Eszter coordinates the Robes winter night shelter, working closely with the host venues across Southwark and Lambeth. She offers training and practical support to the churches and volunteers involved and makes sure that people and beds are in the right place at the right time. Eszter is very passionate about development and growth at Robes, building on the unique values and strengths that every guest and volunteer brings to the table. She is also involved in expanding the scale of the night shelter and the development of new projects, including Inn from the Cold and the Mentoring and Befriending Programme.
Having come from a frontline role working in an emergency night shelter, Henna came to Robes to support the evolution of the winter night shelter project, organising our Wednesday Drop-in, as well as other plans in the pipeline. She assists the Project Coordinator in preparing for the winter months and enabling the growth of Robes through fundraising, developing ideas and offering project support during this time of expansion.
Senior Advice Worker
Crispin is the charity’s advice worker, providing support and advice directly to the guests. When guests are referred to the night shelter the advice worker will help them progress plans to avoid a return to rough sleeping. To do this the advice worker has regular contact with guests and referring agencies to work on their individual goals and to choose the best options to pursue for moving on. In some instances this work can continue beyond their stay in the night shelter.
Rebekka is the newest addition to the charity and our second advice worker. She is joining us during the winter shelter opening period, our busiest time in the year. She provides support and advice directly to our guests, helping them to figure out their next steps in order to avoid a return to rough sleeping. To do this, Rebekka visits the night shelter each morning and is in regular contact with guests and referring agencies to work on individual goals, and to support guests in choosing and pursuing their best options to move on. In some instances, this work can continue beyond a guest’s stay in the night shelter.
PRS Lettings Manager
Adrian is the Private Rented Sector Lettings Manager for the Inn From The Cold Project, a joint venture between Robes and The Manna Centre, with the ultimate mission of assisting our guests to re-build their lives and achieve independent living in a home of their own. Adrian works closely with private sector landlords and estate agents in the London area, offering them a ready source of pre-selected tenants from the two agencies’ client base. Adrian delivers a highly professional and efficient residential lettings service to both our homeless guests as well as our partnering landlords, embracing the principles of high quality customer care throughout his work.
Chair of Trustees
George was born and educated in North London and was in the RAF. He worked in international sales and marketing selling fast moving consumer goods for a number of multi-national companies, travelling extensively around the world to open new markets. He has been involved in the Robes Project since it started and is also a Trustee for Southwark Cathedral. Since 2007 he has helped recruit new venues to host the night shelter. Mandi Sturrock and George initiated the very successful sponsored Sleepout in the precincts of Southwark Cathedral, which was first held November 2011. This has become our annual major fundraising event and in November 2016 it raised over £100,000.
Louise has been a team leader at the Robes night shelter in Elephant and Castle since 2007 and a Trustee of Robes since 2011. After leaving the City where she worked for many years, Louise became a qualified teacher in 2012. She now teaches English as a foreign language and French and German as well as working with Centrepoint, the national charity working with homeless young people.
Anna joined the Robes project in 2011, through Churches Together in Clapham when they first joined as a host venue. Anna is an accountant and has been involved in the not for profit sector for more than 30 years, both as trustee of several small charities in South London, and in a professional capacity more recently as an Independent Examiner.
Reverend David Hardman
David has been a Methodist Minister since 1992 serving in the North West of England and has been involved in projects working with the homeless in inner-city Manchester. Before moving to Southwark he worked for seven years with the International Development Agency and Christian Aid. David is currently part of the Ministry Team at Walworth Methodist Church, one of the churches that hosts Robes.
Wendy has been a committed volunteer for St Michael’s Church Stockwell for over seven years and a Trustee since 2013. Wendy is enthusiastic and a good networker, driven because she knows that compassion, love and professionalism mixed with respect and dignity transform the lives of both guests and the volunteers. She is kept busy juggling her voluntary commitments with being a mother of two small children while teaching at a Montessori School.
Geoff was a solicitor in private practice until 2004 when he resigned from his firm to circumnavigate the world ‘the wrong way round’ in the 2004/05 Global Challenge yacht race. Geoff has been a volunteer at St Matthews-at-the-Elephant since January 2007 where he met Louise Delaye. They married in December 2012. Geoff is now a charity governance consultant and in 2014/15 advised the Robes trustees on their three-year development strategy. He was co-opted as a trustee in 2015 and confirmed in office in September 2016.
Luke is a Chartered Accountant who has lived in London for seven years. In summer 2016 he left his accounting career in the charitable sector to lead a small church in Clapham Park. He was a shelter leader last winter, having been a shelter volunteer for five years. Luke is a country music fanatic and enjoys walking, maths puzzles and cooking.
The Right Reverend Christopher Chessun
Christopher has been the Bishop of Southwark since 2011 and before that was an Area Bishop in the Diocese of Southwark from 2005. He is particularly concerned for the quality of life of those who live in urban areas and he was Bishop for Urban Life and Faith from May 2010 until 2013. He is President of the Association for Promoting Retreats and has taken young people from the Diocese of Southwark on pilgrimage to Taize, France, in recent years.
In 2011 he launched ‘Faith, Hope, Love – Bishop Christopher’s Call to Mission’ and through this he has encouraged individuals and communities to consider how best they can serve their neighbourhoods and show the faith, hope and love that we find in Jesus Christ to others. At Pentecost this year Bishop Christopher’s Call to Mission drew to a close giving rise to Hearts on Fire, the next phase of his vision for the Diocese of Southwark and its work. Bishop Christopher continues to give strong support to the Robes Sleepout at Southwark Cathedral in providing shelter for the homeless and raising funds for the project. He is delighted to be Patron of the Robes Project and shares its belief that we can make a difference in the lives of many people.
Right Honourable Sir Simon Hughes
Simon is the newest Patron of the Robes Project. After studying law and practising as a barrister Simon entered the political arena. He has held various political roles including Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice and the Member of Parliament for Bermondsey and other parts of the north of the Borough of Southwark for over 32 years. Simon also served as a frontbench spokesperson on many subjects including education, energy, environment, health and home affairs. Simon has a keen interest in human rights and asylum, co-authoring a variety of publications on the subject. In 2015 he was awarded a knighthood for his political and public service. Simon is currently involved in numerous community projects in Southwark as a Trustee and Patron.
Although now retired Roger Royle has spent the past 52 years as priest, a broadcaster, a journalist and an author. As a priest he has served the Church of England in parishes, schools, and a cathedral. As a broadcaster he has appeared on both television and radio mainly with the BBC, the twenty nine years he spent doing Pause for Thought on Terry Wogan’s breakfast show being one of the highlights.
Over the years Roger has been associated with many different charities but he is very honoured to be asked to become a patron. “Sadly more and more people are needing shelter for the night, a good meal and the hand of friendship but it is great to see Christians in Southwark and Lambeth responding to that need. After all it is no good being so full of heavenly thoughts if you are no earthly use”.