Staff and Board
Kate Hood | Director
Kate Hood is a marketing communications professional, with 15 years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector, mainly in international development and aid. Formerly a member of Oxfam GB’s senior management team, she has extensive experience of leadership and management, and is used to managing business functions, including budget management and financial reporting, risk analysis, strategic planning, and writing and implementing policy. She is an experienced coach and action learning facilitator, practised at building and leading motivated, complex, multi-disciplinary teams, and at providing consultancy and support to colleagues at all levels. She is driven by the belief that everyone is entitled to live a life free from fear and poverty, and throughout her career has worked alongside people to create an environment where every individual is able to reach their full potential.
Heather Al-Yousuf | Counsellor
Heather Al-Yousuf joined the counselling team at Refugee Resource in 2015 and specialises in working with young people in trans-cultural contexts. She trained in systemic and family therapy to practitioner level in 2010 and is a Relate- registered family and couple counsellor and member of the association for family therapy and systemic practice.
Rachel Lebus | Associate Counsellor
Rachel Lebus is a UKCP-registered psychotherapist. She has a degree in Anthropology and a Masters in Psychotherapy from the Institute of Psychosynthesis. She also has a private practice and specialises in relationship work and trauma therapy.
Fabio Di Donato | Social Inclusion Co-ordinator
Fabio has always been strongly interested in supporting people from different backgrounds in order to help them in their social inclusion. By training in different countries abroad and working with unaccompanied minors, asylum seekers and refugees as a Project Worker and Intercultural Mediator, he has sharpened his cross-cultural communication skills and his professional abilities in this field.
Fatou Ceesay | Women’s Services Co-ordinator
Fatou has broad experience in working with vulnerable women including BMEs, refugees and migrant women who suffer from one form of abuse or another. Her most recent role was with Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service as outreach worker in the South and Vale area of Oxfordshire. She is also actively involved in the campaign against FGM. Prior to coming to the UK, Fatou worked as a journalist in Gambia for a bi-weekly newspaper (The Independent) were she ran a column on women's empowerment.
Board of Directors
We are currently looking for new trustees to join our Board of Trustees with a product marketing background. Please get in touch for more information.
Lucy Nichol | Services Delivery & Development Manager
Lucy has worked for many years in various widening participation and community development roles both in Oxfordshire and in the developing world. She is a trained adult careers guidance adviser and English teacher with lots of practical experience of delivering and managing community programmes, adult learning courses and training provision in both the public and charitable sectors. She has worked with refugees and asylum seekers, amongst other marginalised groups, since 2002. By providing clients with advice and guidance to access suitable provision and support services she aims to enable them to fulfil their personal potential, achieve their aspirations and help them to overcome any barriers they may be facing. Lucy has been with Refugee Resource since 2016.
Brendan St John | Counselling Services Manager
Brendan began his first career studying oriental languages in London and then trained as an Arabic speaking translator. In 2007 he joined the Geneva based International Committee of the Red Cross as a Protection Delegate, working with victims of war and conflict in North Africa, Middle East and the Pacific region. During his missions he advocated for the rights of detainees, the missing, internally displaced persons and refugees and asylum seekers, while at the same time working with local authorities, military officials and local fighters to promote the Geneva Conventions and International Humanitarian Law. After returning to the UK in 2015, he worked at Coventry and Birmingham City University in administration and alumni relations while completing a MSc in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy at Derby University. Brendan has been working as a BACP registered psychotherapist since 2017 and completed his dissertation on how to work with trauma cross-culturally in a clinical setting.
Samantha Flood | Partnership Development Manager
Samantha has worked in the third sector for the past ten years, with a particular focus on development and communications. She has worked with several international charities in India and Kenya, as well as working overseas in Canada. She has a particular passion for small charities and their ability to respond to individual needs, having started her career with a vibrant community project in west London that offered a broad variety of holistic support. She also previously worked for Kent Community Foundation in her home county, supporting fund-holders with their philanthropic commitments.
Elena Messineo | Finance & Administration Manager
Elena has held several positions in Finance and Administration for various companies in the UK and abroad, with a career spanning more than 20 years. She has extensive experience in financial system implementation, financial processes and general business administration including office management, management accounts, procurement and resource planning. Along with an Accountancy qualification, she is also a qualified Adult Learning teacher, as well as a Zumba instructor and holds several other dance qualifications. A strong supporter of human rights and equality, Elena has organised various shows and events to raise funds for local charities, including past voluntary experience with the ambulance service in Italy, and more recently as a local school treasurer and fundraiser here in Oxfordshire.
Naheed Majid | HR Consultant
Naheed is a Human Resources and Coaching practitioner with over 15 year’s experience gained in the publishing and media industry, and more recently in the charitable sector. She has worked both in-house and on a consultancy basis on a wide range of HR projects and all aspects of HR operations. She is CIPD qualified (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development), holds a Masters in Occupational Psychology and a Coaching certificate with an accredited coach training programme (Coaching Development).
Amanda Webb Johnson | Counsellor
Amanda Webb-Johnson is a counsellor specialised in working transculturally with trauma and the losses experienced by refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants. She has worked for Refugee Resource since 1999. She is a registered member of British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and a member of European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
Sushila Dhall | Capacity Building Lead and Counsellor
Sushila Dhall is educated to MSt (Oxford) level in Psychodynamic Practice, which is UKCP level, and has been practicing as a psychotherapist for 20 years. She has worked for the NHS, has a small private practice in central Oxford, and has worked for Refugee Resource for 12 years.
