Ocean Stars in the UK

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Maureen Johnston

Hi, I'm Maureen and I am the chairperson of the OST board of trustees.

My involvement with OST goes back almost to its beginning in 2005.  Following the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, I became involved with Dilanee in trying to bring support to people who had suffered and lost so much.  Then in 2008, I visited the projects and saw for myself the changes that OST's work was making to the lives of people living in north east Sri Lanka.  It's been a joy over the last 9 years to work with and alongside our OSL team.  Together we have seen our projects grow especially our preschool education programme.  As an infant school teacher, I am aware of how important early years education is in providing a strong foundation for later development and achievement.

The work is ongoing and, along with the other trustees, I want to do all I can to ensure its continued success.


John Bunter

Jo Barton

Hi, I'm Jo & I hold the post of secretary on our Board of Trustees.  I also manage our sponsorship scheme.  I have been involved with Ocean Stars since its inception in 2005 & it has been a privilege to see how it has grown over the years.  I have known Dilanee since I first moved to Fleet in 1991 & our children all grew up together so it felt only natural to become involved following the Boxing Day tsunami when Dilanee first began fund raising to bring relief to those affected.

I have visited our projects and schools in Sri Lanka & have seen first hand the impact that Ocean Stars has on the lives of people living in some of the most remote parts of the country.


John Bunter

John Bunter

I'm John Bunter and I now serve as OST Treasurer.  I have had a long affiliation with Sri Lanka, largely through my wife Dilanee, who founded the charity, and I have visited the country many times over the years and have gained an appreciation of the cultural, political and economic issues facing the country.

As a family we live in Fleet, Hampshire. Our three children, who have now emerged into their 20s, have all taken an interest in OST and its projects in the country, and have taken part in several of the October visits. My

professional background is in teaching modern languages to secondary age schoolchildren. I also have a keen interest in helping local sports clubs, and took much pleasure in 2010 in taking our local youth cricket team on tour to Sri Lanka. 


DilaneeDilanee Bunter

Hi I'm Dilanee Bunter and I was born in Sri Lanka and lived there until I was 15 years old. When the Tsunami happened on 26th Dec 2004, I felt I wanted to do something personal to help the people of Sri Lanka rebuild their shattered lives. Friends and relatives in Sri Lanka introduced me to various post Tsunami relief projects and so the Ocean Stars Trust was born. I work as a teacher and a counsellor for the Education Other Than at School (EOTAS) Service of Hampshire County Council.

 


Danny CarterDanny Carter

I'm Danny Carter and I first made contact with Ocean Stars through my wife; who taught with Dilanee. She considered joining the team visit to Sri Lanka and I asked if I could come along as well. So off we went in 2009. The tsunami and war had devastated the East Coast. I was not from a teaching background and was completely unaware of what my role would be, however, being an engineer I soon found many areas in which I could help -building maintenance, repairing playgrounds, purchasing various classroom equipment and being a general dogs body. The whole experience was uplifting, rewarding and totally exhausting. The children's smiling faces, the enthusiasm of the teachers, the realisation of how much our support meant to the isolated communities encouraged me to repeat the whole experience. We returned in 2010, 2011 and 2014. Now I have hung up my passport, hammers and drills but continue to support Ocean Stars in their valuable work by becoming one of the trustees.


Jenni Dunbar

Jenni Dunbar

I have recently had the pleasure of becoming an Ocean Stars Trustee. As a family friend of the Bunters, I have known about Ocean Stars since the beginning and have always admired the commitment and dedication the OST team puts in to helping people in Sri Lanka. My involvement began in helping out with the numerous fundraisers held throughout the year, until I became the Ocean Stars 'Intern' in 2014.  I learned a lot during the internship and when it came to an end in 2015, I was honoured to be offered the position of Trustee.  I carry out a lot of the administrative tasks and my Excel knowledge has certainly been put to good use! 


Dan Haylett

Dan Haylett

It is a real privilege to be involved with Ocean Stars as a new Trustee. I've seen at first hand the real difference that the hard work and generosity of many is making to the lives of communities in Sri Lanka. I'm looking forward to being involved with Ocean Stars and seeing how the work with children and young people will development and grow.


Kate Whyatt

Kate Whyatt

Hi, I'm Kate and I have been involved with Ocean Stars from the beginning in 2005, just after the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004. I was initially involved as a fund raiser and then had the privilege of witnessing the work of Ocean Stars first hand during five subsequent visits to Sri Lanka. Over the five visits, the first being in 2008, I have seen the changes in the lives of people involved with the charity. We have been able to build strong relationships within the different projects, both with sponsored children and the staff 'on the ground' and this personal approach has touched many lives.

As a trustee since 2013 I have been involved with the gift catalogue and was Treasurer before taking a sabbatical and sailing around the world in 2015-16. Since my break I am looking forward to being involved in helping to steer Ocean Stars Trust forward as the charity continues to grow and the number of projects and children supported continues to rise.