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Our Team

Support Team

Becky

Head of Support & Immigration

Becky

Becky

Head of Support & Immigration

Tell us about your job

I help oversee the support & immigration services at St. Augustine’s. Our team specialise in providing advice and support to those seeking sanctuary here in Calderdale. We work as a team to help encourage and empower our centre members to access advice and support on a wide range of areas working closely with partner organisations.

What languages do you speak?

I only speak English but would LOVE to learn another language!  I always try and learn how to say hello in as many languages as I can (but please don’t test me on this!)

A quote or life lesson that guides you

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.

Laurence

Senior Caseworker (Health) & Immigration Adviser

Laurence

Laurence

Senior Caseworker (Health) & Immigration Adviser

Tell us about your job

I provide practical and emotional support to our Centre members, and take a lead role on health-related issues. I also offer immigration advice at level 2 OISC (Asylum & Protection), e.g. fresh claims and applications for 'Exceptional Case' funding.

What languages do you speak?

English, French and Spanish.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The best thing about being part of St Augustine's Centre is the bonds I have made with people from all over the world. I can’t think of many workplaces where I would have had the same opportunity. Also, a brilliant team!

A quote or life lesson that guides you

I just try to live by two main principles: do my best and keep a sense of humour.

Maeve

Senior Caseworker (Positive Move On)

Art drawing of Maeve, a middle aged woman

Maeve

Senior Caseworker (Positive Move On)

Tell us about your job.

I'm a caseworker for people who receive their Leave To Remain. Whilst the change in status from asylum seeker to refugee is positive, the transition is fraught with challenges that risk people becoming homeless and destitute. I assist people to access their legal entitlements, as well as opportunities for training, employment and integration.

What languages do you speak?

A smattering of French & Spanish. I can sing a song in German, Turkish, and Latin at a push

What is the best thing about being part of St Augustine's?

It really is one. You can feel a part of a group and still be yourself.

A quote or life lesson that guides you?

"Never give up"

Iman

Advice Drop –In Manager

Art drawing of Iman, a middle aged woman

Iman

Advice Drop –In Manager

Tell us about your job

I am the Advice Drop-In Manager. I make sure the drop-in sessions go smoothly, I also support casework volunteers and make Centre Members feel that they are in a safe place to be supported.

What languages do you speak?

I speak Arabic and English

A quote or life lesson that guides you?

Small is great. To start small and to do small actions daily, it will leave an impact in the long run. 

Florence

Caseworker

Florence

Florence

Caseworker

Tell us about your job

As a caseworker I support centre members with advice and support on a range of issues.

What languages do you speak?

Kikuyu,Swahili and English

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The opportunity to learn new skills and working with a very supportive team.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

 Be a voice not an echo.

 

Catherine

Caseworker

art drawing portrait of a lady in her 40s

Catherine

Caseworker

Tell us about your job

Centre members run up against all sorts of problems as they have to deal with a system which is pretty impenetrable to everyone who comes into contact with it. So my job is to help people navigate that system. Quite often, we end up working it out together, as each day I hear about a fresh challenge that is as new to me as it is to the person facing it directly.

What languages do you speak?

English, French and a tiny bit of Swahili.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s?

The people and the care that everyone shows one another.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

"Nevertheless, she persisted."

Tom

Immigration Advisor

Art drawing of Tom, a middle aged man with long hair

Tom

Immigration Advisor

Tell us about your job

I’m an Immigration Advisor currently regulated at OISC Level 2 (Asylum and Protection). I support our centre members with a range of different immigration-related issues

What languages do you speak?

Just English at the moment

What is the best thing about being part of St Augustine's?

I think it’s really inspiring seeing such a wide range of different activities run by the centre members and staff all happening in one place!

A quote or life lesson that guides you?

"Share what ya got!"

