Our people


Virginia Low - Chair
Originally from New York, Virginia became active in environmental campaigning and community development in Islington in the 1980s. The 1997 suicide of her son Stuart made clear the inadequacies of support services for troubled younger people who were too old for young people’s services but too young to want services populated mainly by the over 50s. In 1998 she set up a steering group with local people that resulted in the launch of The Stuart Low Trust in January 1999. In recent years Virginia has reduced her hands-on volunteering but continues as Chair of Trustees and enthusiastic participant in the SLT Choir and Friday Evening Events. The need for a wider variety of services to reduce social isolation and enable a wider range of vulnerable people to feel valued continues, so Virginia looks forward to many more years of supporting SLT efforts to explore new initiatives and partnerships to reach the new generation.

Robin King
My background is in building conservation. I met Virginia Low in 1989 when we were both on the committee of the Anderson’s Yard Campaign Group, which was successful in preventing the building of a huge office block in Angel Islington.
I had of course met Stuart and will never forget hearing the tragic news of his death.
I’ve helped out in various ways since the earliest days of the Stuart Low Trust – volunteering at Friday Evening Events, leading holidays and outings and running photography and gardening projects – and formally became a trustee in 2003.
I’ve led many SLT narrowboat trips over the years, ranging from overnights to full weeks and they’re always memorable! I also volunteered in the kitchen for Friday Evening Events for over 10 years before handing the reins over to a fresh team of volunteers a few years ago.
As well as my duties as a trustee I continue to lead SLTs Gardening Project every Thursday at Culpeper Community Gardens. Our two plots have just won the Islington in Bloom 2016 first prize for Best Community Centre Garden. Accolades like that are nice, but the biggest reward is feeling that you’re putting something back.

Eileen Thomas
Eileen Thomas has been a trustee for over 6 years. She is an architect and planner by training and worked for many years as a director for several local authorities and in the private sector, managing a range of community functions. As such, she is able to contribute the benefits of some of this management experience to the trust. In return she feels it an honour to be a trustee of this very worthwhile cause.

Paul Hone
I’ve been a hairdresser since the age of 21 and for the last 25 years have owned and managed Theorem Hair Art on Cross Street, Islington.
One of my regular clients is Virginia Low and it was from chatting to her that I learned about the Stuart Low Trust. I immediately wanted to be involved and the best way I knew was to get friends and colleagues together to provide some sparkling entertainment for SLTs Friday Evening Events and so the legendary Bonsai Bingo extravaganzas were born! What is Bonsai Bingo? It’s a closely guarded secret, but I can say that a small ornamental tree plays a pivotal role!
It was some years later that I was invited to become a trustee. I must be the quietest trustee SLTs ever had but Virginia has told me that when I do speak at meetings I speak with insight. I don’t know about that, but I do know that I’m 100% behind SLTs ethos of bringing people together and building a community we’ve been doing it at Theorem for 25 years!

Pat Mayhew
Pat was born at the end of WWII and she says she enjoyed many more of the benefits of the Welfare State than those born later – for instance, free tuition fees and a maintenance grant to get a degree from the London School of Economics (Sociology, BA Hons). Pat worked as a criminologist for all of her professional life (a lot of it in the Home Office, but also in the US, Australia and New Zealand). She looked in particular at the best ways of reducing crime. She is now retired.
Pat was a Patron of SLT from its inception, and became a Trustee in 2008. She was initially involved in fundraising, but she is now more focussed on trying to get the best picture of SLT out to funders and the local community.
Pat knew Stuart Low throughout his life (he came to her wedding in a buggy). She cherished him as the son of Virginia, not least.
She was awarded an OBE in 1997 for service to criminology. In 2015, she got the prestigious Stockholm Prize in Criminology.

Rachael Smith - Treasurer
Rachael became a trustee and member of the Stuart Low Trust in 2016.
Rachael has lived in London since moving down from the North after graduating from the University of Leeds. Rachael began her career as an investment analyst and has completed her IMC and CIPM qualifications as well as studying both marketing and project management. Rachael currently works in the financial services sector as a marketing director and has experience across all aspects of marketing and communications. Rachael is also a member of the CFA Institute CIPM Advisory Committee. The primary purpose of the committee is to provide independent and objective strategic advice to CFA institute staff on all aspects of the CIPM designation, including input on positioning and promotion.
Rachael is a Carlisle United supporter although rarely gets to their matches anymore. She has a passion for good food and even better red wine. Rachael spends her spare time attempting to enjoy the gym, travelling, socialising and buying shoes.

