Friends of Refugees London is led by a board of volunteer trustees, each of whom serves as a trustee for one, two, or three years. Our trustees also take on voluntary roles to help deliver the services of Friends of Refugees London.
We are also seeking new Trustees to join our board and provide governance and support to our dynamic, growing charity. We particularly invite applications from people with lived experience of forced displacement, refugee resettlement, or the process of seeking asylum. If you feel you have the skills, time, and interest in becoming a trustee, please download the Trustee Role Description and get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shaharazad has worked in the non-profit sector for over 25 years, and held directorships in international children’s rights organisations for over a decade.
In her professional capacity, she has worked to ensure young refugees are represented at the board level at Education Cannot Wait, the multilateral fund for education in emergencies, and successfully advocated for the rights of refugee children to become a priority work area for the international children’s advocacy movement Laureates and Leaders for Children.
Since 2015, she has volunteered for local and national refugee support organisations in the UK and in Greece, with substantial field experience working with refugees from across the Middle East and Africa, and previously acted as an advisor to Refugee Rights Europe.
Asli is an experienced policy advisor specialising in employment policies. She has an MPhil in Political and Economic Sociology. After completing her masters, she worked for a humanitarian organisation in Turkey, supporting Syrian refugees. She also worked at a think tank in Istanbul on migration and gender equality policies. In the UK, Asli worked on projects to enhance English language access for speakers of other languages and increase refugee participation in the labour market. As a migrant herself, she deeply understands the challenges individuals face when settling into a new country and culture.
Driven by her personal and professional experiences, Asli strongly believes in the importance of establishing robust support mechanisms for migrants and refugees, as it not only benefits them but also contributes to the overall well-being of the wider community they call home.
Karen spent more than 15 years as a public relations director, specialising in devising, planning and executing campaigns across the consumer category. Responsible for a global roster of clients, she is experienced in media relations, strategic planning, relationship and stakeholder management and crisis management.
In 2015, she undertook a Masters in Social Anthropology which gave her a passion for refugee rights and civic empowerment, and led to volunteering opportunities including Citizens UK and Lewisham Refugee Welcome, a community group which supports resettled refugees in Lewisham by matching them with befrienders.
Karen sits on the Steering Group of the Lewisham Sanctuary Borough and on the Lewisham Migration Forum. She was previously a trustee of Donate4Refugees, and is a Clore Social Impact Leadership Programme Fellow.
Shahernaz came to the UK as a child through family reunion and is a proud refugee from Afghanistan. Since 2016, she has worked in the non-profit sector both in UK and Greece primarily focusing on providing immediate support to people seeking asylum and refugees.
She moved onto working within local authorities for the last four years with unaccompanied asylum seeking children in social care and most recently with Afghan refugees through the resettlement schemes. Her interest lies within how best to support people in integrating into the community and the Asylum process in the UK.
Frances is an experienced HR Director having worked for 20 years in global companies supporting leaders with strategic people activities. Frances is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. With a degree in Human Geography, she has a keen interest in understanding social aspects of society and learning more about other cultures of the world.
She has travelled extensively in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and spent 2 years living and working in Singapore.Frances enjoys living in London and is keen to be able to support others moving to the area to discover what a great city it is! She is keen to make a difference to others in society and support those who are most in need to enable their transition to the UK to be a more pleasant experience and help them to understand our culture as well as become embedded in their communities.
Josephine Wagner Poedenphant
Josephine has worked in professional services for 20 years, mainly in international roles. With a broader marketing and business development background, she now specialises in account management, market strategy and client listening and manages an international team. Josephine has a keen interest in travel and culture and, although originally Danish, she has lived, worked and studied in the UK, Singapore, and Thailand for the past 24 years. With experience of relocation, including with young children, she has some appreciation of the challenges of settling into a new country and culture. She strongly believes that her local area, and the UK as a whole, would benefit from developing stronger links with, and a better support network for, refugees. She is keen to use her international background to help refugees settle into their new lives and develop a stronger local understanding of the culture, religion and languages they bring to enrich our society.