Our People

Our Trustees

Steering Group

Our Staff


Allan Thacker

Allan is the Chair of the Thames View Tenants & Residents Association and a retired engineer with 44 years of experience. As part of his role as Chair of the Thames View TRA he regularly listens to the concerns and challenges faced by groups of local residents on issues including housing, property and anti-social behaviour and advocates on their behalf when liaising with local councillors. He has played a crucial role in assisting a number of community groups in obtaining funding for their projects, for example the New View Arts and Mens’ Shed Project’s (Shed Life) and also the Thames View Community Garden (TVCG). He is passionate about ensuring fairness and equality for residents in every part of Thames Ward, both new and old and that the wardgrows in an inclusive way that benefits all.

Allan’s goal for the Wards is that ALL residents work together to share their skills and build their confidence and collective power for the overall health and wellbeing of the ward.

Amina joins us as a Part-Time Community Organiser leading on TWCP's Resident Charter initiative

Amina Hussein

Amina works as a Personal Assistant and has previous experience in Human Resources, Payroll Management and Youth Work. She plans to setup her own Childcare social business to help support parents in the local area to be able to work and pursue their own personal development. She has already started delivering creche facilities to enable parents to attend resident-led ESOL for Parents classes run by fellow Thames Life Steering Group member Pierre.

Amina’s first passion is working with children and young people. The challenge for her is getting young people off the streets and the computer by getting them active and engaged. Her other passion is elevating the whole community and leaving no one behind. She loves talking to people, getting to know their stories and hopes for the future, and using that understanding to identify new opportunities for her diverse community to solve its own problems and achieve more by working together. She has always worked or volunteered for companies that make a difference to people’s lives and tried her upmost to do better for all types of people in her daily life, with Thames Life being no exception!

Amina’s goal for the Wards is for it to be united and healthy, a safe place to live for all residents, and most importantly for there to be local jobs for local people, allowing them to pursue their dreams and utilise their talents, while earning a real Living Wage.


Anna Pollard

Anna is a Church Leader establishing a new Church of England community in Barking Riverside. ‘Church at Barking Riverside’ is a member of Barking & Dagenham Citizens (part of TELCO Citizens/CitizensUK) and has already hosted community meals (following the Barking Riverside fire), Easter Egg Hunt’s and Community Carols at Christmas. Until 2018 Anna worked in funding for community engagement projects in science and health selecting, advising and supporting projects nationally and internationally. Prior to this she worked in the NHS and studied Human Genetics and Ethics.

She is passionate about every person in the community being empowered to be all that they are made to be and having the support to flourish where they are. Through the Church she is creating and supporting small and large spaces where people can get together, make friends, get to know Jesus and encourage each other spiritually.

Anna’s goal for the local area is to see it thriving, and for the growth and ambition for the area to include both those already in the community and those yet to join in an integrated way. For it to be a place where those in places of power and little power demonstrate it is possible for whole areas to be structured to facilitate the flourishing of every person. A place where diversity is embraced and celebrated and where the physical, mental and spiritual health of everyone is supported.

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Natalie Ogene

Natalie works in the Civil Service and moved to the area with her daughter 2021. She first came into contact with Thames Life after searching for local groups who were trying to make improvements in the wider area. She has since started attending resident meetings and is part of some working groups.

She is passionate about the local environment and spaces and keen to ensure that issues such as littering and a lack of investment in maintaining local spaces is addressed. She also loves gardening and visits the Barking Food Forest with her daughter.

Natalie’s goal for Thames View and Barking Riverside is that everyone can feel the benefits of the changes happening in the community.

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Hafizur Rahman

Hafizur has been a resident of Thames View since 2005. He is a college lecturer, teaching students who are between the ages of 16-19 with some adult provisions. He knew he would live in the area for a long time so was keen to get involved at a community level in various projects.

He has been involved with Thames View Muslim Association since 2013, helping the organisation engage with the wider community and establish facilities for worship, children’s education, and various community awareness programmes. Over the years TVMA have organised Eid in the Park, Jummah, educational programmes, free food events, and more.

He is also a keen gardener and member of the Thames View Community Garden. Further in the summer of 2021, he became involved with the Tenants and Residents Association aiming to work with the residents, council officials and other bodies to have the tenants voice being taken seriously.

