Our Operational Committee enables us to involve local people in the running of the organisation and make our proceedings more transparent and accountable.

Want to be involved? We are seeking local residents and representatives from the voluntary sector with an interest in health and/or social care to join us and make a difference.

Merton’s voluntary, community and faith organisations: Nomination applications are invited from people who are members of a Merton based voluntary, community and faith organisations. Application will be by CV to include covering letter from voluntary, community and faith organisations to confirm they are nominating you on their behalf plus an accompanying statement (no more than 2 A4 sides) explaining your interest, motivation in applying and demonstrating how you meet the eligibility and person specification.

Operational Committee

Brian Dillon- Chair of Healthwatch Merton

Brian is a widely experienced finance and business manager. From 1990 until his retirement in 2012 he ran his own business providing consultancy advice and interim management services to local authorities, housing associations and businesses trading in the public services marketplace. He is widely experienced in governance matters and has been a non-Executive member of a number of company boards. He was Chair of Croydon Churches Housing Association from 2000 until September 2013. As Healthwatch Merton Chair he is a member of MVSC board of trustee's.


Alfredo Benedicto - (Voluntary, Community and Faith Organisation Representative)
Merton Mencap Adults First Representative

Alfredo has had a long international career in Marketing, Travel and Financial Services before he retired. He has been attending the Merton Learning Disabilities Board, the Direct Payments Forum, Improving Healthcare Together Stakeholders Reference Group and he is currently the appointed governor on behalf of Healthwatch Merton to the St George’s University Hospitals Foundation Trust. He is a member of the Steering Committee of Adults First, a programme of Merton Mencap to support adults with a Learning Disability and their carers . Originally from Spain he has lived in Merton for the last 25 years.


Patrick Lyster-Todd - (Voluntary, Community and Faith Organisation Representative)
Secretary of Merton's LGBT+ Forum, Merton's LGBT+ community, Head of communications Haig Housing Trust Veterans

Patrick Lyster-Todd has lived in Merton for over 18 years and has a diverse background including 20 years as an officer in the Royal Navy, management positions in the television and hospitality sectors and in support of Veterans in need. He has been keenly involved in the charity sector for over 30 years, including as a successful campaigner and chair, trustee or director for numerous charities and voluntary groups including as a founding director of Pride in London. Currently he heads communications and fundraising at Haig Housing in Morden, the UK's main Veterans housing charity, is the co-chair of the new Veterans LGBT+ charity, Fighting With Pride, secretary of Merton’s LGBT+ Forum and a director of Merton Pride CIC which aims to put on Merton's first Pride event in 2020 at Merton Abbey Mills.


Chelliah Lohendran - (Voluntary, Community and Faith Organisation Representative)
Chair of Merton Seniors Forum and Vice Chair for Merton’s Voluntary Sector Mental Health Forum

Logie was previously a project manager for London Underground on the Jubilee Line extension and Metronet, retiring in 2006. In 2010 Logie was elected as a councillor for Cannon Hill ward. During his four year term he was on the Licensing Planning committee and was the Chair for the HCOP Scrutiny Committee in 2011. He is currently Chair of Merton Seniors Forum, Vice Chair for Merton’s Voluntary Sector Mental Health Forum, Chair for Central Road Medical Practice Patient Participation Group, Member of CCG Patient Engagement Group and Dignity in Care representative (authorised to carry out care home inspections and report to the CQC).


Edward Abu Maliki - (Voluntary, Community and Faith Organisation Representative)
Resident Senior Pastor of Power Centre Church and Wood World Missions, a Christian ministry located in the town center of Mitcham. Prior to that Edward , for 21 years was employed as a Senior Lecturer, Mental Health in the Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences. He is currently a member of the Merton Borough strategy group Black Asian Minority Ethnic Voice (BAME) Voice.


Patsy Ferreira - (Voluntary, Community and Faith Organisation Representative) 
Director and founder of Destiny7 CIC (D7), a Merton based, not-for-profit, Health and Wellbeing Education organisation that supports children and young people during crucial, transitional stages of their development. Patsy has a real passion for children and young people; she has a desire to see them thrive and be released into their fullest potential.  D7 offers Health and Wellbeing programmes, courses and resources with a focus on dramatic prevention that empowers children and young people to discover their identity, build confidence, self-esteem and gain a 360° understanding of their intrinsic, local and global value. Patsy has been a PSHE practitioner for over 15 years, delivering workshops in schools and youth settings. Patsy was also responsible for coordinating and delivering the Schools Work department for a Charity in Clapham, teaching preventative sexual health programmes across the capital. 


Patrick Burns - (Resident Representative)

Local resident and carer with extensive personal experience of accessing and knowledge of local health services. Currently a trustee of Merton Mencap, board member of the national body for companies; senior fellow with the new think tank that organisation has set up; and Chair of the shareholder body of an employee owned financial planning business. Vast experience of public services business and enterprise.

Patrick brings a useful perspective on the patient and carer experience; the kind of communication and involvement that patients and carers need and value; and a commitment to making the absolute best of the health service we've got.


Ben Wilkins - (MVSC Board of Trustees nominated representative - Advisory role)
MVSC Board of Trustees

Ben joined MVSC in 2017 to share his experience in business start-up and community health. Ben has lived in Merton for three years and approached MVSC to become more connected with the local community in the Borough. Ben works at Oomph!, a social enterprise based in Wimbledon that focuses on older adult health and wellbeing. Ben is a registered Osteopath, postgrad in Musculoskeletal Science at University of Oxford and a healthcare research in peer-led interventions.


Simon Shimmens - (MVSC Representative - Advisory role)

Chief Executive of MVSC, Simon is responsible for the overall strategic direction and leadership of the organisation while playing an active role in supporting Merton’s voluntary sector. Simon is committed to strengthening the sector and improving its resilience while building on our strategic relationships with the public and private sector.


Healthwatch Merton Team