Meet the team

The Staff Team

Jessie Seal

Destitution Research Coordinator

Jessie Seal is our Destitution Research Coordinator, who works part-time for NACCOM on our Destitution Research project, mapping and gathering data on the scale and extent of destitution within the UK asylum system.

  • Email Jessie Seal

Renae Mann

National Director

Renae joins NACCOM from Refugee Action, where has been the National Business Development Manager since 2016. She brings a wealth of experience on issues relating to people seeking asylum, with refugee status and migrants with No Recourse to Public Funds from her work in the UK and overseas. During her time at Refugee Action, Renae developed their restricted fundraising strategy securing significant funds to strengthen access to justice and support for people seeking asylum and refugees across the UK. She previously led the Asylum Support Partnership at the Refugee Council, and has supported charities, private and public sector organisations to strengthen their impact as an independent consultant. She is a trustee of London Plus, the voice for civil society organisations in the city, and the MigrationWork Trust, the home of the Community Integration Awards.

Renae is based in London and will take up the National Director’s post from September.

Katie Fawcett

Network Development Worker

Katie Fawcett lives in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and is a Network Development Worker. Katie started her career in the asylum and refugee sector at the St Augustine’s Centre in Halifax, where she helped set up and lead a support centre specifically for asylum seekers and refugees. This led her to help set up several destitution projects including a local foodbank and night shelter. In 2014 Katie left St Augustine’s and helped set up a charity called Happy Days, which offers housing and support to people who are homeless.  At the beginning of 2020 she became a Trustee for both St Augustine’s & Happy Days. Katie works four days per week, supporting NACCOM members in the North West inc. Northern Ireland, and North Wales, West Yorks, Humberside and the West Midlands.

Hannah Gurnham

Communications Coordinator

Hannah Gurnham joined NACCOM in June 2019 as Communications Coordinator, overseeing NACCOM’s communications to all member organisations and raising the charity's profile in the media and public sphere. Hannah has over a decade's experience of PR and marketing within public and charity organisations, including the homelessness sector. Hannah is based in the South of England and works three days a week.

Paul Catterall

Network Development Worker

Paul Catterall is a Network Development Worker for NACCOM, working five days per week to support new and existing members with capacity-building, partnership working and good practice. Before joining the NACCOM staff team, Paul was the CEO of Open Door North East, a charity providing accommodation and other services to asylum seekers and refugees across the Tees Valley. He also served on the NACCOM Steering committee and subsequent Board of Trustees for a number of years.

Lucy Smith

Campaigns and Policy Coordinator

Lucy Smith is the Campaigns and Policy Co-ordinator for NACCOM, working full time to support members evidence destitution, challenge policy and procedures and raise a collective voice for change. Lucy lives in Sheffield and has worked for NACCOM since 2015. She has also held a number of other fundraising and communications roles within and beyond the sector, and has worked or volunteered to support an end to destitution for over a decade.

Angela Stapley

Operations Coordinator

Angela Stapley is Operations Coordinator providing vital administrative support to NACCOM and its members including financial administration, membership fees, assisting with events and database administration.  Angela has worked at NACCOM since 2018 and works four days a week.  

Board of Trustees

Julian Prior

Julian Prior

Chair of Trustees

Julian Prior has been the Chair of Trustees since 2015, and has been involved with the network since it began. He is the CEO and founder of Action Foundation, an award-winning charity in the North East, working with asylum seekers and refugees in Newcastle and Sunderland. Julian is also a fellow of the Centre for Social Justice.

    Caron Boulghassoul

    Caron Boulghassoul

    NACCOM Trustee

    Caron Boulghassoul has over 20 years experience working with destitute asylum seekers and newly recognised refugees and was CEO at NAT for over 10 years. Caron has also extensive experience working on organisational development with refugee community organisations – through applying for charity and CIO registration, policy development, business planning, marketing and fundraising to support groups growth.

      Jonny Darling

      NACCOM Trustee

      Jonny Darling is a Trustee of NACCOM and was elected to the board in September 2018. Jonny received his doctorate from the University of Durham in 2008 for his thesis on Cities of refuge: asylum and the politics of hospitality. Since then, he has lectured at universities in Scotland and Manchester and in 2018 returned to the North East as Assistant Professor in Human Geography at Durham University. His work on urban asylum has been widely recognised and in 2017, he received a University of Manchester ‘Making a Difference’ award for ‘outstanding impact on society through research’.

        Catherine Houlcroft

        NACCOM Trustee

        Catherine Houlcroft is a Trustee of NACCOM and was elected to the board in September 2018. Catherine is the Principal Project Officer for the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) Network.  An experienced trainer and author of online publications with specialist knowledge of immigration law and policy, social care duties and entitlements to public services, she leads local government policy work nationally on NRPF service provision.  She is dedicated to supporting practitioners and achieving positive outcomes for destitute migrants living in the UK.

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          Jochen Kortlaender

          NACCOM Trustee

          Jochen Kortlaender is a Trustee of NACCOM and also works for ASSIST Sheffield, the largest accommodation provider to destitute asylum seekers in South Yorkshire. ASSIST Sheffield has been involved in NACCOM since the beginning, and Jochen joined ASSIST as the Accommodation Development Worker in 2013. Jochen is passionate about ending homelessness for destitute asylum seekers. Before joining ASSIST he worked on refugee and human rights issues for the UN and international NGOs in the Middle East.

            Washington Ali

            NACCOM Trustee

            Washington is a founding member and Chairman of CAST – Communities and Sanctuary Seekers Together, a Charity based in Southend-On-Sea and an organisation which he helped set up in 2011 to support people seeking sanctuary and refugees with no recourse to public funding. In 2018 CAST was registered as a charity with the Charity Commission and in the same year 2018 he was nominated as a Global Goodwill Ambassador for his humanitarian work.

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