Hide navigation menu

Our Team

Trustees & Director

Simon Bottomley

Treasurer and Company Secretary

Simon Bottomley

Simon Bottomley

Treasurer and Company Secretary

Tell us about your job

I have been Trustee Treasurer for 4 years which involves keeping an eye on our Financial position and making sure that we comply with our legal requirements with both the Charities Commission and Companies House.

What languages do you speak?  

 English (Yorkshire variety)

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

Helping our committed staff and volunteers to do all the valuable work they do in assisting people who really need it.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

To try and treat people the way I would like to be treated, might make an exception for scammy phone callers!

Mark Pattison

Co-Chair

Mark Pattison

Mark Pattison

Co-Chair

Tell us about your job

I am Vice Chair (and Interim Chair) of the Board of Trustees. I work closely with Sara, our Centre Director, and with all other Trustees to make sure the Board operates effectively to oversee the work of the Centre and help shape its future direction.  I am also a volunteer for English Language support and help produce our regular podcast English for Life in the U.K.

What languages do you speak?

English and I speak French to an intermediate level.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

I love the sense of a community with people from all around the world and the commitment, caring and creativity shown by all those who work, volunteer and participate in the Centre’s activities.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

‘Good leaders have a curiosity about what is possible, openness to other people, sensitivity to context and loyalty to a better future’. Michael Fullan

Danielle Chavrimootoo

Trustee

Danielle Chavrimootoo

Danielle Chavrimootoo

Trustee

Ashley Parkin

Trustee

Ashley Parkin

Ashley Parkin

Trustee

Tell us about your job

I've just started as a Trustee after a couple of years befriending a Syrian family through St Augustine's. I'm not sure how my involvement will develop, but I'm already taking a lead on safeguarding issues as I managed Children's Services before I retired recently. I'm really excited about using my skills and learning new ones alongside everybody who uses the centre.

What languages do you speak?

I have really struggled to learn languages all my life so I'm stuck with English. I can just about get by in French, and my good friends are trying their hardest to help me speak Arabic but it's an up hill task!!

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s 

Loads of things impress me about St Augustine's but the top one is that the people who use the Centre have such a big say in how it operates - that keeps it real!

A quote or life lesson that guides you

'From each according to ability, to each according to need' is a guiding principle for me, and a life lesson I always try to remember is listen harder and assume nothing.

Toby Seton

Trustee

Toby Seton

Toby Seton

Trustee

Tell us about your role at St. Augustine's Centre

Truly, I cannot now recall how I first became involved, but it was some years ago now and definitely after I had retired. I would hazard that it must be coming up for 7 to 8 years now. It took me a while to find a niche where I could feel I was contributing something but also, selfishly, enjoying the contribution. I tried helping with computer applications to prove that folk had made all necessary efforts to find work, but my computer skills were not up to the task! I am not a teacher, so I just used to come along to Helen's wonderful language cafe, which was always a hive of bustling activity, and the musical activity just evolved from there.

What languages do you speak?

 I speak English, French and German, the latter two, to a good standard. I have a holiday level of Spanish and Italian, and I have been learning Turkish - which I would describe as now as being of a basic transactional level.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

Partly due to my father's own refugee origins, I think I had been brought up almost instinctively to presume that foreigners are generally going to be more interesting than indigenous people! So, on retirement, to discover a microcosm of many of the world's cultures on my door step was and has remained fantastic!!!

A quote or life lesson that guides you

We all have to find a way of living and working with all sorts of people, even those whose views we find diametrically opposed to our own, and resist the temptation to surround ourselves and engage only with people who share our point of view and values.

Hina Gillani

Trustee

Hina Gillani

Hina Gillani

Trustee

Tell us about your role at St. Augustine's Centre

I was a centre member from 2017 and involved in teaching English classes. Currently doing creative writing sessions. I have also been participated in STAs Open day and wrote a poem for the day. I am supporting the centre through writing poems on different occasions and participating in the interviews conducted by different organisation on asylum and refugee issues.

What language do you speak?

Urdu, Punjabi, Pushtu, English

The best thing about being part of St. Augustine's

Being feeling a useful part of community. This centre has been really helpful whenever I needed and its easily accessible. It is very close to my heart. Where I felt heard and listened as well as respectful and dignified.

A quote or life lesson that guides you.

I am not worthless, I am useful.

