We currently have 1 Employee and 8 Trustees
Liz Hibberd: Strategic and Partnership Lead
I’ve been involved in education for around 13 years, first of all working as a primary teacher, then moving overseas to teach English as a Foreign Language, which I did until 2015. Through this work I have witnessed the barriers that many people face trying to access education, as well as the importance it has on equipping people for the difficulties they encounter throughout their lives. Having lived in South America, Egypt, Thailand and Qatar, as well as travelling extensively through S.E Asia, Central America and Africa, I am privileged to have a unique understanding and awareness of different cultures and value the need to work and live in ways which welcome and support diversity.
Volunteering in the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais, France, made a real impact on me and changed the direction of my MA studies. I decided to focus on education and refugees and analyse the support teachers have in terms of understanding the refugee experience. My research showed that teachers don’t feel they have the knowledge or confidence to facilitate their students’ awareness or understanding of the current situation despite them wanting to challenge prejudice and explore the issue further.
Partly as a result of this, I became more passionate about supporting the integration of refugees and asylum seekers, as well as raising the awareness of the refugee journey to those who have limited interaction with newcomers to the UK. By promoting understanding and questioning perceived notions, I hope to create a space where genuine dialogue and engagement can take place. Through my work with Manchester City of Sanctuary, I aim to do this. Highlighting commonalities and understanding the lives of others is the first step towards recognising our shared humanity and working towards a world where everyone is made to feel welcome and at home.
Paul Hamnett, Chair of Trustees
Paul Hamnett is a native of Gorton, Manchester who spent over 30 years as a senior international business leader managing various businesses around the world.
Paul has led businesses in Germany, the UK and extensively in the USA. Paul was a senior leader for Worldcom in Europe for a decade and then for Sony Ericsson where he also spent ten years between Western Europe and North America .
Paul has spent the past five years leading GN Audio’s (Jabra) North American business and then GN Hearing’s Western European business.
Paul also spent time with Blackberry in North America and Jawbone in San Francisco.
Since July 2018, Paul has been located back in the North West of England and retired from corporate life in October 2020. Paul now spends his time as Chair of Trustees at the Manchester City of Sanctuary charity, as a volunteer at the Southport Food Bank and as a mentor to young people trying to forge a career in business. He is also a Board Advisor to Immersionn, a London-based Virtual Reality start-up company.
I joined Manchester City of Sanctuary as a trustee in October 2019. I have extensive experience working with Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and Refugees, and have worked with charities and local government in London, Kent and across the North West.
After five years in the South of England, Manchester called and I returned to my favourite city. I become a trustee of MCoS to help promote and extend the wonderful, welcoming culture Manchester offers to people the world over.
My interests include languages and intercultural communication. I am fascinated in the variety of ways people of different cultures discuss emotional wellbeing. In the UK, most services accept only standardised ways of discussing wellbeing; this can often prevent people from receiving the care and support they need. I am interested in creating spaces to allow people to speak comfortably about their experiences and have their needs supported.
I also am a passionate advocate for volunteers’ and staff wellbeing in the charity sector, as I recognise that while the work is extremely rewarding, there are specific challenges to these roles which need to be addressed.
Hailing from the South West, I studied in Manchester and lived there for a number of years
thereafter. I continue to have strong ties to the city, both family and football, visit very regularly and
regard it as my second home.
I initially became involved with Manchester City of Sanctuary at the end of 2020 and was delighted
to become a trustee in February 2021.
I am a Chartered Accountant by profession, having spent my career in a variety of different
industries, including hotels, motor trade, day visitor attractions and more recently insurance. Having
both worked for and been a trustee for a charity previously, I have a good working knowledge of
charity sector legislation, regulations and reporting requirements.
I hope to bring my insight in financial matters to the role of Treasurer to ensure that MCOS
continues to operate on a strong financial footing, enabling it to continue to provide its vital services
to the sanctuary seekers that move to Manchester as part of starting a new life in the UK.