We speak to long-term member, Geoff Hall, who has donated to the House since October 2013.

Tell us about yourself

Now retired, I busy myself with practical projects which hark back to my days as an engineer (think “repair shop” but not as skilled) and physical activities such as kayaking. I live in Berkshire with my wife and have 3 grown up children and 1 grandson all of whom live in and around London. Being retired with the fitness and resources to enjoy it is a huge privilege and it would be rude not to make the most of it.

Most of my career was in Research and Development in the Telecoms industry culminating in being head of European R & D of a global equipment manufacturer. Immediately prior to retiring I worked as a consultant to the UK Government on networking technology and design. That role was based here in Central London and it was during that period that I became a member of the House.

Why did you choose to support The House of St Barnabas?

My good friends Kevin and Carole Baughan introduced me to the House, encouraging me to attend an introductory pre-launch evening in 2013. I was inspired by the Academy; I liked the concept of contributing to an organisation helping people who had got into difficulties to re-launch themselves. It had seemed to me that it was so easy to have the kind of misfortune from which it is hard to recover in London and that given the will, opportunity and professional guidance, most would be able to recover and thrive. I have always been impressed by the success rate of the graduates. The House as a club is friendly and interesting, a pleasant oasis in the heart of London and whilst I was initially attracted to the House by the charitable side, I quickly felt at home in the House.

What do you use the House for?

When I first joined the House I was working nearby and found the club an excellent place to sit and work away from the distractions of an open plan office. It was also a great place for discrete business meetings and, of course, social gatherings and meals. Between 2013 and 2015 I was in the House 2 or 3 times a week. After retiring I found the House a good place to meet friends since Central London is an easy destination to organise a rendezvous and such trips could be combined with a bit of shopping, or as was often the case, a trip to the theatre or a show. We always enjoyed meeting friends for a meal in the restaurant or chilling in the garden. Prior to Covid, I was visiting once or twice a month. Since the various lockdowns my visits to London have been much less frequent, but I’m looking forward to getting back to returning to the House more as things gradually return to whatever post Covid normal looks like. I am keen to see how the House evolves.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about?

One of the charms of the House to me has been the friendly and engaging staff; it has always been a pleasure to get to know the longer serving staff members whilst in the club. It certainly is a big part of the feeling “at home” in the House. Even though in these times my visits are less frequent it is still a lovely feeling to be greeted by a smiling familiar face.

Interested in supporting our mission of breaking the cycle of homelessness? Find out more about the ways you can donate – HERE.