Jess Fowle

Trustee

Jess Fowle

Jess Fowle

Trustee

Tell us about your role at St Augustine's Centre

I had always heard brilliant things about Saint Augustine's. When lockdown happened – I took the chance to become a welfare caller and chat, on the phone, to centre users who were stuck at home and missing the camaraderie and companionship of the centre. I loved everything about the organisation – from its purpose to its friendliness (and the lunches are  absolutely amazing!) so I was incredibly grateful to be given the opportunity to become a Trustee.  

What languages do you speak?

I’m sad to say that I only really speak English.  I have so much admiration for people who can speak more than one language and I am currently learning (very slowly) Spanish.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s 

I love being part of a community that is all about activism, sharing and learning from one another.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

“Nevertheless she persisted”

Doreen Mbabazi.

Trustee

Doreen Mbabazi.

Doreen Mbabazi.

Trustee

Tell us about your role 

1- Responsible for making important decisions for St Augustine's.

2- Give support in any event that may be taking place at St Augustine's.

3- Bring an input of my skills to St Augustine's as a charity.

What languages do you speak?

English, Runyarwanda and Luganda.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

St Augustine's has always been home for me because I found the people there so welcoming. I love the fact that St. Augustine's is multi-cultural with different nationalities and cultures. St Augustine's is a place with a lot of fun activities and events that one can enjoy freely.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Sara Robinson

Centre Director.

Sara Robinson

Sara Robinson

Centre Director.

Tell us about your job?

Together with the Board, I oversee our strategic direction and obtain the income to make sure we can achieve our aims. I make sure the team are fulfilled in their work and that we have the right policies and processes in place to do our best work safely. I also generate partnerships with other organisations and make sure St Augustine's Centre and our work has a strong profile locally and regionally. I worked in the cultural sector for 30 years so I am always keen that we do as many arts, sports and other fun and educational activities as possible.

Which languages do you speak?

English and a tiny bit of French. If you ask my daughters (I have three), they will tell you I also have my own made up language.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine's 

This is very special place to work. A community of people from 57 countries! It’s a tiny corner of the world that shows how life can be. Where everyone is welcome and we can be alongside one another, without judgement – just a strong belief that we are all unique and equal, learning from and relishing our differences.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

'Deeds not words' (the rallying cry of the brave Suffragettes). And 'Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.' from Viktor E Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and prisoner of war. 

Katie Fawcett

Trustee

Katie Fawcett

Katie Fawcett

Trustee

Tell us about your role at St. Augustine's Centre

 I'm a trustee who helps to oversee the mission and vision of the Centre, and that the values are lived out and are at the heart of every aspect of the Centre. I feel lucky to have had many roles at the Centre, I've kind of 'grown up' through the Centre, starting with meeting people round the family dining table to working in the nursery to then developing the work of supporting people seeking sanctuary, working together to create a safe space to call home. Having these experiences and knowledge of the Centre and community really helps me in my role as trustee.

What languages do you speak?

Sadly, just English. My initial aim at the age of 21 when I started going to the Centre was to learn some of the other languages spoken at the Centre. However, after 20 years this hasn't quiet worked out! 

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The people. It's a place you go to and feel at home, feel accepted and loved. It's a unique community... you can be away for years but when you go back, it still feels like family.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

There are so many quotes that I could choose. Having a faith, I'm often drawn to scripture, however if I was to share something that keeps me going it's a few words that a friend once spoke over me and which I share and support others to believe...'You are stronger than you think'.

Andrew Jones

Co-Chair

Andrew Jones

Andrew Jones

Co-Chair

Tell us about your job

I have been a Trustee since December 2018 and am one of the team guiding and overseeing the running and development of all aspects of the Centre. Along with writing funding bids, community engagement and developing working partnerships I am currently the strategic lead on health on the board, working with our excellent staff team and the local NHS to improve access to health services for our centre members. As well as being a Trustee, I have volunteered in various roles at St. Augustine's, helping teach English and also playing and performing music with people seeking sanctuary in Calderdale. I formerly managed a health based voluntary organisation and worked in social care with the NHS.

What languages do you speak?

I speak only English (unfortunately!)

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

For me the best thing about being part of St Augustine's is getting to know the people involved, the centre members from all over the world, the staff, volunteers and other trustees, working together in common purpose to make Calderdale a welcoming and inclusive community which fosters human rights and equality. I feel fortunate to know such a great group of people.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

Difficult but if I had to choose one relating to St Augustine's it would probably be from the words of Jo Cox which drew on a quote by Mauricio Macri: "There is more that unites us than divides us".

