At Cambridge House, we work to tackle the impacts and root causes of poverty, social inequity and injustice experienced by those in our communities, providing people with the support, advice and opportunities they need to improve their lives.
From campaigning for safer conditions and security for renters to offering free expert legal services in housing, employment and benefits law, to the delivery of youth and disabled people’s empowerment projects or helping support the development of social policy and practice through our research and knowledge exchange; everything we do is focused on our core mission of transforming lives and transforming society.
Meet our Staff
Karin Woodley CBE
Karin Woodley joined Cambridge House as Chief Executive in April 2013 and has over 35 years’ experience in community empowerment, education, the arts, and social justice. Karin is a ‘lived experience’ leader and a committed social activist who specialises in the development of social policy and the delivery of empowerment services.
In recognition of her outstanding contributions, Karin was honoured as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s 2021 Birthday Honours list for her services to social justice and received the prestigious Lifetime Achiever Award at the 2016 Excellence in Diversity Awards.
Karin holds several positions beyond Cambridge House, including as a non-executive director and member of the audit and risk committee at the Ministry of Justice’s Office of the Public Guardian; Chair of the Race Equality Foundation; trustee of the Felix Project; a member of the National Lottery Community Fund England Committee; and a core member of the Better Way Network.
Prior roles include her tenure as CEO of ContinYou, a multi-regional and nationally dispersed education and learning service; CEO of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, where she oversaw the delivery of the £10 million purpose-built Stephen Lawrence Centre; Director at the Tabernacle Centre for Arts and Learning, where she received the 2004 London Development Agency award for Business Excellence, Achievement, and Mentoring, and the 2001 ESF/NIACE New Learning Opportunities Award in the category of Young BME Adult Learners.
Past non-executive roles have included parliamentary appointments to the governing body and audit and risk committee of the Economic and Social Research Council and the Legal Services Board Consumer Panel; Vice Chair of Locality; UK representative on the Global Social Economy Forum; membership of the Wellcome Trust’s Understanding Patient Data Advisory Committee; Chair of the Southwark Learning Disabilities Provider Forum; and membership of the Healthwatch Southwark Advisory Board.
Karen joined the leadership team in 2017, bringing a wealth of experience gained during more than 20 years’ experience as an ACCA qualified accountant in the private, public and charity sectors. She is dedicated to supporting colleagues to build their financial skills and knowledge so that they are empowered to sustainably develop the reach and impact of our services.
Karen blends her detailed knowledge of good financial governance, a focus on the data and detail, with the strategic thinking that helps us rise to the financial challenges all charities face in the current economic environment.
Karen is a South Londoner, a people person and a social activist committed to making our society a fairer place for everyone.
Head of Service, Law Centre
Gurminder joined our team in 2016, boasting over two decades of experience in housing litigation within both the private and charity sectors. Throughout her career, she has tirelessly advocated for the rights of clients, representing hundreds of individuals in actions against local authorities and housing associations. Areas of expertise include possession, eviction, anti-social behaviour, and homelessness, and her noteworthy cases have been featured in the Legal Action Group Magazine.
Beyond housing litigation, Gurminder’s proficiency extends to advising and supporting clients involved in Employment Tribunal cases, ranging from unfair or constructive dismissal to handling cases of harassment and discrimination, including settlement agreements.
Passionate about fostering access to justice and training the next generation of lawyers in social welfare law, Gurminder’s commitment to making a difference is evident in her multifaceted approach to legal practice, ensuring that clients receive comprehensive support and representation.
Head of Administration and Corporate Services
Katie joined the team in 2022, bringing with her a diverse background in Health and Safety, Human Resources, and Administration across both the private and public sectors. She loves a challenge and is driven by her belief that aiding others in overcoming life’s challenges is a social responsibility, a commitment that aligns seamlessly with Cambridge House’s mission to address social injustice and inequality.
Hailing from Southeast London, Katie not only excels in her professional endeavours but also finds the time to be an active member of her local community and regularly exercise her impressive baking skills, much to the delight of all Cambridge House staff!
