Board of Trustees

What is STAR’s Board of Trustees?

STAR’s Board of Trustees is the governing body of STAR as a national charity. The role of the Board of Trustees is to ensure that STAR’s resources are used to pursue the organisational aims and objectives of STAR safely and lawfully.

What do members of the Board do?

The Board of Trustees meets quarterly and its responsibilities include translating the aims and objectives of the charity into action, maintenance and oversight of STAR’s funds and appointing and managing STAR’s Chief Executive.

Who can be a Trustee?

You can! The majority of Trustees are recruited because they bring specific skills to the Board. We want STAR students to be represented so places are reserved for current student members. To be a student Trustee, you just need to:

  • Be passionate about STAR
  • Be keen to learn about charity governance including finances, fundraising and organising the Annual General Meeting
  • Have experience of being a STAR member: campaigning, awareness raising and providing practical support for refugees and asylum seekers
  • Be interested in making a real contribution to STAR and ensuring that it is accountable to its members

We would love to hear from you if you are interested in joining the Board, or want to recommend someone you know – please contact the national office.

Who is on the current Board of Trustees?

Current STAR Trustees are:

Dave Garratt, Chair

Dave has worked in advice services in the UK for 20 years. Beginning as a volunteer in street homeless services, he developed extensive grounding in working with vulnerable people with complex needs. He began managing homeless services in 1995, developing first single services, then networks of residential and day-care provision. Moving to the refugee sector in 1999, Dave spent 15 years as a senior manager for Refugee Action, first as Operations Director and then, from 2010-15, as CEO. Dave is also a trustee of the Asylum Support Appeals Project.

James Osborne, Treasurer

James’ background is as a fundraiser, and he has worked and volunteered for a range of charities, including Oxfam, Third World First, and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. Currently, he is volunteering as a trustee at several charities, and studying part-time with the Open University, focusing on international development and the environment. As Treasurer, his role is to help manage STAR’s accounts, work with the STAR team on day-to-day finances and report back to STAR groups at the annual conference.

John Akker, Trustee

John is a global higher education and employment specialist with 30 years of experience. He is currently Visiting Professor, Human Rights, at the University of Essex. John was formerly Chief Executive at CARA (Council for Assisting Refugee Academics) and a founding Executive Director of Network for Education and Academic Rights. He represented higher education on the Steering Committee for the Global Coalition for Protecting Education from Attack (with International NGO’s and UN bodies). John was an expert adviser to UNESCO and the EU, with extensive experience of international issues relating to intellectual freedom.

Alice Welsh, Student Trustee

Alice is a masters student at the University of York studying International Human Rights Law. She hopes to use her studies in law to continue into the profession working in the Immigration and Asylum legal sector. She joined York STAR in her first year at university as Press and Publicity Officer and spent two years running the group as Co-Chair. During her time with York STAR she organised panel debates and events for students and the local community and helped to organise the volunteering programme every Sunday at a drop-in session with Refugee Action York. She also ran the Equal Access Campaign which has now been achieved in York.

Beryl Randall, Trustee

Beryl joined the Board of Trustees in summer 2010. She has been Director of Employability Forum since 2008, an independent organisation that promotes the employment of refugees. She initially joined the organisation from Reed Executive in 2001, where she gained experience in high street recruitment and welfare to work programmes. Beryl is a mentor through the Leaders Together programme, a Common Purpose student and has founded a support group for leaders in the voluntary sector.

Jan Shaw, Trustee

Jan Shaw has worked on Immigration and Asylum issues for over 25 years, more recently focusing on asylum policy and practice. She worked at Amnesty and was chair of the Still Human Still Here coalition. She has worked in Kosovo and Jerusalem, and lived in Brazil.

Tessa Eeles, Student Trustee

Studying Occupational Therapy at Cardiff University, Tessa founded the Hope Not Hate society there, and continues to act as president. Through the campaigning work the group did around the refugee crisis she became aware of the Cardiff STAR group. Since this point she has been an active member, volunteering at the English conversation classes every week and taking on the role of Campaigns and Publicity Office on the group’s committee. She was voted onto the STAR board of Trustees at the 2015 AGM.

Olivia Pattison, Student Trustee

Olivia is Vice President of KCL STAR, and has volunteered with the group for three years. She studies Politics, Philosophy and Law at KCL and has a particular interest in refugee law, especially as it relates to sexuality and gendered violence; and in charity law, particularly with regard to the legal duties, roles and responsibilities of Trustees. She was voted onto the STAR board of Trustees at the 2015 AGM.

Shrouk El-Attar, Student Trustee

Shrouk El-Attar is an LGBT+ refugee from Egypt and an Engineering student at Cardiff University, currently on placement working at Intel. Shrouk has been a member of Cardiff STAR and has been very involved in the STAR and NUS Equal Access campaign. Shrouk was the NUS International Students Officer of Wales, representing 30,000 students in this capacity.