Daisy is in the middle

Daisy is in the middle


Daisy Christodoulou is one of our fabulous volunteers, she is running the London Marathon this year. Daisy is raising funds for Robes Project and so far she has raised an amazing £575, her target is £1450. Please help us to help her reach her target, you can do this by clicking on the following link and supporting her: Thanks so much.

Southwark Cathedral, where the SleepOut takes place

Southwark Cathedral, where the SleepOut takes place


Why not register now for SleepOut 2019 click on the following link: See you there!

SleepOut 2018 Update

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in Robes ‘SleepOut 2018’.  The ‘SleepOut’ has raised £88682.  Thank you to everyone for all your amazing efforts!

An awesome Robes guest

An awesome Robes guest


Trying to understand how to apply for a passport from the Romanian Consulate using google translate, is like trying to understand poor instructions on how to set the latest computerised alarm clock, all which has just arrived from China.

Enlisting the help of another guest who knows his way around the officialdom of his consulate, he managed to set up an appointment by personally visiting the consulate near Holland Park, with the applicant in tow, and speaking personally with a contact he knew upstairs. As a result, an appointment was set for a few days in advance, and it was left to me to return early one evening with the hopeful guest and make the application.

When we presented at reception, we were told the appointment was not until July 23 and I was reminded of today’s date in the month of March. My repost was that I was fully aware of todays date in March but that I had a piece of plain paper in my pocket with a mans name on it and that I was to insist to speak with the man upstairs.

She took the paper, told us to stand over there, and turned on her heels to disappear upstairs. Five minutes later she returned and beckoned us with her hand to go upstairs. We emerged onto a landing which was also a waiting room, where children were scrambling about while some supervising adults looked on. Moving through into the chamber next door, there was a busy scene of people being finger printed and photographed. My non-English speaking guest was immediately approached with a nod towards me, “who is he?” to which he simply said “Robes”

In short, his application was completed and paid for, and he was issued with a receipt saying that his new passport will be ready in two weeks. The guest was elated and feels more secure about prospects for continuing in the UK, which he hopes to get as soon as he passes his CSIS training for construction. In simple words his goals are: Passport, Job, Money, Room.

Why not donate to robes and continue this amazing work:

Volunteer and guest socialising

Volunteer and guest socialising


Supported to apply for a grant 3 guests
Universal Credit Applications 2
Immigration letters 2 guests helped
Personal clothing, things for work 2 guests helped
National Insurance Number, identification secured for 1 guest
Helped to find employment 1 guest
Referred to get support with their health 2 guests

Cooking at Wednesday club

Cooking at Wednesday club


The Wednesday Club continues to be a safe place for shelter guests to meet with one another. We are now increasingly becoming a meeting spot for ex-shelter guests.

We have taken on some new volunteers to help with the higher numbers of guests.

More than ever we are aiming to ensure that everything we do is led by guest experience and feedback.

So, as the shelters come to close, the function of the club may shift a little depending on attendance over the summer.

We aim to remain as flexible and open minded as we can be during this transitionary period.

However while the lives of many of our guests will change in the coming weeks, the Wednesday Club will continue to provide a touch of stability to those in need of it.



Robes is looking for several volunteers, who we can prepare for the next shelter season. You would support guests when they have important appointments, if you are interested please contact:

Marc Mora new Robes Advice Worker

Marc Mora new Robes Advice Worker


Marc is our newest incorporation and will help Crispin as part of Robes’ Shelter Advisory team. He finished his studies in Criminology and holds experience in the field of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities. He is a people person and well travelled, he is also able to communicate in more than four languages. In his youth he volunteered in his local Church community as Summer camp Instructor for young people who were at risk of being socially excluded.



Thanks giving service to be held at St Peters Walworth, on Sunday April 14th at 5pm, all welcome.



Please continue to support Robes Project and the invaluable work the community is doing to empower and support the homeless:

Robes Project
The Cooperative Bank
Account number: 65842999
Sort Code: 08 92 99

Robes January Update 2019

Shelter Update
Because of the wonderful commitement of all Robes partnering Churches, volunteers and other centres, the Robes Project has given shelter to more than 80 guests so far.  We have had full house of 35 guests most of the time.

There are many great results and progressive steps some of these are:

Currently in employment 16
Private rented accommodation 10
Help with applying for ID 5
Training 1
Shoes for Guest working towards employment
There are many more amazing results we will share in our next update

Sleepout Update 2018
Thank you to every single supporter of the 2018 SleepOut,  so far we have raised £68,647 has been raised so far.

Robes Project would like to visit as many churches and congregations to thank and update them about the work:
Robes would like to offer a short talk to all the churches that host shelters to update the congregations about how things are going and to thank you for all your support and involvement.  If you would like a talk in your church could you please contact Nicholas Faraday:

Guest Success Stories
Just after Christmas we were able to house one of the first guests who was in ‘Robes Project’ this was in November. His recovery from homelessness is just beginning. He came to the UK 30 years ago after an entrepreneurial countryman spotted his craft skills in shoemaking. He promised the young man’s mother that her son would have a bright future if she agreed to let him make designer shoes for him in the UK.

