We are currently a restricted fund under the auspices of Prism the Gift Fund (registered charity number 1099682). They regulate our spending by collecting donations for us and disbursing the funds on the production of our legitimate receipts.
In order to give people greater confidence in how we work and how we spend donations, we are in the process of registering with the UK Charity Commission as an independent charity. We have appointed three great trustees who will guide our strategic direction, offer valuable advice and ensure we are making the best possible decisions in the interests of the refugees we support.
My mother arrived in the UK as an unaccompanied 8 year old. As I grew up this fact was a big part of who we were as a family. My mother is a very strong woman and the moral compass she instilled in me and my three sisters was a high sense of right and wrong, as well as the need to be part of the community.
I consider myself a world citizen. I have spent much of my working life running small businesses and over the past 9 years have done this remotely while living in one of the many countries my partner worked, currently Palma de Mallorca. I’m a problem solver, have a degree in Statistics and am a chartered accountant.
As with others I met while volunteering in Greece, the vetting process and the clear aims and instructions received before arrival and at the camp made me confident that my time and the money I raised were going to be used to really make a difference. I was honoured to be asked to be a trustee and am very aware of the responsibility I have to every stakeholder by accepting. I intend taking an active role in helping further develop Refugee Support into a charity achieving its aims for as long as there are refugees in need.
My working life has been spent in research, measuring public opinion and helping companies and public bodies develop strategies and make business decisions based on hard evidence. I have worked in large global companies and also had the entrepreneurial pleasure of starting our own research agency and running it for 14 years.
I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Market Research Society (MRS). I have been Vice Chairman of the MRS and Vice President of ESOMAR, the world association for market, opinion and social research. Currently I Chair the Legal Affairs Committee of ESOMAR concentrating on data privacy and consumer protection.
The son of Irish immigrants to the UK I have always lived a multi-cultural life and have been to Greece many times. It was therefore a great pleasure and honour to be asked to become a trustee of Refugee Support Europe. I will seek to bring an evidence-based approach to the running of the Charity and to maximising the benefits we bring to the refugees and the local communities in which we operate.
As the Syrian refugee crisis continued to worsen, I felt motivated by a desire to try and do something to help. That is when I decided to volunteer at a refugee camp. With my limited humanitarian experience, I had no idea what that would entail. But when I arrived at the refugee camp, I saw first-hand the valuable systematic work that Refugee Support Europe (RSE) and the volunteers do every day to improve the lives of refugees, from stocking the shops, sorting the warehouse to scheduling and even liaising with other organizations. RSE has taken a pivotal and a very personal approach in the camps by going around speaking with the refugees to ensure they have access to the basic necessities like food, toiletries and clothing, and they do this with the one goal to provide ‘aid with dignity’.
This is why when they asked me to become a trustee, I was incredibly honoured to become a part of this charity and to be entrusted with the responsibilities of a trustee. I take this role extremely seriously and will work to ensure, along with the other trustees, that the charity is carrying out the purposes for which it is set up to, that it is complying with its governing documents, and I will use my skills and experience to offer guidance and advice on the charity’s strategic direction.
I was born and raised in Amman, Jordan then moved to Canada for 10 years until 2015. Since October 2015, I moved to Dubai where I now live and work for a solar investment company. Throughout most of my career life, I worked in corporate credit and risk assessment. I received my undergraduate education in Boston and an MBA from London.