Activities Team

Su

Head of Activities

Su

Su

Head of Activities

Tell us about your job

As Head of Activities, I look after the team of staff and volunteers who deliver our amazing programme of activities, including English classes, Befriending, the Welcome Cafe, the Free Shop, Integration and a growing choice of arts, sports and cultural activities.  I am also responsible for how we recruit, train and deploy our huge team of wonderful volunteers 

What languages do you speak?

I learnt French and German at school and also speak a little Urdu.  Recently I've been trying to learn Arabic but I need to practise - so if that's your language, please come and say مرحبا (marhabaan) when you see me. 

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

I love meeting amazing people from all over the world and being part of a team that makes them feel welcome and valued as individuals.  It's a privilege to be able to help people achieve new things, whether that's speaking English, or developing their confidence as a volunteer. It's great to see the smiles when people succeed.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

Treat other people as you want to be treated. Be kind. Be fair.

Adrian

Integration Manager

Adrian

Adrian

Integration Manager

Tell us about your job

I am the integration programme co-ordinator. It’s my job to get to know people and connect them to different organisations and activities throughout Calderdale. I also work with organisations to open up and learn about the barriers our centre members face on a daily basis.

What languages do you speak?

English although travelling has helped me to learn a little of a lot of languages.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

I love getting to know our centre members – the vast array of interests, hobbies, skills and passion always amaze me.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

“There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known” – John Lennon

Eve

Integration Manager (Families & Arts)

art drawing of Eve, young 20s woman

Eve

Integration Manager (Families & Arts)

Tell us about your job

I am excited about my job as I get to work with families, parents and children at St Augustine's Centre. My job is to provide support and signpost services for families seeking sanctuary in Calderdale. Another part of my role is managing the arts activities at St Augustine's, I will plan cultural activities and trips out too. If you have any ideas please book some time with me, let's have a cuppa!

What languages do you speak?

I speak English and a tiny bit of Spanish. Viví en España cuando era niña.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s?

The smiles, learning from each other, the Welcome Cafe meals and witnessing the ripples that compassion and kindness create. 

A quote or life lesson that guides you

"We have far more in common than that which divides us" - Jo Cox

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.” -Emily Dickinson

Rabia

Volunteers and Befriending Co-ordinator

Rabia

Rabia

Volunteers and Befriending Co-ordinator

Tell us about your job

I work as the Volunteers Coordinator. My job includes management, recruitment and induction of volunteers. I am also running a befriending program for St Augustine's called Helping Hands.

What languages do you speak?

I speak Urdu and English fluently. A teeny tiny bit of French and Arabic as well you can say. 

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

Its people whether they are centre members or staff. Absolutely delighted to be working among compassionate people who are there to make positive difference in somebody else's lives. This job is not only a job for me but more of my passion. 

A quote or life lesson that guides you

You only fail when you stop trying.

Arsalan

Activities Co-ordinator

Arsalan

Arsalan

Activities Co-ordinator

Tell us about your job

I'm the Activities Co-ordinator. My duties are to run the Welcome Cafe and to manage all the donations related to the Free shop. Also, I coordinate the Tech project which is laptops, tablet and phones donations, the Re:Cycle bike project, the Barber shop and Beauty salon. 

I also co-ordinate some sports activities including Football. 

What languages do you speak?

I speak English, Kurdish Hawrami, Kurdish Sorani and Farsi. 

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

St. Augustine’s Centre for me is like a small world without any borders, discrimination or racism so I want to be part of this world and I will try to make it better and better and give this feeling to all our centre members that this is their home. 

A quote or life lesson that guides you

Keep smiling and hope; when you feel defeated, this is the moment to be brave and take a step towards your goal.  

Mamadou

Integration Co-ordinator

Mamadou

Mamadou

Integration Co-ordinator

Tell us about your job

I am an Integration Coordinator. My job is support asylum seekers as they settle into their new lives. I am there to signpost them to services which they might need, such as health, education, or language classes, and to introduce them to the local culture so that they feel more confident in their new surroundings. 

