We are registered with England & Wales Charity Commission: number 1174070.
Gulwali Passarlay - Advocacy
I was forced to leave Afghanistan as a 12 year old boy and, I arrived in the UK in 2007, after a harrowing year-long journey. The Lightless Sky details the struggle, danger and resilience of that journey.
I now have a Politics degree from The University of Manchester and a MPA at Coventry University. I've become a well-respected public speaker and a tireless political campaigner for refugee rights, social justice and education. He regularly gives talks at schools, universities and conferences to encourage compassion and understanding for refugees.
It is critical that charities appoint people with lived experience as refugees and asylum seekers into positions of influence. I will be giving Refugee Support Europe a strong campaigning voice and guiding how they support refugees around the world.
Eve Linieres - Events
With a 25 year history in executive search I have built and run globally recognised talent management organisations. My entire career has been people focussed negotiating at the highest level and building lasting relationships with leaders of the world’s leading tech companies including Apple. Although driven to run profitable businesses I am a people person and one who understands how to build cultures in businesses and careers alike.
My reasons for becoming a trustee are again people focussed. Watching news on the human flow from warring countries into refugee camps disturbed me utterly and in November 2017 I had the opportunity to do something. Refugee Support's ethos of providing aid with dignity was compelling and after an efficient and slick process I found myself in one of the camps in Greece where they operate, Filippiada. I went with my daughter to work in the camp and experienced the respect, passion and commitment that are the core values of Refugee Support. I returned to Katsikas in November 2018 where again I could see the real difference that Refugee Support makes to these brave but traumatised residents who truly appreciate their work whether it be in the form of a warm welcome, a weekly food shop including beautiful fruit and vegetables locally produced or in the provision of much needed clothes.
I am entrepreneurial and creative and I hope to use these skills in my role as a trustee to fundraise within the corporate market and also to raise awareness.
Bethan Edwards - Volunteer Champion
I don’t think I’m alone in saying that the image of Alan Kurdi's body washed up on a Turkish beach back in 2015 spurred me into action. At the time, my sons were of a similar age to the young Syrian boy and I couldn't just sit and watch.
I became involved with a local group of volunteers in north Wales called Pobl i Bobl. We sent clothes donations to refugee camps around the world and one element of the work which I thoroughly enjoyed was helping resettled Syrian families to integrate into our local communities.
Through Pobl i Bobl, I went to listen to John Sloan talking about Refugee Support Europe. I was instantly drawn to the dignified support offered to refugees in what are often very hostile environments - ‘Aid with Dignity’ - three simple words with far reaching consequences. I volunteered at the Dignity Centre in Cyprus in 2019 and since then I've been interviewing prospective volunteers. As someone who loves to meet interesting people from all over the world, this gives me great pleasure.
Volunteers are the heart and soul of our work and in my role as trustee I look forward to strengthening our unique community of dedicated, kind-hearted people and attracting and welcoming many more in the future.
Emilia Ransom - Campaigns
I spent my early childhood near the border of Mexico in a community deeply involved and affected by the Vietnam war. By my 10th birthday I learned that equality existed on the battlefield but not at home. We became the children of protests, agitating for finding ways to do “it” differently.
I first heard about Refugee Support from a friend in Brighton who had been working in Calais providing aid to refugees in what used to be called the “Jungle”. I liked the simplicity of message, to provide Aid with Dignity, and over the years have seen it make a real difference to peoples lives, giving them respect and a feeling of normalcy in a very unpredictable world.
I have worked on the ground in conflict areas, done feasibility studies for primary health care in communities coming out of decades of war and even had a radio programme which translated clandestine broadcasts from areas that newly arrived residents came from, providing much needed news of “home”. I sought ways to introduce development study into the national curriculum, getting children to work with children in other countries to better understand the reasons behind conflict and why people have to sometimes leave their homes and seek refuge.
Amanda Solomon - US relations
My childhood was spent in a small farm town in rural Idaho - a location that would have been very homogenous were it not for the refugee resettlement agency in my area. An internship there in high school provided me my first exposure to refugee individuals as well as the Arabic language, and set me on a path that I've found incredibly urgent and fulfilling ever since.
I graduated from Brigham Young University in Utah, USA with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies/Arabic and Women's Studies. As part of my study, I prioritized international experience, most recently studying Mandarin in China.
In the summer of 2017 I volunteered with Refugee Support in Filippiada, Greece, and was impressed by the organization's "aid with dignity" model that allowed refugee individuals and families some much-needed autonomy. I currently live in San Francisco, working as a Strategy Analyst, and have experience in volunteer coordination and communications. I also have varied experience working with refugees that spans two states and four countries, and am thrilled to be able to contribute my time and talents as a trustee for Refugee Support.
Alan Strang - Chair
Spanning a period of over 30 years I have, together with my wife Katherine, established and built a number of global fashion brands and businesses across numerous international markets. In addition we founded The Brand Forum Ltd, consulting and creating brand concepts for many of Europe's top retail fashion groups.
I once may have been referred to as a serial entrepreneur, or perhaps a crazy obsessive endurance athlete, but now proud to be more recognized as a passionately committed humanitarian.
In my role as Chair of the Trustees, I hope to be able to drive the organisation forward and to expand on our pledge to deliver our unique form of "Aid with Dignity" whenever and wherever it is needed.