Our Trustees

Joe Irvin OBE (Chair)
Joe has lived in Islington for over 30 years. He became a trustee of Voluntary Action Islington in 2014. He has served as chief executive of national charities NAVCA and Living Streets. Joe has worked in senior posts in Government, including as special adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister 1997-2001 and in No 10 Downing Street 2006-2010, as well as at the TGWU, the TUC, and at the RSPB. Joe’s voluntary roles include being a governor at Tufnell Park primary school in Islington, setting up a centre for unemployed people, combating child poverty, protecting the environment, mental health and aiding ex-offenders into work. He was also an elected trustee of ACEVO for 6 years, latterly as Chair.

Jo Langdale (Vice-Chair)
Jo Langdale, Chartered Fellow of CIPD, is an independent Human Resources and Business Development Consultant, Coach, Mentor and Facilitator. She is an experienced board chair and member who has led successful partnership working and community engagement at senior strategic level, including in Central and Local Government as Home Office UK lead setting up Europol and for the introduction of Neighbourhood and Community Policing. She spent a year on secondment to the Metropolitan Police Service Senior Command Team in London Borough of Haringey leading on Partnership, Community Engagement and Communication. Jo was a Director and CSR Ambassador for Islington Chamber of Commerce prior to becoming a Trustee of VAI in 2013 and is a member of the Working Group of Islington Employability Network. She is a Champion for Women on Boards UK and Recruit with Conviction. Her special interests include governance, strategy, performance, inclusion, youth, justice, education, community safety and engagement. 

Emma Hutchins (Vice-Chair)
Emma currently works for national charity Art Fund as Policy Manager and has previously worked for the Association of Charitable Foundations and a small international peacebuilding charity, with experience in policy, advocacy, communications, external affairs, and fundraising. Emma holds an MA in International Relations (Gender) and a BSc in International Relations and Spanish. Emma has lived in Islington for five years and volunteers with local charity North London Cares, connecting older and younger neighbours in the borough, as well as the InfoLatinos network supporting those who have recently moved to the UK from Latin America.

Barbara Ludlow (Board member) 
Barbara is a qualified community and youth worker who has worked in Community engagement, development and participation for 30 years, mainly in Islington (where she lives) and Camden and she knows through experience the importance of involving communities from the beginning and making sure they have a voice which is heard, valued and leads to action. As part of her career, Barbara was a Neighbourhood Development Officer for Islington Council, then went on to work in Camden Sure Start and Children’s Centres as a Community Involvement Manager and then moved on to manage a community centre. She now works as a Trainer/Facilitator at The Parent House, focusing on training in mentoring and outreach and facilitating a Parent Knife Crime Ambassador Group. Barbara is part of the (volunteer) production team for their local community pantomime, she has been involved for 27 years

Colin Adams (Board member) 
‎Colin is the director at Hanley Crouch Community Association.

Jorge Llorens (Board member)
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 specialised in social impact investing. Jorge is also a Treasurer and Trustee at the Poetry Translation Centre.

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.

Phil  Kelly (Board member)
Phil is a former Islington Councillor, school governor, charity trustee, Sec. London Labour Mayors Assoc and, formerly, the Chair of Voluntary Action Islington.