London Ambassadors

We have a number of Ambassadors based in London.

Find out more about the role or register your interest in becoming an ambassador here.

Current Ambassadors:

  • Ben -  Architect, London
  • Yemi - Architect, London
  • Peter - Architect, London
  • Sophie - Architectural Assitant, London
  • Michelle - Architect, London
  • Nicola - Achitectural Assistant, London
  • Stephen - Associate Director at Macdonald & Company, London
  • Melissa - Architect, London
  • Angela - Architect, London
  • Luxsika - Architect, London
  • Marno - RIBA Appointments Consultant, London
  • Hannah - Architect, London
  • Nigel - Landscape Architect, London
  • Bianca - Part II Architectural Assistant, London
  • Alexia - Architect, London 

Ben Channon, Architect - London Ambassador

“Having had personal experience of the toll that architecture can take on your mental health, this is an issue I have been trying to raise awareness of for some time. I was delighted to discover the amazing work that ABS are doing in this area in collaboration with Anxiety UK, through their #AnxietyArch programme.

I was therefore honoured to be asked to become an ambassador for this great charity, which helps architects and their families at all stages of their careers. I am always inspired when I meet up with the ABS team, whose energy and enthusiasm seems endless! I am very excited to work with the team, share what they do, and to work side-by-side with them as part of the Architects’ Mental Wellbeing Forum.”

 

Yemi Aladerun, ABS Ambassador

Yemi Aladerun, Architect – London Ambassador

"One of my life mottos is to ‘Give without expectation!’ The team at ABS do exactly that, they are a group of dedicated people providing a vital lifeline for past and present members of the wider architectural profession and their families in times of need.

I am delighted to join the Society as one of its London Ambassadors and I look forward to raising greater awareness of this AWESOME charity and the great work it does throughout the UK.

I am an Architect and a newly elected member of RIBA National Council. I am dedicated to education, mentoring and helping others to achieve their dreams within the construction industry and beyond. I mentor for the Social mobility Foundation, The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and Fluid Diversity Mentoring Programme.

Remember: "It's not the load you carry, but how you carry it" ABS is here to help!"

Peter Watkins, ABS AmbassadorPeter Watkins, Architect – London Ambassador

“Being asked to be an Ambassador for the Architects Benevolent Society is a tremendous honour as I have witnessed at close hand the difference the Society makes in lives of the people and families they support. 

The Construction industry is often seen as a barometer for the economy and this can place the members of our profession in challenging circumstances, especially within the current turbulent climate.

Through Pollard Thomas Edwards’s work organising the Society’s annual Chicken Run in 2015 and 2016, I saw the dedication and commitment of its members of staff.  My role as an ABS Ambassador gives me the opportunity to spread the word of this tireless work to a greater audience to ensure that the help they give can continue for all future generations of architects and technicians.

I am also an Associate at Pollard Thomas Edwards, a member of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects and RIBA North London Steering Group. It is through these memberships that I hope to broaden the Society’s reach to the architectural student population and members of the profession.”

Sophie Gunertane, Architectural Assistant – London Ambassador

'I am extremely proud to represent the Architect’s Benevolent Society and help to raise awareness of mental illness and how the ABS can help those suffering within the Architectural community. 

I am currently a Part 1 Architectural Assistant at Sonnemann Toon Architects and will be starting my Part 2 Masters at the University of Westminster in September 2019.  I, like so many other students, experienced a period of ill mental health during my undergraduate degree and wasn’t aware of the options and support available to me. For this reason, I feel extremely passionate about encouraging an open conversation, within universities and the workplace, about mental health and raising awareness of the links that ABS have with Anxiety UK and the therapy that they can provide.

I have met so many wonderfully passionate people through volunteering for ABS and have been really inspired by the success of the Anxiety Arch campaign and their growth over the last year. Volunteering as an ambassador is really rewarding and I hope to continue to support the architectural profession through this role and my educational and professional networks.'

Michelle Tomlinson, Architect - London Ambassador

I first heard about Architects Benevolent Society whilst researching how architectural practices could improve the support offered to staff for mental health and wellbeing. I was amazed to hear about the support they had been providing over the last 170 years! The ABS mental health support network in partnership with Anxiety UK (through their #AnxietyArch programme) raised my awareness of this great charity, which helps architects and their families at all stages of their careers.

In Architectural practice and as an Architectural Design Tutor I have witnessed and experienced the toll architecture can have on the quality of life of those within in the industry. Sometimes the effects are evident in the early stages of their career; rooted from the culture in architecture schools and pressures students feel during their education. One of my motivations for becoming involved in ABS, has been due to the fantastic support they have given to fellow architects, and some of the students whom have struggled with mental health. ABS offer support for needs other than mental health, yet this is the topic that first caught my attention. 