Head of Service, Independent Advocacy
Max joined the team in 2016, as a lived experience manager with over 20 years’ experience in residential and independent advocacy settings. As a qualified Independent Mental Health, Independent Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberties Safeguarding advocate; Max combines frontline casework experience with a forensic knowledge of the legal rights of people experiencing difficulty engaging with and contributing to decisions about their health and social care.
Head of Service,
Roz joined the team as a co-founder of Safer Renting in 2015 and has since played a pivotal role in our team. Her career spans over 35 years and has been largely dedicated to social housing, in executive and non-executive roles.
Her extensive experience includes management roles in housing associations, a local authority, and an arms-length management organisation (ALMO). Roz has served at the senior executive level for more than 15 years, including a 5-year tenure as Chief Executive of a housing association.
After a brief spell running her own consultancy, Roz made a late move into private sector housing enforcement, contributing her expertise to Lewisham Council’s ‘Rogue Landlord pilot’ in 2014.
Head of Service, Empowerment and Inclusion
Rachel joined the team in 2015 and brings 17 years of charity sector experience and a deep commitment to community empowerment. Her journey began at Street League, a London-based sport-for-development charity, where she discovered the transformative power of community and youth engagement.
During her three-year tenure with Tackle in East Africa, Rachel collaborated with local partners and community-based organisations to establish national projects that used football as a means of raising awareness about HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Rachel’s passion for addressing inequity and social exclusion is evident in her active roles, including as a Provider Representative on Southwark’s Safeguarding Adults Board, and as Chair of Community Southwark’s Children, Families, and Young People’s Forum.
Fundraising and Development Coordinator
Callum joined the team in 2021 upon the completion of his postgraduate degree at the University of Liverpool, where he specialised in solidarity studies, human rights, and politics, with a particular focus on the Global South.
During his studies, Callum served as the Vice President of the University’s Help the Homeless Society. His dedication and efforts were recognised when he received the University Guild’s “Fundraiser of the Year” award. This experience and recognition fuelled his desire to pursue a fundraising role at Cambridge House, a charity that aligned perfectly with his values, skills, and prior experience.
Not content with spinning just one plate, Callum keeps himself busy outside of work as the co-founder of Analytics United, a sports analytics company where he has worked directly with The Athletic and West Ham United. Additionally, Callum is involved with Subject to Protocol, an events company focused on throwing parties that provide a platform for up-and-coming DJs.
Punarwasu (Wasu) Kapgate
Youth Empowerment Manager
Wasu joined the team in 2022, driven by a passion for cultivating safe and engaging community spaces, particularly for young people. He firmly believes that fostering a complete representation of youth voices, considering all intersections of society, is crucial for societal development.
With a background in anthropology, a postgraduate degree in performance studies from Birkbeck University of London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and training in Indian Classical music, Wasu is a trauma-informed Art and Community Practitioner. His dedication is evident in his commitment to developing a practice that utilises bodywork and performance to facilitate dialogues between different sections of society and excluded communities.
Wasu brings a wealth of experience, having conducted extensive fieldwork in both rural and urban communities in India. His passion lies in the convergence of youth development, performance anthropology, theatre, and education. Through this unique blend of skills and experiences, he contributes significantly to our mission of creating inclusive spaces and promoting dialogue and understanding within diverse communities.
Strategic Projects Manager, Safer Renting
Ben joined our team in 2015 as a co-founder of Safer Renting, bringing with him a wealth of experience in tackling rogue and criminal landlord activities, having prosecuted offenses related to harassment and illegal eviction since 1990.
Ben has been a dedicated trainer in landlord and tenant law and homelessness legislation since 2001; is a visiting lecturer in housing law at Middlesex University (soon transferring to the University of Greenwich); is currently in the process of writing “Harassment and Illegal Eviction – A Practical Guide,” a commissioned work by Legal Action Group Publications; and previously worked in Lewisham Council’s innovative multi-disciplinary “Rogue Landlord Taskforce”.
Meet the Trustees
Chair of Trustees
Simon became a trustee in 2017, he works for the City of London Corporation as the Chief Operating Officer of Bridge House Estates having formerly been Head of the Chief Executive’s Office.
