Our Trustees

We are so grateful for the support and guidance from the We Belong trustees. Click here to read all about who they are. 

Our trustees

 

ARKAM BABAR

Arkam was born in Pakistan and brought to the UK when he was 10 years old. He worked on the Let Us Learn campaign and helped established the Let Us Learn Schools Programme. Arkam now shares his story across the UK and joined We Belong as a board member in 2019.

DAVID WOLFE

David Wolfe (QC) works as a public lawyer at Matrix. He is also Chair of the Recognition Panel established by the Royal Charter in the light of the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the news publishers. Until April 2013, alongside his work as a barrister David was also a Commissioner (non-executive director) at the Legal Services Commission and a Board Member of the Legal Services Board.

MARIAM AJIBOLA

Mariam is 24 years old and from Nigeria. She came to the UK when she was 15 and achieved incredible grades at A-Levels. Mariam joined the Let Us Learn core team in 2016 and has been a dedicated member since. Mariam wants to study Medicine and become a Surgeon. Mariam Joined We Belong as a board member in 2019.

JOEL CARTER

Joel is a qualified Youth Worker and has worked with young people for over 15 years, specialising in youth participation and empowerment. Joel is the Head of Safeguarding and Participation at the youth charity ESTEEM, and brings this expertise to the WB board of trustees. Prior to this, Joel was the Director of Programmes and Participation at Just for Kids Law where he developed the participatory involvement of young people in the running of the organisation, and where he met We Belong co-CEOs Chrisann and Dami.

JOCELYN JAMES (TREASURER)

Jocelyn is a chartered accountant with 15 years experience in the charity sector as COO of New Philanthropy Capital and GuideStar UK. Before joining the sector Jocelyn had a 20 year career in financial services, mainly in investment banking. She is also the Treasurer of West London Zone for children and young people.

SUFINA AHMAD

Sufina is the Director of John Ellerman Foundation, a medium-sized grant-maker supporting UK-registered charities delivering work in the arts, social action and the environment. Before joining the Foundation, Sufina worked in corporate strategy and performance at the City of London Corporation. She has also worked for the National Lottery Community Fund and City Bridge Trust in grantmaking, strategy and policy roles. Sufina started her career in service delivery and business development roles for charities working with adults with learning disabilities and older people.

Sufina holds trusteeships with Just for Kids Law, We Belong, The Charterhouse and the Association of Charitable Foundations. Sufina is an honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, having chaired their Expert Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. She is also an RSA fellow. Sufina was awarded an MBE for charitable services in 2020.

JAMILLA COMBEN-BROUGH

Jamilla is the Senior Advisor to Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, London’s Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, at the Greater London Authority, where she works to improve Londoners’ life chances, boost social integration, enhance equality, and ensure that community voice is heard  across the Mayor’s programmes. Prior to that, she worked at the Greater London Authority to support the establishment of the Violence Reduction Unit and develop its work with communities, as well as build relationships with the boroughs, members of parliament and central government on behalf of the Mayor. Prior to the GLA, Jamilla worked at a number of national charities including Save the Children, where she led campaigns to improve opportunities for children facing barriers in the UK. 

OMOLADE ADEDAPO

Omolade is Policy and Public Affairs Officer at PAUSE, a national charity that works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeat removals of children from their care. Before joining PAUSE, Omolade worked as a Parliamentary assistant to a Labour MP where she spent time monitoring political and policy developments in Parliament and supporting the MP to lobby Government ministers on behalf of constituents and campaign groups. She also has experience lobbying and driving forward initiatives that tackle gender-based violence, sexual harassment and amplify the voices of marginalised communities within Higher Education in her past role as a sabbatical officer and trustee for Student’s Union, Kent Union.

Having moved to the UK from Nigeria, Omolade has first-hand experiences with the challenges many young migrants face which was particularly made clear when she was hindered from access student finance due to her immigration status. Omolade was able to discover the We Belong Let us Learn project while at University and received legal support which resulted in her gaining student finance. Omolade is keen to support We Belong's strategic direction in evoking long-term systemic change for young migrants. 

COLIN FALCONER (CHAIRMAN)

Colin Falconer is Director of InspireChilli, a consultancy that specialises in asset-based and youth-led approaches. InspireChilli’s ‘Team Young People’ collective of youth entrepreneurs judge the annual Room for Young People awards and support Colin’s varied work with charities, housing associations and funders, which spans from the UK all the way to Australia.

Previously, Colin was Director of Innovation at youth homeless charity The Foyer Federation over 15 years, during which time he introduced the charity’s ground-breaking ‘Advantaged Thinking’ approach and led on the development of its internationally recognised quality assurance scheme. Colin has worked in various community learning and education roles. He holds an MA from UEA, has a first-class honours degree and teaching qualification, and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. His many speaking credits include a TEDx performance in Thessaloniki and a London theatre show. He is also a trustee for SoundDelivery Media

4 Mar 2021