Bob Cornell has over 25 years experience working in the charitable field. He brings and applies his extensive knowledge to Westminster Befriend a Family (WBAF).
Bob’s involvement with WBAF goes way back. He first connected with WBAF through his work as a Grant Assessor, and later in May 2014, he served a part time interim position. He went on to become the CEO in October of that year.
Westminster Befriend a Family (WBAF) was pleased to welcome Loris Konaizeh as its new Service Coordinator in May 2018.
Loris, who previously volunteered for WBAF as a projects and operations intern, now takes on the permanent role of matching some very vulnerable families in the London Borough of Westminster with volunteers who can support them and guide them in how best to help themselves.
Loris, who is of Syrian and Spanish background and fluent in English, Arabic and Spanish, initially trained in banking and human resources before deciding she preferred a career that would be “much more worthwhile” and could make “a real difference to ordinary people’s lives”.
Having made that decision, she won a full International Leadership scholarship at the University of Westminster to do a Master Degree in Management and it was while there that she first volunteered at WBAF.
“I’ve volunteered for many years both here in London and in Syria raising money for charities, working with refugees and helping to organise events,” she said, “and I’ve always found it very rewarding.
“So after a few years working in the world of business I felt I wanted to get back to working for a charity and doing something much more worthwhile and personally fulfilling.
“I’m already getting stuck into my new role as Service Coordinator and really looking forward to getting to know the families we help much better. That way I can match them with a volunteer best suited to support them.”
“This new role”, added Loris, “allows me to combine my organisational and management skills with doing something of real value, helping families break the cycle of disadvantage and social exclusion and lead more rewarding and happy lives”.
In addition to their work for the board, our trustees participate in and chair a number of finance, fundraising, volunteer and human resources subcommittees. Our trustees endeavour to remain visible to our volunteers and families, often working with families themselves, or attending monthly supervision sessions.
Noreen Sumra joined the Board as Chair in December 2017. Noreen is a solicitor specialising in employment law, currently on a career break. She has served as a Chair of a BME Housing Association and also of a charity providing reading mentors to primary schools in Berkshire.
Rob Whitehouse is a chartered management accountant (CGMA) with over 8 years post qualification experience. In addition to 2 years at an audit firm he has over 10 years experience working in various financial reporting and change management roles at Bank of America.
Chris Grove is a founding partner at Forster Chase, where he runs the board practice, recruiting C-level executives and non-executive directors. He brings valuable insight into the business sector.
Father Owen Higgs is a vicar at St Gabriel’s Church in Pimlico, Westminster. He previously worked as a care worker for Scope, a charity supporting disabled people, and as a Chartered Accountant.
Vicky Kafetzi is a communications and engagement specialist working in the transport sector. She has over 11 years experience of providing strategic advice, to create the best environment for delivery of projects and operations that keep our great city moving. She also mentors and coaches young professionals.
Sasjkia Otto is a strategic foresight specialist who currently works in Whitehall. Her experience in the voluntary sector spans fundraising, policy, outreach, and management, including for national NGOs. She’s been lucky to have networks supporting her beyond her circumstances growing up; she joined WBAF after volunteering at the Samaritans and as a school reading partner, where she saw how important this could be for other young people’s futures.
Sabrina Vashisht is a fundraiser and communications officer for the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre, an international legal NGO. She has extensive experience of applying for and managing grants. Sabrina also volunteers for BAF in her spare time, and as a Russian-English translator for the BEARR Trust. She joined the Board in October 2017.