Our Trustees

Emma Harrison, Chair of trustees

Emma Harrison is the former Chief Executive of IMIX, a not-for-profit communications agency which seeks to shift public attitudes on migration to create an open and welcoming Britain for people who make the UK their home. Emma is passionate about the role of strategic communications in changing attitudes; engaging the public with campaigns and building movements for change. Emma has held senior roles in charities across a range of issues including international development, the disability sector and the consumer movement. As well as a strong background in multi-channel communications, Emma has significant experience of policy development and advocating for change which started during her time working at the European Parliament.

Andrew White, Treasurer

A retired chartered accountant, Andrew has volunteered as treasurer for three charities providing support to people seeking sanctuary and refugees.

Carmen Chapell Elkin

Carmen Chapell Elkin has experience in the private and charity sectors, most recently working as a Programme Manager for Breaking Barriers, a refugee employment charity. She brings direct experience of working with refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK and the challenges they face. Carmen has managed successful teams and designed refugee-led interventions leading to employment outcomes.

Diana Flores Gallardo

Diana Flores Gallardo is based in Leeds. She is an expert by experience in the UK asylum system. She’s currently a trustee at Manuel Bravo, a local asylum charity. She is a Housing Officer for Abigail Housing and Senior Project Manager for Yorkshire and Humberside Maternity Stream of the City of Sanctuary. She is a law graduate with expertise in immigration and has vast experience as an activist in the UK and abroad for women and migrants’ rights. She knows Asylum Matters’ local and campaigning work well, particularly Lift the Ban.

Fatma Elaraby

Fatma Elaraby has recently moved to Glasgow, where she actively campaigns on Lift the Ban with a local Amnesty group. She recently became employed by the Maryhill Integration Network as an Administration Officer. She has also worked as one of the advisor panel for Just Right Scotland. She has a Preliminary Masters degree in Political Science and her background is in administration and education. Prior to receiving status she was based in Newcastle, where she worked very closely with Asylum Matters in local and regional campaigning in the North East.

Jaqui Cotton

As a member of the Network for Social Change, Jaqui was involved in setting up Regional Asylum Activism (RAA).  She joined the Advisory Group for RAA, and supported its transition to Asylum Matters.  Jaqui is a social worker by profession and has been employed in both the voluntary sector (working with people with learning difficulties, care leavers and homeless young people) and the NHS (initially with a community drug team, then at a project for users of crack cocaine).  Following a break to have twins, since 2010 Jaqui has worked in various volunteering roles in refugee projects including doing casework and supporting campaigning groups.  She co-coordinates Growing Together Levenshulme, an allotment project for asylum seekers and refugees and chairs their Board of Trustees.  She is also a Trustee of 42nd Street, a mental health charity for young people.

Peter Fell

Peter is a very experienced Non Executive Director having held leadership positions in a number of local, regional, national and international bodies. He has been Vice Chair of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), Vice Chair of the Geneva based Education Relief Foundation, Chair of Finance of the Manchester College, and Chair of the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester. He has also been a board member of HOME, Contact Theatre and the RSA Academies.

Peter has a deep understanding of community cohesion, race, refugee and asylum seeker issues. He is the chair of the Manchester based Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation and an outgoing trustee of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust. He is also the current chair of the Liverpool based Family Refugee Support Project which provides trauma therapy to refugees and asylum seekers. Peter is the Deputy Chair of the Liverpool based Pain Relief Foundation, a UK medical charity.

Pinar Aksu

Pinar Aksu is a theatre-maker, researcher and the Human Rights and Advocacy Co-ordinator at the Maryhill Integration Network in Glasgow. Within her role, Pinar convenes the peer support and campaign group MIN Voices, coordinates projects supporting people seeking asylum, refugee rights, promoting integration and human rights. Pinar has worked closely with the Asylum Matters team over several years, particularly on the Lift the Ban campaign. She was nominated for Campaigner of the Year at the Sheila McKechnie National Campaigner Awards; and is currently in final year of PhD at the University of Glasgow, her research explores ‘Art and Law in Migration- using art practices for social change and access to justice’.

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