I have lived in Bradford all my life and love the diversity of cultures within the City and wider District. My career has always been in early years and childcare as a registered childminder, volunteer toddler group leader, holiday scheme worker and youth worker. I have been a project manager for Bradford Council for the past 23 years implementing initiatives to support the early years and childcare sector. My involvement with BCoS started when I attended a meeting in 2017 as I felt I wanted to understand the issues that affect asylum seekers and refugees. I became a trustee in 2018 as I wanted to support this valuable work.
I am a retired Chartered Accountant and Finance Director who is or has been a trustee of several local charities over many years, including those helping refugees and the homeless. A native of Bradford, having lived and worked in London and Madrid, I now live in Skipton.
I enjoy volunteering on communications projects with Bradford City of Sanctuary, am on the ‘Welcome to Bradford’ group, and also work with sanctuary seekers at Beacon’s CHAT English Conversation sessions. Formerly, I was deputy headteacher in a Bradford Secondary School.
I started volunteering with BCoS in August 2018 after starting work in Bradford, and then joined the team as a Trustee in 2019. Through attending BCoS meetings I discovered Bread + Roses and now work there as the Business & Operations Coordinator. I am passionate about human rights and particularly in supporting refugees and asylum seekers settle into their new communities. Bradford is a welcoming place and a great city but there is always room for improvement, so I am very proud to work with the great team at BCoS and help make a difference.
Mike joined the BCoS team in November 2019 and is passionate about helping to support people and organisations across Bradford to create opportunities for those with less opportunity. After training in Acting & Theatre in London, Mike travelled to South East Asia, where he set up an arts program on the border between Thailand and Burma. He has since co-established Displace Yourself Theatre, who work closely with people with experience of social exclusion, and make shows which ask questions about true equality.
Will Sutcliffe, Chair
I’ve chaired this wonderful group since our launch in 2008. My background is in local authority social work and project management. For several years until early 2020 I chaired Abigail Housing (https://www.abigailhousing.org.uk/) and remain on the management group of their Bradford-based Destitution Project. I also run a small hosting project for destitute asylum seekers with BEACON (https://beaconbradford.org/projects/hosting/)
I recently stepped down after several years as treasurer. I have worked as a mentoring volunteer with the Refugee Council and hosted a destitute asylum seeker with the Beacon project.
I grew up in New Zealand and came to Britain in the summer of 1975 and have stayed ever since, with some brief forays back to NZ. I have worked as a nurse in both countries and more recently worked as a knowledge broker at Leeds University. I have been a member of the steering group for a number of years, and more recently I became a trustee.
Sarah Cartin – Schools of Sanctuary Project Worker
I’ve been very fortunate to work with local and national organisations on social justice issues as both a project manager and a campaigner, and have been working for Bradford City of Sanctuary since 2018.