We are recruiting trustees now

Our trustees are responsible for the governance of Suffolk Refugee Support. They are committed to ensuring that asylum seekers and refugees in Suffolk are given the best opportunities, and that more generally our government and community have a generous and open-minded attitude to refugees.

Trustees meet once a month (the second Thursday, 6.30 – 8.30 in Ipswich town centre or via Zoom), and we encourage them to join one of the sub-committees (which also meet once a month). Many of our current trustee body work full-time in their own careers, and sub-committee meetings are organised around their availability.

Suffolk Refugee Support have been providing advice, advocacy and practical support to asylum seekers and refugees in Suffolk since 1999 through wide ranging and innovative services, including a drop-in advice service, support groups for women, specialist refugee resettlement programme casework, ESOL tuition, a Skills Exchange programme, and sport and advice services for young people. Many of our services continue to be delivered during the Covid-19 pandemic through online and telephone contact, making sure that people continue to have the support and advice that they rely on from Suffolk Refugee Support.

The Board of Trustees has been lucky enough to have had Ian Stewart at its helm for the last 13 years. Ian is retiring after 18 years with the SRS Board and we thank him for all of his hard work and dedication to serving refugees and asylum seekers in Suffolk.

We are currently looking for a number of Trustees to join the Board. We are especially looking for people who have experience in the areas of fundraising, legal, HR or IT. Please don’t be put off if you don’t have these specific skills, but they would be a strong advantage.

Suffolk Refugee Support has a strong track record of delivering much needed services and we need a strong Board with a wide range of skills to lead the policy direction and ensure that the Charity Manager and staff get the support they need to continue to deliver these high quality services in a world where getting funding is proving increasingly hard.

In return for your time (at minimum, two hours every second Thursday evening of the month), we offer you a great team to join and the satisfaction and joy of knowing that your actions and dedication have made people’s lives better.

You can download an application form and Equality Monitoring form below, or contact the Board Secretary and ask for an application form by emailing Please also find below links to our equality statement and our latest newsletter.

The closing date for applications is 10th August at noon. We intend to interview on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th August with successful applicants attending their first Board meeting on September 10th to meet the Board for final approval before being voted in at the AGM on October 8th. Please be aware this all may happen on Zoom!

Trustee application form

Equality Monitoring form

Equality and diversity statement

SRS Summer Newsletter

Our current trustees bring a wealth of experience from the private, public, voluntary and academic sectors:

Gerry Toplis (chair since July 2020) has worked in social services as a social worker, commissioner and senior manager. He also worked for the NHS across the east of England, focusing on mental health and learning disability issues.

Dr Keith Faull (vice chair and treasurer) has worked in both social services and the NHS for many years as both a social worker and a family psychotherapist.  He is particularly interested in the mental health of children and young people.

Maggie Barradell (secretary) has worked in community development in both the voluntary and political sectors.  Having run a busy MP’s office, she is currently focusing on her artwork and renovating an old house.

Ian Stewart was chair of Suffolk Refugee Support from 2007 to June 2020.  Previously he worked in Social Services and the NHS.  He chaired a community project in Islington and is former chair and current attendee of Suffolk Healthwatch BME group.

Greg Dodds has worked in housing for over 20 years in various capacities for both housing associations and local authorities and is currently Assistant Director of Development at Orwell Housing Association. He also currently volunteers with SRS.

Dr Pauline Lane is an academic working with minority and excluded communities.  She used to run a national organisation for refugees and sits on national and international advisory committees.

Marian Lanyon worked as a nurse and volunteered extensively in the criminal justice system. She currently volunteers at the International Women’s Group and at Doctors of the World’s Bethnal Green clinic.

Danielle Waller works within the NGO sector on large scale programme design, service delivery and grant management initiatives. She specialises in youth-led development and participatory programming at community level.

Alan Blackshaw (honorary trustee) spent most of his career in social work education.  He was a founder trustee of SRS in 2000, and has been treasurer and chair of the Human Resources sub-committee.

Beteja Grajqevci Dovao (honorary trustee)

Jenny Morcom Jnr (honorary trustee)