Janet Berridge

Birmingham-born, I’m a committed European now living in Berlin and working with my husband, Michael, as a freelance translator to the music business. A General Committee member from 2007 – 2019, I also served on the General Purposes and Membership Committees, and initiated the Literary and German Circles. I introduced the first German reciprocal clubs, supported participation in “Open House weekend”, hosted LibDem receptions at the Club, and championed many recently-established NLC Forums.

I was a prison visitor, Witness Service volunteer – supporting witnesses at court, and a charity worker in Canterbury. I was active in LibDem politics – first in Canterbury from 2000, then in Bromley until 2018 – and am now an active member of the (reciprocal) International Club, Berlin. My interests: music, literature, handcrafts, swimming. (Janet joined the Club in 2004 and was Chair between 2016–2018; she is now a Vice-President and an elected, voting Council member).

Richard Cobourne

How did I get here? 15 years at the BBC, then three decades running my own marketing, events, and production company. Today I’m a full-time writer – with a crime thriller trilogy set in the world of showbiz, having worked in the business-of-show all over the world.

I hope that joining the Club’s Members’ Council will allow me to contribute a combination of sound business acumen with creative solutions to some of the challenges facing us.

I was pleased to learn that my modest protest at being forced to wear a jacket despite sweltering summer heat in the Dining Room helped to trigger the latest dress code reforms agreed at the recent AGM. Thank you. Similar rules applied for all sexes and ethnicities seems a good start.

My past publications include The History of Contraception, The Cardio-Protective Effect of Wine and many more. I live with my wife, Sue, in the beautiful Wye Valley and Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, visiting London frequently. (Richard joined the Club in 2022 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2023.)

Alex Youel

A business consultant specialising in everything ‘membership’ I’m now mostly retired but still interested in aspects of tourism and heritage (nearly 30 years’ senior experience with the National Trust), the environment (six years at the Peak District
National Park), natural history and bird watching, in particular.

At the NLC, I previously served on the General Committee, chaired the Marketing & Communications Committee, and sat on the Membership and Beer, Wine and Spirits
Committees. After a year away from all that, I’m excited to once again be part of the active life of our Club and keen to help it thrive.

Outside Clubland I’m a baritone with Wimbledon Choral, piano accompanist to the Lantern Arts Choir (based in Raynes Park) and a singer/pianist with the Big Heart Band, singing lustily in care homes in Wimbledon and throughout SW London, whether the residents like it or not.… (they usually do, though). I also chair Pentire, the unofficial association for retired former staff of the National Trust. (Alex joined the Club in 2004, was elected to the General Commmittee from 2019-22
and to its successor, the Members’ Council, in 2023.)

Gillian Travers

As  a graduate in English and History from Trinity College, Dublin, I smiled to hear that T.S.Eliot called the National Liberal Club’s Thames-side Terrace the best terrace in London. Eliot was, of course, correct! I grew up in Dublin, moving to London in the mid-1980s and have worked in the UK criminal justice system as a solicitor ever since.

I have watched the Circles and Forums covering so many different interests in the Club expand in breadth and in numbers and and support the Irish Circle in particular. I am bowled over by the Club’s huge increase in membership achieved in recent years. Although not a Political member, I nevertheless support the liberal values of the Club and very much welcome its diversity.

I was previously a member of the General Committee but have been less active in the last few years due to other pressing commitments. I look forward to a productive year, supporting Karin Rehacek in all her endeavours in her role as Club Chair. (Gillian joined the Club in 2009 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2023.)

Sheila McGuirk

After a degree from the LSE and a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard, I lived in Iran and Egypt working on an English language newspaper and teaching English. The years from 1974 to 1983 were spent in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where I went with my husband, Russell, who is also a Club member. Back in London I worked at Citibank till early retirement more than 20 years ago.

Many months of the year were then spent at an old farmhouse shared with family members in the Drome region of southern France, now sold… which leaves more time for London pursuits including concert and theatre outings. I also became involved in campaigning locally for the Liberal Democrats, serving until recently on the Kensington and Chelsea local party’s Executive Committee.

We have two sons and three beautiful grand-daughters, and Russell and I still walk regularly on pilgrim paths across Europe, well-known as Caminos. (Sheila joined the Club in 2017 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2023.)

Havard Hughes

My first memories of the NLC are from the 1980s when I can remember being taken there by my mother as she attended Lib Dem committee meetings. Today I’m the founder and CEO of a City consultancy, but I began my career as an adviser to Vince Cable when he was an MP, later becoming Campaign Director at the Electoral Reform. I then joined the Financial Services Authority as a regulator after the financial Crash.

For those like me, without a fixed base in London, the NLC is a haven and a home from home, with huge opportunities to foster an expanded country membership among the burgeoning remote working community.

A local councillor and campaigner, I’m active in my local community in West Wales, living on the family smallholding in Carmarthenshire with my wife, Genevieve, where I practice the fine Gladstonian tradition of tree-felling and tree planting both to keep fit and keep our home carbon neutral. (Havard joined the NLC in 2013 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2023.)

Jamie Sharpley

An NLC member for two decades, I have chaired both the Club’s Membership Committee and, from 2020-22, the Board of National Liberal Club Ltd, which manages all the day-to-day operations of the Club, runs its various services and also employs all the staff.

After graduating from London University in Sociology, I joined the NHS management training scheme and went on to run clinical and other services in a number of major hospitals mainly in London. I also worked as a tutor for the healthcare thinktank, The King’s Fund. Board- level experience has included voluntary (non-executive) directorships in
housing, social care and the arts.

For the Liberal Democrats, I was President of the South East England region for six years and my wife, Rosie — a former LibDem mayor of Woking and retired nurse — is also a Club member and a constant support. For relaxation I am a keen gardener and dog walker — both offer space to ponder Club matters too! (Jamie joined the Club in 2002 and was Chair of NLC Ltd from 2020–2022.)

David de Freitas

The vast range of events and activities available at the NLC is something I relish, especially the many high-quality musical concerts staged at the Club. I also greatly value the cultural diversity of our growing membership.

I am honoured to lead the team who assess how we deal with complaints between members, where my aim will always be to seek mediation and conciliation as the preferred way of resolving disputes.Those duties preclude me seeking any prominent public role in Club life but I will certainly have no qualms about making my voice heard in the Members’ Council and will speak up to protect the crucial independence of our complaints process.

The ability to dance is something I have always admired. I took up latin and ballroom dancing some years ago and would love to develop a ‘Strictly’ Circle at the Club: we certainly have the elegant spaces for it! (David joined the Club in 2016 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2023)

Nahuel Marisi

I am a freelance software engineer working mainly on mobile apps and web development. I grew up in Argentina before moving to the UK to study History at the University of York and later Computer Science at UCL. I’ve previously lived in London for 10 years and travel there frequently to visit family, friends and, of course, the Club.

I sit on the Membership and the Marketing and Communications Committees and am joint Vice Chair of the latter. I’ve also been a regular contributor to the Reciprocal Clubs Working Group, signing up suitable clubs mainly in Latin America and Spain.

I hope to work on achieving more personalised feedback from members and strongly believe that leads to better decisions. Members’ thoughts and experiences are crucial in understanding what works and what can be improved.

I currently live in picturesque Stockholm with my partner Emma and two sons. (Nahuel joined the Club in 2017 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2022)