Lucien Lawrence


Lucien Lawrence has worked in the homeless sector for 12 years. 

Starting out as the Rough Sleeping Coordinator in Brent, he presided over an unprecedented increase in rough sleeping in the borough, in part but not exclusively due to the 2015 European Refugee crisis, in which refugees from multiple conflict regions ended up sleeping rough following the end of their temporary Home Office stays. As a result, he established and became manager of a homeless hostel, which stayed open for 5 years and accommodated over 400 people. 

In 2019, in response to the endless problems young people encountered with gaining stable long term accommodation, he set up Boost Up, which was funded from multiple sources including the GLA’s Rough Sleeping Innovation Fund, Homeless Link and Crisis.

He currently works for Housing Justice, the national Charity for the Homeless Winter Night Sector network, providing advice, support and funding to the network.

He has travelled extensively to understand the best responses to support vulnerable people, having visited projects from New York to Lebanon. 

Andrew Boakes


Andrew has a broad range of experience having worked in a variety of roles over the last 30 years both in the public, private and charitable sector.

During his career he has held a number of leadership roles within business including business start-ups and is experienced in operational, sales and project management. 

Andrew is a diligent volunteer and advocate with experience of volunteering within the homelessness sector with Crisis and The Passage Home for Good Community Integration Scheme.

He has also worked within the sector at a North London Homeless Shelter supporting clients and an Independent Lifestyles Project.

He continues to work within the private sector running his own business. He is perseverant when faced with barriers and enjoys a challenge.

Safiya Rehman


Safiya has a degree in Psychology, and with an interest in mental health, she has a keen willingness to seek and understand individuals and advocate.

Through her engagement in working with vulnerable people, she is driven to inspire and help create opportunities for the homeless.

She has worked with vulnerable adults for over four years including work with a leading charity. She has been a supporter of Boost Up since it’s launch in 2019.

Binal Varsani


Binal’s passion for supporting young homeless people started in 2018 when she started working in a hostel supporting homeless people into suitable accommodation. She now works within the welfare sector to assist those on Universal Credit into employment.
Her drive to work with young homeless people came from when it became apparent to her that there were limited options towards breaking the cycle of youth homelessness, and she felt more could be done.
She has been part of the delivery of Boost Up’s preliminary project which produced great success, which fuelled her belief that Boost Up may be the only plausible solution.