Our People


Tim_Finch.jpg   Tim Finch

Tim is the founding director of Sponsor Refugees. He was an early advocate of introducing sponsorship when working with Citizens UK on the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016.  He is a former director of communications at the Refugee Council and head of migration research at the think tank, IPPR.  He set up the migration communications agency, IMiX and is the founding chair of the migration and arts charity, Counterpoints Arts. You can contact Tim here.

  Hannah Feldman 

Hannah is Project Manager for Sponsor Refugees. Hannah joined Citizens UK in September 2017, having completed her MA in Social Development at University of Sussex. Prior to this, Hannah was Community Fundraiser for Restore, a mental health and employment charity. She has worked in various roles for charities based in the UK and further afield, including Ban Mai Nai Soi refugee camp in Thailand, and refugee charity Young Roots in Croydon. Hannah first became involved in Sponsor Refugees as a volunteer, and is Co-Chair of Waltham Forest Community Sponsorship group. You can contact Hannah here
Bekele_Woyecha.jpg   Bekele Woyecha

Bekele is the Senior Project Manager for Sponsor Refugees. He has worked for Citizens UK since 2011, working mainly on Refugees Welcome and community sponsorship in recent years. Previously Bekele was a human rights activist, writer, community leader and volunteer for the British Red Cross. He also held senior managerial positions in government departments in his home country Ethiopia. Bekele was the human rights defender fellow of the University of Nottingham in 2009, where he studied International Human Rights Law. He also studied Nonviolent Conflict at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, USÁ and took part in the Global Change Agents Programme at Harvard Kennedy School in 2017. You can contact Bekele here.

Anna.jpg    Anna Roderick

Anna is project manager for ABIDE, which supports a Syrian family in east Devon through community sponsorship. She is a passionate advocate for the scheme, not least because she's witnessed the positive impact it's having on her own community. Anna is also a trustee of Refugee Support Devon. She has worked as a lawyer for nearly 20 years, specialising in advice and support to charities and the not-for-profit sector. She's engaged on a part-time basis by Sponsor Refugees to promote community sponsorship in the south-west. You can get in touch with Anna here

Olwen__portrait.png   Olwen Thomas 

Olwen has had many different roles in the agricultural sector. She recently has organised the Agri Academy Rural leadership programme which involved personal development, leadership training and increasing political awareness. She had led many groups to Brussels to meet political leaders in the European Parliament to enable the farmers to understand the policy making processes. She has recently been very involved with supporting refugees and asylum seekers. Olwen is a key member of Croeso Abergwaun (Fisghaurd, West Wales) one of the first groups to sponsor in the country. 

Advisory Group


Neil Jameson - Chair

Neil Jameson has been Executive Director of Citizens UK for the last 29 years. As such, he and his colleague organisers are now driving the UK’s largest and most diverse Community Organising body, with broad-based Citizens alliances in London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Birmingham, Tyne and Wear, Wales and Leeds.  Neil is first and foremost a Community Organiser – seeking out talented leaders and young organisers who have the courage and commitment to work with others democratically to strengthen civil society and pursue the common good.

Danny-Rich.jpg   Rabbi Danny Rich

Rabbi Danny Rich has been the Senior Rabbi & Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism since 2005 and was rabbi to Kingston Liberal Synagogue for nearly two decades. Rabbi Rich is a Justice of the Peace, and a hospital and prison chaplain. He is a President of the Council of Christians & Jews and a member of the Council of Imams and Rabbis. He was a vice chair of the National Refugee Welcome Board which pioneered the idea of community sponsorship of refugees in 2015.

Zrinka.jpg   Zrinka Bralo

Zrinka Bralo is CEO of Migrants Organise – the grass roots organising platform for migrants and refugees. Zrinka is a refugee from Sarajevo, where she was a journalist during the siege in the 1990s. She is a founder of Women on the Move Awards that celebrates achievement of migrant and refugee women and winner of the 2011 Voices of Courage Award. She served as a Commissioner on the Independent Asylum Commission, and was part of the team that successfully negotiated the end of immigration detention of children in 2010. She is a founding Chair of the National Refugee Welcome Board and on the Board of Directors of the Women's Refugee Commission in New York.

Nick_Coke.jpg   Major Nick Coke

Major Nick Coke is the co-leader of Raynes Park Community Church and Refugee Response Coordinator for The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom and Ireland. He, along with other civil society leaders, helped to co-design the Community Sponsorship of Refugees scheme with government and in February 2017 his church was the third group to receive a refugee family under the programme. He was commissioned as a Salvation Army officer in 2000 and has held appointments in Cardiff and London. He has been involved with Citizens UK and community organising for many years, firstly in Tower Hamlets and now in Merton.

Heaven-Crawley.jpg   Professor Heaven Crawley

Heaven Crawley is Professor of International Migration at Coventry University’s interdisciplinary Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations. She was previously head of asylum and immigration research at the UK Home Office and Associate Director of the think tank IPPR. She joined Coventry University from Swansea University where she was Director of the Centre for Migration Policy Research. Heaven has written and published extensively on a wide range of asylum and immigration issues and has served as a specialist advisor for a number of UK Parliamentary inquiries. She has served as a Trustee for Migrant Voice and the Welsh Refugee Council and is currently Patron of Asylum Justice and the Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile.

Hasanain_Jaffer.jpg   Hasanain Jaffer

Hasanain is director of Jaffer Group Ltd - a chain of optical practices in the West Midlands. He is also a trustee of the KSIMC (Clifton Road Mosque) in Birmingham - A large community with an active role in the city. He sits on the National Council of Citizens UK and works with their local chapter in Birmingham on a variety of issues - including support for refugees locally. The KSIMC of Birmingham are partners with the Methodist Church in the first Community Sponsorship application in the West Midlands. They are also in the process of submitting their own application.

Neil Murrray   Neil Murray

Neil Murray is a doctor based in Edinburgh. He trained in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine before becoming a general practitioner 15 years ago. He has worked in the fields of pain management and addictions medicine, and has experience working with local authorities on a variety of health care issues. He is a trustee of Volant Trust which is a funder of Sponsor Refugees.

Nabeel Al-Azami

Nabeel Al-Azami is Managing Partner at Murabbi Consulting. Having completed his Bachelor’s in Management and his Master’s in HRM from the University of Manchester, he went on to professionally qualify from the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD). His HR profession spanned areas such as talent management, performance, business partnering, leadership development, values and culture, conflict resolution, and employment law.

He has been engaged in multiple community and faith based organisations in London and Manchester for over 20 years. He is currently authoring a book on leadership, and serves as a Trustee for Citizens UK.


Charlotte Phillips

Charlotte Phillips leads Amnesty International’s advocacy on refugee rights. Her passion for working with refugees began in 2003 when she started volunteering with Student Action For Refugees (STAR), while studying for a Masters in Anthropology and Development at SOAS university. She has since worked for a number of local refugee organisations, including Detention Action and as a legal caseworker for Refugee and Migrant Justice, representing asylum seekers at their asylum appeals and bail hearings. Charlotte has worked at Amnesty International for eight years and has carried out field research for the organisation in numerous countries, most recently in the Middle East. In her spare time, Charlotte has co-founded the Welcome Committee, a community sponsorship group and is also training to become a yoga teacher and doula.

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