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Amy Ashlee

Research Manager

Amy Ashlee is a Research Manager at Refugee Education UK, where she manages REUK’s research on refugee education issues in the UK and globally. Amy specialises in child- and youth-centred research methods and has more than six years’ experience in research and policy for NGOs, UN agencies, government departments and university partners. She holds a master’s in International Child Studies from King’s College London, and her academic research has focused on the intersection of forced displacement, psychosocial wellbeing and education.

Amy Hippsley

Supporter Engagement and Communications Projects Manager

With over 11 years experience in the charity sector, Amy joins REUK as our Supporter Engagement and Communications Projects Manager.

Amy has worked with charities across the globe, primarily in fundraising and communications, and looking specifically to increase supporter engagement.

Amy has a particular passion for all things supporter related and loves working towards supporters having an excellent experience engaging with REUK, whilst alongside of this, internally advocating, coaching and training on the supporter experience.

Andrew Cooper

Head of Educational Mentoring

Andrew heads up our Educational Mentoring programme across the UK and, as part of the Senior Leadership Team, plays a wider role in REUK's mission, strategy development and governance.

Prior to joining REUK in December 2019, Andrew ran a UK charity supporting work with children with special needs, and their families, in Thailand. Before this, he led a charity providing mentoring for young people leaving two London prisons.

Andrew has nearly fifteen years experience of working in the charity sector and is passionate about seeing communities coming alongside those facing difficult circumstances.

Andy Moore

Chief Operating Officer

Prior to joining REUK in October 2021, Andy built up over 15 years experience in the charity sector, including as Head of Global Communications, Director of Marketing and Mobilisation and, most recently, Head of Operations. In these roles Andy led UK operations for an international NGO with a turnover of £4m, managed a diverse staff team encompassing Finance and Administration, People and Culture, and Communications and Fundraising, and delivered large scale events and projects across cultures, languages and locations.


At a time of growth for REUK, Andy brings a passion for developing and implementing organisational strategies and structures and a particular expertise in building strong teams and enabling the innovative delivery of strategic goals.

Anna Chamcham

Orientation Programme Coordinator

Anna is a Coordinator of the Orientation Programme (job share), a four week English language and integration programme for newly arrived unaccompanied asylum seeking children in Oxfordshire.  


Prior to joining REUK, Anna coordinated the Orientation Programme for 3 years following several years as an OP volunteer.  Before that, she was a literacy tutor for 8 years for Quest for Learning charity, teaching vulnerable and special needs pupils, in 12 primary schools in areas of urban deprivation in Oxfordshire. 


Anna was International Exchange Coordinator for Triangle Arts Trust charity for 12 years, working alongside teams of visual artists in 12 African countries, India & the UK, sharing expertise to develop International Artists Workshops.

Annie Lawn

Senior Supporter Engagement and Communications Officer

Annie is REUK's Senior Supporter Engagement and Communications officer. After finishing her BSc (hons) Ecology degree, she spent a few years volunteering abroad working as a seasonal researcher with sea turtles for wildlife non-profits, before taking a position as a research assistant in the rainforests of Costa Rica.

She developed skills working with databases and individual fundraising before moving back to the UK and working with nasen, a charitable membership organisation working to support children with special educational needs to access education.

Cara Dartnell

Educational Mentoring Coordinator: North London

Cara coordinates our educational mentoring hub in North London. Prior to joining REUK, she worked on various community projects, including a programme providing free sanitary products and tackling sexual assault in university facilities; analysing and identifying gaps in mental health provision in Cambridgeshire and volunteering for a student-run charity that provides legal aid to refugees. 


She has a BA in History and Spanish from the University of Cambridge. Her research there focused on the creation of alternative forms of citizenship in response to political oppression and violence in Latin America. She recently moved back to the UK after travelling and working in North and South America. 

Catherine Gladwell

Chief Executive

Catherine, REUK's founding Chief Executive, has worked with refugee and asylum-seeking young people in a variety of education related programmatic, policy and research roles since 2004.


Catherine has led large-scale multi-national programmes and worked in sixteen different countries for clients including UNICEF, UNHCR, and Save the Children. She is a founding director and board member at Jigsaw Consult, and a regular speaker at conferences and in the media.

She has a degree from Oxford University, a masters in education from University College London, and is an honorary fellow at Winchester University.

Cennydd Young

Educational Mentoring Coordinator: South London

Cennydd coordinates our educational mentoring hub in South London.


Prior to joining REUK, Cennydd was a refugee operations volunteer at Breaking Barriers and had also gained experience working with young people from non-traditional education backgrounds at the Sutton Trust. Throughout university, he was involved in various societies orientated around activism and advocacy, working with WaterAid, Oxfam UK and other student affiliate networks.


