Staff and session leads


and their memorable moments at the Centre

Andy Ruiz Palma

Chief Executive

Anya Paul

Project worker & ESOL teacher

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"While dashing through the kitchen, I passed a smiling individual looking very happy. I knew they had been under tremendous difficulties. Our conversation was dominated by their thanks and appreciation and ended in words I will never forget; "Thank you - the Centre is my therapy."

"Talking to a student who told me how she misses her sister and family and yet knows she can't see them. Then she turned to me and with her beautiful smile said; “You (the Centre) are my family.'

Chris Taylor

Project worker & ESOL teacher

Stephen Spencer

Project worker and Advice and Support worker

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"Seeing the sheer pleasure on our students’ faces during the football match between Islington Centre and the Medical Foundation. Whether from working as a team to secure passes for a well-deserved goal, or simply the satisfaction of working up a sweat, we were truly present in the moment and forgot all distractions and problems."

"Getting benefits reinstated for a client left destitute after they were stopped due to official error. The client had no money to buy food and was being threatened over rent and council tax arrears. A comparatively simple procedure (with excessive 'on hold' phone music) made a significant difference to the client’s well-being, both physical and mental."

Sita Brahmachari

Art and Writing class session lead and
Writer in Residence

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Jane Ray

Art and Writing class session lead and
Artist in Residence

"When a student showed us his magical photographs and said; “In art you can find a space to 'tell', to find yourself and lose yourself.”

"I love it when a student becomes quietly absorbed in their work, and there is feeling of peaceful concentration."

Romain Malan

Music class session lead

Katie Commons

Head of Fundraising and Development

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"The session we sang ‘Hometown Glory’ by Adele. I invited students to sing memories of their hometown in their native languages. We had the chorus sung by all in English, and verses in Farsi, Turkish, Russian and Spanish, that was such a unique moment!"

"Just after I began at the Centre, I attended our Christmas concert. It was incredible to see Centre clients at the heart of the community, all singing together."

Shazia Amin

Lunch-time lead

Monica Dobson

Book Group session lead

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"When I cooked and served food the first time I noticed how it makes people smile and helps everyone come together. No matter what the dish or ingredients there is always something to talk about. It gives people the chance to talk about home."

Elaine Marriott

Book Group session lead

Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants is a registered charity in England and Wales - Number: 1135205 - Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England & Wales - Number: 07076199.
Registered address: 16-18 Cross Street, London N1 2BG