Most recently, he joined The RiverView Newspaper resident editorial board to share his skills as an English educator and passion for community.


Josiah Oyekunle

Josiah is an international Wedding & Events DJ, Musician, Producer and Master of Ceremonies who has provided his services at places such as TEDxEuston, BBC Radio London, Insanity Radio and closer to home, the Barking Riverside Fireworks Display. He has also worked for several years as a Learning Mentor for West Ham United Foundation delivering workshops in schools on campaigns for the Premier League and Show Racism the Red Card.   

He is passionate about seeing young people within the local community be able to develop and grow to their full potential. He runs music workshops with young people to teach them how to DJ and produce music because he is passionate about passing on his skills to the next generation and offering more music opportunities for young people in the area.

Josiah’s goal for the Wards is for it to be a safe and vibrant area where young people can express their creativity, build skills and connect with opportunities that lead them to greater heights in future. He hopes to spearhead the creation of a music studio to act as a hub space where young people could attend workshops, learn about the music industry and record their own tracks, supported by local musicians who could act as mentors while also supporting the facility by using it themselves.


Lai Ogunsola

Lai is a Project Officer in the Health Team at the Greater London Authority (GLA) in the Communities and Intelligence Unit and a publicly elected governor for the North East London NHS Trust (NELFT) for Barking and Dagenham. He set up his own company ‘Resilient View’ in November 2018, with the aim to eventually run a pilot Social Prescribing project in partnership with Care City. He has a fledgling mental health podcast which he hopes to expand and also plans to setup a resident-led support group to work with men in the community to improve their wellbeing.

He is passionate about mental health being taken as seriously as physical health and wants to empower local residents to have a greater influence on health service provision in the locality.

Lai’s goal for the Wards is to increase levels of physical activity and ensure that more residents have the confidence, skills and opportunity required to access the services, tools and support networks they need to maintain good physical and mental health.


Emmanuel Oreyeni

Arts & Culture

Emmanuel is an art student at UAL (Chelsea College of Arts), and previously studied at Barking and Dagenham College and Riverside School where he was well-known for his love of drawing superheroes. It was here that he came into contact with Thames Life and its resident Steering Group and jointly developed the idea for developing a Local Heroes Portrait series. The aim of the series is to highlight the incredible talents (or ‘powers’) of local people and their ability, given the right recognition and opportunity, to tackle many of the challenges facing the community more effectively, efficiently and sustainably than external consultants. The series also intends to build power among and relationships between local residents by sharing their visions for the future of the area in a visually appealing and eye-catching way.

He is passionate about enabling young people to get their voices heard on local issues in a way that is fun and appealing to them and helps them to ensure that the area grows with young people at the centre. With this in mind he has started developing Young ARTivists for young people to raise awareness and take action on issues in the community that are important to them using the Creative Arts (e.g. Music, Poetry, Drama, Art or Film-Making).

Emmanuel’s goal for the local area is for young people’s voices and experiences to be heard, understood and valued and for this to shape the development of the area in a positive way.


Khushnood Ahmed

Arts & Culture

Khushnood is the Founder and Director of the Riverside Muslim Association (RMA)established in 2013 and a Trustee of the Barking & Dagenham Faith Forum. She is a qualified nutritionist and the Founder and Director of Creative Wellnesswhich runs cookery and healthy eating projects with residents of all ages and is also a Cultural Connector for Creative Barking & Dagenham (CBD) involved in bringing international art festivals and projects to Thames Ward.

She is passionate about bringing people together via Health, Art and Faith. She wants to raise awareness of the importance of balanced nutrition and healthy eating, help people gain skills and build relationships via art projects and establish a dedicated place for the Muslim community to worship and deliver projects for everyone in the area to be able to enjoy.

Khushnood’s goal for Thames Ward is for it to be the most creative, peaceful and healthiest community it can be. She believes that the best way to achieve this is working with other like-minded, passionate and skilled residents via the Thames Ward Community Project (TWCP).


Nikhil Rathore

Environment & Outdoor Spaces

Nikhil is a Yoga teacher, Thai Massage Therapist and Permaculture Garden Designer. He runs yoga classes privately and is keen to offer this locally to support resident well-being. Nikhil has personally experienced a transformation in his own well-being through Yoga & reconnecting with nature. It helped him to restore his own health and he is passionate about sharing that experience with the community.

