Our Team

Kerry
Smith
Chief Executive Officer

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

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Kerry
Smith
Chief Executive Officer

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

I started my career at the Refugee Legal Centre and as a trainee at Bhatt Murphy Solicitors. Moving 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 HBF. 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.

Prof Cornelius
Katona
Medical and Research Director

I am the Foundation’s Medical and Research Director. I oversee the Foundation’s research and write ...

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Prof Cornelius
Katona
Medical and Research Director

I am the Foundation’s Medical and Research Director. I oversee the Foundation’s research and write expert psychiatric reports in the context of our clients’ asylum claims. I am the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ lead on Refugee and Asylum Mental Health. I am an honorary Professor in the Division of Psychiatry at University College London, where I was a full professor for many years. I was a member of the Committee that recently updated NICE guidelines on PTSD. I have published over 250 peer-reviewed papers and written/edited 16 books. In 2019 I was awarded the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Honorary Fellowship, the College’s highest honour.

I love hearing about the complexity and individuality of our clients’ lives and working with colleagues to ensure that their stories are heard and that their need for protection is properly considered.

Gareth
Holmes
Director of Fundraising and Communications

I have headed the Helen Bamber Foundation's Fundraising and Communications since 2014, with a fantastic ...

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Gareth
Holmes
Director of Fundraising and Communications

I have headed the Helen Bamber Foundation's Fundraising and Communications since 2014, with a fantastic team of professional fundraisers. We owe our impressive income growth over this period 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 HBF, 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 clinicians and caseworkers.

What I love most about being part of the Helen Bamber Foundation 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, (HBF), and ...

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Anne
Muthee
Director of Finance and Operations

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

I came across the work of HBF and was inspired by their passion and dedication for advocating for human rights and offering direct assistance to victims of abuse and I am delighted to have joined them.

Rachel
Witkin
Head of Counter-Trafficking and Publications

We learn so much from every survivor we work with: it's a privilege to work ...

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Rachel
Witkin
Head of Counter-Trafficking and Publications

We learn so much from every survivor we work with: it's a privilege to work in a multi-disciplinary team setting where we share mutual goals, to be able to take the time that is needed and see so many survivors rebuild their lives.

I am Head of Counter-Trafficking and Publications. We run a specialist Counter-Trafficking programme which provides ongoing safeguarding and contact support for survivors in accordance with their individual needs and risks. My role includes conducting detailed counter-trafficking assessments, writing letters and witness statements and giving evidence in court, assisting our clients with police liason and support in criminal investigations of their traffickers and working consistently with our wider team to ensure that clients are not left vulnerable to re-trafficking and other forms of harm.

My aim with publications is to ensure that professionals from any field of discipline who work with trafficking survivors have accessible guidance which they can use and reference easily in order to work safely and effectively. See: The Trauma-Informed Code of Conduct for All Professionals Working with Survivors of Trafficking & Slavery (TiCC, URL), HBF/ OSCE report, Human Trafficking amounting to Torture and Other Forms of Ill-treatment (URL) and the forthcoming OSCE/ODIHR international NRM Handbook. See also: UK's Slavery & Trafficking Survivor Care Standards (Human Trafficking Foundation URL) and Modern Slavery Law and Practice.

Kat
Hacker
Head of Legal Protection

I am the Head of the Legal Protection team at the HBF and have been ...

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Kat
Hacker
Head of Legal Protection

I am the Head of the Legal Protection team at the HBF and have been with the Foundation since 2017.

I have spent over a decade working as a lawyer in the immigration and human rights field representing survivors of trafficking, torture and conducting high-profile complex asylum claims before moving into the NGO sector. I have represented clients at all levels of the court system, including the European Court of Human Rights. Working at the Foundation has enabled me to work with clients within a holistic framework placing recovery at the centre of what we do.

It is a privilege to work with those who have suffered incredible adversity, and to witness survivors regain their humanity.

Alexandra
Ciucu
Head of Fundraising and Communications

I joined the Helen Bamber Foundation as Head of Fundraising and Communications in March 2021 ...

