Celebrating Trustees Week: Meet our Trustees!

By Abdoul, Mentee and Communications Volunteer

Trustees are the backbone of any charitable organisation, offering their time, expertise, and unwavering commitment to advance its mission. Each of our trustees brings unique backgrounds and perspectives to our charity, contributing to our mission of removing obstacles to young refugees and asylum-seekers’ education and well-being in the UK through mentoring, advocacy and financial support.

In celebration of Trustees’ Week, an annual event to recognize and appreciate the vital role of trustees, we are delighted to introduce our Board of Trustees and share their thoughts, experiences, and motivations for becoming a trustee.

Read on to get to know our trustees!

Kami Saedi

Kami was one of the founders of Hope for the Young and now serves as Hope for the Young’s Chair of Trustees.

Originally from Iran, Kami migrated to the UK and specialised as a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, working with a diverse group of clients in East London.

What inspired you to become a trustee at Hope for the Young?
“Young people in need have always inspired me to do whatever I can to alleviate their problems.”

I am so proud of being a member of a trustee board that puts young people at the centre of their concerns. Kami Saedi, Chair of Trustees
Niki Kalyvides

Niki began volunteering as a mentor with Hope for the Young in 2016 and joined our trustee board this year. She currently works for another charity in the sector and has previously had roles in the Civil Service and at other charities, focusing on policy and impact analysis.

In her role as a trustee, Niki uses her experience as a mentor at Hope for the Young to give her views on the charity’s direction from a mentor’s perspective. She also shares the knowledge and resources she’s come across in her work and voluntary experience elsewhere.

What inspired you to become a trustee at Hope for the Young?
 “Since 2016 I have mentored many lovely young people with Hope for the Young and I have very much appreciated the opportunity to support and learn from them. Recognising the impact the mentoring programme has, I was interested in becoming a trustee to help improve what the charity is able to offer young people in increasingly challenging circumstances and policy environments.”

Being a volunteer mentor and trustee means I am able to contribute both practically and strategically to the work Hope for the Young does, and that’s great! Niki Kalyvides, Trustee
Mick Atkinson

Mick is a skilled Senior Manager and Consultant, who has many years’ experience managing and commissioning children and family services in social care and leading on research and campaigning for charities.

Mick is also the Governor of a school, a Director of the Children’s Outcomes Research Consortium, and acts as an advisor to a number of bodies relating to children, schools, and mental health.

What inspired you to become a trustee at Hope for the Young?
Refugees and asylum seekers face a myriad of challenges, practical, emotional, financial, that massively inhibit their chances of a fair education and ultimately their life chances overall. The combination of mentoring and grant support that Hope for the Young provides can provide a pathway to overcome this.

I wanted to bring my skills and experience to the board, to advance Hope for the Young’s aims.

I believe that all young people should have the right to education and the opportunity to aspire and meet their personal goals. Mick Atkinson, Trustee
Cathy Street

Cathy has worked in the field of children and young people’s mental health for over 25 years, first in mental health services and then in health research. She has a passion for trying to improve services for children and young people.

As a trustee, Cathy uses her research skills to think about what Hope for the Young does and how we can gather and show people evidence for why the charity’s support for young people works. She also shares the knowledge and resources she’s come across in her work and voluntary experience elsewhere.

What inspired you to become a trustee at Hope for the Young?
 “I first heard about Hope for the Young from Kami, when we were working together for a children’s mental health charity. Knowing what the research data was showing about how hard it can be for young refugees and asylum seekers to get help, I thought how vital Hope for the Young’s support offer was.”

To me, it's important that young people are involved, with their views and concerns properly included. Cathy Street, Trustee
Jafar Omid

Jafar is a qualified Chartered Accountant with a background in Accountancy and Finance. He is a great believer in education and educational support.

In his role as trustee, Jafar uses his wealth of financial awareness and experience in business to support the charity and influence its decision-making. He enjoys sitting on a board of trustees with such diverse backgrounds, skills, and experiences, who provide guidance and share knowledge with each other in order to maximise the benefit they provide to young people in need.

What inspired you to become a trustee at Hope for the Young?
“I first got involved in Hope for the Young about 15 years ago… I feel that by being part of the board of trustees, I am able to influence the charity’s direction and policies. It is satisfying to be part of an effective team.”

Over the years, I have seen many of the young people we have helped go to university, get jobs, get married and give back to society. This has provided huge encouragement to me to engage more with the charity. Jafar Omid, Trustee

Thank you, trustees!

Our trustees play a crucial role in our success as an organisation. Their passion, expertise, and dedication drive our mission forward, making a positive impact on the lives of young refugees and asylum-seekers.

As we celebrate Trustees’ Week, we express our heartfelt gratitude to Kami, Niki, Mick, Cathy, and Jafar. Their stories serve as an inspiration to all who wish to become trustees and make a difference in the world.

Alice Finta

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