Volunteers

Karen Argent

Karen Argent

I am an experienced teacher and ex university lecturer – now happily retired and have always been very interested in finding ways to educate my students about the diverse experiences of refugees.
I am also Director of ‘The Letterpress Project’ a not-for-profit initiative campaigning for people of all ages and backgrounds to have access to a range of good quality books. In this capacity I continue to work with schools and universities using books to develop empathy.
My role in the Malvern Welcomes is to work in partnership with schools and newly arrived families to recognise the strengths of individual children and to ensure that they experience a positive and inclusive education. I regularly liaise with staff about overall progress and support individual children at school in partnership with the ESOL team.

Sharon Baker

Born in Malvern, I was a freelance artist overseas and then national development officer for an organisation supporting disabled people, alongside studying languages and linguistics. I’ve been an English and foreign language teacher for 10 years. I’m Malvern Welcomes’ ESOL Coordinator, working with an excellent team of tutors to provide English lessons for families seeking sanctuary in Malvern. The ESOL programme responds to the changing needs of each family, so they can quickly become empowered members of our community. All are incredibly motivated learners! You don’t choose to leave everything and everyone you know and love but are forced to flee. We should do all we can to help.

Peter Bevan

Peter Bevan

My main employment comprised working as a Mental Health Social Worker in East London. During my life I have received hospitality in a number of countries including Uganda and, more recently, in Morocco. My membership of the Steering Group is a way of repaying the many kindnesses that have been shown to me – a “stranger.”

I help Malvern Welcomes Community Sponsorship families with benefits applications.

Jean Bryant

Jean Bryant

As Lead for the first Community Sponsored family, I find it rewarding to see them becoming more established, more confident with their English and with taking decisions and planning for their future.
I volunteered initially as the scheme gives a positive way to help. Just look how it has grown, with befriending extending to other families in Malvern.
I am all admiration for the Malvern Welcomes Team, for their expert advice and guidance and grateful to the Malvern Welcomes Group for all their practical support that makes this possible.

Ann Courtney

Ann Courtney

I have lived in Malvern for about 40 years, and am married with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. I worked with children as a social worker and play therapist for many years, and am now nearly retired.
I am volunteering as a family lead.

Ruth Forecast

Ruth Forecast

I have had a fulfilling career as a teacher of Music and English. For many years I lived overseas in Tanzania, Latvia and Italy where I enjoyed working with people from many different cultures and backgrounds. I now live in Malvern and am married with 3 grown-up children. I have always cared passionately about human rights and am an active member of Amnesty International UK. The world is experiencing the biggest refugee crisis since WW2. How can we turn our backs and do nothing?

I coordinate volunteers and am a member of the Malvern Welcomes Management Team.

Alison King

Alison King

I have been a children’s Social Worker all my adult life. Despite having ‘retired’ four years ago I still carry out some work in fostering services. I was born in Malvern and as such I am delighted to have been living here again for the past nine years. I believe passionately that we should, and must, help those less fortunate than ourselves, particularly children uprooted and separated from their families due to conflict.

I am safeguarding Lead, coordinate volunteers and am a member of the Malvern Welcomes Management Team.

Helen Louise

Helen Louise

I’ve been volunteering as an ESOL tutor with Malvern Welcomes since July 2018. I feel passionate about supporting refugees as they settle into the local community and aim to create a friendly, welcoming environment where they can feel relaxed, encouraged and hopefully, have fun while they learn! At the same time, I am always inspired and impressed by their resilience, hard work and determination to improve their English!

I am a Lead for one of the families.

Ruth Pole

Having had a working lifetime in various roles as an NHS dentist, I have received the best possible preparation for supporting the resettled families in accessing medical and dental care in their new home town. One feels impotent hearing about so many lives traumatised by the fighting in the Middle East. I am inspired by the quotation “One person cannot change the world, but it is possible to start to change the world for one person” and consider it a privilege to help change the world for the resettled families by helping them navigate our excellent health care system.

Mark Russell

Mark Russell

I’m Mark, and I joined Malvern Welcomes early in 2019 with the hope to try and help people from most unfortunate situations I believe no one should have to experience in their lives.
I have no professional experience in social work, but come with compassion as well as practical and people skills I have picked up over the last 25 years as a full time circus skills performer. I offer friendship and help to families resettled here. Help can involve organising house repairs, helping with technology, explaining local culture / facilities, giving lifts and having fun!

Tony Vere

Tony is a retired scientist who specialised in research on optical materials.  Before joining Malvern Welcomes, his fund-raising activities were limited to negotiating research contracts from the UK Ministry of Defence and European and American funders. From 2000 -20005 he worked in Glasgow setting up a crystal growth firm, which involved many funding negotiations with potential customers and the Scottish Government.  Previous charity work focused mainly on assistance with youth training at Upton Warren Outdoor Centre (formerly run by Worcestershire County Council and now by Aztec Ltd.) and odd jobs at the Bridge Training and Development Centre at Hanley Swan.  Hobbies include sailing and croquet.

I am Fund-raising Lead.

Sue Wolfendale

Sue Wolfendale

I was brought up in Malvern and returned 30 years ago with my family. In the 70s I trained as a Social Worker and for the last ten years of my career I was based in a local GP surgery, working mainly with older people. I am an active member of Amnesty International, both with the local group and in the Books for Amnesty shop in Great Malvern. I feel passionately that we must offer a safe haven to those who have fled the devastation of Syria and look forward to being involved with their arrival and settling into our beautiful town.

I coordinate volunteers and am a member of the Malvern Welcomes Management Team.

Privacy Preference Center

    Necessary

    Advertising

    Analytics

    Other