The Roman Road Trust has invited key stakeholders to form a panel of volunteer local Place Experts. The overall aim is to work with the community towards a common vision which can be better achieved by partnering with representatives of our community groups. Place Experts will help us to: 

  1. Identify community needs & key priorities 
  2. Represent the views of the community via its key stakeholder groups  
  3. Provide the Roman Road Trust with a wider and further reaching perspective on decisions 

Place Experts meet quarterly. The following people have been selected for their vast knowledge of the local area and its community. 

To find out more please contact Irene de Lorenzis on

Panel of Place Experts

Kevin Siaw

Kevin is the manager of Roman Road Adventure Playground. He has been working in Adventure Playgrounds for over 15 years and has achieved an NVQ Level 3 in Playwork. For ten years Kevin worked for Wandsworth Council managing several of their Adventure Playgrounds. He has been at Roman Road Adventure Playground since its opening and continues to lead in providing play opportunities for local children.

Cllr Rachel Blake 

Rachel Blake Councillor Bow East Rachel is the Cabinet Member for Strategic Development in Tower Hamlets and is also the local councillor for the Bow East ward. She has worked in Housing and Regeneration for over 10 years, in local, regional and national government.

Sophie Hill

Sophie is Hill is a Gallery Co-Director at Bow Arts Trust  and has extensive experience in art gallery and exhibition management (including curating, project implementation, artist liaison, communications and marketing) and commissioning. Founder of postcardwall, website and publication about art, determined to make art more accessible through the medium of a postcard.

Paul Pearce

Paul has been a resident of Tower Hamlets since 1977, a founder member of a local successful housing co-operative, and has been involved with various community organisations over the years.Paul was also a Director of Old Ford Hosing Association for just over 10 years and continue to be a community activist in the Bow area.

Andrea Davidson

Andrea is Executive Director of Chisenhale Art Place. She has worked in the area for twelve years and even longer on arts education and participatory projects across London. She has an MA in Photography & Urban Cultures from Goldsmiths University and a degree in Financial Management.

Ruth Crossan

Ruth Crossan is the Parental Engagement & Extended Schools Manager at Chisenhale Primary School. She has lived in Bow for 25 years and joined the school 10 years ago, after a career in publishing. Chisenhale School is proud to be a community hub for the area, offering volunteering opportunities, ESOL, parenting and exercise classes for local residents. The school also helps to facilitate community events such as street parties and local celebrations.

Laura Polazzi

Laura is a parent governor at Olga Primary School and she has three children at the school. She works part time as environmental consultant and she has been living in the area for more than ten years. Laura wants to contribute to make Olga school an important asset for our local community.

Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones is the Principal of Old Ford Primary Academy, an outstanding primary school in Bow. He has worked in education in the East End of London for 21 years and has been at Old Ford for 11 years. Old Ford Primary Academy is a central part of the local community and plays a major part in local community events. We are looking forward to a closer association with the Roman Road Trust and working on shared projects together.

Rafique Ullah

grey user icon png Rafique Ullah is a Member of Bengali Forum & Chair of Bow East Labour Party Branch. He moved to the UK in 1972 with his parents and went to school and University locally. He has long history of anti-racist activism and has always been heavily involved with the local community and helping forming community groups. Rafique is the Executive Committee Member of Bengali Forum (former Chair of Bengali Forum) which organises many activities for young people such as bilingual classes, homework and holiday clubs.

Asma Begum

Asma is a Bow resident and also Bow West councillor. She is also Tower Hamlets Cabinet lead for Community Safety.

Rev. James Hughesdon 

grey user icon png James is the Reverend at St Paul’s Church. He first came to St Paul’s as part of his ordination training in 2010. Little did he know that he would then come back to St Paul’s first as Curate and now as Vicar. James is married to Caz and they have two lively, bubbly daughters and is very involved in local community initiatives.