The ETNA Team

Vanessa James
Vanessa JamesCentre Director

Vanessa has run the Centre for the last three and a half years, and has enjoyed the challenge of working with the council on the commissioning process to secure the future of ETNA. Vanessa’s background is retail buying in which she worked for several blue chip companies and interior decoration is also her passion so she has enjoyed the challenge of giving ETNA a new lease of life.

Since having her daughter she has enjoyed working in a more local role and getting involved in her neighbourhood and community. She lives in St Margarets with her family.

Ivana Puchlova
Ivana PuchlovaOffice Administrator

Ivana joined ETNA in January 2019 as an Office Assistant. Her main focus is on the Centre’s invoicing and social media marketing.

Ivana’s background is in the hospitality industry where she has worked in managerial roles for many years. In 2016, she graduated from the CASS Faculty of Arts, Architecture and Design with a BA in Photography. Her photography projects have been exhibited in London galleries and in a solo show in her home land, the Czech Republic.

Ivana has lived in Twickenham for the past 6 years and is a regular volunteer Exhibition Assistant at the Orleans House Gallery and volunteer Event Assistant at the Czech Embassy’s Cultural Centre.

She is also a boards sign-writer, self-publisher and self-curator. In her spare time, she is focusing on her passion for interior design, working on a house renovation project back home.

Jim Russell
Jim RussellCaretaker

Jim has worked at ETNA for 30 years, so if you want to know anything about the centre, ask Jim as he is a font of all knowledge. He’s also as versatile in his abilities as he turns his hand to anything, that means the centre runs efficiently and in an old property this is invaluable. Jim lives in Petersham and can often be seen cycling his bike to work.

Jim is available from 0630 – 1100 at ETNA if you require any assistance.


Sue Howes
Sue HowesChair

Sue has lived in the Twickenham area for nearly 30 years and her four children grew up here, attending local schools and benefiting from being part of a local community. ETNA was always a part of their lives and community, with music, drama and parties taking place there.

Formerly a probation officer and A level teacher, Sue is also a trained counsellor and had her own business making educational DVDs before retiring. She believes strongly in the importance of community and is committed to helping maintain ETNA as a thriving Centre, meeting the needs and requirements of the local population and remaining welcoming and accessible to all.

Ian Fitzgerald
Ian FitzgeraldTreasurer

Ian is a Non Executive Director of a FTSE quoted investment fund and of two smaller companies and a Director of a financial consultancy / advisory business involved with start up and smaller businesses specifically in the FIntech sector.

Prior to setting up the consultancy business Ian was a senior Managing Director and Head of the capital Markets business in a major UK bank, with a career spanning some 30 years in the international capital markets.

A local resident, in East Twickenham for the last 5 years, Ian is a member of the ETVA group and the Schools for East Twickenham initiative. He has a young son and four older children and an association with the area going back to his Grand parents his Grandfather being a senior GP in the Strawberry Hill, Teddington area for over 50 years.

Penny Croucher
Penny CroucherSecretary

Penny moved to St Margaret’s from Teddington five years ago and lives near the ETNA Centre. She is keen to play a role in the local community and especially interested in the Junk Food Project. She worked at Hampton School for 26 years where she was Head of Modern Languages and taught German, French and Latin. In her last few years there, she completed a Diploma in Working with Adolescents at the Westminster Pastoral Foundation and joined the School Counselling team at Hampton. She also served as the Staff representative on the Hampton School Board of Governors.

Her husband was in the Army for many years and she accompanied him on several postings abroad in Germany and Cyprus where she ran Army Wives Clubs. She has taught German in Army Education Centres, as well as English at a German Grammar School and in a voluntary capacity to immigrant women in Twickenham.

Penny has a daughter and a son and three grandchildren. She is a keen Bridge player and loves classical music. She enjoys reading and is a member of a local Book Club which has been going for almost 25 years. She is also passionate about the city of Berlin – she has written two guidebooks about the German capital, runs a blog called ‘berlinunwrapped’ and has translated over a dozen books about the city from German into English.

Philip Challinor
Philip ChallinorTrustee

A real estate strategist, architect, chartered surveyor and serial social entrepreneur, Philip is enthusiastic about helping the East Twickenham Community create an even higher quality place to live, work and enjoy.

With a fundamental belief in the collective power of communities combining to deliver healthier, more resource efficient and a more socially equitable environment, Philip is very honoured to be a ‘rookie’ on the ETNA Board of Trustees.

Philip has two teenage daughters and, sadly, a dementia suffering mother. He would like to facilitate East Twickenham to provide live enhancing resources for both generations.

Other relevant experience includes time serving the various professional bodies that he has been a member of including the following:

  • UK President of FIABCI (The international Real Estate Federation)
  • Faculty Board Member of the Management Consultancy Faculty at RICS
  • Founder Member of the RICS Sustainable Development Commission
  • Founder Member of the RICS World Games Commission

Philip has had 30 years of experience with community led groups as an active member of the Council of Management of Corams Fields in Holborn, which provides world-class facilities within a safe haven for children.

Philip was also made a Trustee of the River Regeneration Trust in Bath, where he had previously helped the University deliver a Sports Village as one of the UK’s most successful Millennium projects.

Philip is also director of FLECS, which is a small but ambitious social enterprise delivering community backed renewable energy solutions.