What languages do you speak?

I speak English, French, Woloff and Fulani.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s is being able to offer to others the help which was offered when I first arrived in the UK.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

You reap what you sow.

Sanaa

Family Integration Co-ordinator

Sanaa

Sanaa

Family Integration Co-ordinator

Tell us about your job

I am working as a Family Integration Co-ordinator. I help and support families who are seeking asylum and living in temporary accommodation.  

What languages do you speak?

I speak Arabic and English.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

I want to have a job that allows me to make a positive impact in society. St. Augustine's is the job for me. I love to support and help anyone and everyone.  

A quote or life lesson that guides you

Give people the best of you and help others awakening up their best.
امنح الناس أفضل ما في داخلك وساعد الآخرين على إيقاظ أفضل ما لديهم

Operations Team

Kirstie

Office Manager

Kirstie

Kirstie

Office Manager

Tell us about your job

I manage the finance and operations side of St Augustines.

What languages do you speak?

I speak English only.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The best thing about being part of St Augustines is that no 2 days are ever the same. It’s always interesting talking to all of our Centre members and volunteers.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine”. A smile is infectious, smile at someone and watch them smile back!

Paul

Premises Manager

Paul

Paul

Premises Manager

Tell us about your job

My job involves maintaining and improving the premises.
I also coordinate the bike project, getting bikes to those that need them most.

What languages do you speak?

English

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

I love working at St Augustine's because I get to work with heroes.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

"Be excellent to everyone"

Danny

Premises Assistant

Danny

Danny

Premises Assistant

Tell us about your job

I am the cleaner at St. Augustine's. My duties include using the vaccuum and mop to clean the floors and use sanitizers as well as other general cleaning equipment to ensure the Centre can run smoothly whilst maintaining good hygiene. I also make sure the rubbish waste and recycling is collected each week and have the responsibility of being a key holder.

What languages do you speak?

I only speak English, however I did get a grade B at German GCSE level. (Forgot everything now though!)

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The best thing for me is how lovely everybody is. I've not been here long and already feel a part of the family. Everyone gives a helping hand when someone is struggling and that's another great thing, too!

A quote or life lesson that guides you

"Do or do not, there is no try." - Yoda, Star Wars

Les

Awareness Raising & Donations Manager

Les

Les

Awareness Raising & Donations Manager

Tell us about your role at St Augustine's

I support community groups, schools, businesses, health professionals and other organisations across Calderdale to better understand the realities of those fleeing war and persecution - to bust the myths about asylum and create a more compassionate welcome and integration into our communities.  I also seek to encourage donations of money and goods from individuals and organisations, without which St Augustine's could not do its work. 

What languages do you speak?

I love French - I studied French at university and lived in France for eighteen months. I also studied German and A-Level and have relatives who live there, so have a smattering of that too.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The team is an amazing group of talented, committed people who are inspiring to work with. And the opportunity to meet and support the incredible range of centre members makes each day interesting, enriching and rewarding. 

A quote or life lesson that guides you

Remember to listen, you'll be amazed at what you learn.

Jake

Communications Co-ordinator

art drawing portrait of a man in his 20s

Jake

Communications Co-ordinator

Tell us about your job

I develop and deliver various aspects of communications throughout St. Augustine's, aiming to raise the profile of our work and showcase the positive stories of our Centre Members. 

What languages do you speak?

I speak English and basic British Sign Language. 

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The best thing is being part of a devoted team and centre whose fundamental purpose is to welcome people seeking sanctuary in Calderdale. To contribute towards creating a safe inclusive place for all people seeking safety is truly special.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

“It is the obligation of every person born in a safer room to open the door when someone in danger knocks.” ― Dina Nayeri 

Carl Sagan and his countless quotes of wisdom are unrivalled. His poignant 'Pale Blue Dot' 1994 speech stands tall, he proclaims the Earth is "a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam." 

