Meet the team


John Freed

Senior NB Skipper, RYA NH Helm Instructor

John has been working at Islington Boat Club since 2004 working with the youth club, schools education and as an instructor. John has always enjoyed paddle sports of all kinds and has achieved a high level of expertise over the years, especially in slalom canoeing. He is passionate and proud about passing on this knowledge to today’s generation of young people.


Jan Dorling

Office Manager

Known as the Mother Hen of Islington Boat Club – Jan has been with the club since 1998. She is responsible for the running of the office and all things financial.

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Sarah Corcoran

Development Officer

Sarah is a highly experienced fundraising professional with a proven track record in major account management, legacy fundraising and generating capital and revenue funding through trusts, statutory agencies and major corporate sponsors.


Darren Greenwood

Senior Paddlesport Instructor, RYA Helm instructor

Darren joined us as a sessional youth worker/instructor who progressed from the ranks of the youth club to staff member. He has rapidly accumulated much valuable experience from working in other centres both in London and abroad. He is planning to continue with his international expeditions to further his personal development as a team leader and Instructor.


Sarah Rex

AOB Project Manager

Sarah joined the club as a member in 1986. She has worked for the Boat Club in many capacities over the years and now works on our AOB Project. 


Katy Dixon

Administrative volunteer

Katy joined the club as a volunteer in June 2018. Since then she has been an enormous help in the office, on open days and during school holiday projects.

When she's not helping IBC she can be found on the estate where she has lived for 20 years, helping with the tenants association and community events. 

Katy is also an artistic painter and lives with her two cats.

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Filippo Gaddo

Chair of Trustees

Filippo is an experienced Economist and Business Strategy Advisor with eighteen years’ professional experience working for government departments and major consulting firms.

He has worked in the public sector and in the private sector and in his role as a consultant he has often supported small companies and start-ups developing their business plans and funding innovative solutions. Filippo is a keen runner who lives in Islington and enjoys spending time in the local community.

Filippo has been a trustee of the Club since October 2019



Leslie Brantingham


A long-time London resident, Leslie recently moved to Wiltshire. A lifelong canoeist, sailor and water sports enthusiast (except stand-up paddle boards!), Leslie has been a trustee with Islington Boat Club for three years and believes strongly that the resilience that comes from self-reliance on the water equips one for all manner of life’s difficulties. Islington Boat Club’s activities have brought benefit to thousands and Leslie and his fellow trustees are determined that this will be the case for the future.


Mark Flashman


A digital media consultant, university lecturer, and canoe and kayak coach, Mark has over 20 years of experience managing, developing and implementing digital solutions at the BBC, The British Library, and other international institutions. Mark has an informed understanding of technology relating to the broadcast media, digital archives, and digital asset management. As a member of senior management team at the BBC he developed a broad-ranging knowledge, and experience of, strategic planning, business management, HR, and the responsibilities of a  public-funded organisation. 

Also a proud parent, and enthusiastic cyclist. He has a keen interest in the arts, especially music (reggae in particular) and reading.

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John Rowlinson


Born in Islington, John became a member of Islington Boat Club within weeks of it opening.

That led to a lifelong involvement in outdoor pursuits including canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, hill walking, sailing and mountain biking. Working in a variety of roles within the industry from instructor and coach in multiple activities to CEO for a trust delivering outdoor experiences to young people, John is currently Paddlesport Manager at a London based centre, working for a social enterprise.

Having started at IBC he is happy to support them through being a Trustee, knowing the positive impact that it had on his inner city life. John now spends his spare time sea kayaking and printmaking.

Taylor Hawkins


Taylor is an experienced financial analyst currently working on a trading desk in the City of London at a global investment bank. He has been doing financial and investment analysis for over ten years and holds honors degrees in Finance, Accounting, and Economics. Taylor relocated to London from the United States in the summer of 2018 and volunteered with the Club to become more involved in the local community.

Taylor enjoys running, reading/audiobooks, and cooking.


Taylor has been a trustee of the Club since June 2020.

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Nargis Christopher


Experienced creative projects development manager, with digital marketing knowledge, specialising in life-long learning and education in various sectors. Nargis has worked with many educational organisations such as Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Institution of Civil Engineers, Trinity College London and the British Council. She was instrumental in the implementation and development of Arts Award qualifications for young people and RPS mentoring programme for pharmacists. A mentor and learning facilitator Nargis founded “Unframed” workplace drawing club. She also volunteers with Friends of City Gardens, makes delicious marmalade and loves decorating cakes for fundraising events.


A parent of IBC champion kayaker and enthusiastic supporter of the IBC since 2018. Nargis is a trustee of the Boat Club since November 2020.

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Tom Stoate


Tom is a barrister specialising in civil liberties and public law, an assistant coroner and a lecturer in media law. He is a keen sailor and novice inland waterways helmsman and canoeist. Tom was a residential volunteer at Toynbee Hall free legal advice centre, and is a trustee at Hackney Community Law Centre. He is passionate about access to justice and better activities for young people from all backgrounds. Before becoming a lawyer Tom worked in politics in Westminster.                                              

Tom has been a Trustee at the Boat Club since November 2020