I am thrilled to be an Ambassador for the Architects Benevolent Society and part of the collaborative effort to promote the wellbeing of Architects, Assistants, Technologists, Landscape Architects and their families, in times of need. Working within both architectural education and practice, I am among persons who are in a position to help and assist the next generation, whilst supporting those in practice. ABS can play a vital role in the development and wellbeing of the future generation within the industry.

I am excited to be working with the ABS team & collaborators, share what they do, and to work with them as part of the Architects’ Mental Wellbeing Forum.

Nicola Mead, Architectural Assistant - London Ambassador

"I reached out to ABS to become an ambassador shortly after graduating from university and gaining my BArch degree. I, and many of my friends studying architecture, found the course took a toll on our mental health and I want to help support students going through similar stresses whilst at architecture school and to change the negative aspects of the studio culture.

I aim to raise awareness of ABS and the great work that they do with helping students and those in the architectural profession with mental health problems. I hope my efforts to raise awareness and funds for ABS can help them to continue to support those in need." 

 

Stephen Drew, ABS AmbassadorStephen Drew, Associate Director at Macdonald & Company, RIBA Associate – London Ambassador

“Architects come from all walks of life and have overcome obstacles along the way. It is a very hard journey along the path of Architecture. I have been there as a student, 3am with no sleep and the printer is jammed. Stressful? Yes! Memories of trying to enter the job market as a Part I with no experience during recession. Worrying? Definitely. The thrill of your first job in industry? Amazing!

Working in architecture has its ups and downs.  We all love the industry for different reasons, however whether it is external events or problems within practice sometimes it can feel like the odds are against you and leave you feeling an anxious. Sometimes we all need a little help or would like the support of someone else who is familiar with the industry, even if it is just someone to talk to. That’s what I love about the ABS and how they help the industry.

My experience in Architectural practice and Architecture Recruitment has given me an insight to both internal and external factors which can influence the quality of life for an Architect, I am thrilled to be an Ambassador for the ABS and part of the collaborative effort to promote the wellbeing of Architects, Assistants, Technologists, Landscape Architects and their families, in times of need.”  

 

Melissa Kirkpatrick, Part II Architectural Assistant- London Ambassador

"The ABS kindly sponsored my masters dissertation in 2018, titled ‘Mental Wellbeing and the Architecture Student’. This piece of research was done in collaboration with the RIBA, and interrogated some of the key causes behind mental distress amongst architecture students, and suggested future steps towards addressing these problems.

I am now working as a Part II Architectural Assistant and am proud to be an ambassador for the ABS, alongside my involvement in the Architects' Mental Wellbeing Forum. The work all the inspiring people at the ABS are doing is invaluable for everyone in the profession. I strongly believe that we can make a difference, and I would like to empower people to challenge conventional viewpoints surrounding unhealthy cultures and consider their own mental health as a priority within their studies or careers, not as a secondary consideration. We have been seeing a lot of positive progress and this must continue if we are to become a healthy profession."

 

Angela Dapper, Architect - London Ambassador

The Architects Benevolent Society has been doing some amazing work, for many years, supporting the Architectural profession. I am really pleased to be one of their Ambassadors to help spread the word about the support and services they have available for Architects. Recent surveys have shown the impact of stress and long hours on both students and the profession, so it is great to see ABS raising awareness around health and wellbeing, as well as being able to support anyone struggling with mental health issues. Everyone is our profession should be aware of best practice and also of the options available to them when they need additional support.

 

 

Luxsika Lunla, Architect - London Ambassador

I am proud to be an ambassador for the Architects Benevolent Society as I believe that ABS are doing a fantastic job helping individuals as well their families. ABS helped me through a difficult time and I want others to know that support is out there by spreading the word. I am currently an Architect at Turner based in London.

A few years ago, I struggled with anxiety and depression shortly after my part 2. I kept this quiet from friends, family and colleagues for a long time as I was too ashamed and embarrassed to speak out. I didn’t want others to know that I wasn’t coping with the pressures at work. The turning point for me was when I finally got in touch with ABS. I hadn't heard of ABS before this and only wished someone at university or work had told me about them. The team at ABS referred me to Anxiety UK who were able to provide me with the help and support I needed.

