One Westminster exists to serve the voluntary sector and volunteering in the City of Westminster. During this national crisis, we are supporting our local organisations with accurate information & advice. We’ve also opened a Wellbeing Chat Service and are helping the council with the volunteering effort across the city.
We support more than 200 Westminster voluntary and community organisations to deliver their services by providing funding, governance, partnership and other relevant information and advice. Through our networks, we bring the sector's organisations together to ensure their concerns are raised and their voice is heard. We also run the Westminster Volunteer Centre linking volunteers to local organisations and providing a DBS service. Our Time & Talents programme continues to help local businesses support our sector.
From time to time we deliver direct services alone or work in partnership with other providers.
We operate out of our centrally located premises in Chapel Street and run the Pimlico Resource Centre that is used by groups in the south of the borough.
Although all our services are currently operating remotely, our offering includes:-
One Westminster has a strong Board of Trustees made up of voluntary sector representatives, private individuals and business representatives. Our Board is responsible for ensuring that we meet all our statutory obligations as a registered charity and company.
Our board members currently are:
MATTHEW AYRES (CHAIR)
Matthew read business management at the University of York after a gap year working for the John Lewis Partnership (JLP) setting up a Shared Service Division. On graduating from university in 2014, he went back to JLP to work for the Group IT Director on a large IT transformation project, before being poached in 2015 by a technology start up called Yocuda, which provides software and data solutions for retailers such as Argos, Debenhams & Halfords.
In his spare time, Matthew works for his family business, The Bennie Group, heading up the IT side of things for the eight business divisions. He also enjoys running and photography, and is an avid supporter of Northampton Saints Rugby team.
Sue has more than 30 years of commercial, operational and retail experience, having worked for large corporate organisations such as Vodafone, Argos and Shell International Petroleum Company, where she is currently responsible for the brand, retail operating models, capability and enablement across the globe
In each of these roles Sue has taken a personal interest and lead role in corporate social responsibilities, which have included significant fundraising for worthy causes such as Cancer Research, The National Autistic Society, Teenage Cancer Trust, Anthony Nolan Trust, Children in Need, Comic Relief and Jeans for Genes.
Edmond is a community leader and JP who is dedicated to many charitable and volunteering activities. He is the current Chair of the Chinese Information and Advice Centre (CIAC), a registered UK charity providing advocacy services and social enterprise for the Chinese community.
Edmond is also active in local politics and is a former elected councillor for the London Borough of Ealing. Recently he was Chair of the Ealing North Conservative Association and has held various other officer positions previously.
As well as being a trustee of One Westminster, he is currently a trustee of the Children’s Hope Foundation, the North London Chinese Association (NLCA), and the Chinese in Britain Forum (CiBF). He is a director of London’s Hua Yu Chinese radio station, sits as a magistrate at HMCS Ealing Magistrates’ Court and also serves on the board of Her Majesty’s Prison at Wormwood Scrubs.
Phayza has 20 years’ experience of working in community development in the UK and internationally. She is currently Head of Community Programmes and co-deputy CEO for Abbey Community Association & Centre, overseeing programmes to improve the health and wellbeing of people experiencing mental health conditions, rough sleeping/homelessness, low incomes or unemployment, tackling the health inequalities of ethnic minority communities and addressing the health impact of social isolation on vulnerable older people.
Previously, she worked with the Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) that supports women by providing advocacy, information and signposting. Before moving to the UK, Phayza worked with international organizations in Sudan including World Food Programme and Plan International as a researcher and Community Development Programmes Manager respectively.
Viola has more than 20 years of voluntary sector management experience. With a background in housing and community development, she has been responsible for establishing tenants’ organisations and promoting tenants’ participation in disadvantaged groups.
She has gained a great deal of experience in community cohesion through various roles, including managing a Time Bank at Carers Network and her current post as project co-ordinator at the West End Community Trust.
Viola is committed to promoting the benefits of life-long learning, through peer support programmes and ensuring that people have access to training opportunities. She believes everyone should be encouraged and supported to reach their full potential whatever their background.
MATTHEW HAZELL (TREASURER)
Following a degree in Classics at Jesus College, Cambridge, Matthew trained as an auditor in the City and then qualified as a chartered accountant. Since then he has worked for a number of well-known financial companies including Allianz and Legal and General. For the last ten years he has been Finance Manager at PIMCO Europe and is a Vice President of the company.
In his spare time he plays Elton John incessantly on the piano.
Hilary has had a varied career, working in the corporate sector for more than 10 years before moving into further education and then into the voluntary sector. She is currently Head of Families at Cardinal Hume Centre, a charity working with young people and families to overcome poverty and homelessness.
Previously she ran a small charity providing learning opportunities to people with ill health and disabilities. She has also worked as a research consultant for NIACE (now the Learning & Work Institute) and the Learning & Skills Development Agency.
She is deeply committed to the value that the voluntary and community sector brings to society and was Chair of the Westminster Community Network for three years (until January 2021).
Halaleh is the founder and Executive Director of the Middle Eastern Women & Society Organisation (MEWSo). She began the charity in 2010 after realising that huge numbers of displaced women in London need help in integrating with and navigating their way around the society of their new homeland.
It follows her own extraordinary story of fighting the Shah of Iran during the 1979 Revolution and fighting the Islamic extremists who subsequently took over. After moving to Iraq, she had to flee again 11 years later during the first Gulf War in 1992.
As an asylum seeker, she first moved to Sweden where she gained a degree in pedagogy (the science of teaching), qualified as a social worker, and began campaigning for the rights of women and children. In 2005 she moved to London and found her particular skills were needed here more than ever. She continues to campaign for the rights of women and for a more just society for everyone.
Eva read business management at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, adding in some language studies including English and Russian. After university, she joined American Express Travel in the Finance department in Stockholm. In her 20-year career with Amex she worked in Sweden, UK and US, in Finance and project roles.
She left Amex and joined Mastercard in 2018, working initially as the Finance Business partner for UK, Ireland, Nordic and Baltic divisions. Eva moved into Account Management in 2021, looking after several large UK bank customers.
Eva is a Six Sigma Master Black belt and enjoys data driven improvement projects. In her spare time, Eva likes to read and go to the theatre. She tries to go to Sweden at least a couple of times a year, to see family and friends.