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SRS Trustees

Who we are

Suffolk Refugee Support (SRS) has been providing advice, advocacy and practical support to asylum seekers and refugees in Suffolk since 1999 through wide ranging and innovative services. These include 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.

The future

SRS has a proven track record of delivering much needed, high quality services that positively support the lives of those we work with.

This remains our focus whilst continuing to be flexible and responsive to the changing world faced by refugees and asylum seekers and the developing requirements of our funders.  To guide us, we have agreed an SRS three year strategic plan for 2020-23. As a Trustee you will contribute to delivering this plan and responding to future challenges by helping lead and support our strategy and operations.

“With your support I will survive again. I can start to make my dream become truth. You are my lovely family” (SRS client)

Who we are looking for

SRS is seeking Trustees who are committed to our values and vision. We are currently looking for three outstanding candidates to join our Board of Trustees. We are especially looking for people who have experience in the areas of finance, HR or IT that will help us continue to build a strong Board equipped to support our organisation. However, please don’t be put off if you don’t have these specific skills, but they would be a strong advantage. We also especially welcome applications from individuals who have lived experience as a refugee.

Trustees meet once a month (the second Thursday, 6.30 – 8.30 either 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 trustees work full-time in their own careers, and sub-committee meetings are organised around their availability.

In return for your time, energy and skills, 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.

We will be looking to interview during August, so applications should be submitted by the 2nd August.

You can download an application form, the 2020/23 strategy, our equality statement and an Equality Monitoring form below.

If you have any questions about the role or would like an informal chat about our work, please get in touch via trusteesecretary@suffolkrefugee.org.uk  We would love to hear from you.

Trustee ‘Offer to Serve’ application form
SRS Strategic Plan 2020-23
Equality and Diversity Statement
Equality Monitoring Form

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.

Kevin Clements has spent 15 years building fundraising and marketing teams for causes including hospices, neurological care, mental health, scientific research and homelessness. He is currently Director of Fundraising with East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, where he leads the team across the Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk region.

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.

Christina Sweet-Escott moved to the UK from Germany in 2001. The former editor in chief of several international publications, Christina’s background is in marketing, PR and journalism. She works for Suffolk County Council and serves on the Suffolk Refugee Support Client Partnership sub-committee.

Felicity Szesnat has previously represented detained asylum seekers in their claims for refugee status. She holds a PhD in International Law, specialising in international humanitarian (armed conflict) and human rights law, and currently works at the University of Essex, managing a consortium of ten UK universities focused on the social sciences.

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)