Our Trustees

Our board of trustees is responsible for the charity’s strategic governance and comprises 11 people who live or work in Richmond.

They oversee all aspects of the charity including our almshouses, community and welfare grants and are also responsible for the charity’s historical endowed assets made up of our property and investments.

Trustee positions are voluntary, but travel expenses can be reimbursed. The board meets once every two months in Richmond. There are also regular meetings of the sub-committees: Finance Committee, Property Committee, Welfare Committee, Risk Management Committee and the Safeguarding Group.

Trustee positions are held for a maximum of three terms of four years each. When vacancies arise, they are usually openly advertised locally. For further information, please contact {snippet julietContactTel}.

Richmond Charities Trustee - Jon Blythe

Jon Blythe is an accountant with a small tax practice on the Upper Richmond Road West. He comes from Coventry but has been in the Parish of Mortlake with East Sheen for 40 years (5 in Mortlake, 35 in East Sheen) where he is Treasurer and a member of the congregation at All Saints. His interests are more sporting than intellectual - tennis features very high, but rugby has always been top. He has recently become a grandfather and it hasn’t taken long for the boys to cast their spell! He can often be found at the Hare & Hounds in East Sheen, he attends to his wife’s allotment when necessary and in between things does enjoy juggling. Jon was a Trustee of Mortlake Almshouse & Relief Charities for 30 years and its Chair for 15 years.

Following the merger of Mortlake and The Richmond Charities in 2021, Jon was co-opted to the board of The Richmond Charities in January 2022.

Richmond Charities Trustee - Emma Halford

Emma Halford has lived in Richmond for 15 years. She is an insurance broker working for a property company in the West End and has also been sitting as a magistrate for over 10 years.

Emma became a Trustee in November 2019 and is a member of the Welfare Committee, the Property Committee and the Risk Management Committee.

Richmond Charities Trustee - Serge Lourie

Serge Lourie is former Leader of LB Richmond upon Thames and was a Kew councillor for 28 years. He is a chartered accountant and was a member of Westminster City Council (1971–74) and the Greater London Council (1973–77). He chaired London Boroughs Grants Committee, awarding grants of around £29m to the voluntary sector in London. Serge was formerly a board member of the London Tourist Board and the Metropolitan Police Committee. He chaired the Independent Panel on members' remuneration for the Association of Police Authorities.

Serge was Chairman of the United Kingdom Housing Trust, Kingston Hospital NHS Trust and Sanctuary Housing Association. He has also been the General Secretary of Help the Aged and a board member of London Pension Fund Authority and Notting Hill Housing Trust.

Serge was previously a Trustee of Kew Community Trust and chairs Poems in the Waiting Room, a British charity providing poetry cards to doctors' waiting rooms in England and Wales. Serge has been a Trustee of The Richmond Charities since 2009 and is Chair of the Finance Committee and a member of the Property Committee.

Richmond Charities Trustee - Peter Marr

Peter Marr is Managing Director at William Blair International and was previously a Managing Director at Citigroup. Prior to that Peter worked at Lehman Brothers and Schroders. He graduated with an Honours degree from Edinburgh University.

Peter is married with four children and lives in East Sheen. Peter has been a Trustee of The Richmond Charities since 2005 and was Chair from 2018 to 2023. Peter is also a member of the Finance Committee.

Richmond Charities Trustee - Katherine Maxwell

Katherine is a partner and head of the employment law team at Moore Barlow solicitors. She works from the company’s Richmond and Southampton offices, handling all aspects of employment law, acting for clients ranging from large corporates to small companies, as well as senior executives. Katherine has lived locally for over 15 years and is involved in a number of local networking groups. She is also a governor of Marshgate Primary School. Katherine has been a Trustee of The Richmond Charities since 2015 and is a member of the Risk Management Committee and Chair of the Safeguarding Group.

Richmond Charities Trustee - Kate O'Brien

Kate O’Brien retired in 2020 having worked recently in a school in Chiswick, and previously for a software company. 

Her family moved to Richmond in 1981 and her four children attended local schools. Kate served as a Governor at The Vineyard School during this time. She has been a Samaritan and a Cruse Bereavement Volunteer in the past. After retirement, she and her husband downsized and moved to Isleworth.

