Judith Garfield mbe, Executive Director

With ECH since 1998, Judith is responsible for the organisation’s core work programme. Judith has trained over 60 community groups in oral history and is currently delivering an oral history “apprenticeship”, an NVQ accredited qualification unique in the UK. Previous to joining ECH, Judith was a set designer and stage manager at Theatre Royal Stratford East, working with Mike Leigh. Judith is currently undertaking a Masters in the History of East London. She was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2012 for her work and commitment to Community Heritage. 

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Alexia Dickinson, Deputy Director/ community filmmaker

A filmmaker for  10 years, Alexia has produced documentaries for Eastside and charities at a local and international level. Alexia holds an MA in Applied Anthropology, Youth and Community Work accredited by the National Youth Agency. Her focus over the past 5 years has been digital advocacy and educational projects on social and human rights issues and she recently devised a global educational programme for UNICEF. With a strong track record working with vulnerable groups, youth with disabilities and life long illnesses, Alexia is trained in facilitation and positive behaviour support.

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Hannah Forsythe, Project Officer

Hannah is the newly appointed project officer at ECH. She recently graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Design History. For the last two years her research has been focused on queer spaces and LGBTQI+ history, for which she used oral testimony as her primary methodology. This approach is something she greatly believes in – a way of giving a voice to the lives and stories of ordinary people. She is, therefore, looking forward to uncovering many new histories of the East End here at ECH. 

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francis ball, PROJECT OFFICER

Before being appointed project officer, Francis spent a year as a trainee at ECH on their HLF funded ‘Skills for the Future’ programme. Francis holds an MA in Philosophy and a BA in Art History. He first gained a passion for community heritage when researching local arts projects in Belfast’s Loyalist neighbourhoods. His interests also lie in the emergence and decline of live music venues across London, and the changing landscape of community migration. Francis is keen to help the many diverse communities of East London commemorate their struggles and celebrate their histories.

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James is one of our community heritage trainees with old family ties to the East End. A recent History MA graduate of the University of Essex, James is passionate about cultural history, with tendencies towards sport and music. A former volunteer at the Charlton Athletic Football Club Museum and co-founder of a community music platform, James enjoys working on projects close to his heart, and is looking forward to his work with ECH.

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Megan is a trainee at Eastside. She studied German and Russian at Sheffield University, with a focus on the history of Germany and Luxembourg. Before arriving at Eastside, Megan volunteered at Elizabeth Gaskell's house. She is a lover of old buildings and an aspiring castle connoisseur. She is looking forward to uncovering new perspectives in oral history interviews.

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CLAIRE days, consultant (Monitoring & evaluation, training)

An experienced project manager and evaluator, Claire has delivered and monitored over 20 learning and educational projects in the community heritage sector. She is a QCF accredited assessor for community, arts and heritage learners, as well as an accredited trainer for young people and adults from diverse backgrounds. Claire's main objective is the engagement and participation of hard to reach groups, underrepresented minority groups, including LGBTQ, women, BAMER and those with physical and learning disabilities. Claire has worked with Eastside on numerous projects and continues to bring her expertise as monitoring and evaluation and training assessment specialist. 


Janice has volunteered for the Hidden Histories Archive for 10 years. She joined the day after she retired from a forty year career in the civil service. With a degree in English, Janice has always been fascinated in history. She first worked on the Working Lives of the Thames Gateway project as an interviewer and has been taking care of the archive ever since. Janice was also closely involved in the Little Germany project. This had personal resonance as her great grand-father was a German who had lived in the UK for forty years but was caught up in the repercussions against his countrymen during WW1.