Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness



The Trustees of Caritas Anchor House oversee the governance and strategic direction of the charity and support us to achieve our aims

Monsignor John Armitage, Chair of Trustees

Monsignor John has held various senior leadership, management and strategic positions in Diocesan business operations. His widespread involvement in the Youth 2000 project, UK Vocations Group and the Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society, has meant he has been able to bring to Caritas Anchor House a wide knowledge of management experience and practice, and also a strong empathy towards the client group that we support.

His role of challenging the Strategic Management Team, to attain core objectives and service user benefits, has proved invaluable in ensuring that Caritas Anchor House remains core to its values. Monsignor John’s leadership has also been crucial in transforming the charity into an award-winning organisation, focused on respect, affirmation, encouragement and fair opportunities for people to rebuild their lives.

Robert Townsend

Robert has a wealth of experience in the finance sector. He spent a major part of his career in branch banking, holding roles including Senior Manager and Area Director. He was previously a Director of the Brentwood Enterprise Agency, has a keen interest in sport and is Treasurer of a local Old Boys Rugby Club. His experience in financial and asset management, procedure and practice, has meant that his knowledge in these areas has helped drive Caritas Anchor House towards significant efficiency and strategic gains.

James Donovan

James served in the London Fire Brigade (LFB) for over 30 years, spending 15 years at a senior level responsible for the borough management and operational response of the service. He has extensive expertise in people management having managed the HR strategy and function of LFB, implementing a modernisation of their officer rank structure, location and crewing of additional Emergency Appliances in response to terrorist threats. He is a member of the Institute of Fire Engineers and holds a NEBOSH certification in health and safety. He brings great strength to the risk management and operational structures underpinning Caritas Anchor House’s service. 

Sister Teresa-Ann Hughes CRSS

Sister Teresa-Ann is a registered general nurse with a diploma in Health Services Management. She is an immigration advisor registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) and advises refugees and asylum seekers at the Refugee Council. She is also a member of the Brentwood Diocese Working Party that is exploring possible collaborative responses to support refugees arriving and living in the area. Her understanding of the varied needs and cultural issues facing the Caritas Anchor House client groups that we support has provided great strength when driving forward Caritas Anchor House’s programme content and operations.

John Lowe

John has a wealth of experience in performance and project management. He is a specialist in the areas of public sector housing, having held a wide range of roles within the sector including Neighbourhood Manager, Head of Policy, and Performance Analyst in both Newham and Waltham Forest. He has a strong understanding of UK law, holding an LLB (Hons) in Law. John is also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and a Prince II Practitioner.

Charles Abel Smith

Charles has extensive international experience of developing innovative funding and managing infrastructure-related investment across the public and private sectors. Charles has held and holds a number of directorships with notable organisations including multinational professional services firm ARUP, leading global banking financial services firm BNP Parabis, and private banking and wealth management specialists, Kleinwort Benson. Charles has worked with the UK Government to develop investment opportunities within the energy efficiency markets and is now Director of Energy Efficiency with the UK Green Investment Bank. He was a Non-Executive Director of the North Essex Partnership NHS Trust for seven years, with particular focus on the development of the trust’s estate. He has an MA from Cambridge University. Charles is also on the fundraising board of Caritas Anchor House.

Awaritoma Efejuku

Awaritoma brings extensive experience of  strategy implementation, business, workforce and technology transformation - having successfully led a number of national programmes and projects across private, public and third sector organisations. He holds an MSc. in Internet & Multimedia Engineering and works as a consultant Programme Manager. He has a keen interest in urban regeneration, social mobility and technology issues.

Simon Hall MBE

Simon was educated at Ampleforth College and St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge. He qualified as a solicitor in 1979, was Partner with the law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer from 1985 to 2014 and seconded to the NY law firm Cravath Swaine & Moore 1983-1984. He was head of Freshfields Finance Practice, sat on the Partnership Council and was head of their global corporate responsibility programmes. He is a past trustee and trustee of a number of charities including in the fields of education and social inclusion, including St Marys School, Career Academies UK, Mistley Maltings Trust, Brentwood Cathedral Choral Trust, Colchester and North East Essex Building Preservation Trust, and on the fundraising boards of Ampleforth College and Caritas Anchor House. Simon was awarded an MBE in 2006.

Michael Hodges

As a former corporate banking professional with a leading multinational financial services organisation, Michael has a wealth of financial expertise. He is passionate about supporting community development, and is an active volunteer and Board member for numerous community organisations. 

Luke de Pulford

With an extensive knowledge of the UK parliamentary system, Luke is well versed in how to engage with Parliament and is well known for his work in defence of human dignity. He is a parliamentary advisor, and serves on the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission. He has previously worked for Caritas Anchor House and understands the operational challenges the organisation faces on the ground. Luke is co-founder and director of the Arise Foundation.

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