Robin was 17 when he spent a year in Cologne living in a ‘Bodelswingh’ hostel in the German city of Cologne. Most of the other young men for whom this had become ‘home’ had recently escaped East Germany and were now cut-off from friends and family with little or no prospect of ever being re-united; the Wall had just been built. They were homeless as a a result of escaping from oppression. Unlike the other hostel-clients he was able to return to the UK and take up a place in Cambridge where he graduated in Engineering and later in Economics. This led to a series of jobs in management consultancy and even to a period running a brand-new company from its beginning, when all it had was a bare office and a telephone.
Before that, however, he had become involved with the foundation of the new hostel for the single homeless that was run by a group of churches, becoming its first Treasurer and later Chairman. During his time as Chair, the present building on Tallow Hill was erected on the site of the former Casual Ward. He founded his own international consultancy in the late 80’s which he ran until his retirement in 2009.
Robin is still involved with the church, and in particular the Tolladine Mission – an experiment which aims to offer a spiritual home for those who the conventional church finds difficult to engage. He has chaired the Worcester branch of Amnesty International, was on board of Worcester Royal Infirmary during the 90s when the present hospital was built, when he acquired a special interest in mental health – continuing to be a member of appeals panel for sectioned mental health patients until his 70th year.
He is on the board of Worcester Community Trust and finds the three charitable interests – the church, homelessness, and the work of Community Trust to inter-relate. When not otherwise occupied, he enjoys exploring the more remote islands and inlets of Europe by sail. He is married, with two children and grandchildren and has lived in Worcester since 1968.
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