The board is committed to ensuring that our governance arrangements are effective and relevant. Trustees are selected for their expertise, and all give their time and energy for free to Hackney Migrant Centre.

Kathy Meade


Kathy is a retired solicitor specialising in housing and a volunteer housing advocate for Hackney Migrant Centre. Until 2021, she was Professional Support Lawyer for Shelter; she has also worked in Law Centres and for Terrence Higgins Trust. She was Social Welfare Lawyer of the Year in 2010. Kathy has lived in Hackney for 40 years and as well as her work for HMC is a volunteer and Board Member for Hackney Night Shelter. She has been a trustee of Hackney Migrant Centre since 2018.

Augusta Itua


Augusta, a children’s rights lawyer with over a decade in the legal charity sector, currently serves as the Interim Co-Chair of HMC, demonstrating leadership and dedication to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). She leads the development of HMC’s EDI Action Plan, collaborating closely with the CEO and incorporating essential input from staff. Augusta’s commitment to access to justice is evident through her extensive work in the legal advice sector. With her lived migration experiences, she brings unique insights into board discussions.

Hannah McConnachie


Hannah is an in-house commercial solicitor, currently General Counsel for a mission-driven climate change consultancy. A passionate advocate for refugee and migrant rights, she worked for a not-for-profit legal advice service in Australia representing refugees and migrants before moving to London. Hannah has lived in Hackney for over 5 years and began volunteering at Hackney Migrant Centre in 2017. She acted as Chair of the trustee board from 2021-2023.

Saraf Anan

Vice Chair (on maternity leave)

Saraf has a background in economics and has worked in financial services since 2011. As an immigrant from Bangladesh, moving to Ireland as a young child, Saraf is passionate about migrant rights. She brings strategic development, financial analysis and project management experience to the board of trustees. She lived in Hackney for over five years and has volunteered with several charities in the area. Saraf is Vice-Chair of the trustee board and has been a trustee of Hackney Migrant Centre since 2022.

Elizabeth Kolawole Johnson


Elizabeth’s day job is at the charity Migrateful, where she supports asylum seekers refugees and other vulnerable migrants. Her lived experience of the hostile immigration policies gives her deep insight into the challenges facing many migrants in the UK. Before she left her country, Nigeria, she gained a Master’s degree in clinical psychology. Elizabeth joined the board of trustees in 2019 having previously been a beneficiary of the services of Hackney Migrant Centre.

Chris Wheatley


Chris has worked in finance since 2013 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2017. He currently works for ClientEarth, an environmental charity which uses the power of the law to help protect life on earth. He is also Treasurer of The Heritage of London Trust, a charity which focuses on conservation and education through youth engagement programmes. Chris has lived in Hackney for 10 years and joined the board of Hackney Migrant Centre as Treasurer in 2022.

Roger Besong

Lead Trustee for Safeguarding

Roger, a volunteer manager with over a decade of experience working in the charity sector, currently serves as HMC’s safeguarding trustee. He has lived experience of the UK’s hostile immigration policies. Since arriving in the UK from Cameroon in 2008, he gained his professional experience through volunteering, giving him unique skills in all areas and capacities of charity work. He is enthusiastic about; mental health and wellbeing, developing potentials, advocacy, and campaigning. He has developed community organisations across the UK. He has lived in Hackney since 2015 and has been involved with HMC about the same amount of time as a volunteer and a beneficiary.

Henna Alicia Charania


Henna has a background in developing data collection systems, measuring impact and implementing monitoring and evaluation practices. She has worked for various non-profit organisations in the UK and beyond, with a focus on disaster relief, gender-based violence, racial equality and migrant support. As a child of refugees, she has an emotional connection to the work carried out at Hackney Migrant Centre, where she first started her journey as a volunteer, returning many years later to join as a trustee in 2024.

Abdullahi Yussuf

Young Trustee

Abdullahi Yussuf is a Human Rights Masters student with scholarship at LSE. He holds a BA in social anthropology from SOAS and was awarded a scholarship. He has served as a producer at Royal Albert Hall, where he produced an event called Licence To DV8. He volunteers at Coram; We Belong and has been with HMC since 2021. His advocacy experience includes being on the IntoUniversity advisory panel and as a former Hackney Young Speaker and Youth Parliament member. As a person living with the physical disability of Cerebral Palsy (left hemiplegia), he importantly also centres his experience around this.


Charlotte Buckley


Charlotte is responsible for the strategic development and the effective operation of HMC’s services.

Megan Allen

Operations Manager

Megan oversees the day-to-day activities within the organisation, ensuring smooth and efficient processes across various departments and resolving operational challenges.

Sian Davin

Immigration Manager

Sian is a Solicitor. She supervises and manages HMC’s in-house legal capacity to complete immigration support to the migrants who access our services.

Charity Fashesin

Fundraising Officer

Charity looks after grant applications and maintains relationships with donors.

Donya Mojtahed-Zadeh

Housing and Destitution Caseworker

Donya provides advice on welfare and housing issues to migrants during the Wednesday drop-in session and manages a caseload of visitors to help bring them out of destitution and into secure living environments.

Rose Nickolds

Housing and Destitution Caseworker

Rose provides advice on welfare and housing issues to migrants during the Wednesday drop-in session and manages a caseload of visitors to help bring them out of destitution and into secure living environments.

Laura Moreno Vela

Volunteer and Participation Manager

Laura supports HMC’s 50+ people volunteer team. She oversees volunteer recruitment, induction and ongoing support support. Laura also supports the engagement of people with lived experience at HMC and ensures collaboration between all members of the HMC community.

Haneet Sagoo

Hardship Grant and Administrative Officer

Haneet manages a grant, alongside Hackney Council, for those with no recourse to public funds. Additionally, she provides administrative support for HMC.

Frankie Boon

Frankie Boon

Immigration Advisor

Frankie is a Solicitor, who provides immigration advice and assists visitors with their immigration applications.

Ellen Kettel

Immigration Caseworker

Ellen is an OISC level 2 accredited caseworker. She provides immigration advice, assists visitors with immigration applications and manages the intake of new immigration work at HMC.

Lizzie Hobbs

Access to Justice Coordinator

Lizzie provides advice and casework to people who have had initial immigration advice provided at our weekly advice session. The majority of her work focuses on long-residence applications.


We have over 50 volunteers at any one time supporting the advice service. Many of them are former visitors who remain part of the HMC community. It wouldn’t be possible to run our service without their help and support – from welcoming visitors to cooking lunch, collecting donations of food, and carrying out a range of casework tasks to help visitors access services and the support they need – volunteers are an integral part of who we are.