Our Team

Our Team

Alison
Pickup
Director

Alison is Director of Asylum Aid where she leads an expert team providing legal representation...

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Alison
Pickup
Director

Alison is Director of Asylum Aid where she leads an expert team providing legal representation to asylum seekers and refugees. Asylum Aid is part of the Helen Bamber Foundation Group. Before joining Asylum Aid (in November 2021), Alison was the Legal Director of the Public Law Project. At PLP, Alison led its work on the access to justice issues in the New Plan for Immigration and on judicial review reform. In June 2020, Alison was awarded the Outstanding Employed Barrister in an NGO award by the Employed Barristers Committee of the Bar Council.  

Kerry
Smith
Chief Executive Officer

I am the CEO of the Helen Bamber Foundation Group and I joined in May...

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Kerry
Smith
Chief Executive Officer

I am the CEO of the Helen Bamber Foundation Group and I joined in May 2018. 

I started my career at the Refugee Legal Centre and as a trainee at Bhatt Murphy Solicitors. Having gained experience volunteering in several charities – including with Asylum Aid! After qualifying as a solicitor I moved into international humanitarian work, I was posted in Ethiopia and Columbia for the International Committee of the Red Cross before returning to work as a Gender Adviser at Amnesty International UK focusing on trafficking.

This is when I first came across the work of the Helen Bamber Foundation. I then moved to work on children in conflict at Save the Children before joining Plan International UK as Head of Girls Rights and Youth and developing a new area of work on girls rights in the UK. 
 

Ian
Kane
Legal Services Manager

It has been a pleasure and privilege to have been the Legal Services Manager at...

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Ian
Kane
Legal Services Manager

It has been a pleasure and privilege to have been the Legal Services Manager at Asylum Aid since May 2014.

My career began at the Refugee Legal Centre as a casework assistant and I stayed there for 13 years as caseworker, team leader, Head of Office and Regional Manager. There  I learned the principles of best practice and collegiate working, supporting one another and sharing knowledge to provide the best service possible for our clients.

After the RLC I was Director of Brent Community Law Centre for four years, a collective that applied the same principles to provide legal services to the most vulnerable in the community.

At Asylum Aid we retain these same beliefs, and campaign on behalf of our entire client group for better treatment in the asylum process.  

Gareth
Holmes
Director of Fundraising and Communications

I head a fantastic team of professional fundraisers who the impressive growth of the Helen...

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Gareth
Holmes
Director of Fundraising and Communications

I head a fantastic team of professional fundraisers who the impressive growth of the Helen Bamber Foundation Group to the dedication and generosity of our incredible supporters. 

I have held several Director positions within the charity sector over the past two decades as well as offering support as a trustee and with pro bono fundraising consultancy. In my role as Director at the HBF Group, my work extends to shaping the strategic and programme development of both the Helen Bamber Foundation and Asylum Aid, so that we can maximise the impact of the services delivered by our amazing solicitors and caseworkers. 

What I love most about being part of Asylum Aid is showing our amazing supporters what a huge difference each one of them can make. 

Anne
Muthee
Director of Finance and Operations

I am the Director of Finance and Operations of the Helen Bamber Foundation Group, (HBF)...

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Anne
Muthee
Director of Finance and Operations

I am the Director of Finance and Operations of the Helen Bamber Foundation Group, (HBF), and I joined in January 2021.

I began my finance career within the commercial sector, but I realised that my passion lay within the charity sector and in particular human rights work. I made my transition into the sector over a decade ago and have worked for several organisations before joining the HBF Group.

I am inspired by Asylum Aid’s passion and dedication for advocating for human rights and offering direct assistance to victims of abuse and I am delighted to be working with them.
 

Kate
Macpherson
Supervising Solicitor

I am the Supervising Solicitor at Asylum Aid, leading the Public law and Immigration legal...

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Kate
Macpherson
Supervising Solicitor

I am the Supervising Solicitor at Asylum Aid, leading the Public law and Immigration legal casework. I have a varied caseload of complex judicial review and protection/human rights work, with a specialism in representing vulnerable clients including victims of trafficking, torture and those with complex medical needs.

Prior to Asylum Aid, I worked in the Public law department at Duncan Lewis Solicitors and in the Legal Protection department at UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency). I am also a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, leading the LLM Legal Practice Immigration elective, and also teaching Public and EU law.  

It is a privilege to be part of Asylum Aid, working in conjunction with our wonderful colleagues at the Helen Bamber Foundation. We can therefore provide specialist expertise for some of the most complex and challenging casework in this sector. The strength and fortitude of many of our clients, particularly in light of their circumstances, is an inspiration.  

Monika
Nollet
Supervising Senior Caseworker

I am a Senior Caseworker with over 15 years’ experience in representing clients in a...

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Monika
Nollet
Supervising Senior Caseworker

I am a Senior Caseworker with over 15 years’ experience in representing clients in a wide range of immigration, asylum and human rights matters. I have developed particular expertise in cases involving children, survivors of torture or gender-based, those with mental health issues, and those facing exclusion from refugee status or deportation. I am a passionate advocate and have conducted appeals at both the First-tier and the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). 


I joined Asylum Aid in January 2021. Prior to that, I worked at Migrant Legal Action, Duncan Lewis and Refugee Legal Centre. I have also done medico-legal report reviews for Freedom from Torture and facilitated Tribunal visits for their newly appointed clinicians. 


