OUR TEAM

WHITE ROCK NEIGHBOURHOOD VENTURES (WRNV) BOARD

Jess Steele OBE – Director (Jericho Road Solutions)

Jess is the Project Champion for the Observer Building development and a Director of White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures.

She has 25 years’ experience as a local community activist and entrepreneur in Deptford and Hastings. An active social entrepreneur, she has established community enterprises in publishing, heritage, tourism, childcare, financial management, neighbourhood development, workspace and, more recently, homes that are genuinely affordable in perpetuity. 

Jess’s company Jericho Road is a founder investor, alongside Meanwhile Space in Rock House and the Observer Building

Eddie Bridgeman – Director (Meanwhile Space)

In 2009 Eddie co-founded Meanwhile Space CIC with the ambition of creating a social enterprise that makes the most of otherwise underused space. The organisation now delivers projects with private and public landlords and actively seeks spaces for meanwhile use. 

Eddie’s experience is predominantly of places that have socio-economic and perception challenges, typically urban communities and seaside towns. He is interested in how the property industry can make create an innovative response to realise change. 

James Leathers– Director (Heart of Hastings )

James Leathers is the director of Heart of Hastings CLT, now a third shareholder in White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures and the long term community owner of Rock House and the Observer Building.

OBSERVER BUILDING PROJECT TEAM

Emily Berwyn – Project Champion (Meanwhile Space)

Emily is currently providing a strategic decision-making role on the project board of the ambitious Observer Building project in Hastings.

Emily is the co-founder and Director of the pioneering social enterprise and advisory organisation Meanwhile Space.

She is an experienced project designer and manager for programmes that utilise vacant space to support community initiatives, social and creative entrepreneurialism, and facilitate periods of positive change. She featured in the RBS Women in Social Enterprise 100, as a BPF Future Leaders winner for Innovation.

John Brunton – Building Development Manager

John is responsible for the joint project management of the Observer Building development, focussing on construction and renovation.

John is passionate about the possibilities of affordable housing that the Observer Building can offer local people in need after seeing the benefits that Rock House offers its residential tenants. 

Beth Woolf – Project Manager

Beth is jointly responsible for the Project Management of the Observer Building development, focussing on tenants and users of the building. She also supports Jericho Road with its many other projects and client work

Sarah Jackman – Project Support Officer

Sarah provides administrative, communications and events support to the Observer Building Development team. 

Her background is with not-for-profit and charitable organisations.  She gained over 10 years project experience with a community-based arts organisation in Wales where she established a creative business programme for young people, mentoring in arts administration and event management.

IF_DO, Architects for the project

IF_DO is a multi award-winning RIBA chartered architecture practice based in Bermondsey, London. Established in 2014 by Al Scott, Sarah Castle and Thomas Bryans, IF_DO is dedicated to creating projects with a positive impact on users, the environment and the surrounding community.

We adopt a collaborative and explorative approach that draws on our collective experiences and interests. Our work is developed following careful analysis of context, informing architecture that is sensitive and appropriate to its place. For every scale of project, IF_DO always seek to deliver broader social and environmental benefits through our design— working with our clients to make their projects do more. IF_DO has a track record of delivering award winning projects that bring measurable benefits to the communities that they are situated within. IF_DO has been recognised for its innovative and creative approach. It was named by Wallpaper* Magazine as one of the world’s top 20 emerging practices in their Architects’ Directory 2017, and was a finalist for the 2017 Architectural Review international Emerging Architecture Awards. The practice was named Breakthrough Talent of the Year at the 2018 FX Design Awards, and Young Architect of the Year by the American Institute of Architects UK in the same year. Our Dulwich Pavilion was awarded a 2018 Civic Trust Award, which recognises projects that offer a positive cultural, social, economic or environmental benefit to their local communities.