Support Team

Becky Hellewell

Head of Support & Immigration

Becky Hellewell

Becky Hellewell

Head of Support & Immigration

Tell us about your job

I help oversee the support & immigration services at St. Augustine’s. Our team specialise in providing advice and support to those seeking sanctuary here in Calderdale. We work as a team to help encourage and empower our centre members to access advice and support on a wide range of areas working closely with partner organisations.

What languages do you speak?

I only speak English but would LOVE to learn another language!  I always try and learn how to say hello in as many languages as I can (but please don’t test me on this!)

A quote or life lesson that guides you

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.

Florence Kahuro

Caseworker

Florence Kahuro

Florence Kahuro

Caseworker

Tell us about your job

As a caseworker I support centre members with advice and support on a range of issues.

What languages do you speak?

Kikuyu,Swahili and English

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The opportunity to learn new skills and working with a very supportive team.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

 Be a voice not an echo.

 

Jihen Zitouni

Caseworker

Jihen Zitouni

Jihen Zitouni

Caseworker

Tell us about your job

I’m a caseworker, I support centre members with advice and support on a range of issues.

What languages do you speak?

I can speak Arabic, French and English.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

St Augustine’s Centre is full of inspirational people with different backgrounds, each one with a story to tell that is sure motivating. Knowing that the time you spend makes a difference to others is a crumb of comfort at the end of each hard working day.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

Accept yourself and keep moving forward. If you want to fly you have to give up what weighs you down.

Nikki Clarke

Immigration Advisor

Nikki Clarke

Nikki Clarke

Immigration Advisor

Tell us about your job

I work as an OISC Level 2 accredited caseworker, in partnership with the Helena Kennedy Centre (HKC) Refugee Rights Hub on refugee family reunion applications. I also support centre members with advice in relation to fresh claims and submitting of exceptional case funding (ECF) applications.

What languages do you speak?

I speak English, and conversational British Sign Language (BSL).

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

Every day at St. Augustine's I learn something new, particularly from the centre members I work with. Learning and understanding is the only way I can ensure I do the best job possible.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

We should be guided by compassion and respect. Don't be quick to judge; listen to understand.

Laurence Larroche

Senior Caseworker (Health) & Immigration Adviser

Laurence Larroche

Laurence Larroche

Senior Caseworker (Health) & Immigration Adviser

Tell us about your job

I provide practical and emotional support to our Centre members, and take a lead role on health-related issues. I also offer immigration advice at level 2 OISC (Asylum & Protection), e.g. fresh claims and applications for 'Exceptional Case' funding.

What languages do you speak?

English, French and Spanish.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The best thing about being part of St Augustine's Centre is the bonds I have made with people from all over the world. I can’t think of many workplaces where I would have had the same opportunity. Also, a brilliant team!

A quote or life lesson that guides you

I just try to live by two main principles: do my best and keep a sense of humour.

Felix Twist

Immigration Advisor

Felix Twist

Felix Twist

Immigration Advisor

Tell us about your job

I assist the immigration team with Refugee Family Reunion applications. I am working towards being able to conduct my own cases independently. 

What languages do you speak?

English, French (up to A level) and tiny bits of Italian, Dutch,  Polish, and Mandarin Chinese (thank you, Duolinguo.) 

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

For me, the best thing about being part of St Augustine’s is actually being able to do something worthwhile and help people. It’s being able to consider any given person as a whole person and consider what the range of things we, as a team, and the people we know outside of St Augustine’s can do to help that individual the best we can. It’s going home knowing that not a moment of the time spent here has been wasted or has failed to achieve something.  

A quote or life lesson that guides you

“You support me I support you. Whoever you are. Wherever you come from. Shoulder to shoulder. Hand to hand.”  

Activities Team

Rabia Zaka

Volunteers Co-ordinator

Rabia Zaka

Rabia Zaka

Volunteers Co-ordinator

Tell us about your job

I work as the Volunteers Coordinator. My job includes management, recruitment and induction of volunteers. I am also running a befriending program for St Augustine's called Helping Hands.

What languages do you speak?

I speak Urdu and English fluently. A teeny tiny bit of French and Arabic as well you can say. 

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

Its people whether they are centre members or staff. Absolutely delighted to be working among compassionate people who are there to make positive difference in somebody else's lives. This job is not only a job for me but more of my passion. 

A quote or life lesson that guides you

You only fail when you stop trying.

