RUSS’s Trustees set the overall strategic direction for the organisation. They monitor performance against the business plan and ensure the organisation’s resources and finances are being correctly managed. The Trustees also provide leadership, guidance, financial governance and ensure that RUSS fulfils its charitable duties. The Trustees include several of the founders of RUSS and some of the residents that are expected to move into the first project in Lewisham. Collectively the Board has significant experience of business, social housing, community engagement, construction processes, self-build, financial management and fundraising.
Kwame has been an active RUSS member for some years. He has worked in the social housing sector and has a wealth of experience liaising with funders. He is currently creating his own online art gallery, giving him a useful understanding of media and communication. Born and bred in Lewisham, he has a strong connection to the local community. He has a first-class degree in Politics and he believes RUSS has developed an innovative solution to the housing crisis that people from all backgrounds should be given the opportunity to embrace.
Anurag studied architecture in India and worked in Germany before moving to London for further study. He lives locally and is an associate director at Latitude Architects. He is passionate about RUSS’s innovative ‘model’ for delivering affordable self-built homes and wants to see it replicated widely across London and other cities. He has a keen eye for detail and believes he can play a key role in ensuring the Church Grove scheme is delivered in an innovative, efficient and cost-effective manner.
Phil is a semi-retired accountant who has worked in social housing for most of his career. He is a board member of Coin Street Community Builders, having been involved at Coin Street since 1984. In the early 1990s he was the finance director at South London Family Housing Association, where he developed funding arrangements for self build housing for rent and shared ownership, and worked with Chisel Neighbourhood Housing Association. This resulted in innovative self build schemes in South London, Brighton and Essex.
Carol is instrumental in making sure RUSS runs smoothly. In her day job she is the Programme Director for a national grant-making foundation, where she sits on the Board as a member of the executive team. She is also one of the future residents of RUSS’s Church Grove development. As well as being secretary Carol is involved in the organisation’s vital fundraising work, and ensures all documentation – from agendas and minutes to RUSS’s Business Plan and its Annual Report and Accounts – are compliant and fit-for-purpose.
Megan has been one of the inspirational team behind the successful crowd funding of the Community Hub building that will form part of the Church Grove project. A qualified architect who is currently working on the Crossrail project, she has a wealth of design, construction, technical, project management and health and safety knowledge that will be invaluable to RUSS. She has also played a key role in a number of voluntary arts projects. Megan will be one of the residents when the Church Grove scheme is completed.
Dave was one of the original team that constructed the pioneering Walters Way self build project in the 1980s. Since then he has, with his sons, renovated the home so that it is now highly energy efficient. Dave believes community self-build projects can deliver really affordable homes, and also lead to more cohesive and supportive communities. He is responsible for RUSS’s training activities and earns a living teaching Iyengar Yoga in his own self-built Yoga studio.
Courtney is a senior manager in the forensics team at EY, focusing on assisting clients in the financial services sector. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner, and she is experienced in financial statement audits, financial crime compliance work, forensic accounting and fraud investigations. As a Trustee she provides oversight of RUSS’s finances and sits on the Finance and Audit Committee.
Dan de Lezameta
Dan is the contracts manager for an architectural glass company and he is an experienced project manager. He is bringing his knowledge of the building process to RUSS as it prepares for its first development. He is also on the list as a future resident of the Church Grove project and is giving time and energy as a Trustee to help ensure the project goes to plan. He also has responsibility for liaising with and growing RUSS’s membership.
Ted Stevens, OBE
Ted is one of the UK’s leading community-led housing and self-build campaigners. In 2008 he set up the National Custom and Self Build Association, and he chaired it until 2014. He then managed a research programme looking at how Britain could learn from the many innovative community-led housing projects that have been built across Europe. He has a successful track record of fundraising, and has strong contacts with government, the wider housing world and the self-build media. As a Trustee he co-ordinates RUSS’s various fundraising and media activities.