Refugee Support was founded in 2016 in response to governmental failure across Europe to protect and support people who had fled violent conflict—a failure which continues to this day.
Why We Exist
Refugee Support was founded in 2016 in response to governmental failure across Europe to protect and support people who had fled violent conflict—a failure which continues to this day. Outside of Europe, the situation is often worse.
Refugees regularly end up in terrible accommodation, barely able to make ends meet. We provide practical help and let refugees know they are welcome and that we care about them. Through our pioneering Dignity Centre model, we give people choices and offer a sense of normality.
Who We Are: The Management Team
Rachel Ellis, Chief Executive
Taking over from co-founder Paul, Rachel has worked in several European countries, both in managerial positions and on the ground in refugee camps. More recently, she has worked for a UK charity supporting Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children, facilitated the restructure of a Greek NGO and undertaken consultancy for a German peace organisation. Rachel has volunteered with us, managed our Twitter account and worked as our Operations Manager. A human rights and conflict prevention postgraduate, she is pursuing a PhD in Migration Studies, researching the potential of solidarity spaces on the Mediterranean border.
Paula Tamarit, Operations Director
Paula has been working with Refugee Support since 2019, after volunteering with us several times. She has over 20 years of experience as a consultant and auditor in the private sector, developing and improving systems and procedures in large companies. Paula is passionate about real social work and loves to be out in the field, answering needs and working with people. She is currently studying a Master’s in Migration and Social Intervention with Migrants and Displaced People.
Frederica Cerqueira, Admin & Operations Manager
Frederica first volunteered with us in 2016 in Alexandreia and has had different volunteer roles within the organisation, from managing our Instagram to being part of the volunteer interviewing team. She has worked in operations as a manager, both in the private and social impact sector. She is one of those people who love managing processes, supporting teams and optimising procedures. Frederica is enthusiastic about local impact and understanding the best ways to serve communities.
Natalie Holmes, Fundraising & Comms Manager
Natalie is a writer, editor and communications specialist with degrees in Social Anthropology and Environment and Development. Passionate about social and economic justice and refugee rights, she loves to tell stories that help people understand how much their contribution matters. She is a regular Refugee Support volunteer, starting back in 2017 and going on to coordinate our on-the-ground operations at Katsikas refugee camp in northern Greece. These days she still likes to emerge from behind her laptop from time to time, to help paint Dignity Centres.