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 and Finance coordinator
Paula 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. Paul also oversees the Finance and Administrative duties of Robes.
Senior welfare and advice officer
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.
Senior Housing Officer
Maria is also an advice worker for Robes as well as our . 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.
Josh is our Enrichment Officer and oversees our weekly Wednesday Club. The club provides a warm, safe space for our shelter guests (past and present) to join us for lunch and different activities. In the past we have had various outings across London as well as visits from NHS services, Yoga classes and Arts therapy.
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.
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.
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.
Jeremy has worked in marketing and business development for the last 20 years and is currently Head of Business Development for a property consultancy firm. Jeremy has been a volunteer at St Michael’s Church in Stockwell for the last two years and became a Trustee in 2018. He is also a Next Steps Mentor with the Prince’s Trust. Jeremy is a keen singer and messy cook.
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”.
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.