Chief Executive Officer of Aspire Paul Roberts will be awarded by High Sheriff of Oxfordshire Mrs Sally Scott at Oxford County Hall in March 2024.

Paul has been recognised for his achievements as CEO of Aspire since 2015, where he has been at the forefront of significant organisational growth to step up to help hundreds of people a year to rebuild their lives, his contribution to local communities, and his work leading Aspire through the navigation of significant challenges such as the coronavirus and cost of living crises.

In addition to his role at Aspire, Paul is also co-chair of Oxfordshire’s multi-agency Housing and Homelessness Group, co-founder of Oxford Homeless Movement, Director of Makespace Oxford and Director of Oxfordshire Social Entrepreneurship Partnership. Today, Paul is  leading an innovative new project to turn vacant land into modular build housing offering high quality temporary housing for individuals in extreme need.

Carol Sweetenham, Chair of Aspire's Trustee Board, said of Paul: "Paul has taken the charity from a small organisation with an uncertain future to one of the larger charities in Oxfordshire, helping hundreds of people a year to rebuild their lives and establish themselves in the community. His vision, his focus on
delivery, and his ability to build contacts and networks are truly impressive. He has worked unceasingly and tirelessly to transform the prospects of some of the most vulnerable people in Oxfordshire, and their testimonies speak volumes as to the difference he and Aspire have made."

Jessica Collins, Housing and Homelessness Prevention Services Lead, added: "I hear many comments on how Paul makes time for everyone and is as considered and rational as he is personable and genuine. That’s why we follow his lead into new areas. He did an incredible job leading us through the coronavirus pandemic, realising the gravity before it was widely broadcast, and gently but assuredly took swift and effective decisions to keep everyone safe. We even grew over that period with ‘Everyone In’ being the precursor of our expanded provision of accommodation. Paul brings clarity of purpose. He is always several steps ahead of emergent issues and opportunities which has placed Aspire well in both strengthening, and advancing the scope of our provisions, and collaborations."