Trustees & Project Leader
Rev. John Hellewell
Chair of Trustees
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 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.
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 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 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 advisor for GIZ-Yemen for the program “Peace Support in Yemen.” She has worked with GIZ since 2013 and her first assignment was as an advisor 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.
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 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 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 joins St Augustine's 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.
Nia joined the team as a volunteer after returning from a Women's Empowerment and Community Development Internship in Nepal in 2018. As a volunteer she supported the Centre by carrying out funding research and starting developing skills in bid writing.
She joined the team as a staff member not long after that, and works closely with the Centre Leader on writing new bids for projects and sourcing funding. She also manages the Centre's communications, and coordinates the Welcome Cafe and Community Lunches.
Senior Caseworker and Welcome Programme Coordinator
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.
Employability Project Coordinator
Sue joined the team at St Augustine’s Centre in May 2015, after having had a very varied career. She oversees the Job Search Drop Ins, ESOL classes, and other more vocational training courses, and supports the volunteers who run these classes. Sue and her team of volunteers aim to encourage centre users to integrate fully into UK life through education, training, volunteering and employment. Sue is keen to see every person who comes to St Augustine’s not only survive in the UK, but thrive in the UK.
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.
Support and Integration Worker
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.
Wi-Fi Project Coordinator
Nat is coordinating the St Augustine's WiFi Project, which helps centre users to overcome digital barriers to connectivity, education, and welfare. His previous role was in communications and social media for a Scotland-based migration support organisation, but he has also worked to ensure accessibility and diversity within a visual arts festival. With an academic background in Sociology, he is passionate about research dedicated to race and queerness.
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.
When living in Leeds she volunteered with the Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network, and in 2016 she also helped run a language summer school in Germany for teenage refugees.
Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme Support Worker
Jihen supports Syrian and Sudanese families and individuals under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) since July 2019 and helps them to connect with their local community and access social, sporting, recreational and leisure activities and programmes that will aid integration. She helps them to establish and develop working relationships with local groups and other establishments within the local community to aid integration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: