Adrian is the son of a refugee and a recent arrival at the Refugee Council. He is working to implement our new services strategy. Prior to joining he was working with Asylum Welcome in Oxfordshire working with local authorities and community groups to set up the local response to Homes for Ukraine. His experience also includes charitable work internationally and locally with experience of humanitarian relief programmes in five countries, mental health programmes in the UK covering both the beginning and end of life and work on a range of startups and new initiatives focused on community based mental health.
Beatrice started out interning as an MP’s case-worker in Parliament before moving on to the Institute for Public Policy Research where she co-authored two pamphlets and ran the press office. Beatrice was then appointed as Special Adviser by Hilary Benn and served at DFID and DEFRA.
In 2011 Beatrice moved to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). During her eleven years at the FCA she had a range of policy and communications jobs including devising responses to the financial crisis and Brexit. After a one-year stint in the NHS, Beatrice joined the Refugee Council in June 2023.
Duncan is the Head of Resettlement at Refugee Council. His role currently involves overseeing the delivery of a range of integration programmes for resettled refugees including the Afghan Relocations Assistance Programme, Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme, UKRS and Homes for Ukraine scheme. These programmes are focused in Yorkshire and Humber, London and Hertfordshire. Based in Leeds, he is the regional strategic lead for Refugee Council and oversees a range of projects working to support refugees and people seeking asylum in communities across Yorkshire.
Duncan has previously worked in a variety of roles supporting refugees over the past 20 years which include being CEO at the Refugee Education Training Advice Service (RETAS)
Elaheh manages My View, a therapeutic service for separated children, as well as Youth Connect, Youth Development and Age Dispute projects in London, East of England, Yorkshire and Humberside and East Sussex.
She has extensive experience working with refugees and asylum seekers since the 1990s and managed a number of resettlement programs, including advice, casework, capacity-building, counselling and ESOL.
She has worked for a number of charities and NGOs, namely Refugee Action, Young Roots, UNHCR, UNDP and Afghans in the Middle East.
Elaheh is an expert on issues around forced migration, causes of exile and women who experienced gender-based violence.
Helen’s role as Head of Asylum involves overseeing the delivery of a range of services for adults seeking asylum. These include therapeutic services for adults in London and the East of England and projects in Yorkshire and Humberside including BRAP, as well as projects working with people accommodated in hotels.
Helen has worked in operations and policy roles in the refugee sector for thirty years, including at Refugee Action, UNHCR, JCWI and Refugee Women’s Association. She has conducted research into women in the asylum system, trafficking in the asylum system and extra-territorial border control.
Jane joined Refugee Council in January 2023 from the British Red Cross where she was Head of Corporate Partnerships, and subsequently the Lead on a Ukraine Surge team. Having worked over the last 23 years both in permanent and interim roles, she has led teams and worked on standalone projects across many high value fundraising streams.
Her previous roles at charities include Care International UK, Freedom From Torture, Rainforest Foundation UK, Depaul UK, The Children’s Society, British Heart Foundation and Scope. Currently Jane is responsible for ongoing relationships across Trusts, Philanthropy and Companies at the Refugee Council.
Her hobbies include karaoke (home and away fixtures) and sea swimming in the shallow bits when it’s warm!
John joined the Refugee Council in April 2023. He has worked in technology across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, supporting and leading organisations through technology changes both large and small.
John’s background in building both teams and products to solve business problems—delivering right-value tech and implementing cloud services and automations that are enabled by staff self-service—is extensive. Having had the opportunity to work as a strategic partner with many of the top UK charities on campaigns, payments, data and compliance, John happily joins the Refugee Council at a time of exciting digital transformation.
Karen joined the Refugee Council in May 2021 as Head of HR, having worked in HR within the charity sector for over 12 years and previous to that in Retail and the Home Office. A key focus for Karen is encouraging and enabling our people to achieve their full potential to deliver our organisational strategy.
Gaining her Chartered CIPD membership, she has a keen interest in the psychology of people and during her career has led many people initiatives including culture change programmes, equality, diversity & inclusion, learning and development, wellbeing and employee engagement.
Mark has worked as a communications professional for more than thirty years. He is a former journalist in regional media and with the BBC and CNN, and has led communications teams in the charity, business and not-for-profit sectors.
He was a special adviser to two Cabinet ministers in a variety of government departments between 2004-2010, and spent two years working for Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.
Matt is the Head of IUSS (Independent Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker Children Service) at the Refugee Council. IUSS is a national service that provides impartial and independent information, advice, guidance and assistance to separated children to help them understand and navigate the asylum and looked after children’s system effectively.
Matt spent many years at the Children’s Society working in a variety of roles and locations specialising in CSE, missing children, young people’s participation and supporting young refugees. He moved on to become co-leader of Assist Sheffield, supporting destitute asylum seekers before becoming the Director of the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum (NNRF).
Órla joined the Refugee Council in November 2022 as Head of Finance. Órla is a qualified accountant, with previous experience working across various financial teams at Cancer Research UK and as an auditor at Ernst & Young. She has a wealth of experience with cost allocation models, analysing trends and performance, feeding findings into forecasts, modelling grants and fundraising, and long-term financial planning.
Órla is passionate about the value that finance can add to an organisation as a valued partner, and the insight that finance can provide to enable sound and progressive decision making.
Sarah joined Refugee Council in 2016, with almost a decade’s experience in the refugee and poverty sector from roles held at British Red Cross and Salvation Army. Sarah heads up the business development team at Refugee Council and leads on service design and programme modelling, statutory commissioner engagement and statutory fundraising.
Sarah joined as the Interim Head of Public Fundraising in March. She has built a career as a fundraiser and leader in the charity sector over the last 30 years, working at charities such as WaterAid, Marie Curie Cancer Care and most recently as the Director of Fundraising and Communication at Mental Health Foundation. She is a leadership coach and trainer, as well as a mentor with the Tony Elischer Foundation.
Yusuf joined Refugee Council in March 2023 as our new Head of Refugee Involvement. Yusuf is a lived experienced expert of the asylum system, a campaigner and researcher for migrant and refugee rights, specialising in coproduction and involvement with people with lived experience of the UK asylum and refugee protection system.
He previously led implementation and coordination of participation work with people with lived experience at Doctor of the World UK and British Red Cross, and founded Experts by Experience Employment Initiative. Yusuf’s key focus is expanding and improving the involvement of refugees in all aspects of the Refugee Council’s work by creating a source of expertise and collective learning to support staff with refugee involvement.