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Ben Whitton (REN Coordinator)

Ben Whitton

REN Coordinator

Ben joined the Refugee Employment Network in January 2021. He has extensive experience working in the refugee employment sector across case working, programme management and curriculum development. Ben has a degree in psychology along with qualifications in coaching and leadership. He is passionate about supporting people from underprivileged backgrounds to reach their full potential through meaningful employment and career growth.

Our Trustees

Janice Lopatkin (Chair of REN)

Janice Lopatkin

Director of Programmes World Jewish Relief & Chair of REN

Janice is World Jewish Relief’s UK Programme Director and runs the Specialist Training and Employment Programme STEP, which supports resettled refugees in to employment. STEP is run in partnership with Coventry City Council, Bristol Council, Bradford Base, Refugee Council, BITC, TERN and SBC Theatre Company. Janice has over 20 years’ experience working for a range of charities and social businesses, developing and managing large scale projects. Janice was awarded an MBE for services to refugees in the June 2019 honours list.

‘‘As chair of REN I am working to establish the network to enable greater opportunities for the sector to provide sustainable employment and self-employment opportunities for refugees. It is fantastic to work with so many excellent sector organisations, local authorities, the Home Office, the DWP and UNHCR all towards a purpose of creating a better future for refugees in the UK.’’

Charlie Fraser (Partnerships Director at TERN)

Charlie Fraser

Partnerships Director at TERN

Charlie is the Partnerships Director at TERN, an ambitious social enterprise enabling refugees to thrive through the power of their own ideas.

Since 2016, TERN has worked with over 350 refugee entrepreneurs as part of their goal to launch 2,000 refugee-led businesses by 2025.

Charlie has been part of REN since it's initial conception in 2017 and is driven by ensuring refugees have fair access to livelihood support wherever they are in the UK.

Doug Ridley (Head of Finances and Resources at Gingerbread & REN Treasurer)

Doug Ridley

Head of Finances and Resources at Gingerbread & REN Treasurer

Elizabeth Bowles (REN Trustee)

Elizabeth Bowles

Head of Inquiries at the Cabinet Office

Policy Professional specialising in Equality and Human Rights.

Nour Talli (REN Trustee)

Nour Talli

Senior Business Programmes and Innovation Manager at Save the Children UK

Akeela Ahmed (REN Trustee)

Akeela Ahmed

Equalities campaigner and social entrepreneur

Specialising in youth and gender issues.

Sally Bailey (REN Trustee)

Sally Bailey

Chair and Non Exec Director (Ex-CEO) of Weird Fish Clothing and Everpress