Arsalan Ghasemi

Activities Co-ordinator

Arsalan Ghasemi

Arsalan Ghasemi

Activities Co-ordinator

Tell us about your job

I'm the Activities Co-ordinator. My duties are to run the Welcome Cafe and to manage all the donations related to the Free shop. Also, I coordinate the Tech project which is laptops, tablet and phones donations, the Re:Cycle bike project, the Barber shop and Beauty salon. 

I also co-ordinate some sports activities including Football. 

What languages do you speak?

I speak English, Kurdish Hawrami, Kurdish Sorani and Farsi. 

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

St. Augustine’s Centre for me is like a small world without any borders, discrimination or racism so I want to be part of this world and I will try to make it better and better and give this feeling to all our centre members that this is their home. 

A quote or life lesson that guides you

Keep smiling and hope; when you feel defeated, this is the moment to be brave and take a step towards your goal.  

Adrian Bell

Integration Co-ordinator

Adrian Bell

Adrian Bell

Integration Co-ordinator

Tell us about your job

I am the integration programme co-ordinator. It’s my job to get to know people and connect them to different organisations and activities throughout Calderdale. I also work with organisations to open up and learn about the barriers our centre members face on a daily basis.

What languages do you speak?

English although travelling has helped me to learn a little of a lot of languages.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

I love getting to know our centre members – the vast array of interests, hobbies, skills and passion always amaze me.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

“There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known” – John Lennon

Su Halliday

Head of Activities

Su Halliday

Su Halliday

Head of Activities

Tell us about your job

As Head of Activities, I look after the team of staff and volunteers who deliver our amazing programme of activities, including English classes, Befriending, the Welcome Cafe, the Free Shop, Integration and a growing choice of arts, sports and cultural activities.  I am also responsible for how we recruit, train and deploy our huge team of wonderful volunteers 

What languages do you speak?

I learnt French and German at school and also speak a little Urdu.  Recently I've been trying to learn Arabic but I need to practise - so if that's your language, please come and say مرحبا (marhabaan) when you see me. 

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

I love meeting amazing people from all over the world and being part of a team that makes them feel welcome and valued as individuals.  It's a privilege to be able to help people achieve new things, whether that's speaking English, or developing their confidence as a volunteer. It's great to see the smiles when people succeed.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

Treat other people as you want to be treated. Be kind. Be fair.

Operations Team

Kirstie Rowe

Operations Supervisor

Kirstie Rowe

Kirstie Rowe

Operations Supervisor

Tell us about your job

I manage the finance and operations side of St Augustines.

What languages do you speak?

I speak English only.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The best thing about being part of St Augustines is that no 2 days are ever the same. It’s always interesting talking to all of our Centre members and volunteers.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine”. A smile is infectious, smile at someone and watch them smile back!

Zafar Iqbal

Caretaker

Zafar Iqbal

Zafar Iqbal

Caretaker

Tell us about your job

I maintain the building and grounds, making sure everything is functioning properly.

What languages do you speak?

I speak English, Urdu & Punjabi.

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

It's close to my house and the staff are all lovely.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

Helping mankind ... and bills!

Amber Ray

Communications Co-ordinator

Amber Ray

Amber Ray

Communications Co-ordinator

Tell us about your job

 I manage internal and external communications, including the website and social media. 

What languages do you speak?

English and a bit of Spanish

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The team at St. Augustine's is always positive and supportive, and the atmosphere vibrant and uplifiting. Few places can make you feel so at home, no matter who you are or where you come from.

A quote or life lesson that guides you

"Solidarity is not discovered by reflection but created." -Philosopher Richard Rorty

Danny Watkins

Cleaner

Danny Watkins

Danny Watkins

Cleaner

Tell us about your job

I am the cleaner at St. Augustine's. My duties include using the vaccuum and mop to clean the floors and use sanitizers as well as other general cleaning equipment to ensure the Centre can run smoothly whilst maintaining good hygiene. I also make sure the rubbish waste and recycling is collected each week and have the responsibility of being a key holder.

What languages do you speak?

I only speak English, however I did get a grade B at German GCSE level. (Forgot everything now though!)

The best thing about being part of St Augustine’s

The best thing for me is how lovely everybody is. I've not been here long and already feel a part of the family. Everyone gives a helping hand when someone is struggling and that's another great thing, too!

A quote or life lesson that guides you

"Do or do not, there is no try." - Yoda, Star Wars