I am Sarah Teather and I have just taken over from Louise Zanre as the new Director of JRS UK. I feel very blessed to take on this role.
I join the UK team in the Hurtado Centre in Wapping after a stint working for the international office of JRS (in Rome). The JRS international office sent me all over the world visiting JRS projects in the Middle East, East Africa and in Europe too. It was great experience for understanding JRS and I met many inspirational refugees and staff and volunteers, living and working in very difficult conditions.
Prior to working for JRS, I was an MP for twelve years, serving a diverse and deprived area of north west London. That was where I really came to meet refugees, to listen to their stories and to feel taken up by their cause. The refugees I met then taught me about the frustrating and baffling journey involved in waiting for permission from the Home Office to stay in the UK and the extreme difficulty of having to cope with detention and destitution.
Being able to work for JRS UK now is in some ways a bit of a dream come true for me. I have known about JRS for many years and love and admire the organisation. It has been humbling over the last week or so to meet the talented refugees who give so much energy to the day centre as volunteers and the many other volunteers of all faiths and none who give up time to help out visiting people in detention, fundraising in their parish or school, and helping us in the office in Wapping. Without their help and support we wouldn’t be able to operate.
I look forward to getting to know many of you who are part of the JRS family over the weeks and months to come and thank you for all that you do.
Read more about Sarah and her own journey to JRS UK here.
Meet Sarah at upcoming JRS Event at Farm Street Parish in London on 23rd February.