He is an expert in permaculture which is a design science based in the ethics of Earth Care, People Care & Fair Share. Permaculture simulates, or directly utilizes, the patterns and resilient features observed in natural ecosystems. Permaculture design aims not just for sustainability, but beyond that to creating systems that are self-perpetuating and regenerative, increasing biodiversity and resilience of natural and human resources. These are the ethics and strategies Nikhil will be using to support the development of the community garden site next to Riverside School; the Barking Food Forest.

Nikhil’s goal for the local area is to create a social business that improves the Health & Well-Being of residents via Yoga, Mindfulness and the improvement of the many local green (e.g. Ripple Nature Reserve & Ripple Greenway) and blue spaces (e.g. River Thames) and the creation of a ‘Ward-Wide’ Green Spaces Strategy.


Pierre Epoh Moudio

Skills & Enterprise

Pierre is an experienced ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and Employability Lecturer skilled in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) along with Employability Skills. He runs a very successful ESOL for Parents programme aimed at helping local parents develop their confidence with English in order to be able to support their children with their homework and pursue their chosen career paths.

He is passionate about creating support for young people and those either not in education, employment or training (NEET) or underemployed and looking to change careers. When he first arrived in the UK from his native Cameroon Pierre didn’t know anyone and struggled to find work, despite having very good English himself. He managed to successfully overcome those difficulties and it became his personal mission to help immigrants to improve their English, to support them in their job search or studies and assist them to fully integrate into their new country.

Pierre’s goals for the local area are to set up a homework club for local young people to have a place to do their school work, to expand his ESOL programmes across various schools in the Wards and beyond and also to deliver more of his employment support to local people.

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Romeo Murisa

Arts & Culture

Romeo is passionate about having an impact on other people’s lives. He works as a Medical Sales Representative who helps hospitals provide better patient outcomes. Currently, he is the North East London Area Manager for Acumed, a global market leader who provides orthopaedic and medical solutions that improve patient care worldwise. His aim is to use what he learns in this field to improve the healthcare back in his home country Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa. 
He is also a rhythmic poet. Romeo uses the skills and daily practice, of putting pen to paper, to share his journey through spoken word. As well as being a huge fan of multiple expressions of art. 
His vision for the local area is to create a space that allows the voiceless to gain a voice through reflective art experiences, that helps them grow their passions.

Venilia Amorim

Housing & Growth

Venilia is the Treasurer of the Barking Reach Residents Association, which oversees the Barking Riverside development.

She is a financial journalist and editor by profession with 18 years of experience covering the institutional asset market globally. She has deep understanding of governance structures not just through her work, but also by setting up charitable companies with a purpose to help solve certain community issues.

She has an eye for detail, particularly with regards to finance, and is passionate about securing better outcomes for residents of the local area, particularly in relation to the campaign for a resident-led housing inquiry in response to the fire on Barking Riverside in June 2019, and housing management issues on the estate more broadly.

Venilia’s goal for the Wards is to progress a Resident Growth Charter in order to enable more residents to understand and be able to influence local development decisions.

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Matt Scott


Matt is responsible for the overall strategic management of the project.

He has worked in the voluntary sector for over 30 years, lectures at Goldsmiths College and London Metropolitan University and is chair of the Community Development Journal.  Matt completed his PhD in 2012 on the role of community development in addressing the local democratic deficit.

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Jamie Kesten

Deputy Director

Jamie’s role incorporates five main areas of responsibility:

  • Strategic oversight of programmes
  • Strategic oversight of communications
  • Income generation
  • Demonstrating social impact
  • Stakeholder Engagement

Prior to working for Thames Life Jamie was a Research Associate at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London. He holds a PhD in Human Geography from The Open University and an MSc in Ethnicity and Multiculturalism from Bristol University.


Margarida Lopes

Governance Manager

Margarida is responsible for:

  • Policies: Drafting and reviewing all policies and communicating key content to staff, trustees and volunteers.  
  • Finance and Insurance: Overseeing monthly management of accounts and financial control processes. Ensure appropriate insurance measures are in place and up to date.  
  • Charity Compliance: ensure that the details of the charity and CIC are kept up to date and that all returns are submitted on time to regulators and meet full legal requirements.
  • Supporting trustees: Organise meetings and, training and support for trustees to ensure they are confident in their understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
  • Impact measurement and management: leading on a new impact, monitoring, evaluation and learning strategy and the setting up of systems to capture impact across our stated aims: leadership, relationships, influence and enterprise.
  • Leading on staff and volunteer recruitment and management.