He holds a masters in Migration Mobility and Development from SOAS University of London. His research focused on examining the (im)mobility of Sub-Saharan forced migrants in Morocco, against the framings of the Global Compact for Migration.

Charlotta Nuboer-Cope

Orientation Programme Coordinator

Charlotta is a Coordinator of the Orientation Programme (job-share) in Oxford. She has worked with asylum seekers and refugees for 18 years in education, counselling and support settings. She grew up in the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA and then lived in Namibia, Kenya and Togo before settling in Oxford.


In 2012 she set up the Orientation Programme for newly arrived unaccompanied asylum seeking children in Oxfordshire, providing English lessons and sessions about living in the UK, the asylum process, wellbeing and staying safe. She has a master's degree in International Educational Development and is a qualified counsellor.


Charlotta is passionate about giving a warm welcome to asylum seekers and is hugely enjoying teaching the young people.

Dan Webb

Higher Education Lead Practitioner

Dan oversees our higher education advice line and runs our scholarships project, providing support and advice to the recipients of scholarships from the Schwab & Westheimer Trust.

Prior to joining REUK in 2019, Dan worked in frontline student support services at a Further Education college in Bath and as a Research Associate at Cardiff University on a project exploring the role of religion and spirituality in faith-based alcohol recovery centres.

Dan has a masters in cultural geography, a PhD in geopolitics and, alongside his role at REUK, he volunteers as an "Appropriate Adult", supporting young people and vulnerable adults who have been taken into police custody suspected of a criminal offences.

Divya Jose

Research Officer

Divya provides research and advocacy support on REUK’s research projects. Her research interests lie in forced migration, women and children in conflict and restorative justice.


Before joining REUK, she worked in research and advocacy at an anti-human trafficking organization, working with the government to strengthen the policy response against human trafficking in India. She specializes in qualitative research practices and social policy, and has conducted research on victim-centric criminal justice reforms and contributed to a comprehensive legislation against trafficking in persons in India.


She holds a masters degree in Public Policy and Governance from Tata Institute of Social Sciences and a postgraduate diploma in International Humanitarian Law from NALSAR University of Law.

Dorothy Abissah

Administration and Finance Assistant

Dorothy works in our office, providing vital administrative and research support and making sure we all keep up to date with data entry.

Before working for REUK Dorothy completed a BSc in Professional Accounting and gained work experience with an international accounting and audit firm and in real estate finance.

In her spare time, Dorothy enjoys looking after children.

Ehsan Habibi

Further Education Project Coordinator: West Midlands

Ehsan provides support, advice, and guidance to refugees and asylum seekers in their attempt to access further education. Ehsan came to the UK under ARAP scheme in November 2021. He has worked as teaching and learning manager in a World Bank funded project at the Ministry of Higher Education in Afghanistan. He has worked with universities and academic staff in the capacity development programs. He led and organised indoor and outdoor training programs to enhance the quality of teaching and learning at the tertiary level. He has taught English at universities and colleges for more than four years. He has worked as a volunteer at Azadi Charity and Halesowen College since he came to the UK. Ehsan holds a master of TESL from India. He was in the final semester of his second master in education leadership and management when the Taliban came and the programme disrupted.

Eleftheria Ktenas

Educational Mentoring Coordinator: East London

Eleftheria holds an MA in Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights and is a CELTA-qualified teacher. She has extensive experience of developing and delivering English language programmes for community-based organisations in the UK supporting people from forced migrant backgrounds. 


She previously worked as an ESOL tutor in Groundwork’s Afghan Response team, providing English language support to Afghan refugees in bridging hotels across London. Prior to that, she worked for Mojatu Foundation, administering training programmes for refugees in Nottingham who arrived through the Syrian Resettlement Programme. She is interested in how trauma-informed teaching practice and wellbeing-centred approaches to ESOL can enhance people’s educational outcomes and overall welfare.

Emily Bowerman

Chief Programmes Officer

Emily supports programme leaders to provide high quality services to young people in the UK, alongside her responsibility for the development and delivery of REUK’s fundraising and communications strategies.

Since joining REUK in 2012, Emily has co-authored a range of education-focussed toolkits and research reports, and has written and spoken widely about issues affecting young refugees at international conferences and in the press.

Emily has over 15 years experience in voluntary sector agencies in the UK and overseas, she is a qualified TEFL teacher, completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford, and has an MSc in Migration and Development from SOAS, University of London.

George Kalibala

Further Education Lead Practitioner

George is part of REUK's Educational Progression team, which provides advice and training to practitioners and young refugees facing complex barriers to accessing further education in the UK.

