We’re delighted to welcome Ellie Stacey, Tim Finch and Shilla Mutamba to our Board of Trustees.
After leaving school Ellie worked as cabin crew for British Airways and travelled the world… well, the airports! Marriage and children followed, as well as teacher training. After a long career as a primary school teacher, including two headships, Ellie relocated from Oxford to Cornwall. As part of her own resettlement to a new area, Ellie went along to a meeting of local people in Bude who wanted to urge the council in Cornwall to resettle refugees. From that meeting, one of the first Community Sponsorship groups in the UK emerged. Since then, Ellie has supported many Community Sponsorship groups across Cornwall and has spoken about her experience at conferences in South West England and to an international audience. For Ellie, taking early retirement has led to a whole new career as a volunteer in several fields and she is very interested in what volunteers bring to and gain from Community Sponsorship.
“I am very proud to be joining Reset as a trustee. This is a charity that punches above its weight and is truly a learning organisation, so encouraging, but not afraid to face challenges. In a seemingly divided world, we need to work together as communities more than ever, and community led welcome offers a perfect template.”
Shilla has substantial strategic leadership and senior management experience acquired from roles in operations management, project management, technical leadership, line management and clinical research. Among other things, she has led and managed complex, fast-paced, 24/7 operations in heavily-regulated scientific environments. Shilla is a published researcher with a PhD in Immunology. Having recently studied “Corporate Governance, Risk and Control” as part of her MBA, Shilla is passionate about board diversity, inclusive leadership and stakeholder-inclusive corporate governance. In supporting Reset’s work, Shilla draws on her experience as an ethnic minority immigrant. Shilla attends a church involved in Community Sponsorship.
“Reset’s noble mission of enabling communities to welcome refugees is aligned with my own values. Although I do not have a lived experience as a refugee, I trust that I can draw on my lived experience as an ethnic minority immigrant who relocated to the UK over 20 years ago. I recall the difference that having a welcoming church community made to my integration. As Maya Angelou said, ‘At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.’”
Tim was involved in the setting up of Community Sponsorship of refugees as coordinator of the National Refugee Welcome Board and founding director of Sponsor Refugees. He founded the migration communications agency IMiX and before that was head of migration research at the think tank IPPR. He was director of communications at the Refugee Council, after a career as a BBC journalist. Tim is a novelist. His latest novel Peace Talks was shortlisted for the Costa Best Novel Award in 2020. He is a volunteer member of Peckham Sponsors Refugees, which welcomed a refugee family to Peckham in 2019.
“Having spent many years working to help refugees settle in the UK, I have no hesitation in saying that community sponsorship – and other forms of community-led welcome – are much the best way of helping refugee families to build new lives in this country. Being involved in my local community sponsorship group in Peckham and welcoming the Al Shaabin from Syria to our neighbourhood has been one of the best things I’ve done in my life. I’m delighted therefore to join Reset’s board of trustees and to help the organisation in its continued development.”