Our directors are there to represent members’ views and activities on the RUSS board, and are each elected for the period October 2015 to October 2016. The board guides RUSS towards our aim of creating sustainable neighbourhoods that are genuinely affordable, whilst ensuring we stay true to our ten key principles.

Kareem Dayes
Kareem is a musician and founder of RUSS. He is the director overseeing the process of allocating plots at our Church Grove site to prospective self-builders, as well as being the Chair of the RUSS Board of Directors.

“I was fortunate enough to grow up in Walters Way and helped my dad to renovate our home to be energy self-sufficient. This experience coupled with living in Sanford Housing Co-op for 3 years has inspired me to help create a new community-led housing scheme, RUSS. I have lived in Lewisham all my life and aspire to building another housing project our community can be proud of.”

Anne Kennedy
Anne is a designer and project manager, with a background in clothing, applied arts and garden design. She has volunteered at Chelsea Fringe Festival and is a Friend of Burgess involved in the regeneration of the Old Library and Wash House on Wells Way. Anne is RUSS’ Secretary, meaning her role is to oversee the organisation’s administration.

“I have a constant preoccupation with finding an affordable and secure home for the future. RUSS is a project that not only offers possibilities of building my own home, but in building new ways of working together to create new ways of solving problems for ourselves, in partnership with others in the local and international community. I think I can be useful in this endeavour, and believer RUSS is a solid and credible organisation with the people and ambition to achieve great things. I will never achieve much on my own but together with RUSS I am empowered to do much.”

Daniel Key
Fundraising Director
Daniel is an Urban Forest Coordinator at Trees for Cities. He has also worked as Project Developer at the People’s Kitchen in Dalston. Daniel is the director in charge of RUSS’ fundraising and donations activities.

“I’ve lived in London for five years, but I don’t how I will manage to live here for another five. This city continues to push poorer, younger people to the margins as council estates are bulldozed and expensive high rise flats are built in their place. Everyone knows we have a housing crisis: let’s do something about it!”

Owain Roberts
Development Director
Owain is a Chartered Planning and Development Surveyor with a background in regeneration, affordable housing and property development. He is the director with a remit to oversee RUSS’ development activities forming our first project at Church Grove, Ladywell.

“I first came across RUSS while working on funding for affordable housing and community led development at the Greater London Authority. I was impressed by the group, particularly the ambition, and helped secure funding for the group. Since then I have moved from City Hall to the Olympic Park where I am a Senior Development Manager working to bring forwards development on and off the park. I live in Forest Hill, and am keen to use my development skill set to help deliver some truly community led, affordable homes.”

Tony Rich
Community Director
Tony is an independent regeneration consultant and helps voluntary and community organisations to become financially sustainable. He is the director overseeing RUSS’ engagement with local communities around our first development site at Church Grove, Ladywell.

“I’m a long-standing Lewisham resident and became interested in RUSS when I met Kareem some years ago now and was very impressed by his enthusiasm and passion for the self-build cause. I am interested in contributing to RUSS particularly from the perspective of the local community, because I strongly believe in the aims of the project to establish a thriving and sustainable neighbourhood which has the potential to make a strong, positive contribution to the wider area.”

Chris Carthy
Stakeholder Director
Chris is an architect and urban designer who works with self-builders, charities and housing associations to design homes, community spaces and arts buildings in London and further afield. As Stakeholder Director he oversees RUSS’ communications with partner organisations, our membership and other interested groups.

“I got involved in RUSS to lend my support to this inspiring and pioneering group of people determined to bring affordable homes to London. Not a Lewisham resident myself– I was brought up on a smallholding in Yorkshire by do-it-yourself parents and now live in Hackney– my role as Stakeholder Director means I am tasked with channeling the views of funders, partners and the wider membership to the RUSS board.”

Our current directors for 2015–16 are building upon the great work achieved by RUSS’ previous directors for 2014–15.