Consequently he arranged for travel and border entry and provided him with the means to work in the UK. Many celebrities were among the clientele and the entrepreneur made a big name for himself. After many years the business was sold the entrepreneur moved on, leaving his protégé stranded.

It was extraordinary that this man never learned English, leading us to assume that he did not understand how the dependence the employer had nurtured in him had left him ill prepared for the future.

Now, 30 years on, both his parents have passed on and he is too ashamed to return to his country to face younger brothers and sisters who held high hopes for him.

So, home is now a hostel and he is going to regular English Classes to learn English at last and when he is not at an English class, he is “job seeking” work in the capital as a kitchen porter.

As for his former vocation, he says all he needs is one or two designer commissions.

If I could wave a magic wand it would be to find a celebrity who would commission and model a pair of his designer shoes from him. With a bit of social media exposure and hash tags in the right circles, who knows, he could be a big hit?

In Remembrance
Friends of Robes will fondly remember Les Acklam who recently died after a period of poor health. As a team leader at St Johns Waterloo he encouraged volunteers from other faiths and walks of life to join his team to run a night shelter. Guests appreciated his warmth and friendliness at St Johns Waterloo, helping to bring a bit of levity during the bleakest times of the year.

During summer months, Les helped Robes in the early days of setting up the weekly Wednesday Lunch Club which now runs all year round. He regularly visited the old venue at Crossway United Reformed Church (now demolished) spending time with guests in the centre and going on the planned outings such as the first outing to visit the Sky Garden.

There will be a funeral service for Les Acklam on Wednesday 13th February at 2pm at St Oswald’s Church Norbury to which all are welcome. This will be followed by a private service for family only.

A Big Thank You
A Big Thank You to Peter, the Pastor of Crossway United Reform Churhc for partnering with Robes and providing a great place for the Wednesday club.

I came in this morning and received your greetings, thank you so much for your good wishes and kindness.  I know that the Grantham Church where I am going has a relationship with the local homeless project so I hope to continue my support for the work moving forward.

Every blessing to you all
Peter, Crossway

The Robes Project will continue to partner with the United Reform Church and its congregation on this project.

Request for Office Volunteers
Robes is looking for 2 volunteers who would like to come into the office 2 days a month to help with various things these range from:
Working with social media
Helping to sort out the Robes Storage Cupboards
Basic admin duties
First Aid Packs
Toiletry Packs
Helping with planning small events
If you would like to get involved please contact:

Please continue to support Robes Project and the invaluable work the community is doing to empower and support the homeless by clicking here or
Robes Project
The Cooperative Bank
Account number: 65842999
Sort Code: 08 92 99

First Time Hosting for St John's East Dulwich

There were a lot of questions we had at St John’s East Dulwich when we agreed to host the Robes Project on Saturday nights from January to March. We knew the Goose Green Centre – attached to the church – could be used to accommodate 20 or so people overnight, but no one could recall that it had ever done so. Would the central heating cope? Would we get enough volunteers? Would we be able to clean the Centre in time for the Sunday School and crèche during the 10am service? Where would we store all the bedding? Would the shower work? (It had only ever been used for watering plants before.)

To reduce the scale of the challenge we agreed to work jointly with the Copleston Centre. we would host for six weeks and they would do so for five weeks with a shared pool of volunteers. Once we had decided to go ahead the response really was overwhelming, within a few days we had already exceeded our target of 30 volunteers, and we would end up with more than 70 from St John’s, Copleston and the Peckham Mosque. Many more people contributed in other ways, such as by donating food and money.

Despite attending training and visiting another venue, we were unsure what to expect on our first night hosting Robes. But everything went smoothly, and before long both guests and volunteers were relaxed and comfortable in their temporary home. Luckily we had space for those guests who just wanted to rest to do so. Others joined us for copious cups of tea (generally with two or three sugars), a chat and activities. One guest taught the Vicar some new card games, another was playing chess with one of our volunteers past lights out (despite a rebuke from the volunteer’s wife), and one – an avid thriller reader – was pleased to be given a signed copy of a new book by one of our parishioners.

Over the six weeks of hosting Robes, we’ve had a lot of fun with the guests and also a few serious conversations. Many of the volunteers have spoken of how enriching they have found the experience, both in terms of being able to provide support and sustenance to the guests, and in learning about some of the challenges beyond our everyday lives. With so many volunteers taking part, it’s also been an opportunity for people to get to know each other better and find a common purpose on a shared project. Even those not directly involved have been quick to ask on a Sunday morning how things went the night before.

It has been hard work at times but everyone involved has found it rewarding and, as many have said, it is exactly the kind of thing we as a Christian community in south London should be doing. We are looking forward to next year!