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Goodbye Nawal

Last team meeting with Nawal.

This was Nawal’s last week as Website and Database Officer for City of Sanctuary and we would like to publicly thank Nawal and wish her well in her new post as Software Engineer with CapGemini.

Nawal has come a long way since she joined as as a volunteer 8 years ago,  when she was still seeking sanctuary. This makes her the longest serving person in the team. It was nearly 4 years  before she finally got leave to remain and was able to work with us in a paid capacity on a part time basis. Originally an infant teacher in her home country, Nawal has developed her technical  skills through sheer determination, a willingness to greet every new challenge with initiative and considerable help from google search. She quickly became invaluable to our work.

She developed a whole new website for the 2014 Sanctuary Summit which brought together 400 people from 100 organisations – an unprecedented collaboration for the sector. Nawal was willing to travel to all parts of the UK to help out at events and share her expertise with less techie people. She became a friend and essential colleague to all team members and much of the network.

Nawal – first public speech to an audience of 400

Nawal has helped with administration, led on website development, training for network groups, social media, the email systems and the newsletter. She had incredible patience with staff members as she helped them through the technical challenges of their work. No-one had a clue about databases,  when we decided we needed one, so Nawal developed her knowledge, skills and understanding working with Roza Solutions to configure,  manage and administer our database – now an essential tool in our reporting.

In her spare time, Nawal joined the Code Your Future course and spent her evenings and weekends developing her coding skills successfully graduating to the delight of her mentors.  Her first job application landed her the new job – clearly a gain for CapGemini and a loss to us.

First meeting presenting Theatre of Sanctuary Award “It was cool to be there with the City Mayor”.

It has been a joy for staff members to note her growth in skills and confidence and we are delighted with her success. Our goodbye staff meeting was a mix of tears and laughter as we shared memories and stories together. Nawal showed us the scrapbook of messages from across the network ( including from Inderjit Singh Bhogal – founder and patron of CoS)  which was put together as a parting gift.   Some of the words used to describe Nawal included calmness, joy, patience, funny, good humoured, a comforting presence, loves a challenge, full of initiative, a good friend. It has been a long journey from seeking sanctuary to this point and Nawal told us that this, her first job in her adopted country. has been “brilliant”, she has felt “at home” with us and this new phase in her life is a step she never imagined before.

Nawal’s scrapbook of memories, stories and messages of good wishes.

Whilst we will miss Nawal enormously, we are delighted for Nawal’s success and wish her well, as do all her friends and colleagues across the network and all those who have had the privilege of her support and guidance.

Thank you Nawal – go well and stay in touch.

We are now recruiting a new Website & Database Officer – a vital team role and we look forward to welcoming a new member of the team. Please share the job advert. Deadline for applications is 9am on May 4th.