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.
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.
Colette is a paralegal with a good understanding of contract and trust law, so assists in dealing with most of our legal issues. She has knowledge of the construction sector as a shareholder in her family’s construction company in Lancashire. Colette is currently RUSS’ Secretary. She is involved in RUSS’ community outreach meetings and events, and is concerned about the housing crisis, and its impact on her generation. She is keen to learn from RUSS so that she can eventually establish a similar community-led housing project in the North of England.
Megan has been one of the inspirational team behind the Community Hub building that will form part of the Church Grove project. A qualified architect who is currently working on Crossrail, she has a wealth of design, construction, technical, project management and health and safety knowledge that is invaluable to RUSS. She has also played a key role in a number of voluntary arts projects. Megan will be one of the residents in the Church Grove project.
Gillian has spent more than 20 years facilitating, designing and supporting initiatives that address inequality and open up ‘spaces’ by which marginalised communities can participate in decision-making about issues that affect their lives. She has worked in the UK and internationally to facilitate participatory processes, environmental justice, community engagement, organisational development, communications and evaluation. Gillian manages the Knowledge, Learning and Communications programme at the Commonwealth Foundation. She is a Lewisham resident and a UK and Trinidad and Tobago national.
Courtney is a senior manager in the anti-money laundering office at Western Union. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner, with more than 12 years experience of financial and forensic accounting, auditing, compliance and investigations. As a Trustee she provides oversight of RUSS’s finances and sits on the Finance and Audit Committee.
Ted Stevens, OBE
Ted is one of the UK’s leading community-led housing and self-build campaigners. He set up the National Custom and Self Build Association, chairing it until 2014 and then ran a research programme on how Britain can learn from the many innovative community-led housing projects that have been built across Europe. He has a successful track record of fundraising, and strong contacts in government, housing and the self-build media. He co-ordinates RUSS’s fundraising and media activities.
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.
Ethan Williams is a researcher at the King’s Fund healthcare think-tank, where he has been exploring the ways in which local government, the NHS and the third sector can work together across the built environment and asset-based community development in order to benefit the populations they serve. Ethan has access to a diverse network spanning health, housing and the third sector, and is keen to help develop RUSS’s support base and collaborative working.