Philip Boyle
Philip was on the original steering committee that founded The Stuart Low Trust and has been a trustee ever since. An architect, his main career was with Islington Council, designing housing and leisure centres. He is UK (apart from Scotland) Coordinator of the international Modern Architecture charity DoCoMoMo and Secretary of Greater London Architecture Club. In recent years he has lectured in History of Modern Architecture at Highgate Scientific and Literary Institute. He is also on the Casework Committee of the 20th Century Society.

Kat Millward
To be filled

Jo Richardson
Josephine Richardson has been a trustee at the Stuart Low Trust since August 2014, originally because she wanted to become involved in a local community based charity. She is most impressed by the passion and commitment shown by all the wonderful volunteers who give their time to put on such excellent events.
She is a finance professional, working at an international investment bank. She spent 11 years as a credit trader, and is now Executive Director running the global credit valuation control group. She took a sabbatical in 2015, and worked as investment manager for a social investment fund, helping charities and social enterprises to use investment to become more financially sustainable.
Jo is also trustee for OnePlusOne, a national relationship charity, who use research, training and online resources to promote healthy relationship skills.
She holds an MA in Maths and Management Studies from Trinity College, Cambridge University.

Rose Martinez
Rose got to know the work of the SLT through another trustee and then by giving vocal recitals as part of the Friday Evening Events programme. Before retiring she worked in secondary education as head of pastoral care with a busy timetable teaching both art and history of art.



Hannah Kalmanowitz - CEO
I have been a part of the Islington community since I moved here in 1977 to work in the theatre. I still enjoy all the lovely small theatres here, including the Old King’s Head and the Almeida, just to name two.Joining the Stuart Low Trust in 2014 was incredibly important to me, as I wished to give back in my own community. Previously I spent many years working at the Immune Development Trust (later known as the Complementary Health Trust) and at a nearby hospice. I was (and still am) moved by the work SLT does to help alleviate isolation, fear, anxiety and depression in the community.

I think the work we do at SLT is vital as it provides a lifeline in Islington a non-judgemental, safe community to combat the above average suicide rate here. I think the thing I like most about my role at SLT is seeing our participants gain confidence, better mental health and overall improve their wellbeing.

Robert Stuart - Development office
Hi, my name’s Robert and I’m SLT’s Development Officer. Following careers in journalism and teaching English as a Foreign Language I have been with SLT since 2005.
I co-ordinate our Friday Evening Event programme, design our bi-monthly flyer, manage our website and put together our e-bulletins, as well as lots of other things!
I am proud of having had a part in developing our Friday Evening Event community and – with the help of an amazing team of volunteers – of having been involved in getting SLT’s Sunday Philosophy Forum off the ground. The forum has been running since 2011 and in that time has discussed everything from Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights to Plato, Kant and Nietzsche!

Mohammad Jameer - Accountant
Mohammad has been involved with the Stuart Low Trust for almost seven years as their accountant and he says it seems like only yesterday since he joined, with every day presenting a fresh challenge. He says the diversity of people and views which prevail make the experience an enlightening one, both strengthening and creating bonds between those that encounter the organisation.
The success of the Stuart Low Trust is due to the staff, volunteers and management committee who provide a continued atmosphere of warmth, support and dedication, opening the doors to a brighter future for those that are in need.



Barbara Taylor
In 2015, The Stuart Low Trust welcomed Barbara Taylor, author of “The Last Asylum” and university professor, as a new patron.
I came to Queen Mary University of London in 2012 to take up a joint professorship in the Schools of History, and English & Drama. My previous post, which I had held since 1993, was in History at the University of East London. I have also held visiting professors at the universities of Amsterdam, Indiana, Notre Dame, and the ‘cole des hautes tudes en sciences sociales. I am the QMUL Director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre (a partnership between Queen Mary UL, Birkbeck College UL, the University of East London, and Bishopsgate Institute).
Barbara has kindly given two very well received talks about her book at our Friday Evening Events.
When SLT received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, Barbara commented, Warm congratulations to you all a very richly deserved.

John Keane
The Stuart Low Trust welcomed John Keane, local contemporary artist and artist in residence at The School of International Relations, St Andrews University, as a new trustee. John kindly opened our first Afternoon Tea event at Claremont. His words included “The Stuart Low Trust provides a welcoming haven in what can be a bleak city. I am honoured that they have asked me to become a patron, and I look forward to making whatever contribution I can.