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Alexandra
Ciucu
Head of Fundraising and Communications

I joined the Helen Bamber Foundation as Head of Fundraising and Communications in March 2021, and I am delighted to be a part of an organisation that delivers fantastic impact and is rooted in such inspiring values. I got my first introduction to the charity sector working for an American organisation supporting sustainable development in Haiti, and I then continued my education with an MSc in Development Studies at the LSE. After working in the disability sector, I progressed my career in the international development space by working at Christian Aid, and then became Philanthropy Manager at the International Rescue Committee, a global charity that supports refugees and displaced people in over 40 countries. As Head of Fundraising at the Helen Bamber Foundation, I work closely with our valuable supporters, making sure they get to share our journey of giving Survivors the strength to fly and rebuild their lives.

Dr Jill
O’Leary
GP, Head of Medical Advisory Service

I am the lead doctor for the medical advisory service and I joined in October ...

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Dr Jill
O’Leary
GP, Head of Medical Advisory Service

I am the lead doctor for the medical advisory service and I joined in October 2020.

I qualified as GP in 2018 and travelled abroad to work in refugee camps in Jordan and Greece. Since returning, I have been working with homeless populations, asylum seekers and refugees across the London. As part of Vita Network, I provide safeguarding training to advance the health response to human trafficking and modern slavery.

Being part of the HBF team means working with dedicated, talented and compassionate people who are committed to providing the best possible care for the those who need it most.

Dr Jane
Hunt
Senior Medical Advisor

I graduated as a doctor from UCH, London and, after a few years working in ...

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Dr Jane
Hunt
Senior Medical Advisor

I graduated as a doctor from UCH, London and, after a few years working in emergency medicine in London and Singapore, I went on to work for two decades as a GP in inner-city London. Ten years ago a patient introduced me to HBF and I was quickly drawn into volunteering for the foundation. Eventually I set up the Foundation’s Medical Advisory Service which provides medical assessments, advice, and the co-ordination of external healthcare for clients. I also write medico-legal reports documenting the physical and psychological effects of ill-treatment. One of my passions is to disseminate the information I’ve gleaned from working with such inspirational survivors and so have taught widely on refugee health, human trafficking issues, trauma informed care and the documentation of torture and trafficking.

The most valuable thing I have learnt at HBF is the art of listening. As a doctor, I think I had always felt that I needed to “fix” things – a referral, a prescription or just advice. Observing Helen Bamber work taught me that listening or “bearing witness” is probably one of the most powerful things that you can do for someone. This has revolutionised my working and my personal life.

Dr Christina
Curry
Clinical Psychologist and Co-Head of Therapies

I am a clinical psychologist and joint head of the therapy team. I started my ...

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Dr Christina
Curry
Clinical Psychologist and Co-Head of Therapies

I am a clinical psychologist and joint head of the therapy team. I started my research career in Australia working with young people living with psychosis. I became a psychologist, working first with refugees and asylum seekers and then at a cancer hospital. In the United Kingdom I investigated state crime in Turkey and then worked at Amnesty International as a researcher campaigning to end gender-based violence. During this time I completed my doctoral studies on factfinding in cases of torture. I also worked for the NHS with people living with complex trauma. I joined the Helen Bamber Foundation in May 2018.

Being part of the Helen Bamber Foundation is all about people. It is about creating community, no matter how far from home you are I stopped working as a psychologist for a while to become a researcher and campaigner as I wanted to prevent the atrocities people tell me about on their recovery journey. I’ve returned to being a therapist now because I’m passionate about standing beside people who are facing their struggles. They will change the world and their words are important.

Dr Eileen
Walsh
Clinical Psychologist and Co-Head of Therapies

I first joined Helen Bamber Foundation in September 2016 as Head of Therapy for two ...

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Dr Eileen
Walsh
Clinical Psychologist and Co-Head of Therapies

I first joined Helen Bamber Foundation in September 2016 as Head of Therapy for two years, before returning last year to work on building partnerships and providing training and supervision.

I have worked as a clinical psychologist for 15 years, in the NHS and charity sector, and specialised in treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder following complex traumatic experiences. I have over 10 years experience as an expert witness. I have a strong interest in the impact of trafficking and modern slavery on mental health, and have contributed to publications on this topic.

From when I first started working at HBF, I was really struck by the kindness and emotional generosity shown by my colleagues to people using the service. It was evident how this warmth made such a difference for many people who had been subject to cruelty and harm. I saw how as a result these people were able to build trust in the organisation, and to gradually build wider relationships of trust. For me recognising the importance of retaining that capacity to be emotionally available and warm, regardless of how your day is going, has been the most valuable thing I have learned.