army, and has been working in Learning and Development for William Booth College since 2006. Currently, Paula is the Learning and Development Officer for Homelessness Services (North). In addition to supporting colleague LDOs in the north of the Territory, she is also the contact specialist for Homelessness Services in Ireland. Paula has worked in a variety of settings including youth work, homelessness, and older persons services. She has particular interests in suicide prevention, mental health, wellbeing, and learning experience design. Outside of her work, Paula loves getting involved in rural village life and is part of an art group under the guidance of a local artist.
  • Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor
  • Certified Trainer of Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
  • Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Tim Anderson

HSU South
Tim is the LDO responsible for responding to learning needs for the Homelessness Services specialism.