Selwyn Image is a humanitarian and founder of the Emmaus in the UK community, aimed at providing shelter, meaningful work and a sense of community to homeless people. There are 24 self-supporting Emmaus communities throughout the UK, with Selwyn serving as Vice-President.
In 2008 Selwyn was awarded the honour of Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and in 2013 he was awarded the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts. He is also a Justice of the Peace.
"Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to read the citation for Selwyn Image CBE JP for the award of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa.
Selwyn Image is a humanitarian and founder of the Emmaus in the UK community.
Selwyn was born in Edgware, Middlesex, and as a young man he travelled widely. He spent his national service in the RAF, serving as a Chinese linguist in Hong Kong, and while studying languages at Cambridge University he worked in Paris in order to improve his conversational French.
It was here that he became involved with Emmaus, an international organisation that provides shelter, meaningful work and a sense of community to homeless people. Whilst volunteering for the charity, he worked alongside many members of Emmaus' Paris community. Selwyn returned home, graduated from Cambridge and spent the next 30 years as an international marketing executive with firms such as Unilever and McKinsey, living and working in numerous cities around the globe.
In 1989, after returning to Cambridge, Selwyn was struck by a visible increase in the number of homeless people living on the city's streets. Never one to sit idly by, and recalling memories of his student days in France, he sought the help of Emmaus' charismatic founder, Abbé Pierre. This led to the establishment of the UK's first Emmaus community in Cambridge in 1992. Since that day, Selwyn has worked tirelessly to expand the Emmaus movement, helping the organisation grow into the UK-wide social enterprise it is today.
As a commercially-savvy business professional, Selwyn is well aware of the challenges of funding such an enterprise. So, in line with the international Emmaus model, UK Emmaus communities generate their own income. Each member, or companion, is given a small personal allowance in addition to their own room, board and clothing. The organisation funds itself through a variety of activities, such as running cafés, house clearance businesses and clothing shops. Many Emmaus communities also 'upcycle' old furniture, re-painting and re-upholstering items before selling them on at a profit.
Today, thanks to Selwyn's dedication, there are 24 self-supporting Emmaus communities throughout the UK, with Selwyn serving as Vice-President, and another of our honorary award holders - Terry Waite CBE - serving as President. Selwyn's goal is to see an Emmaus community in every UK town and city.
His remarkable work has already been widely recognised. In 2008 Selwyn was awarded the honour of Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and in 2013 he was awarded the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts. He is also a Justice of the Peace.
Through his dedication to Emmaus, Selwyn has had a positive impact on the lives of many people throughout the UK. He will be an exceptional role model for our students. In recognition of his remarkable work over the past 25 years, we are delighted to welcome Selwyn Image to our Anglia Ruskin community.
Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present Selwyn Image CBE JP for the award of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa."