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.
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.
Lisa Glydon, Trustee
Lisa became a trustee after visiting Darjeeling in November 2019 where she fell in love with the people, the trust and the local area. She qualified as a nurse and worked in a number of London teaching hospitals before moving to the United States and Singapore. After having four children, she trained in homeopathy and other aspects of natural health. She lives in Saffron Walden where she runs her own busy practice. In her spare time, she volunteered for the NSPCC, visiting schools on their keep safe programme. She loves cooking for family and friends, monthly book club, film, theatre, travelling and walking her two dogs.
Monica Sood, Trustee
Monica joined the board of trustees as their Treasurer in 2021 and is responsible for all finance and governance related matters. Monica is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) , with a Chemistry with Management degree from King’s College London. Monica started her career at Deloitte where she qualified as a Chartered accountant and has spent many years working in senior finance roles across the financial services. She is currently the Finance Director of a Communications consultancy. Monica has a passion for dancing and manages her own dance company, which she set up whilst on a career break, raising her two children. She lives in Richmond with her family and enjoys spending time in the countryside. Monica is delighted to be on the board of the charity and to be able to help children in India, where her parents are originally from.
Our Trustees are delighted to have the benefit of expert, pro-bono support from two Senior Advisors, David Medland and Zahir Cama. Terms of Reference for this arrangement are here.
David Medland, Senior Advisor
David was born in Meerut, India, and educated at St Paul’s School, Darjeeling, where he spent 9 nine years, sitting for both his O Levels and A levels. Whilst at school, David also studied and played the piano, taking both practical and theory annual examinations through the Trinity College of Music, London, reaching the Teachers and Performers Diploma stages. In his later years at the school, he was awarded an organ scholarship and played the organ in the school’s chapel on weekdays.
He came to London in 1965, joined a firm of chartered accountants as an articled clerk and qualified as a chartered accountant whilst at the firm. He was admitted into partnership in 1979 at the age of 32 and remained with the firm for 45 years, latterly as a senior partner, until his retirement in June 2010. Whilst at the firm, he was responsible for the audits of both private and public company clients (both national and international) in the defence, motor dealership and educational sectors amongst others and also carried out corporate finance assignments both from his firm’s London and Manchester offices. His work involved travel for clients in the USA, India and the Far East.
In 1993, he was seconded to the UK Serious Fraud Office as an assistant director and on his return to his firm in 1996, specialised in forensic and litigation support work. In the last year prior to his retirement, he was asked to return to India to assist the international member firm in India to develop their forensic and litigation support practice, based in Gurgaon. During this period, David acted as accounting investigator and/or expert witness on a number of high profile criminal fraud cases in the UK and abroad and also in commercial cases for Government agencies and commercial companies. A few of the cases involved giving evidence in Court.
Since his retirement, David joined the committee of the Old Paulites Association (Europe) and is currently its Honorary Secretary. He takes a strong interest in the welfare of the school and its future and is keen to promote its activities and involvement with the social sector locally and, in particular, with the Darjeeling Children’s Trust. His other interests include music, the theatre and golf. He was married and has one son, Christopher.