STAR National Team

What does the Star National team do?

The STAR National team work for the STAR charity to provide co-ordination, training and support to individual STAR members and local STAR groups to help them achieve the very best for refugees in the UK. We work with other organisations like Refugee Action and Amnesty to bring STAR’s work across the country into the national movement for change in the asylum system. These are some of the ways we do this:

  • Help set up new STAR groups
  • Provide free training for STAR members on subjects including asylum rights, child protection, running successful campaigns and recruiting volunteers
  • Make and distribute STAR branded resources
  • Run conferences for STAR members
  • Help with committee handovers and fresher’s events e.g. providing resources for fresher’s stalls
  • Run the STAR website, Facebook & Twitter pages
  • Set up and support STAR group’s volunteering projects at partner refugee organisations
  • Provide STAR groups with accurate information on refugee and asylum issues
  • Provide speakers, exhibitions, films and plays about refugees for STAR groups to put on at their university
  • Work with partners like Amnesty International UK and the NUS to plan, set up and co-ordinate STAR’s national campaigns
  • Fundraise to make sure the STAR network can keep going

The STAR National Team

Chief Executive : Emma Williams
Emma joined Student Action for Refugees (STAR) as Chief Executive in 2008 and has 20 years experience leading refugee non profits in the UK. Prior to joining STAR Emma led the programme of national expansion at Freedom from Torture, setting up four new treatment centres for survivors of torture. Emma established STAR’s programme to create equality of access to university for refugees and asylum seekers in the UK in 2010. The work is in partnership with the National Union of Students and to date has secured significant central government policy change plus the creation of scholarships at one third of the UK’s universities.

Deputy Director: Emily Crowley
Emily joined STAR in October 2009. She has been working with refugees since 2006 and has 13 years experience managing volunteers. Before working at STAR she led a research project into mental health service provision for asylum seekers and refugees in England and Wales at Mind and prior to that was the Volunteering Coordinator at the North Glasgow Community Food Initiative, a project established by Glasgow STAR. Emily leads on managing the student network and student volunteering at STAR, this includes working with refugee projects to set up and support STAR volunteer projects, training volunteers and providing advice and support to STAR groups with their volunteering.

Student Network Coordinator: Maddy Robinson
Maddy has been involved with STAR for the since 2013. She first joined STAR while she was at Exeter studying for a BA in French and Latin, she then took a MA in Business Translation with Interpreting at Surrey University, where she set up a STAR group. She joined the STAR staff team as Student Network Coordinator in 2016 and in this role she supports students to set up and run STAR groups and organise successful events and campaign actions. She is also a trustee for ‘Bridging the Gap Islington’ and a qualified yoga teaching running classes for young refugees.

Access to University Coordinator: Christopher Smart
Christopher joined STAR in the summer of 2018, a recent graduate and current student of migration and development, Christopher has prior experience running an equal access campaign at university. Christopher supports the creation of bursaries and scholarships for asylum seekers around the UK and facilitates the Equal Access to Higher Education Working Group.

Administrator: Jonathan Waring
Jonathan joined STAR in spring 2013. He leads on STAR’s administration and finance work, as well as organising STAR’s annual conference. Jonathan has a BA in Fine Art and many years’ experience running artists’ studios, organising events, and co-ordinating offices in the non-profit sector.