Simon lives locally in Peckham, is vice-chair of governors at the Belham Primary School and previously worked for a think-tank in Westminster. Simon replaced David Coleman as Chair in 2019.
Clarissa joined the Board in 2018 and is a Senior Associate at Bates Wells where she advises UK and international charities, not for profit organisations and philanthropists (both individual and corporate) on a wide range of charity law and philanthropy issues.
Her work focuses on the structuring of philanthropic giving, charitable legal structures, registrations, governance and operational matters including fundraising, grant making and matters requiring the consent of the Charity Commission. Clarissa’s recent work includes advising on the creation of new charitable vehicles to undertake a wide variety of activities, on cross-border giving and the use of donor advised funds, on charity structuring, governance and trustee duties and on a number of transactional matters that have required the consent of the Charity Commission.
Clarissa is a member of the Charity Law Association, Charity Tax Group, Charity Investors Group and the STEP Charities and Philanthropy Special Interest Groups.
David became a trustee in 2017 and is a member of the Finance Sub Committee. David is a mathematics graduate from Warwick University who went on to become an ICAEW qualified Chartered Accountant whilst working within audit.
Keen to put his financial acumen into use outside of work, both for experience and for the benefit of a great cause, he explored his options and was drawn to the mission and objectives of Cambridge House.
Trustee Safeguarding Lead
Amy became a trustee of Cambridge House in 2020 and is a member of the Governance, Risk and Inclusion subcommittee.
Amy is a manager at the Bank of England. Prior to this, she worked at the Financial Conduct Authority and at a research unit in UK Parliament advising MPs on work and pensions issues.
She holds a MSc in Public Policy from University College London and a First-Class Politics Degree from the University of Nottingham.
Stephanie joined the Board in 2018. She is Head of Learning and Development at Macfarlanes. She is responsible for all training within the firm (legal and development skills) for lawyers (from future trainees at the pre-training contract stage through to partners) and for non-legal staff.
She has a leading role in the firm’s development processes, including the formal mentoring scheme, and has a special interest in the issue of gender equality.
Stephanie is a qualified business coach.
Trustee – Digital Lead
After studying Electronic Engineering in Manchester, Ivan has had a career in technology, starting by writing code for big machines that read cheques (remember those!) in his early years, to leading Digital, Cyber, IT, and Data teams.
For most of his early career, Ivan worked in financial initiations, then, after a stint as a technology consultant at Deloitte, he decided to take a different direction and moved to The V&A, bringing him into the not-for-profit world. For the last seven years, Ivan has been at Marie Curie, leading the Technology department.
While tinkering with technology is fun, Ivan enjoys using it to make impactful improvements and nurturing and working with great teams.
Patrick is Professor of Public Policy at Queen Mary, University of London and Director of the Mile End Institute; a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College, Oxford; an Associate Member of Nuffield College; a member of the Scientific Council of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies; and a board member of the Campaign for Social Science.
Formerly a Research Fellow in the Department of Politics at the University of Manchester, and Gwilym Gibbon Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, Patrick has held several senior posts in British central government between 2000 and 2010, and was formally Head of Policy Planning in 10 Downing Street.
Patrick was a Local Councillor in the London Borough of Southwark from 2010 to 2014.
Raja S. Hussain
Raja has held several leadership roles in the financial services industry across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific, working in client-facing roles as well as risk, product development, and technology. Most recently he has been managing change projects with responsibility for delivery of regulatory initiatives.
An analytical thinker and strategic planner with extensive experience of business development and change management, Raja is a strong interpersonal communicator and negotiator with experience in managing relationships with senior stakeholders.
As a devoted husband and father of three, Raja enjoys spending his spare time reading, traveling, and engaging in general outdoor pursuits.
A South Londoner born and bred, Shadi has spent her working life in public service and political advice. She is particularly interested in places and the influence they have on the lives of the people in them, and vice versa.
Shadi is currently Head of Cabinet Office at the London Borough of Ealing and has previously served as programme lead for place-based impact investing at the Impact Investing Institute. She also held the position of Senior Adviser on housing in the Mayor of London’s office and worked as a Parliamentary Assistant to a Labour MP.
