VCH Staff

Chief Executive

Lauren Tobias

Lauren Tobias

Lauren has been Chief Executive of VCH for 4 years, which she describes as the best job in the world! She has a background in managing volunteering and employment programmes across the voluntary, private and public sectors, developing partnerships and new projects.

Head of Volunteering

Rupal Karia

Rupal Karia

Rupal has been managing volunteers in community settings for over 10 years, and along with her role at Hackney, is also the Volunteer Services & Best Practice Manager at Volunteer Centre Camden.

Head of Volunteering

Charlotte Handel

Charlotte Handel

Born and raised in East London, Charlotte joined VCH as Head of Volunteering in 2012. With a background in arts marketing and community engagement, she’s passionate about how local people can get involved in their community and change things for the better. Her other (work) half is Rupal. 

Step Up Project Manager

Chris Mate-Kole

Chris Mate-Kole

Chris has been managing the Step Up project for almost a year. His academic background is in Law and Criminology and since graduating has spent time volunteering abroad, setting up a small project in Ghana and also working for a local council.

Step Up Project Administrator

Farzana Siddique

Farzana Siddique

Farzana was a stay at home mum for 9 years and was referred to VCH Stepping Forward Project who supported her to start volunteering on the Step Up project, where she progressed to become their paid Project Administrator. Farzana says “I really believe that volunteering is a great way of gaining experience for employment, as well as improving mental fitness”.

Step Up Employment Advisor

Mark Kinnally

Mark Kinnally

Mark has experience in supporting people who have experienced ill mental health back into employment through training and volunteering. He is passionate about promoting positive awareness of mental health in the community and working with people to overcome barriers and challenges to gaining employment.

Brokerage Administrator

Krithika Subramanian

Krithika Subramanian

Krithika has experience of working in the private and voluntary sector. She is also a professional Indian classical dancer. She engages with several community organisations through creative workshops and performances.

Our Place Community Development Manager

Priya Loomba

Priya Loomba

Priya has worked in community development for six years in the U.K. and abroad and now works on the Our Place project together with Polly.

Our Place Community Development Manager

Polly

Polly

Polly has a long-term background in community development working on projects addressing health inequalities and social exclusion. She lives in Hackney and is an enthusiastic volunteer.

Community Supporters Project Manager

Gareth Walsh

Gareth Walsh

Gareth has lived in Hackney for over seven years and worked in a variety of roles in the public and voluntary sector throughout that time. He is passionate about volunteering and about supporting people to build their confidence and connect with the local community.

Community Supporters Project Administrator

Nathan McLellan

Nathan McLellan

Originally from Australia Nathan started his time at VCH as a volunteer but then moved to the Community Supporters befriending project near to one year ago and has since then developed a passion for tackling the problems of social isolation and loneliness.