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

Doug is the Director of Finance and Operations at Think Ahead, an organisation that recruits, trains and promotes the mental health workforce. Doug has had a varied career specialising in Finance, Operations, Human Resources, IT and Facilities management, including almost ten years spent advising an Australian government agency as Regional Corporate Services Manager.  Acting as REN’s Trustee Treasurer, Doug is a highly motivated individual with a flair for bringing the people and numbers together, and he has proven an asset to REN’s Board of Trustees. 

Elizabeth Bowles

Elizabeth Bowles

Elizabeth has nearly twenty years’ experience working across a range of prominent policy projects and programmes within the equality and human rights sectors. Elizabeth currently works in public policy in the Cabinet Office. Prior to this, she worked in a number of roles at the Equality and Human Rights Commission including as Head of Employment where she led on issues relating to low paid workers and on advising companies on business and human rights matters. 

Nour Talli (REN Trustee)

Nour Talli

Senior Business Programmes and Innovation Manager at Save the Children UK

Nour works on Programme design and development for business partnerships at Save the Children UK. Save the Children is a leading charity in the field of child welfare and has helped over 45 million children as of 2022, across 117 countries where the charity is currently based. Nour is a committed member of REN’s Trustee Board, dedicated to harnessing the power of the business community to engage with and positively impact the lives of disadvantaged communities.

Akeela Ahmed

Akeela Ahmed

Akeela Ahmed MBE is a business leader, social entrepreneur and equalities campaigner for 20 years. In 2014 she founded 'She Speaks We Hear' which gives unfiltered women's voices a platform. Akeela advises and works with government in tackling anti-Muslim hatred, sitting on the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group as Chair of the Independent Members. She is a Trustee for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and a Trustee for the Refugee Employment Network. In January 2021, Akeela became a Governing Body Lay Member and Equalities Champion at NHS Brighton & Hove CCG. Akeela was a co-organiser of the Women's March on London and in January 2017 spoke to over one hundred thousand people at the Women's March on London. For her work with WML she was listed as one of Stylist's Women of the Year 2017. Her portrait was part of the National Trust's We Are Bess exhibition at Hardwick Hall, which showcased modern and historic female leaders.

Sally Bailey (REN Trustee)

Sally Bailey

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

Sally Bailey has over thirty years’ experience working in international multi-channel, multi-site businesses, including working for nearly a decade as CEO at White Stuff Ltd. Sally now pursues a portfolio career working as a Non-Exec Chair in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. In the retail sector she chairs the clothing companies Weird Fish and Everpress. Within the voluntary sector, Sally leads the board of Pilotlight, an award-winning charity that matches skilled business leaders with charities to achieve positive social change.