Trustees & Director

Sara

Centre Director

Sara

Sara

Centre Director

Tell us about your job?

Together with the Board, I oversee our strategic direction and obtain the income to make sure we can achieve our aims. I make sure the team are fulfilled in their work and that we have the right policies and processes in place to do our best work safely. I also generate partnerships with other organisations and make sure St Augustine's Centre and our work has a strong profile locally and regionally. I worked in the cultural sector for 30 years so I am always keen that we do as many arts, sports and other fun and educational activities as possible.

Which languages do you speak?

English and a tiny bit of French. If you ask my daughters (I have three, and one grandaughter), they will tell you I also have my own made up language.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine's 

This is very special place to work. A community of people from 67 countries! It’s a tiny corner of the world that shows how life can be. Where everyone is welcome and we can be alongside one another, without judgement – just a strong belief that we are all unique and equal, learning from and relishing our differences.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

'Deeds not words' (the rallying cry of the brave Suffragettes). And 'Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.' from Viktor E Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and prisoner of war. 

Can I have one more? 'There can be no happiness if the things we belive in are diffrent to the things we do'.

Andrew

Co-Chair

Andrew

Andrew

Co-Chair

Tell us about your job

I have been a Trustee since December 2018 and am one of the team guiding and overseeing the running and development of all aspects of the Centre. Along with writing funding bids, community engagement and developing working partnerships I am currently the strategic lead on health on the board, working with our excellent staff team and the local NHS to improve access to health services for our centre members. As well as being a Trustee, I have volunteered in various roles at St. Augustine's, helping teach English and also playing and performing music with people seeking sanctuary in Calderdale. I formerly managed a health based voluntary organisation and worked in social care with the NHS.

What languages do you speak?

I speak only English (unfortunately!)

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

For me the best thing about being part of St Augustine's is getting to know the people involved, the centre members from all over the world, the staff, volunteers and other trustees, working together in common purpose to make Calderdale a welcoming and inclusive community which fosters human rights and equality. I feel fortunate to know such a great group of people.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

Difficult but if I had to choose one relating to St Augustine's it would probably be from the words of Jo Cox which drew on a quote by Mauricio Macri: "There is more that unites us than divides us".

Jess

Co-Chair

Jess

Jess

Co-Chair

Tell us about your role at St Augustine's Centre

I had always heard brilliant things about Saint Augustine's. When lockdown happened – I took the chance to become a welfare caller and chat, on the phone, to centre members who were stuck at home and missing the camaraderie and companionship of the centre. I loved everything about the organisation – from its purpose to its friendliness (and the lunches are  absolutely amazing!) so I was incredibly grateful to be given the opportunity to become a Trustee.  

What languages do you speak?

I’m sad to say that I only really speak English.  I have so much admiration for people who can speak more than one language and I am currently learning (very slowly) Spanish.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s 

I love being part of a community that is all about activism, sharing and learning from one another.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

“Nevertheless she persisted”

Simon

Treasurer and Company Secretary

Simon

Simon

Treasurer and Company Secretary

Tell us about your job

I have been Trustee Treasurer for 4 years which involves keeping an eye on our Financial position and making sure that we comply with our legal requirements with both the Charities Commission and Companies House.

What languages do you speak?  

 English (Yorkshire variety)

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

Helping our committed staff and volunteers to do all the valuable work they do in assisting people who really need it.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

To try and treat people the way I would like to be treated, might make an exception for scammy phone callers!

Mark

Trustee

Mark

Mark

Trustee

Tell us about your job

I am Vice Chair (and Interim Chair) of the Board of Trustees. I work closely with Sara, our Centre Director, and with all other Trustees to make sure the Board operates effectively to oversee the work of the Centre and help shape its future direction.  I am also a volunteer for English Language support and help produce our regular podcast English for Life in the U.K.

What languages do you speak?

