Katherine Carr, Chairperson
Katie became a founding trustee after her parents spent time teaching English in Darjeeling. She has a degree in modern languages from Cambridge University and has worked in central Government for a number of years. She has co-led the Trust’s child sponsorship programme for a number of years, and assumed the role of Chairperson in January 2020. She lives in Bristol with her husband and their own two small children (aka the Trust’s youngest supporters). In her spare time she enjoys running, travelling and singing in her local choir. Katie visited Darjeeling in 2009 to see for herself what a difference the Trust makes. Once her children are older, Katie plans to return to India with them.
Robert Adams, Treasurer and Secretary
Robert graduated from Leeds University with an arts degree in 1968 but, after VSO in Indonesia, drifted through teaching into finance (you could do that sort of thing back then!). He is now retired after 35 years of working for the local government and a water company. Robert’s main interests when he is not busy balancing the Trust’s books, are walking, running, travel, and literature.
Marilyn Adams, Trustee
Marilyn was co-founded the Trust with Sharan Patel in February 2008, and as Chairperson from its inception until January 2020 she grew and led the Trust through many great successes and achievements. She received her undergraduate degree from London University and then trained as town planner at Aston University. Now retired after many years working in local government, she originally visited Darjeeling in 2007 as a volunteer teacher at a municipal primary school. She has returned to Darjeeling many times since that first visit. In her spare time she enjoys photography, walking, cycling and travel.
Major Pasang Wangdi, Trustee
Major Wangdi grew up in Darjeeling, and attended St. Joseph’s College. When he was twenty one years old, he joined the Indian Army as a Commissioned Officer and retired after twenty years of active service in 1994. He fulfils countless tasks on behalf of the Trust, including acting as our representative on the Management Board of the Kripasaran Buddhist Mission and driving the orphanage redevelopment project forward.
Sharan Patel, Trustee
Sharan is a co-founder of the Trust. She first went to Darjeeling in April 2007 as a volunteer teacher and assistant at the girl’s orphanage. She was so touched by the children that a seed to continue helping them on her return was well and truly planted. Sharan was born in Kenya and has since lived and worked in many countries including the United States and Hong Kong. She has an IT background specialising in banking software. Sharan enjoys reading, walking (although the pace is now a bit slower following a skiing injury) and travelling. She has several nieces and nephews who keep her young.
Hugh Heron, Trustee
Hugh was born in Scotland, and currently lives in Yorkshire. After selling his shares in the financial planning business he started when he was 25 years old, he decided to take a TEFL course. He headed out to Darjeeling to share his new found teaching skills and has never looked back, becoming a Trustee in 2009. Hugh is organiser in chief of the annual Darjeeling Cup golf event, and he hopes to maintain his annual visits to Darjeeling in the future. In his spare time, Hugh enjoys badminton, cycling, trekking, and of course regular trips to his homeland!
Clare Blakeway-Philips, Trustee
Clare gained a BSc in Social Science and Administration from Bedford College, University of London and an MPhil from LSE. She trained as a nurse at Guy’s Hospital and became a health visitor. She then worked approximately 30 years as a commissioner of health care services, specialising in the areas of health promotion, continual quality improvement and patient and public engagement. Taking early retirement has meant that she is able to travel as well as focus on her voluntary work. In the spring of 2014, she travelled to Darjeeling where she spent a wonderful two months teaching English to 8-14 year olds and health education to older teenagers in the Mahatma Gandhi High School as well as assisting in the girls’ orphanage. This great experience was facilitated by the Darjeeling Children’s Trust. She wished to continue to be involved and support the children and joined the Trust as a trustee later in 2014.
Vik Patel, Trustee
Vik has 20+ years business experience in ‘fast-growth consumer companies’, within a wide-range of senior leadership roles. He has lived and worked in India, China, Europe, Africa, and America. His recreation time is taken up with Trekking, Cricket and Travelling. In 2014, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in order to raise money for the Trust. Vik is married with 2 children and lives in the UK.
Tshering Huber, Trustee
Tshering was born and grew up in Darjeeling, where she attended Loreto Convent and St. Joseph’s College. After completing a BSc in Biology in Montreal, Canada she worked as a Bio lab instructor at a junior college and taught general and business English as a foreign language. She is now retired and lives in Switzerland, where she enjoys keeping in touch with school friends, promoting Darjeeling teas and at the weekends working in her ‘mini vineyard’. Although Tshering has spent most of her life abroad her heart still lies in Darjeeling, and through her involvement in DCT she hopes to fulfil her wish to help the children there.