Kairos began 27 years ago with the vision and commitment of Father John Kitchen and Tony Walsh and one semi-derelict property. Today, Kairos Community Trust is a registered charity with 36 staff, more than 25 volunteers and some 200 residents and clients – a thriving community of men and women recovering from lives of addiction and homelessness in 29 houses across six London boroughs (Brent, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark and Wandsworth).
This steady and sustainable growth continues to be achieved through the dedication of our staff, volunteers and supporters. And through the support of everyone we work with daily: our clients and their families, and all the care managers, doctors, community psychiatric nurses, probation officers and social workers.
Illustration: The Queue by Robert Ewan from The Gift of Time: Kairos Community Trust Celebrating 25 Years 1991-2016.
Governance and our Trustees
Our governing body is a trust and Kairos is managed and monitored by the Trustees, who are independent volunteers from a wide range of professions in the community. They are: Paul Carter (chair), Serena Aboim, Duncan Aitkins, Gerald Barry, Giles Beale, Shawn McCarthy, Hanora Morrin, Dr Jasper Mordhorst, John O’Sullivan and Sarah Potter.
Admin & Finance
Linden Grove Abstinence-Support Hostel
Vincent Mahe (manager), Ian West (assistant manager), Estelle Carroll, Joe Crawley (part-time), Harold England, Sandra Ginnelly, Sean Higgins, Angela McCulloch, John Yelding.
Bethwin Road Residential Rehab
Lee Slater (manager), Dominic O’Gorman (deputy manager), Chris Farnell, Miriam Hicks, James Hopkins, Angela McCulloch, Simon Woods
Garden Day Programme
Tim Penrice (manager), Gillie Sliz (assistant manager), Will Pugh
Jessica Rood (manager), Airen Koopmans, David Yates
Supported Housing Move-On Team
Gillian Lyons (co-acting manager and women’s services), Matt Dear (co-acting manager and complex needs), Hester Bell, Louise Fitzgerald, Liz Frampton, Frank McDonald (criminal justice lead), Judy McLellan, Giam-Pierro Mozzi, Jason O’Reilly, Jaime Soto, Lee Vines
Big Lottery Funded Complex-Needs Support Worker
Alongside our staff, volunteers play an important role in the life and work of Kairos. Most are men and women who have gone through the Kairos rehab process themselves, are actively pursuing recovery through 12-Step fellowships, are one year or more abstinent and want to help Kairos.
Volunteers provide help with many vital jobs, such as night cover, accompanying residents to appointments, gardening, shopping, driving, cleaning, carpentry, office work and catering.
Support work training
After volunteering for a period of time, some people express an interest in training to become support workers. Kairos supports individuals in their studies for the Diploma in Health and Social Care (level 3), which is monitored by external examiners and supervised by Kairos management.
Kairos takes part in the professional training of new counsellors. We are able to offer a small number of placements to counselling students who are on diploma/degree courses and for whom a placement forms part of their accreditation requirement. Students are normally in therapy themselves and typically spend two days a week working with qualified Kairos staff across different services.
For more information about volunteering or applying for a student placement, contact Head Office.
The bee hives in the gardens of head office and some Move-on houses are part of our policy to promote good environmental practices across the organisation, including recycling at all houses, composters in all gardens, water butts to collect rainwater, and solar paneling in one house.
In 2010, honey produced by Kairos bees was declared the best honey produced in London in a blind tasting for the Evening Standard by beekeeper and BBC correspondent Martha Kearney. She scored it 5/5, saying, it had “a wonderful creamy flavour, almost like Scottish tablet/toffee, with subtle underlying scents of different flowers”.
The Kairos bees and their minders also merit a chapter in Bees in the City: The urban beekeeper’s handbook by Brian McCallum and Alison Benjamin.
And why are we called Kairos? Kairos is one of the Greek words for time and we understand it as the right time for change.