Denise Keenan

Centre Champion & Founder of St. Augustine's Centre

Denise is the Founder of St. Augustine’s Centre, and now volunteers with us on Reception. She can help with anything you need!

    Rev. John Hellewell

    Chair of Trustees

      Mark Pattison


      Mark supports the work of the Centre and makes sure it is doing what it should be doing. He is also a volunteer and teaches English as well as running the podcast, English For Life in the UK.

        Simon Bottomley

        Trustee Treasurer

        Trustees have the ultimate responsibility for what happens at the Centre, ensuring it is solvent, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes. The Treasurer Trustee assists the Chair and Secretary in ensuring the smooth running of the centre along with the rest of the Board of Trustees.

          Andrew Jones


          Andrew has been a Trustee since December 2018 and is one of the team guiding and overseeing the running and development of all aspects of the Centre. As well as being a Trustee, he has volunteered in various roles at St. Augustine's, currently helping teach English and also playing in music sessions with asylum seekers and refugees. Andrew formerly managed a health based voluntary organisation and worked in social care with the NHS.

            Katie Clarke

            Katie has worked in the voluntary sector locally and nationally for over 25 years, and brings her experiences, skills and wide networks to the Centre's Board of Trustees.

            Katie established two charities working with families with disabled children and young people, and now runs social enterprises as well as working freelance to train parents and professionals.  She delivers workshops on co-production to ensure that people with lived experience are involved fully in service delivery.

            Katie loves walking and leads the St Augustine's Centre walking group. The Clarke family host refugees and volunteer in Greece and Calais.


              Iman received her master’s degree in Public Management from Potsdam University, Germany in 2010. She currently works as an adviser for GIZ-Yemen for the program “Peace Support in Yemen.” She has worked with GIZ since 2013 and her first assignment was as an adviser for transformation support programs and in charge of the human rights portfolio. Iman has experience working in governance as she was a governmental employee at the Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption and she was the senior governance and anti-corruption program officer for 5 years. She is passionate about her work in the governance and political arena and she currently conducts research in these fields. She enjoys working in team settings, and she finds it interested in international fellowships and programs due to the fact that they give her the chance to be integrated into many cultures.

                Staff Team

                Becky Hellewell

                Head of Support

                Becky coordinates the Welcome Programme, providing advice and ongoing practical and emotional support. As our Senior Caseworker she supports many of the people who come to the Centre seeking help, and also coordinates the volunteers during our Advice Drop-in's.

                  Carmen Marson

                  Deputy Nursery Manager

                  Carmen Marson is a qualified Early Years Professional who joined the St. Augustine's Centre in 2014, working as our Deputy Nursery Manager leading the Nursery Staff Team in providing high quality care for the children and their families of the local area.  She is committed to safeguarding and promoting the education and well-being of children at all times.  She works closely alongside parents and other professionals, forming positive relationships with the intention of promoting and reinforcing children’s independence and self-esteem.

                    Erica Wilkinson

                    Early Years Practitioner

                    Erica is a qualified Early Years Practitioner who joined St Augustine’s Nursery in September 2005. She works with parents and other professionals, helping to provide the best care for the children who attend the nursery. She has two children of her own.

                      Paula Mitchell

                      Paula began as cleaner at St Augustine’s in 2012. Paula is a very dedicated member of staff and ensures that the Community Building, Nursery and Support building are kept tidy, clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.

                        Sara Robinson

                        Centre Leader

                        Sara joins St Augustines after 30 years in the cultural sector. Sara has produced hundreds of events from tiny, bespoke happenings to huge spectacles involving 30,000+ people.  As a coach and facilitator, she has worked with many leaders and teams to achieve their organisational and personal goals. Sara is passionate about bringing diverse people together to share stories, skills and experiences and ensure we all get a chance to fulfil our lives as equal citizens of the world.

                        She has particular expertise in cultural engagement, strategy, fundraising, collaboration and people development. Previous clients include Manchester International Festival, the Bronte Society, Leeds 2023, Clore leadership Programme, Arts Council England amongst many others.