I am delighted to be part of Asylum Aid’s legal team, working together to uphold our clients’ human rights and secure international protection or other relevant type of leave to remain for them. 

Charlotte
Alderson
Solicitor and Senior Caseworker

I am a Solicitor and Senior Caseworker. I work predominantly on cases concerning unaccompanied asylum-seeking...

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Charlotte
Alderson
Solicitor and Senior Caseworker

I am a Solicitor and Senior Caseworker. I work predominantly on cases concerning unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. I represent clients who have experienced trauma, including victims of trafficking and torture.
I am passionate about defending human rights.

I have a background in family law and international development, with experiences at the Belgian Red Cross, UNHCR and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. At the International Development Law Organization I worked on matters concerning refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons. Hearing from child refugees about the challenges they faced in accessing legal representation motivated me to join Asylum Aid in 2018.

I remain in awe of the resilience and strength that our clients show throughout the asylum process. 

Adam
Milton
Solicitor and Senior Caseworker

I joined Asylum Aid as a Solicitor in November 2020, having worked in immigration and...

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Adam
Milton
Solicitor and Senior Caseworker

I joined Asylum Aid as a Solicitor in November 2020, having worked in immigration and asylum law since 2015. I started my legal career at Bindmans LLP before working at a boutique human rights and immigration law firm as a private client immigration solicitor.  I am accredited as a Senior Caseworker under the Law Society’s Immigration and Asylum Law scheme. 


I have experience in all aspects of immigration, asylum and nationality law. This includes matters relating deportation, entry clearance, family-based applications, applications to work and study in the UK, appeals to the First-Tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal, EEA law and citizenship.

I have always focussed my work on human rights and asylum matters, so it’s pleasure to be working at Asylum Aid alongside some of the most experienced and passionate people in this field.

Claire
Splawn
Statelessness Project Coordinator

I am the Statelessness Project Coordinator and Caseworker at Asylum Aid. I joined in October...

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Claire
Splawn
Statelessness Project Coordinator

I am the Statelessness Project Coordinator and Caseworker at Asylum Aid. I joined in October 2019 as a Senior Caseworker as I was drawn to Asylum Aid’s commitment to tackling complex cases in the immigration and asylum field.

I began my legal career in the NGO sector in Israel working on issues of Palestinian political rights and have worked in private practice managing a legal aid caseload of asylum and trafficking claims to the First-Tier and Upper Tribunals.

As coordinator of the Statelessness Project, I deliver training, prepare applications for leave to remain for stateless people in the UK, and manage our partnerships with commercial law firms in London who dedicate teams of lawyers to work with us pro bono. 

Ecaterina
Erjiu
Welfare Benefits Advisor

I joined the Asylum Aid team in 2020 as an experienced generalist advisor/project supervisor. Since...

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Ecaterina
Erjiu
Welfare Benefits Advisor

I joined the Asylum Aid team in 2020 as an experienced generalist advisor/project supervisor. Since joining, I have been assisting clients with issues related to welfare benefits, housing, employment, consumer, etc. I provide advice in English, Russian, Romanian and French and also often raise social policy issues.

I hold a Licentiate of Law degree from Moldova State University and an LLM degree from Saint Louis University (USA). I completed an SJD programme at Central European University. Previously I worked as a university lecturer, legal consultant at Moldova Ministry of Justice, disability advisor and advice supervisor at a local Citizens Advice. 

Yasmine
Summers
Legal Administrator

My name is Yasmine and I am the Legal Administrator for Asylum Aid. I have...

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Yasmine
Summers
Legal Administrator

My name is Yasmine and I am the Legal Administrator for Asylum Aid. I have a law degree and studied my LLM Masters in International Human Rights Law at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. I have previously worked as a paralegal for a private immigration firm and an administrative assistant for the civil service but have always wanted to work within the charity sector.

I am very creative and spend my free time experimenting with ideas and making clothes and jewellery.
 

Elle
Wilkins
Public Law Caseworker

I joined Asylum Aid as a Senior Caseworker in December 2020. I have a BSc...

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Elle
Wilkins
Public Law Caseworker

I joined Asylum Aid as a Senior Caseworker in December 2020. I have a BSc in Anthropology from University College London; I previously worked as a Senior Caseworker at Duncan Lewis and an Immigration Advisor at the Refugee Forum of Essex and London. I mainly practice asylum and public law, and I specialise in representing female victims of trauma and Article 3 ECHR medical cases. I have a particular interest in Nigerian and Afghan asylum claims. 

I absolutely love working for Asylum Aid because the work we do improves people’s lives; we have the expertise and commitment to represent complex and challenging cases successfully. I also love working with our team - they are so supportive and dedicated to our clients.  

Sylvia
Velasquez
Volunteer Coordinator / Advice Supervisor

I came to UK in 1977 as a refugee and since 1980 I have worked...

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Sylvia
Velasquez
Volunteer Coordinator / Advice Supervisor

I came to UK in 1977 as a refugee and since 1980 I have worked as a Community Worker and Coordinator for different   projects within the Latin American Community.  I have also worked as interpreter for Law Firms, NHS Advocacy Health Worker and Coordinator of the Interpreters Services.   As a Manager, Coordinator and Legal Adviser on Benefits, Housing, Debt, Tax and Immigration I was employed by Multilingual Community Rights Shop, Migrants Resource Centre, Central London Advice Centre and Consonant.

I am now the Coordinator for the WASP project, a partnership with Citizen Advice Westminster, Age UK and Deaf PLUS, offering Legal Advice to Westminster Residents