Meet our Board
Our Board of Trustees bring a range of skills, knowledge, and expertise. Together we share a drive for supporting and empowering sanctuary seekers and refugees to have a better chance in life, and to create an environment where they can flourish.
Our Trustees help us to deliver against our core aims and values, demonstrating high standards of governance and leadership.
We have committed to increasing the diversity of our Board to 50% with migration heritage by 2025.
I am deeply committed to upholding human rights, shared humanity, and the potential of those who flee persecution and war.
I bring experience of good governance from 12 years as Head of the Charity Commission in Wales. Previously, I have worked in community development in Gwent, taught children with disabilities in London and been involved with a charity sending tools to Africa. For many years I was a sculptor, working in wood and bronze, exhibiting widely across the UK.
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.
Dr Hawar Ameen
I arrived in the UK with my family at the age of 10 from Kurdistan (Iraq) and had to settle into school and a new culture very quickly.
I got my first opportunity working for the Welsh Refugee Council in 2006 and I have been in the NGO sector ever since. I have seen first-hand the struggles of sanctuary seekers and refugees, what they go through in search of sanctuary and the difficulties they face trying to settle in the UK. Without the work of the WRC those struggles would be unimaginably worse.
I work in human rights policy and research specifically in the areas of race, equality, and gender. I hold a master’s degree in political economy from Cardiff University and a PhD in Middle Eastern politics from Exeter University. Hawar is currently a Senior Research Officer at Welsh Government.
Treasurer & Resources Sub Committee Lead
I am a Chartered Accountant with a degree in Accounting and Management from Cardiff University. I began my career working as an external auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers and spent the last eight years working in Finance in the housing sector.
I am very passionate about human rights, equality and social justice and feel privileged to be part of an organisation that is driven by and delivers on the same.
Strategy Sub Committee Lead
I began as a Trustee in 2017 because I wanted to be part of the support network for refugees and sanctuary seekers in Wales. I was compelled to do something after seeing daily stories of forced migration of people across the world. I have experience in developing communication and community engagement projects.
I have such admiration for the compassion and hard work of our staff and volunteers- without which none of our work would be possible. Hearing the incredible stories from our clients and working with an extraordinary team has been inspirational.
I am a qualified immigration and asylum lawyer and practiced locally for many years. I am a law lecturer at Cardiff University where my interest lies in immigration and asylum law, refugee policy and access to justice.
Being a trustee gives me the opportunity to stay connected with local refugee communities, and work at a strategic level towards creating further positive change.
The strengths of WRC lie in the broad range of services we offer, and in our brilliantly dedicated staff and volunteers.
The foundation of the WRC is the passion, dedication, and commitment from the staff and volunteers in creating a positive difference to people’s lives.
I love the drive for equality, equity and inclusion which the WRC promotes through its work.
I have over 12 years’ experience in commercial operations and business development with expertise in the Sport Sector. Much of my professional expertise is in business development, strategic leadership, and management, from delivering effective marketing and communications to generating sponsorship.
I am quite humbled and honoured to work with an expert team of staff working towards uplifting the lives of sanctuary seekers and refugees in Wales.
I am an Analyst for Public Health Wales. I have an Bsc Human Resource Management from Midlands State University and an Msc from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I have worked for ViiV Healthcare and Youth RISE focusing on HIV in the most vulnerable communities in the world. I have been involved in activism for the health of refugees and sanctuary seekers through organisations such as the International AIDS Society as a Youth Ambassador and Women Deliver as a fellow.
I hold 17 years’ experience of work in the third sector, largely working with communities, public and private partners.
I have held several non-executive director posts of local and national bodies; active roles include Director of Aquatera Ltd, Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Orkney, and Director of Piers Arts Centre.
For the past 20 years+ I have been an active campaigner for human rights. I have worked for and run organisations dealing with violence against women; contributed to the annual UK FiLiA feminist national conferences; delivered community development projects in remote Indonesian and African communities and with refugees in the Middle East.
Dr Mike Chick
I have been working with the WRC since 2014 supporting and delivering English Language classes, I have witnessed the crucial role its services make to people seeking sanctuary in Wales.
As a key organisation in the sanctuary and refugee sector – the dedication of the staff and volunteers provide critical support around immigration law, housing, health, education, and employment.
I’m experienced in income generation for migration projects and have published several articles and book chapters on language education. Organising programmes of language education between the University of South Wales and the WRC, brought us pride to win the Learning and Work Institute’s Best National Community project award.
I am delighted to join the Board of Trustees as I am passionate in supporting sanctuary seekers and refugees. I know first-hand how difficult it is to flee and feel welcome in Wales.
I have a postgraduate diploma in International Relations from the University of Khartoum and diplomas from Cardiff University. I am currently volunteering in several organisations and am connected with local communities. I have been working on finding creative solutions and focused interventions for migrants and minorities.