Marno,  RIBA Appointments

Marno Herinckx, RIBA Appointments – London Ambassador

"I’m Marno and I head up the RIBA Appointments division. I’m over the moon to have the chance to represent and support the Society as an Ambassador.  In my line of work, assisting architects to find new jobs and practices alike, I have learnt of the difficulties architects face when they are unemployed or have been made redundant.

My team and I need to be more than just recruiters; we need to be able to assist our candidates and have a deeper understanding of how to help members of the profession experiencing troubling circumstances. I want to help.

I learned of the Society via the Samaritans in Mental Health Week and now have the chance to get involved and do my best to make even more of a difference." 

Hannah Fothergill, Architect – London Ambassador 

"It goes without saying that it is a HUGE honour to be an ambassador for Architect’s Benevolent Society. The amazing work they do to support members of the architectural profession and their families in times of difficulty is invaluable and a vital lifeline for many. I cannot wait to spread the word, help raise funds and give something back to the profession that has become my home.

I’ve been a qualified architect for 4 years now and live and work in London.  I’m a relative newbie to the incredible work that the ABS do…and wish I had known about them sooner!

I first met the ABS team when researching how my practice could improve the support offered to staff on mental health and wellbeing.  It was so inspiring to hear about the wonderful work ABS has done over the last 170 years and thrilling to hear about the new collaborations they are embarking on.  The launch of the ABS mental health support network in partnership with Anxiety UK is just the most exciting venture and I will be championing it all the way!"

Nigel Thorne, Landscape Architect – London Ambassador

"To be an ambassador for any organisation means one has to believe in what they wish to achieve. The ABS has one of the most laudable ambitions for those of us within the built-environment professions - to help those of us who might be struggling in some way. Having been part of this professional world for many years, I have been through numerous difficult times in which I wish I had been aware of a benevolent organisation such as this. Now is my chance to help my fellow colleagues by promoting the aims and ambitions of the ABS to everyone who may wish to know more. With many years experience of being a Samaritan, I understand that trials and tribulations come in all shapes and sizes; when these become too much for us we would all like to know there might be someone out there who might at least listen to us. By spreading the word on behalf of the ABS, I hope to be able to highlight the amazing things they have done to date and what they will be able to offer for the future."

 

Bianca Man, Part II Architectural Assistant - London Ambassador

An ambassador promoted the Society at a lecture, changing my university experience dramatically as I was finally able to address the mental strains which has been festering on my psyche. Mindfulness and emotional management are not topics that are addressed in architectural education, and this is where the Society can come into play. The Society possesses means to therapy provision with quick turnaround, allowing those in need to access professional help which otherwise would not have been immediately available through mainstream channels, nor would it have been affordable to students and young professionals.

I personally want to advocate for open dialogue in order to tackle the stigmas of discussing mental health; allowing the acceptance of it as a natural part of everyday life, especially with the high-energy dynamic of architectural careers taken into consideration. Similar to how I came across the Society, I would like to contribute to its accessibility through outreach events in order to give back to a cause which have tremendously helped me endure a difficult period of time during my studies. Having gone through the arduous process of architectural education, I look forward to sharing my experiences and reaching out to potential benefactors of the Society.

I am currently a Part II Architectural Assistant at Squire & Partners and previous contributor to the RIBA Part I Toolkit to provide tips and advice on dealing with the stresses of studying Architecture. I hope to continue giving back to the architectural community through my role as an Ambassador.

Alexia Michael -  London Ambassador
Times are changing and though our generation may be proven to be highly more productive than any other, this comes with a price to pay. It makes us prone to cognitive stress, sensory overload and emotional burn-out. Currently an architect at TateHindle and a Mentor at the University of Westminster providing guidance and advice to students within the industry, I joined ABS as an Ambassador to be the aide I would like to have when I needed it.

Mental health is not something that happens to other people, we all have mental health. It refers to the state of wellbeing and wellbeing is a currency for sharing; sharing trust, respect and communication. We have been trained within the architecture industry with the aim of creating places that would connect people. Yet, our academic and professional environments as architects are far detached from this. There is nothing more valuable in times of crisis than 'face-to-face' communication. I am excited to be part of this culture of change and collaboration and aspire to contribute to the work of ABS in all ways possible!

  • Feeling anxious or stressed?

    We offer practical support to people experiencing anxiety, stress or anxiety based depression through our partnership with Anxiety UK.
  • Corporate Supporter Scheme

    This is a great way for companies to give back and demonstrate a commitment to supporting the wellbeing of people in the profession.
  • Join our team of Ambassadors

    Our ambassadors are volunteers who help us to raise awareness of the work we do or fundraise for us in regions all over the country.