Jane Caldwell-  CEO

Jane Caldwell has a broad experience across the public, commercial and voluntary sectors.  In the last 9 years she has worked across the children’s, young people’s and older people’s sectors.  Previously she worked as a film producer making award winning human rights documentaries and feature films. She has started 3 businesses and began her career working in the education sector. Jane is also a Trustee of Respond and a founding steering committee member of the Women’s Equality Party.

Senior Management Team

Deborah Hayes - Director of  Care and Services Development- Registered Manager for CQC regulated activities

Deborah Hayes is our Director of Care and Services Development having previously held the role as Director of Services at Age UK Newham. Prior to Age UK East London Deborah worked for over 25 years in the housing field both as a housing manager and project manager overseeing both refurbishment and new builds.
Deborah is passionate on services meeting the needs of those with dementia and acts as our dementia lead.In addition to her role she is our safeguarding lead attending both Newham and Tower Hamlets Safeguarding Boards.

Larissa Howells- Director of Services

Larissa Howells has over 15 years’ experience in the implementation of large-scale public engagement programmes within disadvantaged communities  around the UK.  Her range of programmes have included employability, arts, mental health and wellbeing across all age groups.  She is dedicated to supporting the most vulnerable within our communities and was acknowledged as a ‘UK Change Maker’ in 2014 for her commitment to improving the lives of others. 

Ruth Jenkins- Finance Director 

Ruth Jenkins is a charity finance specialist, with over 15 years experience in the charity sector. She is ACA qualified, and holds a Diploma in Charity Accounting and a Masters in Voluntary Sector Management. She believes in being the change you want to see in the world, and has a particular interest in impact. Ruth is currently also a Trustee of Elfrida Rathbone Camden helping young disabled people and families, and a Director of not-for-profit campaign group GeneWatch.

Service Managers

Rahima Ali - Community Outreach Service Manager

Rahima Ali joined the organisation in 2002 working in advice and information. Over the last 7-8 years she has found her niche in community development and is constantly exploring innovative ways and potential funding opportunities to support older people to make the most of their later life. This support is provided by a team of outreach officers who are able to provide one to one support, sign post as well as support older people to live more healthy and active lives, promote independence and encourage involvement in the local community.

Vicky Gadd - Head of Evaluation and Training 

Vicky Gadd has worked in Advocacy for 10 years and for the past 2 years in Befriending. Vicky manages a team of over 100 Volunteers who provide advocacy and befriending support to older people across East London. Vicky has also for the past 3 years taken on the role of on-site supervisor to Student Social Workers who undertake a placement at Age UK East London. As part of this role Vicky provides training to all Volunteers within these services and, more recently, to staff on topics such as Person Centred Dementia Care, Advocacy and Befriending. Vicky will soon be changing her role to IT and Training Manager which offers the opportunities to increase the number of staff and Volunteers accessing training; to increase the types of training offered and to provide support and training to staff and Volunteers on Age UK East London’s ICT systems.

David Holland -  User Involvement Service Manager 

David Holland has worked for Age UK East London and before its establishment Age Concern Hackney since 2006.
He has a background in public affairs, international relations and campaigning.
He is also active in community organising in Hackney, where he has lived for 25 years.

Odette Messiah -  Information, Advice and Advocacy Service Manager

Odette Messiah joined Age Concern Tower Hamlets in January 2007 as a volunteer placement studying on the advice worker training and accreditation course and her NVQ level 3 in Advice & Guidance. She secured paid employment in October 2007 as an advice worker subsequently being promoted to Team Leader for the Advice & Information service within the new named Age UK East London in April 2011. Odette has a background in domestic violence advocacy and housing. As an East London resident she actively contributes on local Advice partnership boards.

Sharon Waddams - Volunteer Involvement and Befriending Service Manager

Sharon Waddams started with the then Age Concern Tower Hamlets as a volunteer placement in the Advocacy Service in June 2000, then went on to secure a job in September 2000. Sharon has worked in various services within the organisation and is now the Volunteering & Business Support Team Leader recruiting and placing volunteers across Age UK East London.

Angela Dobson-  Home and Care Service Manager

Angela Dobson joined Age Concern Hackney in 2009 working with various departments as a Project Officer. She has a degree in Business Studies and has an extensive background in qualitative market research both in the UK and internationally.  In 2011 with the merger of the 3 Age Concerns Angela continued to work within their advice department until 2013 when she joined the Home & Care Team. In 2015 Angela was promoted to the role of Home & Care Team Leader and in 2017 she commenced her new role as Home & Care Service Manager.  Angela is passionate about provideing a safe, compassionate and caring service to older people and their carers across East London.