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.
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.
An expert by the experience of being the asylum system client. From an asylum-seeker to a refugee through the indefinite leave to remain and finally to the point of being a British citizen, Ayad has encountered numerous situations where the asylum system faced gaps and improvement needs. Ayad therefore works with peers and organisations to improve the asylum process and ensure a smooth transition for asylum-seekers.
Ayad started with Asylum Matters as an asylum-seeker to be supported, then as an advisory group member and later on as a trustee. He is also a trustee at Diverse City where art is performed by and delivered to both disabled and non-disabled communities. Additionally, Ayad is a trustee at Restoke where creative performances elevate the community and unearth its values. He is also a permanent volunteer at Burslem Jubilee which is a drop-in centre for asylum seekers and refugees. As the director of London Central Academy, he supports the community through projects coordinated with local universities and community organisations. Finally, Ayad still perceives himself as a peer to all asylum-seekers 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.
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.