Village Water was founded in 2004 by trustee David Dixon

David sold his business, and wanted to do something useful with the proceeds. On a trip to Zambia he saw the desperate need for safe water in rural villages and enlisted his friends and family to start fundraising. 

Director Clare Wearden

The money raised was used to repair 20 broken water points in Zambia and began the development of a strategy, focusing on systems change, partnerships, building capacity and lasting benefits.

Today Village Water has grown to a small but dedicated team led by director Clare Wearden and a board of trustees for governance and strategic direction.

Our Trustees

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Andrew Picken OBE – Chair of trustees

Andrew has an MSc in Development Management and is a specialist in social enterprise, project management and evaluation, although he started as a plant physiologist. He did VSO in Kenya and worked for the British Council in international development for 27 years including 16 years living in 4 countries in Asia. He has managed development projects in education, governance and health services, particularly in Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan and India and was the Director of British Council in Pakistan, Philippines and Indonesia. He is now a Director of Social Enterprise Europe Ltd and became our Chair of Trustees in 2018.

Trina Chakravarti

Trina is a marketing specialist who has worked across a variety of private and not for profit industries over the past decade. She has had the opportunity to live between India and the UK in that time and is passionate about sustainable development, particularly issues relating to women and children. For the last four years, Trina has managed marketing for the National Housing Federation and recently graduated with an executive MBA with distinction from the Warwick Business School.

Sarah Docherty

Sarah’s first home was a prefab at Musonda Falls Hydroelectric scheme, Zambia, where her father was the resident site engineer. Through her involvement with RowZambezi, she chose Village Water as the charity for donations in memory of her parents, who had met in Lusaka in 1953.

She graduated in English Language and Literature from Royal Holloway College, University of London and went on to experience a number of roles with Esso Petroleum/Exxon including Operational Auditing in various countries. Her key area of interest is effective process and good governance.

Now semi-retired, she is excited at the opportunity to be able to support Village Water and to give something back to Zambia.

Paul Marston

Paul is a Chartered Accountant and has a Combined Management and Languages degree. Paul has worked in Finance, Risk Management and Consultancy across a number of sectors in the UK and overseas including Water, Energy, Information Technology and Digital. He has been a business mentor for a number of years and is passionate about supporting small businesses and the charitable sector using expertise and learning from the corporate environment.

Louise Cook

Louise has extensive experience in maternity and infant well being, she has been a practising midwife for many years with additional training in nursing, tropical medicine and health promotion. Her speciality is infant feeding, in addition her recent role involved leading on hospital audits, policy and guidance documents.

Louise was born and brought up in Zambia and maintains strong and personal links with her home country.

Hugh Woodhouse – Secretary

After graduating in Business Studies from Trinity College Dublin, Hugh trained as a Chartered Accountant in Canada. A stint as a United Nations Development Programme Volunteer in Khartoum, Sudan kindled a lifelong interest in development issues. Hugh has held positions with a large City of London public accounting practice, the Commonwealth Development Corporation (where he was an investment analyst), Standard Chartered Merchant Bank and with the Bank of Nova Scotia, where he was a Treasury Analyst and Treasury Risk Management Specialist in London and Singapore respectively. Prior to retirement he worked as a contract accountant for international charities.

Hilary Nithdale

Hilary has spent some 30 years in the Commercial Retail Sector including time in Operations and Buying within Leisure, Motorway Services, Shopping Centres and major Retailers and as Trading Controller for, UNITAS (the merger of Todays and Landmark) , the UK’s largest independent buying group.

Hilary has recently become Commercial manager for FareShare , the surplus food redistribution charity.

The Todays Charitable Foundation supported Village Water for 3 years and in 2014 Hilary visited the Village Water projects in Mongu and Kaoma. This visit left a lasting impression and a desire to further help the work of Village Water.

Hilary hopes that as a Trustee she will be able to use her knowledge of the Commercial sector to develop one-off and longer term links with charitable foundations.

Geoff Houston

After spending 34 years as a stockbroker in the City of London, Geoff decided to embark on a new career helping with church ministry & some charitable work. He became a Lay Minister in 2012 & is part of the team ministry at St Mary’s Chesham. He’s also been involved with fundraising for Village Water since 2009 & has joined the Board with an emphasis on securing corporate funding.

Chris Morley

Chris, who has a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics specialising in Marketing, has held management roles with three of the UKs biggest blue-chip companies – namely Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Virgin Atlantic Airways. During the past eight years Chris has worked as the marketing manager for a national charity (the National Gardens Scheme) and Crossroads Care Surrey

Village Water staff

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Clare Wearden – Director

After starting her career in education, Clare completed an MSc in International Development Practices, funding this with a part time position at Oxfam HQ. This set her on a new career path which took her to Bolivia to volunteer with a local water and sanitation charity. Returning to the UK, she worked with a food security charity for 7 years before taking on her current position as Director at Village Water in 2011.

Ian Stone – Monitoring & Data Manager

With a strong interest in technology and its practical uses, after studying property investment and finance at university, Ian joined Village Water to revolutionise our monitoring and evaluation system. Ian designed and developed our mobile to web monitoring system, conducting training sessions with local partners as well as local authority staff in Zambia & Mozambique to ensure the successful roll-out and implementation of the system. Ian has been involved in successfully implementing & monitoring several large-scale projects.

Karen Goodman-Jones – Trusts & Statutory

Karen’s background is in programme management. After a career behind the scenes at BBC News & Current affairs she moved into international development as an emergency aid worker on programmes including emergency food distribution, water & sanitation & health in Indonesia, Kenya, Sierra Leone & Liberia. Returning to the UK, Karen has spent the last 10 years running international programmes to increase access to education, vocational training & health for children & young people with special educational needs.

Kelvin Hall – Finance Manager

A finance professional with several years’ experience in the charity sector, Kelvin originally came to Village Water as a volunteer in 2011, before becoming a member of staff in 2012. Kelvin has an AAT accounting qualification and has focused on the charity sector. During his time with Village Water, Kelvin has travelled to Zambia and Mozambique to work with local partner staff to improve their accounting systems.

Beth LLewellyn – Supporter Relationships

Beth began her career with Village Water at the beginning of 2017, helping to organise our social media content as a volunteer – and never left! Beth has always been passionate about volunteering, spending much of her spare time coordinating charity events, and decided to leave a marketing manager role to join us permanently as a full time fundraiser.

Philip Cartland – Monitoring & Data Manager

Philip joined Village Water in 2020. He previously worked in London for the human rights charity Freedom from Torture where he spent more than 10 years managing their website and digital projects. Besides his passion for digital design, he also has a degree in Fine Arts and enjoys photography and painting. Philip grew up in Kenya. He is excited to be working with Village Water, bringing him back to Africa, supporting Zambia and Mozambique with essential water projects.

Owen Mclorie – Finance & Data Officer

Owen has a keen interest in charity and has been volunteering since he was 17. Owen is also passionate about accounting, having obtained work experience at charity and business level. Owen is intent on improving his accounting skill set and is currently looking to complete his AAT qualifications.

Tom Cripps – Monitoring & Data Officer

Tom studied mechanical engineering at Bristol University for a year before realising it wasn't for him.

He volunteered with Village Water for a few years back in college and into 2021, helping with what he's now doing in his monitoring and data role. Previously he's spent a few years in the service industry, before working in a Covid test centre.

Yasmin Azarya – Communications & Fundraising Officer

Yasmin has volunteered with charities working in the WASH sector since 2016. After completing her degree, she worked as a campaigns and policy officer for another charity before joining our team.