Lizzie has been working in the charity sector for 13 years, specialising in fundraising, leadership and strategy for small charities. She has previously worked with prisoners, dancers, brain-injury survivors, disadvantaged groups in the South West and the East Midlands.
Elinor has been working with people seeking asylum for over 25 years, as an adviser and service manager. She believes that knowledge is power, and that asylum seekers - who are often given very little information about the system they're in - must be informed, empowered and supported to have the best possible chance of getting safety. She feels very lucky to have joined the wonderful BHN family of members, volunteers and staff.
Laura Chester is BHN's Hosting Manager, she joined the charity in 2017. 'Hosting is a simple way to make a huge difference to someone's life, when we show hospitality we get so much back. I love making introductions and opening doors between people who would never otherwise meet. I believe that everyone has the right to work towards a better life for themselves and their family. I've never had a job where I learned so much and enjoyed people's company so much'.
Rachael is the Co-Founder and now Operations Director of BHN. She joined in the organisation's early days as a volunteer and has been involved ever since. Rachel is a registered social worker and since 2009. She loves cooking and wild swimming but doesn't get to do either enough!
Steve has been involved in BHN since 2012, when he moved to Bristol from Leeds. Steve has previously been our Chair of Trustees, working tirelessly to help with governance and planning for the organisation's future, offering experience in management, governance, business planning and income generation. He can also be quite handy at DIY or computer issues when needed and enjoys a good meal at BHN parties!
Naomi Millner is one of the Co-Founders of BHN. She was inspired to start organising the network in 2008 while working as an advocacy volunteer with Bristol Refugee Rights, at a time when an estimated 450,000 people were living destitute as asylum seekers in the UK. Naomi is passionate about popular education and social empowerment, and is currently working on a programme for member leadership training within BHN. She also works as a lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Bristol.
George joined the board in 2020 after some time volunteering at the men's house and helping develop the host network. He has experience of working in refugee/asylum seeker hosting, and currently works for ACH
Leila joined us as a trustee in 2017. She has worked in the charity sector for seven years and has experience in volunteer management, partnership building and community development. Leila currently works as Communities Officer at Brunel’s ss Great Britain Trust. In her free time, she loves discovering new walks on public transport, vegetarian cooking and reading.
Laura has been a trustee for BHN since 2018 and as our Treasurer is accountable for making sure we are financially sustainable. She's a chartered accountant, who loves solving problems and trying to predict what will happen next! Her day job is in financial services for a large building society. When not number-crunching she loves outdoor adventures, rock climbing and boardgames.
Sarah joined BHN in 2018 as a host and a Trustee and is now our Chair of Trustees. She is passionate about social justice. With a background in safeguarding, she is helping BHN with this, together with strategy, policies and business planning.
James and Susan joined BHN in 2014 as hosts for our Fishpond house that welcomes 10 of our members. Before that, both of them were involved in other charities as trustee and volunteer.
Linda joined BHN as our Finance and Admin Manager in 2017 and has worked in finance within the voluntary sector for over 30 years. Over the years Linda has been involved in many anti-racism campaigns, and is a founding member of Calais Refugee Solidarity Bristol, which since 2015 has helped to provide humanitarian aid, shelter and food for the refugees in Calais and Dunkirk.
My name is Helen Kidan and I am the new member volunteer coordinator at BHN and I joined 2 September 2019. Prior to this I volunteered and worked with Network of Eritrean Women, I continue to volunteer with them. I have been a human rights activists for a number of years. In my free time I enjoy reading, socialising with people and travelling.
Hi, I am Graham and I started working for BHN in March taking on the position of Maintenance Coordinator. Whilst I have a background in HR and linguistics, I recently retrained as a carpenter and since 2018 have been working for a Bristol based, non-profit organisation, renovating derelict properties to be used as social housing. In my spare time I enjoy studying languages and playing traditional Irish and Scottish folk music.