Kate Rodde
Kate RoddeTrustee

Kate first moved to Twickenham in 1998, before moving to work abroad around Europe, Caribbean, USA and Asia, only landing back here permanently in 2014 with her French husband. Using the wide experience gained through all of these moves, she has developed a portfolio career managing teams through transitions as well as championing entrepreneurs & start-ups from an operations perspective.

Her interests lie mainly in the fields of health and the environment so is excited by the key role that local community organisations such as ETNA can play in supporting local groups working in these and other fields.

As a mental health advocate, she is currently focused on promoting good health in the workplace especially with an eye on the Future of Work.

She also serves as a Trustee for:

  • Global Feedback, who campaign internationally to regenerate nature by transforming the food system
  • Animal Rescue & Care who rescue, foster & rehome unwanted animals in the local Richmond upon Thames area

Finally Kate has a life-long passion for both playing and watching a range of sport and loves to get outdoors to actively enjoy the beautiful green spaces we have locally.

Counsellor Geoff Acton
Counsellor Geoff Acton Trustee

Geoff has been a Richmond Councillor for twelve years following a 35 year career in automotive marketing and communications, including Marketing Director of Saab Great Britain. He is now Cabinet Member for Business, Employment and Property and is passionate about our local businesses and community. Other roles include the Arts Executive, Regulatory and Licensing, Pension Committee, supporting the Chamber of Commerce with business mentoring and the Awards programme. He has been a school Governor at Chase Bridge for nine years and was Deputy Mayor in 2008/9 and hopes to be Mayor during this administration’s term!

He is married and has lived in Twickenham for over twenty years and enjoys playing tennis, playing the clarinet, country walking, food and drink and travelling.

Susan Chappell
Susan ChappellTrustee

My parents moved to East Twickenham in 1958 and I have lived in the area my whole life attending Chase Bridge Primary and Kneller Schools (now Waldegrave School). I have lived in Teddington, Hampton and Strawberry Hill but, have been back in Twickenham for over 21 years where my children went to school and sixth form.

I was a councillor for Twickenham Riverside for eight years and had responsibility for the voluntary sector organisations across the borough and latterly for children’s services and schools. During my time as a councillor, I worked closely with groups in East Twickenham and have seen the importance of ETNA to the local community.

I am married to Steve, an artist and have two grown up children and I am currently working part-time for SWLEN. I take a keen interest in my local community, being a member of two local organisations, The Twickenham Society and The York House Society of which I am the Hon. Secretary. I have also recently become a Governor Stanley Primary School.

Until earlier this year, I worked in a small nursery and pre-prep in Putney and prior to that for Barclays Bank for almost twenty years, both locally and in the city.

When I get the opportunity, I love researching my family history and gardening.

Helen Peel
Helen PeelTrustee

Helen has over 20 years’ experience working in the charity sector, working mainly with educational charities, and fundraising for universities including Imperial College and LSE. She retrained three years ago as a garden designer and now enjoys a ‘portfolio’ career, continuing to do freelance work for charities alongside garden design. Helen moved to St Margaret’s five years ago having been drawn to the area by its strong community feel and believes in the ETNA Centre’s role as a vital hub to support this.

Helen enjoys walking the dog, particularly in the Lake District, cooking and of course gardening. She is never happier than when she is up to her elbows in soil.

Perminder Tamana
Perminder TamanaTrustee

Perminder retired in 2014 when he sold his Deli / Grocery business in East Twickenham, after serving the community for 30 years. He ran the business with his wife Surinder.

Pindi, as he is commonly known, came to UK in 1982 from Kenya with his family. Pindi was a District Agricultural Officer and Provincial Training Officer with Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya for nearly twenty years. He also owned a fifty five acres fruit farm in Mombasa.

Pindi was President Of Rotary Club of Twickenham in 2004/5 and 2010/11. In 2012 he led a Rotary International Group Study Exchange team from UK District 1140 to Rotary District 3080 in North India. He is the founder Chairman of East Twickenham Traders Association, and a founder member of East Twickenham Village Group. Pindi is also a member on many other local Organisations in the Borough, including Twickenham Society, Richmond in Bloom, Patient Participation Group and also represents Twickenham Society on the Community Safety Partnership. He received Richmond Community Award in 2013 for his services to the community.

Pindi held various positions in his native Kenya. He is a Life Governor of Agricultural Society of Kenya and was Chairman of Mombasa International Show from 1976 to 1978 during the time of late President Jomo Kenyatta. He was The National President of Kenya Jaycees (JCI) in 1981 and was the Chief Delegate representing his Country in the World Congress in Berlin.

Pindi played International Hockey for Kenya.

He loves sports and travelling.

Esther Sweetman
Esther SweetmanTrustee

Esther moved to the UK from Canada 21 years ago and has lived in East Twickenham with her two sons for 17 years – taking advantage of ETNA’s chess club when her children were young.

Esther has a strong community philosophy of life and regards it as the foundation for wellbeing. By offering an incredibly wide range of services and programmes, she sees the ETNA Centre as a pivotal resource for the neighbourhood by providing a unique sense of community to the area.

She is a qualified counsellor and social researcher. Currently, Esther works for a charity in Teddington where she runs an international online network for survivors of domestic abuse and has recently edited and published a handbook for survivors of domestic abuse.

Formerly, Esther has managed a Vocational Assessment Centre and Rehabilitation Team in the insurance industry in Surrey, as well as working in rehabilitation centres in Canada helping those with injuries or long term ill health return to work.