English and I speak French to an intermediate level.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

I love the sense of a community with people from all around the world and the commitment, caring and creativity shown by all those who work, volunteer and participate in the Centre’s activities.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

‘Good leaders have a curiosity about what is possible, openness to other people, sensitivity to context and loyalty to a better future’. Michael Fullan

Ashley

Trustee

Ashley

Ashley

Trustee

Tell us about your job

I've just started as a Trustee after a couple of years befriending a Syrian family through St Augustine's. I'm not sure how my involvement will develop, but I'm already taking a lead on safeguarding issues as I managed Children's Services before I retired recently. I'm really excited about using my skills and learning new ones alongside everybody who uses the centre.

What languages do you speak?

I have really struggled to learn languages all my life so I'm stuck with English. I can just about get by in French, and my good friends are trying their hardest to help me speak Arabic but it's an up hill task!!

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s 

Loads of things impress me about St Augustine's but the top one is that the people who use the Centre have such a big say in how it operates - that keeps it real!

A quote or life lesson that guides you

A life lesson I always try to remember is listen harder and assume nothing.

Hina

Trustee

Hina

Hina

Trustee

Tell us about your role at St. Augustine's Centre

I was a centre member from 2017 and involved in teaching English classes. Currently doing creative writing sessions. I have also been participated in STAs Open day and wrote a poem for the day. I am supporting the centre through writing poems on different occasions and participating in the interviews conducted by different organisation on asylum and refugee issues.

What language do you speak?

Urdu, Punjabi, Pushtu, English

The best thing about being part of St. Augustine's

Being feeling a useful part of community. This centre has been really helpful whenever I needed and its easily accessible. It is very close to my heart. Where I felt heard and listened as well as respectful and dignified.

A quote or life lesson that guides you.

I am not worthless, I am useful.

Keith

Trustee

Keith

Keith

Trustee

Tell us about your role at St. Augustine's Centre

I am a new trustee on the St Augustines board. I have a particular interest in mental health and learning disability.

What languages do you speak?

I am currently learning Italian.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The best thing about being involved in St Augustines so far is how friendly everybody I have met has been.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

I believe that success in life is measured by the joy you bring others.

Elina

Trustee

Elina

Elina

Trustee

Tell us about your role at St. Augustine's Centre

Trustee since December 2022 and I am really looking forward to being part of the organisation and using my professional skills and learning new ones from other trustees/volunteers, staff and Centre Members.

What languages do you speak?

English and Oshiwambo. I probably understand Oshiwambo more than I can speak it and native speakers will say I speak a broken version of it because I learnt it as a child refugee.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

I love the friendly welcoming atmosphere, culture and sense of community shown by Centre Members and staff. 

A quote or life lesson that guides you

"It takes courage not to be discouraged. Let the work that still needs doing be a catalyst for hope and not despair “  Judith Eger

Lora

Trustee

Lora

Lora

Trustee

Tell us about your role at St. Augustine's Centre

I am a trustee and am involved with the Equality Diversity and Inclusion and Experts By Experience work.

What languages do you speak?

Very sorry to say only English fluently. I am on a lifetime journey to improve my Spanish.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

Being part of an organisation with a long history, exciting present and even brighter future who work tirelessly, collaboratively and creatively towards justice and inclusion for people coming to the UK for protection. 

A quote or life lesson that guides you

Be the change you want to see in the world.

 

Hakar

Trustee

Hakar

Hakar

Trustee

Tell us about your role at St Augustine's Centre.

I am a Trustee and involved in the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion group. I am also volunteering as an interpreter and involved in the awareness-raising sessions.

What languages do you speak?

I speak English, Arabic and Kurdish (Kurmanji, Badini and some Sorani)

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s?

I am proud to be part of St Augustine’s centre and to support people from everywhere and treat everyone equally. Here you can not feel alone and you can make new friends from different backgrounds and nationalities. Everyone here can participate in the centre and be part of it. The centre works with the centre members not only for them.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

"Hope is important, but it takes action to change the world.’’