Image of the Liverpool Cathedral

David Carter

Oration

Presented by Councillor Gary Millar

Honourable Chancellor, I have pleasure in presenting David Carter for the award of an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.

David Carter is the Chief Executive of the Whitechapel Centre, the leading homeless and housing charity for the Liverpool region. Passionate about people and seeing the potential in everyone, David believes we can all make a difference and has been a life-long, active campaigner for housing equality and inclusion for all.

Born in Stafford, from an early age David knew he wanted to work with people in a health and social care capacity and this interest informed his education pathway, with him choosing to read Sociology at Birmingham University.

After the second year of this degree course David took a year out to work for Birmingham Social Services Social Crime Prevention Team, which was at the time a new initiative to address offending from a social perspective. Working with schools and youth organisations, David’s role involved cooperating with young people to increase understanding of crime, and in particular the causes and impact of crime on individuals and communities. It was during this work that David identified the links between homelessness and offending, and this cemented David’s decision to work in homelessness.

After graduating in 1991, David moved to London to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Housing and he worked briefly for the London Borough of Lewisham as a Housing Officer, before taking up the position of Supported Housing Officer with Hexagon Housing Association. Here David was employed to set and establish a new supported housing service for people living with HIV and AIDS. This role involved a new model of housing and support provision at a time when knowledge and understanding of HIV and AIDS was more limited and discrimination and exclusion was very high. Options for people living with HIV and AIDS were few, and this new, innovative model of provision included developing a joint model between support and medical interventions with access to daily support, and tailored to individual needs.

In August 1996 David moved to Liverpool to take up a position with The Whitechapel Centre, to work more exclusively with people who were homeless. David was recruited to set up a new Supported Housing Service, providing long-term support to maximise options for independent living and achieving inclusion. Since that time he has undertaken numerous different roles at the Centre, including working in Housing Advice, Housing Support, and Street Outreach, before moving into management. He became Chief Executive of the Whitechapel Centre in 2008 and as a key member of the Senior Management team he has been instrumental in shaping the strategic direction and development of the organization. 

He is renowned for being a strong leader and decision maker who can think strategically and who has effectively implemented new ideas, pushing out the boundaries of current service provision and bringing new services on line.

He has enabled the organisation to grow, so that today the organisation works with, and successfully meets the needs of, over 2,500 homeless people every year.

For his sustained, outstanding contribution to supporting the homeless and charity services in Liverpool, it is with great pleasure that I present David Carter for admission to our highest honour, as an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University.