Vincent House is a communal residence and has successfully accommodated people from a wide range of backgrounds and different cultures and countries. Some reside here for a few months and others for a number of years, whilst others come and go choosing to return to the House on a regular basis.
Vincent House is constantly developing in response to its community and the changing world, which is demonstrated in ongoing investment in the building, continual technological advances and improvements to residents’ facilities and services.We host occasional social events including a Christmas party every year in early December, summer garden parties, (weather permitting!) and special celebrations to coincide with occasions such as the Royal Wedding or the Queen’s Jubilee –see the pictures on our parties page to find out more!
VHA’s primary purpose is the provision of residential accommodation and employment at VINCENT HOUSE and its principal commitment is to its residents and employees. Once these responsibilities are met, VHA’s aims to use its surplus to invest in social schemes that help individuals who are homeless or vulnerable to homelessness.
VHA’s most significant social investments to date have been the acquisition of two properties to lease on social terms to charities working with vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals, Carlisle House (in 1998) and Hope House (in 2001).
CARLISLE HOUSE, VHA’s property in Willow Tree Lane, Yeading, Middlesex, was acquired in 1998. It is leased to Trinity Homeless Projects (THP) which aims to achieve transformation in the lives of people suffering the effects of homelessness & exclusion by providing supported housing, training and employment. THP’s scheme at Carlisle House provides accommodation for up to seven people as well as training and employment in the Willow Tree Furniture Store, a large outlet selling recycled goods for the home. Despite the current challenges, THP is both sustaining and expanding its activities and has several other projects in Hillingdon and Hounslow. For further information see www.Trinityhomelessprojects.org.uk
HOPE HOUSE was originally operated by Stepping Stones Trust (SST), a charity providing resettlement support and accommodation to prisoners on their release. In early 2012 SST merged with Langley House Trust (LHT) a larger organisation providing similar services in other parts of the country, which was seeking to establish itself in London. LHT’s mission is ‘helping people to live crime-free lives’ and it will continue to provide resettlement support and accommodation at Hope House as part of its ‘Stepping Stones Project’. Hope House provides a welcoming and comfortableenvironment for its community of up to seven residents. It also has a separate office for the supervisory and support team, as well as a kitchen/diner for residents’ use, a large sitting room and a delightful terraced garden. For further information about LHT’s work and the Stepping Stones Project:www.langleyhousetrust.org
The international mix of people is a key factor in the House’s continued popularity and residents includeindividuals working in jobs such as banking and the legal profession as well as academics and mature students. Many come as a result of recommendation and others through our links with some of the London based language schools.
We take satisfaction from the fact that the vast majority appear to enjoy their stay, whether for a few weeks or months, or even years in some cases!We offer a relaxed, comfortable and friendly atmosphere and you can expect our best attention at all times together with a polite and courteous manner from everyone who works here. We ask residents, visitors and their guests to treat everyone who works at the House in a similarly respectful and polite way.
Everyone who works at Vincent House is important to the smooth running of the House and we aim to be a fair employer that supports and develops all of its employees. We encourage a friendly yet professional approach.Everyone who works at Vincent House is a member of a team whose primary aim is to serve the needs of our residents.
The majority of employees also live at the House and so are also members of our community. Some have worked at Vincent House for many years, whilst others choose to work at the House for a shorter period. Many originate from abroad and several of our younger employees are in London to study or improve their English, with quite a few combining their work with study, varying from business qualifications to language courses.
Heading up the team is the General Manager, Richard Tomkins, who oversees the House with a particular interest in resident relations, employee development and environmental improvements. The management team also includes Mariya Tseluko (Deputy General Manager), Carla Soares Hester (Accounting Manager) and Agnes Kedracka (Facilities Manager). Other key figures are Caroline Whitney (Chef), Martin O’Shea (Assistant Chef) and Dorothy Pickering (Housekeeping Supervisor). Richard and his team are committed to providing support and training to everyone working at Vincent House. The people who work at Vincent House are essential to its continued success and we have been lucky that there has been a continual source of new employees attracted to working at the House, often as a result of recommendation by friends. It is particularly appealing to younger people who see it as a friendly and fun place to work and because it provides an exceptional opportunity to experience life in one of the world’s leading cities.
The pictures are from the events we have hosted in recent years, which have included.
Royal Wedding April 2011
Diamond Jubilee June 2012
The Committee oversees the business of the Association and meets around five times a year. It is also supported by a series of sub-committees that focus on specific issues such as finance, property, catering and strategy. The Committee’s main duty is to ensure VHA achieves its mission through its activities and is also meeting its commitment to being financially, socially and environmentally responsible.
Rory Silkin became the Association’s fourth Chairman when he succeeded Geoffrey Roughton in 2014. He joined the Committee in 1972 following the death of his grandfather Lewis who was a key figure in setting up Vincent Housing Association in 1964 and was its Chairman until 1970. Both Lewis and Rory’s father, John Silkin, were prominent Labour MPs and his mother, Rosamond John, was a renowned stage and screen actress. Rory studied law and worked in private practice as a solicitor going on to be Assistant Director in the legal department of Royal Mail before retiring. He now works as a legal consultant and is active in various local charities as well as being a local councillor. He lives in Staplehurst, Kent with his wife Mary Shaw (also a Committee Member) and has two daughters, Anna and Natasha who are both shareholders.
Jenny was co-opted onto the Committee late 2014 and was officially elected as a Committee Member and also Treasurer at the AGM in April 2015. Jenny is a Chartered Accountant and has held senior finance roles at HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Cable & Wireless and most recently Willis Group, a Global Insurance Broker where she led a major Transformation project. Jenny lives in the New Forest with her partner Roger.
Sara joined the Committee in 1993 and succeeded her father Tommy as Secretary to the Association following his death in 1996, a role she still holds. She has a background in media relations and co-ordinated the marketing of Vincent House and has co-ordinated the marketing of Vincent House and development projects for the Association in the past. In addition to being Secretary, she is responsible for relations with the Association’s social partners and its heritage activities.
Julia was elected to the Committee in March 2012 following eighteen months as a co-opted member. She has been a friend of the Roughton family for many years and was nominated by Geoffrey and Rosamond Roughton. She is a Strategy consultant and in the past has worked for Shell and PwC. She also has experience of working with the charitable sector including Anti-Slavery International and is particularly interested in VHA’s mission to help those affected by homelessness.
Alison joined the Committee in 1979 joining her father Douglas Clarke who was one of the original founders of Vincent House Limited and who continued as a Committee Member until his death in 1992. Alison, who has a law degree and a university Diploma in Art History, has focused on her role as wife and mother for much of her life whilst being involved in supporting many charitable organisations. Both her two daughters, Jane and Penny, are also Committee Members. She recently gained an MA in biography.
Penny was elected to the Committee in March 2012 following eighteen months as a co-opted member. She is a grand-daughter of one of the original board members of Vincent House Limited, Douglas Clarke, as well as daughter of Alison Boreham and sister of Jane Rae, both of whom have served on the Committee for many years. Penny is a freelance radio producer and also set up the ‘Soundaffects’ charity using audio to link primary school children in the UK with their peers in Africa and Sri Lanka. She is a Trustee of the Prison Phoenix Trust which encourages prisoners in the development of their spiritual welfare, through the practices of meditation and yoga, working with silence and the breath.
Mike Farrar was co-opted to the Committee in January 2014 and formally elected at the AGM in April 2015. He stepped down from his role as Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation in late 2013 to become an independent management consultant working within the health sector. As well as being a director of Mike Farrar Consulting Limited, he is on the Boards of York Health Economics Consortium, Sport & Physical Activity @ Work, Huddersfield Community Sporting Trust. Mike lives in Huddersfield with his partner Rosamond Roughton and their two daughters.
Fi was elected to the Committee in March 2012 following eighteen months as a co-opted member. She first became known to the Committee through Yeldall Christian Projects, where she was on the board for over 8 years, and her consultancy work for Stepping Stones Trust. Fi also facilitated a special meeting for the Committee in 2003 to address VHA’s long term plans. Fi has immense experience of working with charities in a wide range of issues and was recently involved with setting up a food-bank in her local area of East Sussex. She originally trained as a social worker and gained experience in child protection and psychiatric support, before moving onto the charity sector.
Jane joined the Committee in 1993 following the death of her grandfather Douglas Clarke a year earlier. Her mother Alison Boreham and sister Penny BorehamSaban are also on the Committee. Jane is married to Dougal Rae, a film and TV producer and they have three grown up children, one at university and two nearing the end of their schooldays; however, she still finds time to be a partner in Fine Arts Travel which organises cultural tours to Italy.
Ashley was elected to the Committee in March 2012 following eighteen months as a co-opted member. He is the eldest son of Geoffrey Roughton from his first marriage. He is a Barrister and has also lectured in economics at City University and is a Professor of Law at Queen Mary’s. He has done Pro-bono work and is particularly interested in the impact of homelessness.
Mary, who is married to Rory Silkin, the Association’s Chairman, has worked as a solicitor since the 1980’s and, since joining the Committee in 1987, has often provided legal advice to VHA. She now specialises in Private Client Law and is Partner & Team Leader at Warners Solicitors, a Top Tier law firm based in Kent which offers a wide range of legal services to its clients across the South East.