Our team of Trustees

Caroline Gregory – Chair

Caroline has a background in journalism and communications.

Based in Calais during the key years of the 'Jungle' refugee camp, she took on the role of speaking to the media and showing round politicians and other high-profile visitors.

Caroline has written about the refugee crisis for various publications including The Huffington Post, and has collaborated on a number of books and a key Oxford University exhibition.

She continues to help run Calais Action, one of the first UK charities to engage with the refugees in France.

Tom Boulton – Treasurer

Having volunteered with us since 2016, Tom is our Treasurer and a maths tutor.

Tom oversees our finances and operations, using his experience as a project manager and engineer at Unilever where he works as an ice cream research scientist. He holds a Chemical Engineering degree from Strathclyde.

Having lived in Bedford for most of his life, Tom has volunteered with FOR for five years, as well as with Bedford Food Bank and, previously, Bedford Street Angels.

In his free time, Tom enjoys amateur dramatics, playing guitar and watching Doctor Who.

Jenni Jackson

Jenni is a semi-retired publications manager who still runs a small graphic design and editing business specialising in work for local charities.

A long-standing left-wing political activist, she has volunteered with a wide variety of charity organisations over the years – from Bedcoda, the former Co-operative Development Agency, Money Advice at St Andrews and, most recently, serving as a trustee of local charity Yarl's Wood Befrienders.

Jenni will help with our Comms strategy.

Dr Helen Connolly

Helen is a senior lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire and an acknowledged expert in the forced migration of children and their subsequent resettlement.

She was recently asked to speak in Parliament about her research on Family Reunion for Amnesty International, Save the Children and the Red Cross.

Helen, who spoke at our very first fundraising dinner in 2016, will help shape our services for young refugees and oversee our safeguarding procedures.

Tim Douglas

Tim looked for opportunities to serve the community on retiring, volunteering for the  John Bunyan community boat, standing for election as Bedford Mayor, raising funds for the Nepal earthquake, and helped found Friends of Refugees in 2015.

He has since dedicated his time to delivering support for refugees abroad and in Bedford, and building the capabilities of the organisation, guiding it through to becoming a registered charity in March 2017.

Dr Zara Layne

Zara was awarded her PhD from the University of Nottingham in 2007 and subsequently worked as a social policy researcher for City University and a number of national charities.

After a career break to raise a family, Zara set up and now manages the co-working space, The Foundry Bedford.

Zara is a founding member of the Black Tom Big Lunch group which runs an annual street party. She has been involved as a volunteer with FOR since 2017 and will be co-ordinating a team of volunteers as our lead for fundraising.

Tanya Fraser

Tanya has taught a range of subjects including RE, Philosophy & Ethics, History and Sociology, has an MA in Transnational Organised Crime, and was Head of a Sociology Department for many years.

Mother to two teenage children, she was born in Hertfordshire but has also lived in London, Dubai and Thailand.

Tanya brings a wide experience of volunteering to her role as FOR trustee – from a soup kitchen in Ladbroke Grove to tutoring for Centrepoint.

Friends of Refugees – Registered Charity Number: 1177693 (England & Wales)

© Friends of Refugees 2018; created by Jaymac Graphics: www.jaymac-graphics.co.uk

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