The NACCOM staff team reflect on their highlights of 2022.

Bridget Young, NACCOM’s Director;

“This year I am grateful for kindness and humour. The kindness I’ve experienced and the laughter I’ve shared with the NACCOM team, trustees, Community Research volunteers, members and partners. Yes, you all do amazing and clever things. And these are much needed. But in a world that can sometimes feel cruel and grim and overwhelming, those moments of kindness and humour mean so so much. At NACCOM we talk about modelling the way we want to see the world, and we still have a long way to go. We want a world that is fair and just, but also that is kind and fun. Merry Christmas to all you passionate, committed, clever, kind, funny folk. You are hugely appreciated.”

Katie Fawcett, Network Development Coordinator;

“2022 has been another year of solidarity and strength in the face of a hostile environment. What’s kept me going is the abundance of hope and compassion I have witnessed through so many of our members, their communities and the whole NACCOM team and family. I’m blessed to be in this role serving alongside such an amazing and unique network of individuals, standing together to overcome the injustices of the asylum and immigration system. May everyone find some peace and rest this Christmas and as we venture into 2023, be hopeful that we will continue to offer safety and sanctuary to many more people.”

Leon Elliott, Policy and Research Coordinator;

“Reflecting on my first twelve months in the role, I am proud to be part of the NACCOM team, and more importantly proud to be part of the wider NACCOM network. This year I had the opportunity to visit several members in person, which I found deeply inspiring. My highlight of the year was seeing the Community Researcher group deliver their first independent research project after months of careful design – and I am excited to see the impacts that this research will have in the year ahead.”

Paul Catterall, Network Development Coordinator;

As many people in the network know, I have been at NACCOM in one role or another since 2006, when our founder and my good friend Dave Smith began gathering around seven charities and projects together to share ideas and learn from one another. Many of those early projects and a good number of our 140+ members today have been birthed out of a faith conviction that calls us to offer hospitality and practical support to the stranger who finds themselves in need. 

2022 has been a turbulent year in more ways than one, and I’ve been particularly reflecting on the Ukrainian crisis and the groundswell of people opening their homes under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.  Whatever their motivations this has certainly raised the profile of hosting and directly or indirectly affected many of our members, and particularly those whose aim is to provide hospitality through hosting to the most vulnerable left with NRPF due to the failures of the asylum system or at risk of homelessness as newly granted refugees.  

I continue to be encouraged by the passion, creativity, professionalism and willingness of members to share knowledge and ideas, while promoting best practise so that those in need have the very best opportunity to have a safe place to stay and in order in time to hopefully achieve positive move on.  

Finally, it’s important to remember that Jesus was for a time a refugee taken by his parents to seek sanctuary in Egypt and as we approach the celebration of his birth, I wish you a very peaceful Christmas and a more hopeful 2023.”

Finn McKay, Community Research Facilitator;

As the year draws to a close, I’m feeling grateful to NACCOM staff and our Community Research volunteers who have made me feel so welcomed and supported in my first few months in this job, and lucky to be a part of a network which creates a space for solidarity and positive action in the face of a hostile and cruel immigration and asylum system. In particular, I am full of admiration for our Community Researchers and their determination to harness their experiences of injustice to fight for positive change. Wishing everyone some well-deserved rest and peace over the festive period!

Angela Stapley, Finance and Operations Coordinator;

I am grateful for the determination of the NACCOM team and our Members, and the feeling of togetherness we share.  Operationally we’ve had lots to contend with this year such as cancelled events due to Covid, heat wave, strike action but we have all hung in there, haven’t we! We’ve edited, rearranged and pushed on to continue our work and shared goal of ending destitution.  Love and best wishes for 2023!

Hannah Gurnham, Communications Coordinator;

This year I’ve been grateful for the solidarity, strength and determination of our members, who continue to fight against the increasingly hostile policies and language coming out of Westminster aimed at refugees, whilst also delivering vital support to people in crisis. They are an inspiring example of the power of compassion in action, and I look forward to working with this incredible network of people in 2023!