Prior to joining REUK, George worked with various charity organisations across London, providing educational and mental health support to vulnerable young people in care.

Alongside his role at REUK, George is studying medicine at King's College London. He also has experience in coordinating Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials in the NHS.

Giulia Clericetti

Senior Educational Mentoring Coordinator and Oxford Projects Lead.

Giulia coordinates our educational mentoring hub in Oxford. Prior to joining REUK, Giulia worked in Greece, setting up and managing an education programme in two refugee camps in the mainland.

She then participated in a research project on refugees/asylum seekers and digital identity in Italy, and conducted research on teachers of refugees in Lebanon, as part of her thesis project.

She holds a masters in International Relations from Rome Tre University, Italy, and a MPhil in Education and International Development from Cambridge University, UK.

Hamid Khan

Education Welcome Project Officer

Hamid Khan is the Education Welcome Project Officer at Refugee Education UK. He provides practical, logistical and administrative support to our newest project, which extends our educational support to hundreds of newly-arrived refugees refugees.


Before joining REUK, Hamid worked in business development for a range of organisations at different stages of their journeys. Hamid joins REUK with a deep understanding of how the organisation has grown, having first met REUK as an unaccompanied asylum seeking child some years ago. Since then, he has served as REUK’s longest-serving Chair of the Youth Advisory Board. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Hamid believes in equality and diversity, especially when it comes to the education rights of young people displaced by conflict.

Hannah Elwyn

Head of Culture, Ethos and Innovation

As part of REUK’s Senior Leadership Team, Hannah contributes to the overall direction and running of REUK, with a focus on our ethos, culture and innovation. She is currently heading our values-based youth leadership course, the current focus of our innovation stream.

Hannah has co-authored a number of REUK’s reports and spoken on issues affecting young refugees and asylum seekers at international academic conferences. She has taken a lead on REUK’s on developing training to engage UK faith communities to support local refugee populations.

Hannah has a BA in Law and Development Studies from SOAS, University of London, and an MA in Human Rights from the University of Essex.

Huw Hides

Further Education Lead Practitioner

Huw works in our Further Education team, providing advice and guidance for young people and professionals in order to remove the barriers that refugees and asylum seekers face in accessing further education. Prior to working for REUK, Huw managed a supported accommodation project for young people who had been homeless or vulnerably housed in the South West of England. In other roles, Huw has launched innovative youth programmes in a variety of contexts. 


Huw has a keen interest in how government policy directly impacts the lives of ordinary people, and has completed a postgraduate diploma in Social and Public Policy. 

Huw has spent time overseas and has worked alongside a number of NGOs in Senegal, France, Palestine and Italy.

Jessica Gladwell

Community and Projects Manager

Jess project manages the refurbishment of 60–62 High Street, an old bank building in the centre of Harlesden that will become REUK's new headquarters and a social impact hub to serve the local community.

Prior to joining REUK, Jess worked for a publishing house, specialising in the project management of complex colour titles and commissioning genre fiction. Alongside this Jess was a mentor with Thrive, a charity supporting teenagers from disadvantaged areas, and is passionate about the impact of one to one work.

Jess is excited about creating a welcoming space for the young refugees REUK works to make their own.

Katie Barringer

Head of Educational Progression

Katie leads REUK's Higher Education programme and, as part of the Senior Leadership Team, plays a wider role in REUK's mission, strategy development and governance.

Prior to this role, she headed up the development of our educational mentoring programme across new locations in the UK. Before joining REUK, Katie worked for almost a decade in the prison service where she had a number of management responsibilities, including running the young offenders unit at Holloway prison and sitting on the Senior Management Team at Wormwood Scrubs prison.

She also spent six years in Asia working for St Stephens Society, leading a rehabilitation house for gang members recovering from drug addiction.

Kellie McLean

Finance and HR Manager

With extensive office management and finance experience in various private and third-sector organisations, Kellie is responsible for monitoring all of our income and donations, overseeing payroll, paying our suppliers, managing our office and ensuring that our London-based and remote workers have the equipment and support they need to do their jobs well.

Lara Kelly

Educational Wellbeing Lead Practitioner

Lara is part of our specialist education and wellbeing support programme, providing additional help, advice and support to young people in our educational mentoring programme across London.

Before joining REUK in June 2019, Lara worked on a pilot project at Hounslow Council which, through research and intervention, sought to reduce social isolation and reliance on public services by strengthening people's support networks, resilience and independence.

A qualified social worker, Lara's previous roles in South Africa included working as a community social worker for a Christian NGO in deprived areas of Durban, supporting people through an array of social issues from her base in a local school and community centre.

