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.

Faiza Sharif

Volunteering Advisor

Faiza supports residents to become charity trustees, as well as assisting them to find volunteer placements. She facilitates training sessions and community events. Faiza has experience teaching in Tower Hamlets schools. She has volunteered with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and served as a Student Union Representative for 3 years.

Peppe Rella

Communications and Marketing Consultant

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

Zahanar Begum
Volunteering 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

DSC02911 (00000002)

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.

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.

Megan Cowley

Megan Cowley - trustee

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.

Louise Theophile


Louise was born in London and has lived in Tower Hamlets since 2021. She has previously volunteered at the YMCA Youth Matters Awards and has mentored young people looking for their first professional role out of education. Louise works as an HR Professional and is passionate about diversity and inclusion in both the workplace and society.