Home » Our Staff, Trustees and Volunteers

Our Staff

Catherine Bavage

Chief Executive

Catherine established Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets as an independent charity in 2008. She has worked in Tower Hamlets for more than 20 years. Her Chief Executive remit includes staff and project management, HR, finance, fundraising and supporting our Board. Catherine has volunteered in a wide variety of roles; as an appropriate adult supporting young offenders in custody, as a trustee, as a food bank volunteer and, more recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a Vaccination Site Marshal.

Evelyn Rodrigues

Training and Best Practice Manager

Evelyn joined VCTH in 2014, delivering training sessions and bespoke 1-1 advice to local organisations, supporting them to involve volunteers effectively and safely. Evelyn is a Learning & Performance Institute (LPI) Certified Trainer, meaning that the training she delivers is learner-focused, engaging and practical. Previously she worked at VSO in several volunteering related roles, including managing a training and advice programme for small diaspora organisations. She volunteered until 2020 in an older people’s group, leading cooking activities.

Alex Nelson

Alex VSCYF Coordinator
Voluntary Sector Children and Youth Forum Coordinator

Alex supports voluntary sector organisations that work with children, young people and their families. She joined VCTH in 2009 and brings experience of teaching, working with schools, refugees and family support in Tower Hamlets and Newham to her role. Alex has previously volunteered in Bangladesh for 9 months and now volunteers with a homeless organisation.

Krithika Subramanian

Krithika Volunteering Advisor
Volunteering Advisor

As a Volunteering Advisor, Krithika supports various projects at VCTH and works with organisations to develop inspiring opportunities, co-facilitate training sessions and promote volunteering in the community. Krithika has worked previously for Volunteer Centres in London and in a national mental health charity supporting people to get involved in volunteering as well as delivered several bespoke projects. Krithika has volunteered in a variety of roles such as an outreach volunteer, as an arts administrator, and as a conservation volunteer for a gardening community group.

Peppe Rella

Communications and Marketing Officer

Peppe has worked with the Volunteer Centre since August 2008. He is a Digital Marketing and Communication specialist. He was an intern with the Institute for Public Policy Research and has an MA in Communications Policy and Telecom Regulation. He volunteers with the Italian community in London and for environmental programmes. He volunteered at the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Zahanar Begum

Administrator and Brokerage Advisor

Zahanar helps local residents find suitable placements. She helps organise training sessions and Networking events for Volunteer Managers. She also works with Volunteer-Involving organisations in promoting their opportunities to people. Zahanar has worked with children and young people with behavioural problems and learning difficulties. She studied A Level in Law and Business Studies at College.

Our Trustees

Karin Maschler

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Karin joined the Board in January 2019. She has volunteered in many different roles over time including helping to recruit the London Ambassadors for the 2012 Olympics. Karin also worked on student-led projects benefitting the community in Tower Hamlets while part of the organisation Enactus at university. Karin works as an investment professional.

Leo Zawadzki

Leo Zawadzki Trustee

Leo joined the VCTH Board in July 2021. Having moved to London in September 2015 from Scotland following graduation. He has volunteered since high school, and specifically has volunteered in Tower Hamlets tutoring local students 1-1 in order to help students from all backgrounds attain access to further education in both College and University. Leo works as a finance professional in Tower Hamlets.

Safia Jama


Safia founded Women’s Inclusive Team in 2005. She has degrees in Community Development and Public Policy from Birkbeck University and is a qualified Mental Health Trainer. Safia is an independent board director of Tower Hamlets Homes, she is the BAME Tower Hamlets Commissioner. Safia grew up and loves working in Tower Hamlets and is passionate about supporting women in hard to reach communities.

Sabiha Khanam

Sabiha Khanam(1)

Sabiha joined VCTH Board in October 2020. Sabiha completed her post graduate diploma in Management and currently works for a housing association, coordinating their volunteer services. Sabiha has volunteered in various roles supporting local community projects in Tower Hamlets.

Alison White

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Alison joined the Board in January 2019. She was a London Ambassador for the 2012 Olympics, has set up and run children’s and youth groups and volunteered for Citizens Advice for 12 years. Alison's experience there led to her decision to study with the Open University. Since graduating in 2015 she has worked for housing associations and is currently Community Engagement Manager at Southern Housing Group.

Megan Cowley


Megan joined the Board in May 2021. Having volunteered in various student and professional programs, she was first introduced to VCTH through a trustee training and introduction program and became a trustee shortly after. Megan has previously lived in Tower Hamlets and works in finance.

Alice Sims

Alice Photo-1

Alice joined the Board of Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets in 2017. Alice currently works as an Education Officer for Amnesty International UK where she manages a programme of volunteers who deliver human rights education across the UK. She also volunteers for the Scouts, supporting a Beaver Colony of 6-8 year olds.