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Our Trustees

Emma Hutchins (Chair)
Emma lived in Islington for several years when she first moved to London. Emma’s professional background is in policy, advocacy, influencing and communications. She is currently working in the health sector for a large national charity and having previously worked for charities in the arts, philanthropy and peacebuilding. Emma holds an MA in International Relations (Gender) and a BSc in International Relations and Spanish. Outside of work, Emma volunteers at a local night shelter for those experiencing homelessness and has also volunteered with older people and people speaking English as a non-native language.

Hussain Ahmed (Board member) 
‎Hussain grew up in Islington where his mum, extended family and friends still live. He grew up in a humble background where thanks to charitable organisations at the time, he experienced the significant and positive impact of their work. He has significant experience in IT, larger-scale projects and logistic delivery – working with start-ups through to global enterprises. He volunteered and worked in a number of charitable institutions when he was younger and has a significant understanding of the importance of volunteering. Some of the charities he has volunteered for include Crisis (managing their IT infrastructure), Playgroup Leader at a local school – Gillespie/ Ambler as well as running a number of Societies at work.

Madeleine Gascoigne (Board member) 
Maddie works within the Investor Relations team of a global private equity firm, having begun her career at Goldman Sachs. She moved to Islington in the summer of 2019 and volunteers with several local charities, including ActionTutoring (an education charity assisting disadvantaged young people) and Achilles International (as a guide for blind and visually impaired runners). She has a BA in History from the University of Warwick and joined Voluntary Action Islington as a Trustee in February 2023.

Santa Gascoigne (Board member) 
Santa is a Strategic Account Director, working for RSA Insurance. She has been with RSA for over ten years in various strategy, account management and data analytics roles. Prior to that Santa was a Strategy Consultant working for OC&C. She has been involved in various pro bono projects supporting international development and local community charities, as well as mentoring teenagers in North London schools. Santa has always been passionate about gender equality in the workplace and was on the Board of the City Women’s Network. She joined Voluntary Action Islington as a Trustee in September 2020. Santa lives in Islington with her husband and two young children.

Ken Hettiarchi (Board Member) 
Ken the founding director of Freedom Works UK, a coaching and mentoring organisation based in Islington (11+ years). He is also a coach/employment specialist at Camden Job Hub (Regent’s Park area). Ken has been providing leadership coaching for local residents for over 10 years and has experience of youth work from the late 80s and early 90s. Ken has lived in Islington since 1984 (apart from 3 weeks in Stoke Newington in autumn 1984).

Jorge Llorens (Treasurer)
Jorge Llorens joined Voluntary Action Islington as Treasurer and Trustee in December 2019. He has worked for more than 20 years in the finance sector, in London and Madrid. Throughout his career in investment and corporate banking, he has held senior management roles in international organisations including Goldman Sachs, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and BBVA, in areas such as Mergers & Acquisitions advisory, Financing and Client Coverage. Jorge is passionate about contributing his experience in finance to benefit the broader community, working with organisations that help people achieve better outcomes. He is currently an Investment Director at Social and Sustainable Capital, one of the UK’s first fund managers specialising in social impact investing. Jorge is also a Treasurer and Trustee at the Poetry Translation Centre.

Kevin Turner (Board member)
Kevin currently works for Cloudesley, an Islington place-based independent charitable trust that makes grants to people, organisations and churches within the London Borough of Islington. Kevin has nearly thirty years’ experience of working in the charity and statutory sectors. He has worked in Islington since 2017, initially for Islington Council in the Voluntary and Community Sector team where he supported the voluntary sector across Islington. Kevin previously volunteered for Hornsey Lane Community Association during lockdown, delivering food parcels.

Craig Burgess (Board member)
Craig Burgess, currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for a youth-focused volunteering charity working in schools, brings 30 years of experience working within the UK and Australia’s not-for-profit sectors. His wide Operations management expertise includes the key areas of finance, human resources, ITC and facilities/property management.  He is passionate about LGBTQI+ equality and young people’s opportunities to advance themselves, both personally and professionally, regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds. Having worked in Islington for over ten years, he is keen to give back to the area he loves. He joined Voluntary Action Islington as a Trustee in December 2023.

Irene Winter (Board member)
Irene Winter, a CEO at Hornsey Lane since 2009 and director for Octopus Community Network, has a wide range of experience in charity work. She started as a nurse at Whipps Cross and Wansted Hospitals. She then worked for various charity organisations including Hackney Council’s older people’s projects and community development, Hanley Crouch Community Association (The Laundry) and St Hilda’s East in Tower Hamlets. At Hornsey Lane her focus has been on making a difference on communities around and beyond. Over the years she has worked with partners in the Big Alliance, VAI, Islington VCS team and Early Years services to build a stronger organisation, creating opportunities and delivering a wider range of services to a diverse community. Her focus is ensuring sustainability, and continuity of their services.

Ali F. Jabeen (Board member)
Ali Jabeen currently works for Disability Action in Islington as Services Manager. She has over 20 years’ experience in trustee and director positions, working for several charities that support vulnerable families and their children. Ali has worked as Deputy Chair for Home-start Camden & Islington and is also one of the founding members of the board of trustees of Home-start London. Ali has held the post of Operations Manager for the Elfrida society parents project (ESPP) for over 8 years. She is also a member of the ‘Camden Partnership for Educational Excellence’ decision making team and the Chair of the strategy group for the ‘Camden Parent Council’. Ali specialises in Parenting Support and has run her own practice to ensure support for families with learning disabilities broadens within communities. She also has extensive knowledge of human rights and the rights of the child and family law.  

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