An avid reader and enthusiastic but novice squash player, Shadi, in true millennial fashion, is also a fan of craft beer (but not avocado).
Suzanne is the Director of Engagement at The Policy Institute King’s College London, where her role involves trialling, developing, and embedding approaches for meaningfully involving the public in both identifying public policy problems and solving them. She focuses specifically on participatory, creative, and deliberative methods as a way of meaningfully engaging with people and understanding their lived experience.
Suzanne’s work spans a wide range of policy areas and contemporary issues, including political polarisation, distrust, generational inequity, income inequality and the cost-of-living crisis.
Tara is the Finance Director at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). She holds an honours degree in Business and is a CIMA Fellow.
With experience across a diverse range of industries, from Pharma to Marine Classification, Tara joined the FRC from The London Metal Exchange. She has played a key role in various projects, including outsourcing, systems upgrades (both financial and non-financial), and organisational acquisitions.
Committed to diversity and equality, Tara, when not working or socialising, enjoys walking her dog in the beautiful English countryside.
Felix is the Director of Finance and Resources at the Youth Futures Foundation.
He has worked in a variety of roles in the further education sector including over 20 years’ experience in financial management, planning, audit and wider corporate services. Felix has been involved in new business start-ups in the education and commercial sectors.
He is passionate about lifelong learning.
Meet the President & Patrons
HRH Duke of Gloucester
His Royal Highness is interested in promoting social welfare and community and youth development.
As a qualified architect, His Royal Highness takes a keen interest in how we use our building to generate social change and deliver invaluable services to both our vulnerable communities and the local voluntary sector. He opened our redeveloped and expanded building in 2012.
“Cambridge House is a splendid Georgian terrace which has provided space for many different volunteer organisations to play many different roles which benefit the community in Southwark. I have much enjoyed watching it adapt over the years to the many needs and I hope it will continue to do so.”
Born in 1944, The Duke of Gloucester is a grandson of George V and a first cousin to The Queen. He attended Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he read Architecture.
David trained and qualified as a solicitor at City law firm Macfarlanes, where he specialised in corporate law. He was the partner responsible for training and knowledge management across the firm until he retired in 2013. As a corporate lawyer David brings to Cambridge House experience of advising businesses at critical stages in their development, an understanding of the critical role of the board of directors and experience in chairing meetings effectively. David also sits on the Parish Council of his local church, which is within the diocese of Southwark, where amongst other things, he keeps a close eye on the church’s finances. David was appointed as our chair of trustees in November 2009 and served until December 2015, before handing over to Julie Myers.
David was appointed to the position of Interim Chair in 2018 when Julie stepped down in December 2017. David served as Vice Chair from 2019 to January 2023 when he retired as a trustee.
Rowan Williams was born in Swansea in 1950. He was educated at Dynevor Secondary School, then at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he studied Theology. After research in Oxford, he spent two years at Mirfield before returning to Cambridge, where he spent nine years in academic and social work. In 1984 he was elected a Fellow and Dean of Clare College at the University of Cambridge. During his time at Clare he was arrested and fined for singing psalms as part of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament protest at Lakenheath air-base.
Dr William’s commitment to social justice has been a constant of his career, engaging in issues as wide-ranging as inequality, the environment, and corporate social responsibility. In his role as Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Williams was known as a peacemaker and advocate of social justice who used his time in office to make an impact across the world. His visit to Zimbabwe in 2011 was widely commended after he openly criticised the human rights abuses of President Robert Mugabe’s regime. He has also been praised for his ability to engage publicly on complex matters of religion, society and morality.
Dr Williams is currently the Master of Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, a position he took up on 1st January 2013.
Cambridge House News
We are currently recruiting for 4 positions on our Youth Empowerment Team. Deadline for applications now passed.
Read new Safer Renting report: second, updated annual count of illegal eviction and harassment cases in England and Wales.
Join the Camberwell Incredibles for their Forest Tea Party from 17.00 on Monday 18 December at Trinity College Centre.