A retired chartered accountant, I have been treasurer of City of Sanctuary since 2015. I am also treasurer of a Southampton based charity that provides support to asylum seekers and refugees and a volunteer adviser for Citizens Advice.
“Since 2003 I have been privileged to work broadly with refugees and sanctuary seekers in Bristol – as a volunteer with Refugee Action, as an ally and admin worker with newly formed Refugee Women of Bristol, and as a member of Bristol Defend Asylum Seekers Campaign. I began as the first paid coordinator (one day / week) for Bristol Refugee Rights in 2006, and retired as manager of BRR in 2014, which over 8 years has grown into a thriving organization, including the fundamental welcome service, language tuition, advocacy support, and a volunteering programme, coordinated by 12 part-time staff. The philosophy of BRR is contained in its key message “Safety – Solidarity – Action for Change” i.e., first create a place of welcome and safety, then develop solidarity, and then work together in practical ways to bring about change.
“Bristol became a City of Sanctuary in 2011. In Bristol we have focused on networking with the wide range of excellent local organisations and enabling the voice of sanctuary seekers to be heard in the city. We have many active campaigners including both sanctuary seekers and allies.
“I am convinced that the City of Sanctuary movement can help create a climate and platform in and from which to produce real change in public attitudes and policy responses towards refugees. As a trustee, I should be glad to support its work and continue to enable the direct voice of sanctuary seekers to be heard through the national City of Sanctuary network.”
“Currently working for the Regional Refugee Forum as Project Manager working with Refugee Community Organisations across the North East Region. I am a member of all the 3 City of Sanctuary initiatives in Newcastle, Sunderland and Teesside. I have worked with Refugees and Sanctuary Seekers for about 10 years in the North East of England and participate in most of the key stakeholder platforms in that region. I would like to contribute my experience and knowledge for the continuous strengthening of the City of Sanctuary movement to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in the UK.”
Jeff has worked with sanctuary seekers since 2006 when he trained with Freedom from Torture. Subsequently he helped develop counselling facilities & training programmes within several communities of AS&Rs in Manchester, Salford, London, Hull and Birmingham. He is also a tutor at REACHE, an educational project based in Salford Royal Hospital, specifically designed for sanctuary seekers who were doctors in their homelands and now wish to continue their profession in the UK. REACHE supports its members to pass UK medical examinations & to orientate their practice to the philosophy & regulation of the NHS, thereby gaining registration with the General Medical Council.
Jeff’s background is in Occupational Medicine and Mental Health. Before retirement he worked as “company doctor” to a wide variety of industrial, commercial & service organisations in the public, private and third sectors. These ranged from universities, the nuclear industry, social work teams & police forces in England to preserved steam railways in North Wales and the Church of South India. For 9 years he was also a psychiatrist in rural Gwynedd, establishing a therapeutic community in an attractive location where survivors of trauma could experience intensive counselling in a relaxed & supportive seaside setting.
He has been a member of several movements that aimed to change societal & legislative stance in the UK, Europe and the Indian subcontinent. These include the better management of stress & mental health in the workplace, the support of victims of crime & their families in the community & the law courts, the care of families in underdeveloped regions whose loved ones suffer dementia and, also, the development of humane organisations & institutions through specialist training of their HR personnel and senior management.
Jeff works on various subgroups to the Board, including Human Resources & the Distribution of funds from the Guardian Christmas Appeal. He plays an active role in developing ideas for the Health Stream & is currently part of the small specialist team putting together the CoS’s Mental Health Resource Pack. He is closely involved with the activities & management of the Manchester group & offers support & guidance to new grassroots initiatives springing up throughout the North West. Jeff lives in North Wales &, from there, also hopes to offer a link between the work in Ireland & the UK board.
Jonathan is a campaigner and teacher supporting charities and not-for-profits to campaign for change around the world – see http://jonathanelliscampaigns.com .
He has built a strong and successful track record of leading successful advocacy campaigns over the past 20 years. He led one of OXFAM GB’s global campaigns, has led successful UK campaigns on refugee and housing issues, and until recently led policy, research and advocacy for the British Red Cross.
He has extensive experience of supporting the development of advocacy campaigns across the world including: the Balkans, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Senegal, Somaliland, South Africa, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand and across Europe. He was also a visiting lecturer at City University in London on the MA in political communication from 2012-2015
Father, husband and son living in Derby with a passion for people, Joseph is inspired and motivated by the urgent need to make a positive difference, find practical solutions to the problems we see around us.
Master of Arts in Hospitality graduate actively involved in peace building, civil rights , human rights and education campaign. Joseph enjoys the vibrance and brilliance found in diversity and inclusion. Currently reading Law.
Keen writer and constructive disruptor with an interest in business, fitness and eating.
In my working life I was a museum curator in Local Authority museums – essentially a mid-level manager – and later a university lecturer and researcher. I therefore have management skills and am an experienced speaker and communicator. I am also a writer and editor – I am writing my thirteenth book (popular social history) this year.
I believe very strongly in the need to change the asylum system and to support those people unfortunate enough to have to go through it. I feel City of Sanctuary is increasingly well placed to do this and delight in the opportunity to be part of this development.
Inderjit Bhogal (Patron)
Inderjit Singh Bhogal is a leading Theologian and Methodist Minister. He is founder and President of City of Sanctuary, a former President of the Methodist Conference and former Leader/CEO of the Corrymeela Community.
Inderjit was born into a Sikh family in Nairobi and came with them in 1964 to live in Dudley, West Midlands. He took his first Degree in Manchester and then his Masters Degree in Oxford. Inderjit lived in Wolverhampton for 8 years where he helped to establish one of the first interfaith groups in UK and was Co-ordinator of the Group between 1984–1987. Inderjit then lived in Sheffield where he worked in Multi-Faith inner city contexts. He established a Christian–Muslim Group out of which grew the Sheffield Interfaith Group. He has also organised Christian–Muslim Peace walks in the City. Inderjit helped to start Sheffield’s ‘Homeless and Rootless at Christmas’ (HARC) project. This has involved several hundred volunteers.
For more information about Inderjit and his work please visit his website.
Sabir Zazai (Honorary President)
Sabir, a former refugee from Afghanistan, is the Centre Director of Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (CRMC), an organisation that once helped Sabir through his own settlement in Coventry. He is also chair of the Coventry Ethnic Minorities Action Partnership (CEMAP) and he previously managed the Migration Impact Fund locally. He also led ‘Sorted’ a major improving financial confidence programme at Coventry Citizens Advice Bureau. Sabir’s knowledge of the difficulties faced by refugees is strengthened by the practical experiences of going through the asylum system and by researching the subject of refugee integration through his MA studies at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University.