Fazil Kawani, Director

Before joining RAK in September 17, Fazil was a member of the Senior Management Team at the British Refugee Council where as a Director of Integration he was responsible for delivering refugee integration services and projects across England. Fazil has worked very closely with many charities and statutory bodies, including refugee agencies, legal practitioners, faith groups, NGOs, local authorities, refugee community organisations, funders, human rights organisations, and government departments. Additionally he has over 20 years experience of contributing to the boards, committees and advisory groups of voluntary organisations to support refugees and asylum seekers.

Farzil has personal experience of arriving here as a refugee in 1980; he has a degree in Civil Engineering from East London University.

 

Dominique Revell, Advice worker

Dominique joined RAK in April 2000 as an administrator. She soon developed an interest in advice work and has been working as an RAK caseworker for the last 10 years. Dominique is a regulated OISC advisor at Immigration Level 1 and gives advice on immigration, benefits, housing, utilities and more. Dominique is fluent in French and English.

 

Healah Riazi, Renewed prospects coordinator

Healah joined RAK as a volunteer English tutor in September 2010 and has since become part of the staff team working with the Crisis Support Team offering advice and coordinating the Learning Centre activities. Healah is a regulated OISC Adviser at level 1 and gives advice in immigration, housing, benefits and more. Prior to working for RAK, Healah was involved with research and support projects providing guidance to vulnerable groups including victims of sexual and domestic violence and refugees and asylum seekers. Healah is fluent in Farsi and English.

 

Yvette Duncan, Information advice and guidance officer

Yvette joined RAK in September 2013 as an advice, guidance and information officer. Yvette has an NVQ Level 3, specialising in work with refugees, asylum seekers and other new arrivals to the UK and many years of experience in advising this group of clients into employment, training and volunteering opportunities. She has predominantly worked in the not for profit sector including: 5 years for the Refugee Council as a New Start tutor, the Creekside Development Project, Target3 and London Probation Trust. 

 

Jenny Arokiasamy, Centre for resilience and engagement manager

Having worked in Adult Education for 20 years, teaching and managing the ESOL and Basic Skills programme, Jenny's role at RAK is to oversee the development of activities at the learning centre and the timebank. In her previous roles she worked as information, advice and guidance manager supporting young families in Merton. 

 

Kaaren Morris, Timebank co-ordinator

Kaaren joined RAK in November 2015. Kaaren has 9 years’ experience of setting up timebanks and supporting timebank networks across the UK, she also has 20 years’ experience of working within the housing & homelessness sector. In addition to RAK she works part-time  for TBUK the National Timebanking Umbrella Organisation as a Regional Network Manager in London. 

 

Fiona Boult, Trainee advice worker

Fiona Boult started volunteering with RAK in February 2014 and joined the staff team in May as a trainee advice worker. She is a qualified solicitor and has worked in London and Tokyo. Fiona speaks English and Japanese and has started learning Korean.

 

Heike Gesierich-Betts, Healthy and Active Living co-ordinator

Having volunteered for RAK as an ESOL tutor (English for Speakers of Other Languages) for 5 years, Heike joined the organisation as a support worker at the Learning Centre in 2012. Heike currently works for RAK as a healthy and active living co-ordinator but has also continued supporting the volunteer ESOL tutors with her wealth of ESOL knowledge and experience. Prior to joining RAK, Heike volunteered for other organisations that support migrants’ integration. Heike holds an MA in English language teaching and is fluent in English, German and Spanish.

 

Valerie Jermy, Database and Administration officer

Val joined in September 2017 and is responsible for the RAK database, office management and communications, including social media and this website. She has a wide knowledge of the local charity sector from her experience working, for the last 4 years, in a similar role for Kingson based integration and education charity Learn English at Home. Previously, Val worked in marketing in the commercial sector, developing direct and digital marketing campaigns for a range of well known brands.  

 

Caroline Bassett, Playzone Manager

Caroline has a Level 3 qualification in childcare and has been manager of Playzone since its founding in February 2005. She is passionate about providing our youngest clients with a safe, happy and loving place where they can play, make new friends and learn English.