Honorary Fellowship for Chair of Welsh Refugee Council

Gwych, Harry!

We are delighted that our Chair, Harry Iles, has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of South Wales (USW) for his work supporting people seeking sanctuary in Wales.

Harry has served as our Chair of Trustees for six years and has spent decades making the world a better place.

Born in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay in 1951, Harry grew up in the Cumbrian seaside town of Morecambe. He spent some time teaching with VSO (voluntary service overseas) in Swaziland, where he was inspired by the vision, politics and friendship of people fighting Apartheid.

Returning to the UK to study Zoology at Cambridge University, Harry then became a full time, self-taught sculptor, learning how to cast bronze and carve in wood and stone, and exhibiting his work widely across the UK. For many years he worked for a charity providing hand tools to co-operatives in Africa. After moving to Abergavenny, Wales with his wife Ruth almost 40 years ago, he became Monmouthshire’s Director for the Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations, working to build the capacity of voluntary organizations. Harry also served as Head of the Welsh Office of the Charity Commission for 12 years, providing regulatory advice to some of the largest charities in England and Wales.

On receiving the Honorary Fellowship, Harry said: “I am deeply committed to upholding human rights, shared humanity, and belief in the potential of those who flee persecution and war. I share the vision of Wales as a Nation of Sanctuary and feel privileged to be part of the Welsh Refugee Council, which brings together such a lively and diverse team of staff, volunteers, and trustees. I am delighted to have been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of South Wales, as we already have already worked together to bring about positive change to so many lives, and I hope that we can continue this partnership for many years to come.”

Do you want to help Harry make Wales a Nation of Sanctuary? Join WRC as a member today.

You can find out more about University of South Wales as a University of Sanctuary here.