The DPNF committee is made up of volunteers who live or work in the forum area (see map above), elected annually by members who attend the forum’s AGM. The committee meets as often as required for current activities, usually every six weeks.
DPNF Committee (2020/21)
Chair: Maya De Souza
Deputy Chair: Valerie Doulton
Treasurer: Catharine Wells
Secretary: Ellen Gates
Nicholas Bradfield, Ben Castell, Ilona Hay, Jessica Jacobs, Sue King, Kathleen Molnar, Emily O’Mara, Fabian Watkinson and Eileen Willmott.
Local councillors: Sian Berry (firstname.lastname@example.org), Oliver Lewis (email@example.com) and Anna Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org) are ex-officio members of the committee.
Committee sub-groups can be found here.
More about the current committee members:
Nicholas Bradfield represents the Dartmouth Park Conservation Area Advisory Committee on the Hampstead Heath Consultative Committee. He has lived in Dartmouth Park for twenty-five years and is secretary of the Dartmouth Park Road Residents’ Association. After studying Urban and Regional Planning at Central London Polytechnic, he worked for the British Standards Institution for twenty-five years, project-managing European and International standards, and also worked in local government. He will soon publish a photographic book, Gasholders and Lost King’s Cross.
Ben Castell has been on the Neighbourhood Forum since its inception, including two spells as Chair. As a professional town planner, he has worked with communities doing neighbourhood planning throughout the country, as well as advising Government and local authorities.
Maya de Souza, a founder member and now Chair of the DPNF, works full time as a civil servant in environmental policy and, apart from a brief spell in Hong Kong, has been a participatory member of the community since moving to Dartmouth Park in 2004, serving as a local Green Party Camden councillor from 2006 – 2014. Maya is on the board of the Highgate Newtown Community Centre, a founder member of Power-up North London which works on community energy generation, and a member of Transition Dartmouth Park. She is currently also co-convenor of Dartmouth Park Talks which organises thought-leadership discussions in the area.
Valerie Doulton, Deputy Chair of the DPNF, has staged work at venues including the National Theatre, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Garrick Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, the Royal Exchange Manchester, and the Wales Millennium Centre. In 2002, she launched The Live Literature Company with the goal of making world-class performance and the arts accessible to the widest possible audience, and has partnered with many of Britain’s leading performers to stage work at the National Portrait Gallery, the V & A, the British Library and the Tate. She has toured the company to Portugal, France, Italy and India, and runs an annual Drama Study Abroad programme in the UK for American university students. Her abridged Shakespeare performances on the tea lawn at Lauderdale House have been a great success with local families and young children.
Ellen Gates is the DPNF Secretary. A native Texan who has lived in Dartmouth Park for twenty-five years, Ellen is a retired solicitor who spent thirty years working on major infrastructure projects. She has been a member of DPNF since its inception in 2013 and is a former Chair and Deputy Chair of the DPNF committee.
Ilona Hay is an architect and Director of Texere Studio Ltd. She also teaches Architecture and Design at the University of Hertfordshire.
Jessica Jacobs has been on the Neighbourhood Forum since its inception. She is a former journalist and travel writer and currently a Research Fellow in the Geography Department at Queen Mary where her work focuses on filmmaking, crafts, heritage tourism in the Middle East, social housing and award-winning community engagement projects. She helps to run the annual street party Parly Party funded by Camden Council and is one of the founders of local community-led housing group Camden Community Makers. She has lived in Dartmouth Park – firstly privately renting, but now in Heathview Tenants Co-operative – since the mid-1990s. Her two daughters were pupils at Gospel Oak Primary, the youngest is now at Camden School for Girls.
Sue King is a long term resident with her family on Chester Road. Her grandchildren attend Brookfield Primary School where Sue was previously a governor. For twelve years, she was Chair of the Highgate Newtown Community Centre (HNCC) Management Committee and a HNCC Director.
Kathleen Molnar, Communication Lead for the DPNF, is a PR, marketing and communications consultant who collaborates with clients of all shapes and sizes on projects large and small. An American Brit who has lived and worked in New York, Washington DC, London and Europe, her preferred place to live, work and dream is Highgate. A community enthusiast, Kathleen is a member of the Highgate Camden Safer Neighbourhood Panel and the Highgate Festival volunteer team, dealing with marketing communications, PR, social media and fundraising. Connecting with her international community, she runs American In England for insiders and bothsiders.
Emily O’Mara is an award winning community engagement artist and textile crafter. She runs the annual street party Parly Party and is one of the founders of local community-led housing group Camden Community Makers. She lives in Heathview Tenants Co-operative. Her son is a pupil at Gospel Oak Primary, her daughter was born in April 2020.
Fabian Watkinson has lived on the Whittington Estate for over twenty years. In 2019 he published an illustrated guide, The Golden Age of Camden Housing, designed to bring the bricks and mortar to life. He regularly welcomes visitors for London Open House and has led walks on Camden’s housing for architectural students and the Twentieth Century Society, he has been a trustee of the Victorian Society and was chair of the Friends of Highgate Library. A musician by profession, he studied composition with Alexander Goehr at Leeds University and with Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire.
Catharine Wells, DPNF Treasurer, is a writer and researcher who has lived in Dartmouth Park for over thirty years. She has been a school governor of St Michael’s C of E Primary School for ten years, chairing its premises committee; has volunteered at the Highgate Newtown Community Centre since 1989, and has twice been chair of its management committee. She is currently secretary of the Chester Balmore Leaseholders’ Association, a member of the Highgate Safer Neighbourhood Panel, a director of Transition Kentish Town Ltd, part of the Camden Forest 2025 initiative, and a panel member of the Power Up North London Community Energy Fund. She represents the DPNF on the Trust Advisory Group (TAG) for Waterlow Park.
Eileen Willmott, a founder member of the DPNF, is currently part of its ‘Greening’ project where green spaces and trees are paramount priorities. She moved to Dartmouth Park in 1967 after obtaining a degree in Botany at Kings College London, and worked as a clinical biochemist at the Middlesex Hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital, St Bartholomew’s Hospital and at the Whittington Hospital. Her daughter and two grandchildren attended Brookfield School. Eileen is especially interested in the trees and hedges of the Brookfield Estate and the veteran trees of the Dartmouth Park area and Hampstead Heath, where she volunteers as a Heath Hand. Since the 1990s she has been a member of the Dartmouth Park Conservation Area Advisory Committee, where she reviews and comments on tree applications.