Lydia Nyachieo

Higher Education Coordinator

Lydia works within our Higher Education team, where she manages the scholarships from the Schwab & Westheimer Trust, alongside providing guidance and support to other refugees and asylum seekers pursuing university.


Prior to joining REUK, Lydia worked in social research and has interned in organisations such as Action For Humanity and the International Rescue Committee, where her work ranged from providing administrative support to overseas humanitarian programmes to assisting newly arrived refugees in gaining employment in the US. However, Lydia is most passionate about supporting students, which she did extensively in her undergraduate career. 


Having come to the UK as a Marshall Scholar, Lydia holds an MSc in International Development from the University of Manchester.

Natali Dzhabieva

Education Welcome Project Officer

Natalie is the Education Welcome Officer at Refugee Education UK. She provides practical, logistical, and administrative support to our newest project, extending our educational support to newly arrived refugees.


She grew up in Ukraine and before moving to the UK in 2022 she worked and volunteered with various projects for youth and women. After the full-scale invasion, she worked remotely to support with relief of internally displaced persons from active combat zones. This included organizing practical support and developing a series of workshops on topics such as psychological well-being, time management, personal and budget planning, and working with HR companies to help people embark on a new career path.

Niwaeli Sumary

Education Welcome Project Manager

Niwa is part of the Welcome Project Team which provides education orientation and guidance for young people seeking asylum and refugees new to the UK.

Niwa is an educator at heart and has extensive experience in teaching and the UK education system. After graduating with Honours in Education in Canada, she taught various year groups in a primary school in Kent. In addition to an alternative provision to support young people back into mainstream education. In other roles, she has coordinated initial health assessments for newly arrived people seeking asylum.


She enjoys volunteering to teach ESOL Boosters and organising a weekly Community Conversation Cafe for people from forced migrant backgrounds.


Polly Essex

Admin and Facilities Assistant

Polly is the Admin and Facilities Assistant supporting the work at REUK’s headquarters and social impact hub in Harlesden.


Prior to joining REUK, Polly worked in the homelessness sector where she specialised as a support worker to multi-disadvantaged women, and then to people in the early stages of recovery from substance misuse. 


Polly then went on to manage accommodation services for male rough sleepers with severe and enduring mental health, physical health, and substance misuse needs. 


She is excited to support the work of REUK’s Operations team and develop the sense of community within REUK’s headquarters and hub.

Rosy Cockburn

Higher Education Coordinator

Rosy is a Higher Education Coordinator. Before joining REUK, Rosy was a programme manager at Heartlift, a charity working with young people who had been excluded from mainstream school or for whom mainstream education was no longer sustainable.

Rosy studied Chemistry at Nottingham University before going on to work with Student Finance. She later completed a PGCE and worked as a primary school teacher where she became interested in helping young people overcome barriers to accessing education.

Alongside her role at REUK, Rosy supports Dyspraxia Education, a not for profit organisation which exists to enable pupils with neurodevelopmental conditions to fully access and participate in education.

Sediqa Bakhtiari

Research assistant

Sediqa Bakhtiari is a research assistant at Refugee Education UK, where she takes the lead on a project in partnership with the University of Nottingham. She has experience of doing research for international NGOs and government departments in Afghanistan before the fall of Kabul.


Sediqa is currently a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Tehran.


Her research background has focused on migration, gender, ethnicity and political sociology. 

Yasir Yusuf

Educational Mentoring Coordinator: West Midlands

Yasir is the Mentoring Coordinator for the West Midlands and is based in Birmingham.


As a Tanzanian-born Brit who moved to the UK at a young age, he appreciates the diverse experiences of migrants. Yasir’s academic background includes a comparative study on government policies for refugee flows in East Africa, completed as part of his postgraduate dissertation in Development Studies at LSE. As an intern for the Centre for Global Development he produced research on climate financing.


As President of the East African Society at the University of Warwick, Yasir provided a platform for sharing refugee stories, including the Rwandan genocide and the exile of East African Asians. Prior to joining REUK, he volunteered, welcoming new refugees to his local community.

Yusef Sanei

Educational Wellbeing Lead Practitioner

Yusef designs, develops and delivers wellbeing focused trainings to both internal and external practioners. His works focuses on bringing a person-centered and trauma informed perspective to training in order to help increase the self-efficacy of young people. He works within the Educational Wellbeing team, whose wider work provides 1:1 wellbeing and casework support to young people, allowing them to access and thrive within education.


When not at REUK, Yusef is training to become a UKCP Humanistic Psychotherapist, facilitates workshops with young men around masculinity and leads wellbeing workshops focused on meditation and nature immersion.

Staff team

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