About Us

Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees works in close partnership with Sevenoaks District Council, Kent County Council and the support agency Clarion Housing Association, who are commissioned by KCC. We provide local practical support to refugee families in our area - welcoming, help with learning English, finding jobs, providing lifts, sourcing necessary household items, and making small grants - and find private landlords willing to take part in the government-funded rent payment scheme. Our Constitution document is here.

The first refugee families here are part of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (SVPRS). This scheme involves particularly vulnerable refugees coming directly from the Middle East to resettle in the UK. In late 2019 the government amalgamated all its refugee resettlement programmes into one, called the global UK Resettlement Scheme. Refugees resettled under this scheme can be drawn from anywhere in the world, and participating councils can request refugees from cultural backgrounds they are best placed to support. 

Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees is also now playing an active part in the Afghanistan refugee resettlement programme, in which Sevenoaks District Council is participating. But we urgently need to find more private sector landlords/properties.

Please see Ukraine Crisis for the latest updates on our role in helping refugees from Ukraine.

For more information about refugees visit UNHCR and the UK’s Refugee Council

Trustees

Jeanette Nunn

Volunteers

I am a retired Relationship banker whose career spanned the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. I manage a House owned by the ANZ’s Sports’ and Social Club, as well as being the Deputy Chairperson for the ANZ London Pension Committee. 

I joined SWR in 2018 and became a Trustee a year later. I initially helped establish the Language Provision for our families with David Hinks, Trustee (my husband). Following the Strategic Review, I have now become Trustee for Volunteers.

David Hinks

Path to Independence

I am a retired Head Teacher having completed over 30 years working in the education sector both here in the United Kingdom and in New Zealand. My specialisation was working with and supporting young people with mental health and behavioural difficulties. I am fully trained in Child Protection and Safeguarding. 

I have over the past few years volunteered with the homeless charity Crisis and over the Christmas period here in London. I joined SWR in 2017 as a language volunteer and became the Trustee with overall responsibility for the coordination of the Language Provision a year later. Since the Strategic Review this role encompasses the Path to Independence.

Chris Hix

Treasurer

I qualified as an accountant in 1980 at Unilever, for whom I worked for 17 years in the UK and abroad.  I subsequently worked for Lloyds TSB, the NHS, and DEFRA and retired from the role of Head of Financial Accounting for the Department of Energy and Climate Change in 2015.  

I am also involved in several other charities including Empathy Action, Safe Passage, Future Men and Action for Happiness, working in both finance and non-finance roles.

Humphrey Pring

Communications

My background is in marketing and communications, with a series of roles in the social enterprise, private and government sectors. I also worked for Oxfam in Africa for 3 years managing aid programmes in Sudan and Somaliland, and for one year in a fundraising role at Oxfam’s head office in Oxford. I have experience in leading teams and projects as an Army officer, a director and as a senior civil servant. I am also a trustee of The Lord Deedes of Aldington Charitable Trust.

Donald Fleming

Compliance

I joined SWR relatively recently, initially as a language volunteer. For much of my career I have advised trustees of pension schemes around funding or when their employer is involved in a major transaction and I currently am a partner in a large consulting practice in London. 

I have previously worked on the corporate finance side of a stockbroking firm for several years and also practised for several years as a banking and finance lawyer.  


David Skinner



I retired in 2020 after 16 years with Save the Children. I was Save the Children's Global Education Director, Country Director first for Afghanistan and then for Pakistan, and Team Leader for the Response to the Rohingya Crisis in Bangladesh. While at Save the Children I was also deployed during the Ebola crisis to Sierra Leone. Since retiring, I deployed again, within the UN architecture, for three months to Kyiv to set up the coordination of the education aspects of the entire international response to the crisis in Ukraine.

I am currently also chair of the statutory Independent Monitoring Board of HMP Maidstone, one of three prisons in the country to house only foreign nationals.

Volunteers

Dave

"Joined up as a driver with good, but lofty, notions which were quickly overlaid by finding pleasure in helping dear friends in need to settle in the neighbourhood."

THEO

"I decided to join Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees after I heard what was going on in Afghanistan. I chose to help where & when I could at events, and help share interesting articles on our social media.

I'm glad I decided to join and I'm glad I've met so many great people and made good friends.

Sam

"I've always enjoyed making friends with people from other parts of the world. SWR represents a wholesome way to broaden my horizons and connect with the community."

HUMPHREY

"I was one of the volunteers who got together in 2017 to set up Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees. It's been great to see SWR grow from one to twelve families from Syria and Afghanistan, and fifty families from Ukraine. I hope that we will be able to help more families in the future. I've enjoyed using my experience to help grow the charity." 

SIMON

"When I retired I was looking for something useful to do. I found SWR entirely by chance and had never thought of doing this sort of thing before. The opportunity to work with these wonderful people has quite simply changed my life. I hope I can make a difference to their lives too."

RACHEL

"I joined one of the family teams in SWR after attending an Ayman Jarjour concert in 2018 in aid of Syrian refugees. I was already a volunteer reading helper at the school attended by the children in the family I help support, so I have also been helping them at school and can provide a link between home, school and the family team. It’s been very rewarding."

Families

The families we first started helping lived originally in Damascus and in the Aleppo and Idlib areas. They fled the fighting in Syria and moved to surrounding countries - Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt - where they registered with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. The UK Government's Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (SVPRS) was launched in January 2014 to help those refugees in the region surrounding Syria who are in the greatest need, including people requiring urgent medical treatment, survivors of violence and torture, and women and children at risk. For the Scheme's definition of vulnerability see here

Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees is also playing an active role in the Afghanistan refugee resettlement programme, and we have been working directly with around 50 Ukrainian families as part of the government's Homes for Ukraine scheme. 

Partners

ACCOUNTS & ANNUAL REPORT 2021/22

The combined Annual Accounts, Annual Report and Independent Examiner's Report for the financial year 2021/22 is here.  

Here are the Annual Accounts and the Annual Report for the financial year 2020/21. The Accounts are here, and the Annual Report is here.

For the year 2019/20 the Accounts are here, and the Annual Report is here.

Thank you!

Many, many thanks to the pupils and teachers at Sevenoaks School who have led the development of this website as part of their service programme; to SWR volunteer Sam who has been outstandingly helpful; and to everyone else who has contributed comments, material and assistance. Please let us know if you have web and other digital skills and would like to get involved as a volunteer.