Our Staff

Kerry Smith joined the Helen Bamber Foundation in May 2018. Kerry started her career at the Refugee Legal Centre and as a trainee at Bhatt Murphy Solicitors. Moving into international humanitarian work Kerry 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 she first came across the work of the Helen Bamber Foundation. She 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.

Cornelius is responsible for all clinical services provided. He is the former Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, where he remains a Fellow. He is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Kent and is Honorary Professor in the Division of Psychiatry at University College London.

He has completed over 1,500 Medico-Legal Reports documenting the psychological impact of torture, human trafficking and other extreme human cruelty. He is an expert on the long-term and complex mental health impact following such experiences, and is published widely. He led a Royal College of Psychiatrists working group providing guidance on writing psychiatric reports in the immigration and asylum context and is a member of the Committee overall responsibility for clinical, therapy and research activities.

Gareth has led the Fundraising and Communications Team at the Helen Bamber Foundation since 2014. Gareth has more than ten years’ charity sector experience, specialising in corporate and organisational giving.

Under Gareth’s leadership with a highly experienced team, fundraising income has grown year on year by approximately 40% and the charity’s public profile has increased considerably. Gareth has extended his role to support the development of the organisational strategy ensuring it dovetails with fundraising and communications.

Kat joined the Helen Bamber Foundation in November 2017 as Head of Legal Protection and. Previously she worked in a well-recognised legal aid firm for over eight years representing victims of trafficking and asylum seekers before moving to a private immigration practice prior to joining the Foundation.

Kat specialises in immigration, human rights and public law. In 2011 she completed the Qualified Lawyers’ Transfer Test, (having been called to the Bar in 2008) to qualify as a solicitor and obtained her Higher Rights of Audience to qualify as a solicitor advocate in 2015.

Having run a number of test case litigation influencing both immigration law and practice, as well as establishing the position for criminal deportees who were at risk on return from the Democratic Republic of Congo in the case of P (DRC), R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 3879 (Admin), Kat became one of less than 60 individuals to obtain the Level 3 accreditation under the Immigration and Asylum Law Accreditation scheme, and is an advanced immigration law practitioner.

As Head of Legal Protection, Kat’s responsibilities include ensuring that all clients without status have access to good quality legal representation under the Legal Aid scheme where available and working in tandem with instructing solicitors to provide expert evidence (such as medico-legal reports) where necessary.

With over ten years’ experience of working in the sector of immigration and human rights, Kat is passionate about assisting the marginalised and vulnerable in society, to afford them an opportunity to have their voice heard and their cases fought tenaciously in a system pitted against the individual.

Rachel leads on all aspects of client work with victims of trafficking, ranging from initial assessments to ongoing protection work. Her work includes legal protection, assisting clients in police investigations and judicial proceedings.

Rachel has written on behalf of HBF for publications including: Trafficking Survivor Care Standards (2015, with the Human Trafficking Foundation), Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Survivors of Modern Slavery (2015, supported by The Freedom Fund) and Trafficking in Human Beings Amounting to Torture and other forms of Ill-Treatment (2013, with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe).

In 2015, Rachel was awarded the 2015 Modern Slavery Media Award for ‘outstanding contribution to the fight against modern slavery’.

Christina has a PhD in Law from the University of Westminster, a MPsych (Clinical) from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and a BA (Hons) from the University of Tasmania. She converted her clinical qualifications to the United Kingdom with the statement of equivalence in 2008 and is registered with the HCPC as a practitioner psychologist.

She specialises in working with refugees and survivors of trauma, and has worked with people living with early psychosis and with complex trauma at Foundation House in Melbourne, at Orygen, and within the NHS. She also set up a psychology clinic at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute.

She has written several reports on torture and gender-based violence for Amnesty International.

Francesca has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from University College London. Francesca has been working for the Helen Bamber Foundation since January 2015 as a Clinical Psychologist and later took up the role as Co-Head of Therapies.

She has specialist training in several evidence-based psychological therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and regularly supervises the work of trainee and qualified clinical psychologists. She is an experienced medico-legal report writer and has provided expert evidence in a number of cases. She has delivered many national and international trainings in NET to healthcare professionals in collaboration with Vivo International.

Francesca is also currently working part-time within the NHS in a specialist service for asylum seekers and refugees with PTSD.

Dr. Unigwe became the Head of Doctors for the HBF medical advisory service in July 2018. An experienced general practitioner, she has often worked in ethnically diverse and deprived areas of London. Dr Unigwe has a specialist interest in the health of vulnerable groups including asylum seekers, refugees and those with mental health issues. She has also delivered autism awareness training via The Royal College of General Practitioners and The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

In addition to overseeing the medical advisory service Dr Unigwe writes expert medicolegal reports for clients of the Helen Bamber Foundation which are used in their tribunal cases.

Sanja joined HBF in September 2018. Sanja came to UK in 1992 as a refugee from Bosnia. She holds B.A. in English language and English literature from Faculty of Philology, University of Novi Sad, Serbia.

Upon arrival to UK Sanja worked as a Home tutor and a Job Search tutor for ethnic minority women in west London. In 1993 Sanja joining Refugee Education and Training Advisory Service (RETAS), a voluntary sector organisation supporting refugees and asylum seekers in accessing education, training and employment. During her 16 years of service for RETAS she worked in various capacities including an Outreach Advisor, a Training Officer, Advice Co-ordinator and a Head of UK Programmes. She project managed several national and transnational partnership projects supported by the European Social Fund and various UK funding streams and she participated in conferences and seminars organised by the European Commission on overcoming barriers to refugees’ education, training and employment in the European Union.

From 2010 to 2017 Sanja worked as a Service Manager for Registration and Nationality Service in Barnet, which provided her with an insight into the ways the local authorities operate.

At HBF Sanja is responsible for strategic development of the Integration and Community department, Database development, Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and overall Operational Management.