Migrant Help’s trustees are responsible in law for the charity, its assets and activities.

They are appointed because of their commitment to our values. Their experience and skills enable them to undertake the responsibilities of trusteeship of a national charity.

Madhavi Vadera - Chair

Madhavi is the Deputy CEO and Trustee of Lifelines International Fund for Education, a UK registered charity that supports transformational education projects focussed on vulnerable children and women.

She also works as a psychotherapist specialising in working with unaccompanied refugee minors.

As a Finance Director , Business consultant and Strategist, Madhavi brings a range of public and private sector experience in organisational change, fiscal governance, audit and compliance.  She has held senior leadership roles in NATO, Ministry of Defence UK, Diageo and several companies within financial services , publishing and the public sector, in a career spanning over twenty years.  Madhavi is a chartered management accountant ( FCMA, CGMA),  a qualified child psychotherapist ( MBACP) and has a Masters degree in Education from the University of Cambridge.

Within the charity sector Madhavi has been on the Board of SENSE Romania, is on the Finance and Governance committee of BACP ( British Association of Counselling Psychotherapists)  and Chinmaya Mission France.  She is a champion for a leading human rights and diversity charity – Think Equal.

"As a refugee myself and a human rights champion , I feel absolutely committed to empowering the lives of the very people who start their journey towards safety and hope by contacting Migrant Help.  I feel humbled and honoured to be the Chair of a dedicated Board of Trustees, to join a team of compassionate professionals and to be part of the transformative process that Migrant Help facilitates through all its services"

David Noble QSO - Vice Chair

David spent most of his career as a public service lawyer, working initially in local government in London then in senior roles in the UK Civil Service and the EU Commission. His last, full-time role involved leading a New Zealand government department through a major programme of change.

Since returning to the UK he has concentrated on roles in the third sector and conducting reviews for organisations after critical incidents. He is also a trustee of a multi-school academy trust and Ballet Soul CIO, a dance charity focussing particularly on those from non-traditional backgrounds.

“I have seen first-hand the impacts that Migrant Help’s committed staff and volunteers have made to the lives of the, often vulnerable, but also resilient and resourceful people our charity exists to serve. I am so pleased and very privileged to be able to contribute to this work as a trustee.” 

Yusef Gojikian

Yusef is a dedicated advocate for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees and other disadvantaged groups. He brings with him an invaluable portfolio of skills acquired over more than 20 years’ experience in the statutory and not-for-profit sector, the majority of which was with refugee charities and in independent consultancy.

Yusef has undertaken leadership roles in these organisations including service management, project management, policy advocacy and negotiation, research, production of publications, partnership building, organising events and giving presentations and media interviews. He has complete over 4000 expert witness reports on the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees with a particular focus on LGBTQI issues.

Yusef runs a consultancy practice as a skilled human rights assessor within the Social Work Sector. He has built a highly regarded track record of developing and delivering collaborative initiatives in the UK statutory services and voluntary sector using strategic, relational leadership to build consensus and action across organisational boundaries and pioneering social change.

This is supported by in-depth experience of policy, research and influencing in a statutory and charity context, along with clear understanding of strategic communications, framing, governance, evaluation and building partnerships. Having worked at Refugee Action, The Norwegian government, Westminster Children's Services, Cafcass, UK Black Pride and another of other organisations.

He is a collaborative leader, with trust and integrity, excellent judgement and strong values, successfully navigating complex dynamics to achieve change

"As a refugee, I remind myself, no one is built like me and we design ourselves through the struggles we have overcome."

Amelia Knott

Amelia is Managing Director at Romanac Consulting Ltd, which supports businesses to understand and manage their human rights impacts, with a particular focus on modern slavery and labour rights. 

Previously, she worked in international development, conducting research and stakeholder engagement in fragile and conflict-affected states. She was also Corporate Responsibility Manager for Centrica plc, where she focused on policy development, reporting and communications, with particular interests in climate change, social accountability, energy security, ethics and governance. Amelia has seven years experience as a Trustee of the Hansard Society. She has an MSc in International Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and an MA in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge.

"Being a trustee keeps me connected to the experiences of refugees, asylum seekers and victims of trafficking, as well as to those working hard to support them. It is an honour to contribute to the valuable work that Migrant Help undertakes and to see the positive impact that the charity has on those in need."

Mark Leigh

Mark brings significant marketing, strategy and business development expertise to Migrant Help following an international career that has seen him lead operations across the globe – Asia, Middle East, US, UK and Europe. This experience is augmented by his early training and career in youth, community and education sectors and his roles with UK based charities.

"It is a real privilege to be able to contribute to the important work of creating access and growth avenues for people in great need – empowering them to take control of their lives and successfully contribute to their communities."

Frank Omare

Frank brings over 20 years of combined senior line management and ‘Big 4’ consulting experience in procurement & supply chain. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (FCIPS). Frank is on the Board of Migrant Help Trading, the social enterprise arm of the charity, and he is an Advisory Board Member and mentor of the Migrant Leaders charity, an exciting initiative to support young migrants in the UK in the journey to develop their careers and to realise their life aims. 

Frank works at SAP Ariba, an SAP Company which has the world’s largest cloud-based network for business commerce. SAP Ariba affords Frank the opportunity to leverage his procurement & supply chain experience to help customers understand the benefits of making an investment in leading-edge solutions. Frank's work also helps customers to understand the value of digital transformation and to prioritise sustainability as part of their organisation’s values.

"Being a Trustee allows me to pursue my passion...investing time and expertise into making a difference to the lives of disadvantaged people. I am proud of the work which Migrant Help does with asylum seekers and refugees to protect their dignity and human rights."

Mayan Shah

Mayan is the Managing Director of Visiting Angels (Middlesex), a Home Care provider, that makes the CareGiver the most important people in the company. Mayan is also a Governor at a local school, where he Chairs the Finance and Resources Committee.

As a Director of Finance, Director of Resources, Interim Manager and Consultant, Mayan has a range of experience in transformational leadership, both in the public and private sectors spanning thirty years. Mayan is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA) and is an Executive MBA.

In the charitable sector, Mayan was a Board member at ACCEPT (ACCEPT was a charity that helped people with alcohol problems), and at St Martin of Tours Housing Association, where he chaired the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee.

As an immigrant myself, I am very empathetic with the experience faced by migrants and feel honoured to be able to serve in an organisation, that provides invaluable help to migrants”

John Smart – Treasurer

John is a retired chartered accountant with many years of experience in several sectors.  Until recently he was the Chief Finance Officer at HCT Group, a social enterprise in transport industry which provides 30 million passenger trips on its vehicles every year. He successfully led the organisation through two fund raising round, the latter of which won an award in 2018 for the best social enterprise finance deal of 2018. 

John is also on the board a community transport charity and an education trust. 

In the past, John held senior finance positions in a variety of organisations in both the public and private sectors.

"I am passionate about equality for all in our country. I see Migrant Help as playing a vital role in this area and feel that my finance and leadership skills can contribute to its efforts in supporting vulnerable migrants."

Piran Thillainathan

Piran Thillainathan is a senior lawyer with nearly 20 years of experience in the financial services sector, covering both in-house and private practice roles and qualified in both the U.K. and Ontario, Canada.  He has extensive experience in managing and mitigating complex legal risks, project management, strategy development and legal/policy analysis more generally in the private sector.

"As someone who has experienced some of the hardships of being a refugee but also the freedom and opportunities a fresh start can create, I feel so privileged to be able to use my skills to assist Migrant Help in supporting vulnerable refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants and helping them on their journey towards a new life"