In her spare time, as well as enjoying spending time with her family and especially her grandchildren, Kate is a keen reader (she was a founder member of a book group which has been running continuously since 1984!), enjoys the cinema and walking.

Kate joined the Trustee Board of The Richmond Charities in January 2019 and is also a member of the Welfare Committee and the Safeguarding Group.


Richmond Charities Trustee - Paul Phillips

From 2004 to 2018, Paul was the Group Finance Director of Notting Hill Housing.  Following its merger in 2018 with Genesis Housing to form Notting Hill Genesis, he was the Chief Financial Officer of the new group until his retirement in July 2021.  Prior to that, he held similar roles with Servite Houses, Knightstone Housing Association and others.

Notting Hill Genesis is a major Registered Provider with operations across London and the South East.  It has about 65,000 homes in management, a balance sheet of over £8bn and a turnover of about £900m.

Paul is interim chair of the Salvation Army Housing Association.  He is chair of Audit and Risk at Wandle Housing Association and a Board member at Swan Housing Association.

Paul has lived in the Borough for over 25 years.  He is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and holds an MBA from the University of Bath.

Paul was appointed as a Trustee of The Richmond Charities in May 2022 and is a member of the Finance Committee.

Richmond Charities Trustee - Cllr Richard Pyne

Richard Pyne was elected to Richmond Council in May 2018 and represents the North Richmond ward. He serves on the Social Service and Housing Committee and is a trustee of Richmond Parish Lands Charity and of the Museum of Richmond. Now semi-retired, Richard was a Partner in an international management consultancy firm and prior to that worked in Human Resources in industrial companies. He is a long-standing volunteer at Kew Gardens and also enjoys golf and quizzing and has appeared on several TV quiz programmes. He lives in East Sheen with his wife and daughter. Richard joined the Trustee Board in January 2020.

Richmond Charities Trustee - Rev'd Wilma Roest

Rev'd Wilma Roest is Team Rector of the Richmond Team Ministry, a post she took up in July 2016. Wilma was previously the Vicar of the Parish of St Mary and St John the Divine in Balham from 2006, and Area Dean of Tooting from 2009. One of her duties as the Team Rector with responsibility for St Mary Magdalene, Richmond, is to be an ex-officio Trustee of The Richmond Charities. Wilma became a Trustee of The Richmond Charities in July 2016 and is Chair of the Welfare Committee.

Richmond Charities Trustee - Mike Townsin

Mike Townsin’s career spanned 40 years in advertising, from trainee to Managing Director of the London office of Young and Rubicam, at that time the world’s second largest advertising agency. After 20 years at Y&R he became Chairman and CEO of GGK, the UK office of a Swiss multinational advertising agency, and latterly was Regional Director/Senior Vice President of Grey Asia Pacific, based in Hong Kong, one of the world’s largest multinational advertising agencies, now part of WPP.

Mike has lived in Richmond for 50 years. From 2006 – 2016 he was a Governor of the Old Vicarage School in Richmond, 5 years of which was as Chairman. Mike has trained as a Cruse bereavement counsellor. In 2023 he was appointed Chair of Governors of the Holy Trinity CE Primary School, Richmond. Mike was appointed to the Board of The Richmond Charities in 2018 and is also a member of the Welfare Committee, the Finance Committee and the Almshouse News Editorial Committee.

Richmond Charities Trustee - Jeremy Williams

Jeremy was born in Kew and has lived in the London Borough of Richmond for virtually all his life. He was a partner in a local firm of solicitors, Calvert Smith and Sutcliffe, based on Richmond Green, for 35 years until he retired in January 2013.

Jeremy now devotes most of his time to his membership of The Richmond Golf Club, supporting Fulham Football Club and his voluntary work. He is a Trustee of The Royal Cambridge Home, a care home for the elderly situated in East Molesey.

Jeremy was Vice-Chair from 2022 to 2023 and became Chair in 2023. He is also Chair of the Risk Management Committee, Chair of the Property Committee and a member of the Safeguarding Group.