Trustees & Project Leader

Rev. John Hellewell

Chair of Trustees

    Jenny Lynn

    Vice Chair of Trustees

    Jenny has many years' experience in neighbourhood regeneration, and has been involved with the Centre since moving to Halifax in 1995. A Calderdale Councillor for Park Ward since 2012, she also chairs the Square Chapel Arts Centre Trust, and is a member of the Board of Himmat Youth Project. She is Vice Chair of Trustees at St. Augustine's, and her current focus is providing support to the staff team.

      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.

        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.

                Operations Team

                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!

                  David Potter

                  Care Taker

                  David is the caretaker for St Augustine’s Centre. He joined the centre in November 2012 and is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the both buildings i.e. the centre is opened for business when required.

                    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

                          Nia Jackson-Owens

                          Office Administrator

                          Nia currently oversees our Welcome Cafe, supports the Centre Leader with funding applications, and also oversees the Centre's communications. She joined the team after completing a Woman's Empowerment and Community Development internship in Pokhara, Nepal. She has a Master's in Philosophy and is passionate about social justice.

                            Support 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.

                              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.

                                Nat Hairsine

                                WiFi Project Coordinator

                                Nat currently coordinates our Summer Programme, made up of socially distanced events and activities which reflect our community's wide-ranging interests and needs. Nat previously coordinated our WiFi Project, helping centre users to overcome digital barriers to connectivity, education, and welfare. Prior to St Augustine's, he worked in accessibility and diversity within the arts. He is passionate about sociological research dedicated to migration, race and queerness.

                                  Phoebe Hendy

                                  Casework Administrator

                                  Phoebe supports Becky with casework and administration. She started volunteering with St Augustine's in 2019 and is a keen member of the walking group. She also manages the online presence of Valley of Sanctuary. 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

                                        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.

                                          Nursery Team

                                          Karen Hammond

                                          Nursery Manager

                                          Karen is our Nursery Manager. She has a BA in Early Years with Early Years Professional Status and a Level 5 in Leadership and Management. She is also SENCO and Child Protection Officer for the Nursery. She has worked in the St Augustine's Nursery since 1991.

                                          Her training in childcare started in 1989 with a City & Guilds course in Community Care and the Open University course ‘The Pre-school Child’. During her time at the Centre she continued with a Level 3 in Childcare and Education and in 1997 branched out into Adult Education, teaching Early Years and Childcare to others.

                                          She is passionate about Early Years and feels her most important role is in helping children to enjoy learning and achieve as much as they possibly can.

                                            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.

                                                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.

                                                  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 are a community centre for anyone who needs help, advice or support, working along the values of community, sanctuary, nurture and respect. We welcome the vulnerable and care for all, regardless of faith, ethnicity, background or any other factors. People access support and advice in a warm and welcoming environment, and find community here.

                                                  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