UK office

The Venkat Trust, which was founded in 2004 by Sylvia Holder, is a UK registered charity with five UK trustees and two based in Kovalam.

Sylvia Holder

Bitten by the travel bug,Sylvia lived and worked in the USA, Canada, Hong Kong and South Africa before putting her roots down in London to set up Holder Swan Public Relations with fellow trustee Lindsay Swan. While visiting India for a travel client she wandered along the beach to the fishing village of Kovalam and met the 12 year old Venkat for the first time. Sylvia retired, or so she thought, in 2000 and moved to Hove, not envisaging that she would soon be as busy as ever running the Venkat Trust. Sylvia won The Times Sternberg Active Life Award in 2012.

Lindsay Swan

Lindsay Swan is a London based PR consultant and editor. She met Sylvia Holder in South Africa when they worked for a Johannesburg consultancy and they then went on to run Holder Swan Public Relations in London for more than 20 years.

Sarah da Silva

Sarah is the trustee who knows Kovalam best after Sylvia, having been there eight times now. She comes from a background in catering and is now very happily retired with her dog. As well as her involvement with the Venkat Trust, Sarah is a volunteer for Brighton and Hove’s Martlets Hospice.

Nick Goslett

Until his retirement, Nick was Director of Staffing for Europe, Middle East and Africa with Deloitte Consulting. He has visited Kovalam a number of times so is well acquainted with VMT’s projects. Nick also gives his time working for a charity catering for the needs of people over 50 in poor areas of Brighton and Hove and, a fanatical golfer, even manages to squeeze in the odd game or two.

title=John Whelan

John brings youth and enthusiasm to Team UK. He visited Kovalam initially as a volunteer to paint the Panchayat School and has been back three since. On one trip, he gave our university students painting lessons and they, full of enthusiasm, are now doing a great job keeping our buildings in shipshape condition. Most recently he repainted the outside of the High School.