Zainab Jalloh

Communications and Outreach Officer

Zainab is responsible for:

  • Creating a strong and cohesive communications framework that best presents our community.
  • Promoting the community voice through high-quality communications, both digital and print, which will be informed by regular community outreach.

Prior to this, she was working in the legal sector and has experience in community engagement. Zainab holds a Law degree from the University of Greenwich.

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Alex Anthony

Community Organiser

Alex is responsible for:

  • Running the wellbeing navigator pilot scheme; supporting a community network aimed at promoting and establishing better avenues to healthcare.
  • Working closely with residents to amplify local voices.
  • Supporting residents and volunteers to meet their health and social care goals through peer mentoring.
  • Supporting Thames Life and partners to help the community to shape its own future, identity, health, and wellbeing to meet the challenges of physical and demographic changes in years to come.

Prior to this role, Alex worked for regeneration in local government. He holds a History degree from the University of Royal Holloway.

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Nia Lopez

Community Development Administrative Officer

Nia is responsible for:

  • Provide central administration support for the CEO and Health Outreach project.
  • Handle enquiries from partners and residents across Thames Ward and arrange meetings and events when requested.
  • Provide support for specific projects, including creating and gathering information and data to support events – for example on housing or health needs.
  • Provide effective administrative support for the recruitment and training of volunteers.
  • Provide support for events, including citizen actions groups, community forums, training workshops, conferences and working groups and others as appropriate.
  • Support the staff in the promotion of project specific work, including coordination of resources, organisation of events / meetings and gathering of evidence specific to projects.
  • Support the staff with content for social media, organising meetings with stakeholders and local networks.
  • Support staff to maintain relationship management administration through appropriate CRM.
  • Follow up support for steering group and residents before and after meetings, sharing information / minutes and agenda.
  • Microsoft packages, CRM and experience managing online meetings through Zoom/teams.
  • Other responsibilities relevant to the purpose of the role as required by the line manager.
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Zahra Awani

Communications and Marketing Officer (Maternity Leave Cover)

Zahra is responsible for:

  • Creating a strong and cohesive communications framework that best presents our community.
  • Promoting the community voice through high-quality communications, both digital and print, which will be informed by regular community outreach.
  • Marketing Thames Life to increase awareness of our work across the Wards through Comms & Marketing Strategies.

Zahra currently also works part-time with Church At Barking Riverside as their Comms & Ops Lead. Prior to this, she was working in marketing agencies for global brands. Zahra holds a History & Media degree from the University of Birmingham and a MA in Radio Production from Bournemouth University.

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Lucy Lee

Health Outreach Officer

Lucy is responsible for:

  • Overseeing and supporting the provision of a triage service that manages referrals from community providers and the health system.
  • Supporting and activating a range of community forums, working alongside established and more informal and emerging community groups and local people, especially those involved in volunteering and social action.
  • Improving the health and wellbeing of residents, whilst building connections, trust and belonging within the community.
  • Making optimal use of scarce public and social sector resources, creating a preventative model which helps residents to help themselves and strengthen community level support for the cost-of-living crisis.
  • Training and mentoring, volunteers and residents undertaking social action, including coordination of bespoke training and raising awareness of wider health funding and employment opportunities.

    Prior to this Lucy has been working as a peer researcher for Barking Riverside Limited and also runs a small business, www.houseofloulee.co.uk creating African print apparel & soft toys for children. Lucy holds a degree in Arts Management from South Bank University.
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Vishal Narayan

Health Strategy Officer

Vishal is responsible for:
  • Strategic Direction and support for health work related to the BD Collective and Ratio Locality Leads Project.
  • Support with monitoring and evaluation across the work of Thames life.
  • Meaningful communication and directed discussion with stakeholders.
  • Support with resident advocacy and groups supported through Thames Life.
  • Developing health delivery outcomes with staff, trustees and residents.
Vishal also works part-time as a Research Fellow at the University of East London at the Institute of Connected Communities and is the co-director of Every Person is Capable C.I.C, a Hip Hop/ well-being NGO doing local and international work under the UNESCO Hip Hop Declaration of Peace. 

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