Lauren oversees the delivery of all the current projects of Robes and is responsible for maintaining relationships with our partners and volunteer base, as well as offering training and development opportunities. She is responsible for regularly reviewing operations and implementing fundraising opportunities with the fundraising committee. Lauren also works closely with the Board of Trustees to develop future initiatives and provide overall leadership for the Project.
Shelter CoordinatorHenna coordinates the winter night shelter and looks after its daily running, working closely with host venues and volunteers. 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. Henna, also, oversees the weekly social lunch club for guests, the Wednesday Club, which has continued to grow in numbers since its emergence.
Senior Advice WorkerCrispin 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.
Maria is also an advice worker for Robes. Maria has a background working with young people in London facing homelessness as well as experience of working with rough sleepers outside of London. Maria’s previous work has also allowed her to work closely with the homeless experiencing mental health issues. Maria works with Robes guests to support them in different areas and can continue to provide advice once guests have moved out of the winter shelters.
Finance & Admin Officer
Paula is the Finance & Admin Officer for Robes. She looks after day to day finances and provides timely reports to the treasurer and trustees to ensure that they have the information they need to make the best use of the charity’s financial resources. Paula also takes care of general office administration, ensuring that the project workers are freed up to do what they are best at!
PRS Lettings ManagerAdrian 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 TrusteesGeorge 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.
TrusteeLouise 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.
TrusteeWendy 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.
TrusteeGeoff 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.
TreasurerLuke 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
PatronSimon 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”.
Sunil Chopra is an elected councillor in the London Borough of Southwark. As an innovative thinker, Sunil has a gift for developing creative solutions. With a compassionate nature and a specialist in Community service, Sunil has developed vast experience in human resources, PR, education and as an entrepreneur.
As a former Mayor of Southwark, Sunil has previously nominated Robes Project as one of his charities of the year. Sunil is also a founding trustee of the Southwark Hindu Centre and has been involved in the local Rotary Club. He is passionately involved in raising funds and awareness for clean water projects in Africa and India.