Alan Buckley | Associate Counsellor
Alan Buckley has been practising as a psychotherapist in Oxford since 1999, having previously trained with the Irish Gestalt Centre. He has over two decades’ experience in a wide range of therapeutic settings, including residential mental health units and drug and alcohol treatment services. He began working for Refugee Resource in 2014.
Leon Beachy | Administrative Assistant
Leon Beachy lived and worked in Kenya and Eritrea from 1987-2000 as a linguist and lecturer at the University of Asmara. In Kenya he encountered many displaced Eritreans refugees who were there because of the Eritrean war for independence from Ethiopia. Moving to Eritrea, he became involved with a campaign trying to attract international attention and engagement with the large number of displaced Eritreans forced to leave Ethiopia. This was due to the second war with Ethiopia from 1998-2000.Through all of this Leon became quite aware of what it is like living as a refugee through no choice of one’s own.
Rod Diaz | Mentoring and Volunteering Services Co-ordinator
Rod joins Refugee Resource from Oxford-based charity Children Heard and Seen, which supports children impacted by parental imprisonment. There he set up the mentoring and volunteering programme where his work and that of the charity was recognised by the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2019. Prior to this, Rod had a successful career in the UK and overseas as a public servant working in various departments/jurisdictions. With two adult children, Rod enjoys keeping fit, yoga, meditation, mountain biking, photography and writing, and has British and Spanish nationalities.
Belinda Coote | Chair of Trustees
Belinda has extensive experience and knowledge of the voluntary sector both in the UK and overseas gained through a career that reflects her strong interest in social justice. After completing her social work training and working as a Probation Officer in inner London she spent 2 years in the Philippines as a VSO volunteer followed by 18 years working for Oxfam, including in Bangladesh, Nepal and Southern Africa. She left Oxfam to become Chief Executive of Medical Aid for Palestinians and has since occupied a number of senior roles, including as Chief Executive, in a range of international development organisations. Latterly her focus has been on interim management and organisational change. Belinda is author of several books on international trade has been a trustee of a number of organisations including INTRAC, Asylum Welcome and FoBZu (Friends of Birzeit University).
Louisa has enjoyed a successful career in fundraising over the past 15 years. Starting off as a corporate fundraiser for Mencap, working with blue-chip companies to secure vital funding for the charity's work. After four years, she moved to Oxford to fulfil her dream of working for Oxfam. Establishing a number of new relationships with Trusts and Foundations, by showing her passion for the charity's work, this led to a series of new grants. Subsequently, she has spent the past six years focused on building the capacity of Oxfam's campaigns department to significantly increase funding for this critical work. In her spare time, she enjoys the great outdoors, spending time at her allotment, and bringing out her creative side through flower arranging.
Ken King | Treasurer
Ken has worked for more than 30 years in the higher education sector, in particular in the field of astronomical satellite, instrument design and operations and was a project manager for over 20 years, handling budgets of £1-2M per year and reporting to funding bodies such as Research Councils and The European Commission. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He has been a member of the Mali Development Group (a registered charity supporting development activities in Mali) management committee with responsibility for budgetary forward planning and is currently treasurer of two small local organisations.
Liz has over 20 years of experience in supporting people and organisational development in challenging environments. Having begun her career managing a hospital in Pakistan, Liz has worked in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Liz worked in international development, including several years as Head of Learning & Organisational Development for Oxfam. Liz is passionate about supporting leaders to create organisational cultures where employees are empowered to learn, adapt and thrive. Liz is also a governor at her local secondary school.
Adiba is a refugee who had to flee from Syria with her three children. She therefore has a deep, personal understanding of the issues facing refugees in the UK and has been a client with Refugee Resource since 2016. Adiba qualified as a paediatrician in 2007, with excellent results in her training, and worked for 5 years before having to leave Syria. Adiba also spent four months volunteering as a paediatric specialist with the Red Crescent in Lebanon working with Syrian refugees families. Adiba is now working to become registered to practice medicine in the UK. With her personal experience of all the challenges that refugees face, Adiba wants to help represent those needs and make sure that everyone has the benefit of the services offered by Refugee Resource.
Michael Taylor has a background in both the academic and the development sectors. In a remarkable career spanning many roles, he was director of Christian Aid for 12 years, Professor of Social Theology at Birmingham University, and has chaired the boards of a number of charities, including the Burma Action Group, the Jubilee Debt Campaign, Health Poverty Action, Responding to Conflict, and Mines Advisory Group.
Andrew spent most of his professional life as a social work practitioner, manager and commissioner, mainly in Sussex. For the majority of this time he supported people with mental health needs and people with learning disabilities. More recently, he has worked nationally across the UK, promoting support arrangements that start from each person as an individual, their community - and their strengths, needs and wishes - rather than from “one size fits all” type approaches. Andrew moved to the city of Oxford in 2012 and joined Refugee Resource as a trustee in 2020. Andrew enjoys cinema, reading, travel and the natural world. He says that his hope is for a welcoming society which prioritises kindness and mutual respect.