                          Kirstie Rowe

                          Finance Administrator

                            Nikki Clarke

                            Immigration Worker

                            Nikki has accreditation at the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) Level 1 Asylum & Protection and Level 2 Immigration. She delivers advice every through the Transitions Project, in partnership with Refugee Action, Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre (KCALC) and Solace.

                              Hafsah Sajid

                              Early Years Practitioner

                              Hafsah is a qualified NVQ level 3 Early Years Practitioner with a diploma in Childcare Education.

                              She has always had the passion from a very young age to work with children, which has finally come true after being on student placement in 2017-2018. She has started her career here at St. Augustine's Nursery, working with children aged 2-4, providing them with good quality learning opportunities that will help them reach their full potential, and also supporting the children and their families to ensure that their individual needs are met.

                              She is always willing to further her knowledge and development through training and networking with other professionals.

                                Phoebe Hendy

                                Communications and Destitution Coordinator

                                Phoebe manages our communications, including the website and social media. As destitution coordinator she works with individuals at risk of destitution to find long term solutions. She also represents St Augustine's Centre in the Calderdale Ending Destitution Group.

                                She started volunteering with St Augustine's in 2019 and is a keen member of the walking group. She has also volunteered with the Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network in Leeds, and in 2016 helped run a language summer school in Germany for teenage refugees.


                                  Laurence Larroche

                                  Support and Integration Caseworker

                                  Laurence provides advice and ongoing practical and emotional support for people seeking asylum outside of central Halifax, as well as fostering their integration through local partnerships.

                                  Additionally, she has oversight of Calderdale's Valley of Sanctuary and continues to re-vitalise, expand and grow the project.

                                  Laurence is also a professional translator and lexicographer who speaks French and Spanish.

                                    Jihen Zitouni

                                    VPRS Integration Worker

                                    Jihen Zitouni has been supporting  Syrian and Sudanese Vulnerable Persons under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) since July 2019, helping them to connect with their local community and access social/sporting/recreational and leisure activities and programmes to aid their integration into the local community. She helps establish and develop working relationships with local groups and other establishments within the local communities to aid integration.

                                      Su Halliday

                                      Volunteers Manager

                                      Su co-ordinates our English language programme, working with a team of around 30 volunteers to deliver online English teaching using Zoom and WhatsApp. Su has a background in education and has been a volunteer at St. Augustine’s for the past few years, teaching a beginners English class for women. In her spare time she loves spending time on her allotment and walking in the countryside.

                                        Zafar Iqbal


                                          Charlotte Butterick

                                          Activities Coordinator

                                            Adrian Bell

                                            Integration Coordinator

                                              Our History

                                              In 1968 St. Augustine’s Church began running a Pre school play group. They soon extended this to community lunches, ESOL classes and social activities in response to local need. The work grew over the years, and when Calderdale became a dispersal area for the asylum process in the early 2000s the outreach extended to people who needed help to settle into life in the UK.

                                              St. Augustine’s Centre became an independent charity in 2009, and provision continues to expand. We give a warm welcome and safe space to people seeking support and sanctuary; together we share food, stories and build relationships.

                                              We offer specialist advice on immigration and asylum support, and one to one support with welfare, housing, health and access to wider services. We provide hot meals, English language classes, training, cultural, social and wellbeing activities, trips and volunteering opportunities. We have a nursery, spaces for reflection and an integration service. As a core member of the Calderdale Valley of Sanctuary, we want to share stories and build awareness about human rights, advocating and campaigning locally and nationally.

                                              We have 12 staff, 140 volunteers and a community of 750 individuals and families from 57 different countries.

                                              Our Funders and Partners

                                              We are immensely grateful to everyone who funds our work, in particular individual donors and grant-giving organisations.

                                              This year our services and activities have been funded by:

                                              Community Foundation for Calderdale Logo
                                              Calderdale Council Logo
                                              Wilfred F Southall Trust Logo
                                              The Brelms Trust Logo
                                              Big Lottery Fund Logo

                                              with thanks also to:

                                              The Diocese of Leeds, Family and Social Welfare Council

                                              The Hilden Charitable Trust

                                              The Leigh Trust