Management committee

The ASAP Management Committee has eleven members who have expertise in the legal profession, asylum support, human resources, finance and fundraising, communications/marketing and charity management.  

Current ASAP Management Committee members are:

Marion Edge

David Garratt

Dave has worked in advice services in the UK for 20 years. Beginning as a volunteer in street homeless services, he developed extensive grounding in working with vulnerable people with complex needs. He began managing homeless services in 1995, developing first single services, then networks of residential and day-care provision. Moving to the refugee sector in 1999, Dave spent 15 years as a senior manager for Refugee Action, first as Operations Director and then, from 2010-15, as CEO. Dave joined ASAP’s management committee in January 2015 and is also Chair of the charity Student Action for Refugees.

Alasdair Mackenzie (Vice Chair) 

Alasdair is a barrister with Doughty Street Chambers, where he specialises in immigration and asylum law. Before joining Doughty Street from pupillage in 2005, Alasdair spent many years as a campaigner and advice worker on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.  He was among the founders of the charity Asylum Aid, of which he was Co-ordinator from 1990 to 2002.  He spent some years as an executive committee member of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association, of which he remains an active member, and is a former Chair of the Asylum Rights Campaign and of the Refugee Legal Group.  He has acted as an expert consultant to the Immigration Services Commissioner, the regulator of immigration advisers.  Alasdair has written or contributed to a number of significant reports and publications on asylum and immigration issues. Alasdair joined the Management Committee in May 2017.

Loraine Masiya Mponela

Loraine is a community organiser and member of a grassroot organisation- Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group (CARAG). CARAG is a peer support group which is for and run by people seeking asylum, refugees, migrants and anyone subjected to the UK Immigration and Asylum system. Loraine's vision is a world that is fairer and just to all, not just the loudest. During her free time Loraine mentors students from disadvantaged backgrounds who can't afford fees and are seeking scholarships to advance their education.

Maryam Oghanna

Maryam is a commercial disputes lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, with a wide practice covering civil fraud, trusts and charity law. She joined ASAP as a duty scheme volunteer in 2017 and joined the Management Committee in December 2019.

Nicola Parker​

Nicola has a strong background in HR, currently holding the post of Head of HR at Refugee Action.  Nicola joined the Management Committee in May 2015.

Amelia Seeto

Amelia is an experienced Communications Director who has committed her career to the third sector. She has worked in Australia, Spain and the UK for human rights organisations, disability charities, social enterprises and in politics, campaigning for change in Westminster.  Amelia has an MA in Strategic Public Relations and Human Rights Communication. Outside work, she volunteers as a Breastfeeding Supporter. Amelia joined the Management Committee in July 2016.

Mike Spencer (Chair)

Mike is a lawyer who specialises in social welfare law.   He joined ASAP as a volunteer in 2009 and worked as ASAP's solicitor between 2010 and 2012.  Since then, he has worked as the Legal Officer of the Child Poverty Action Group and is now working as a barrister at 1 Crown Office Row Chambers.  Mike joined the ASAP management committee in 2017.

Sarah Taal 

Sarah has worked with refugee and asylum seeking women since 2007. She began this work as the coordinator of the Coventry Refugee Centre’s Women and Therapeutic Service Project. Subsequently she was employed by the Hope Projects, a Birmingham based charity which works with people seeking asylum, as a Housing and Womens Worker, by BIRCH (a Birmingham based community hosting project); and by the Birmingham based Rape and Sexual Violence Project as its Refugee and Migrant Support Practitioner. She is currently the Director of the Baobab Women’s Project, a community CIC working with refugee and migrant women in the West Midlands, assisting women to access immigration housing and health advice, as well as providing emotional support and signposting to relevant services. She has researched migration issues following an MA in Migration and Social Policy with the University of Birmingham, producing reports on destitution, and sexual and gender based violence for refugee women.

Sheryl Whitehall (Treasurer) 

Sheryl  is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the not for profit independent global media platform, openDemocracy. She is an accomplished and goal-focused finance and operations executive who has worked in prestige organisations locally, regionally and internationally and has held senior leadership positions in various sectors including, the not for profit. She is interested in helping organizations create positive impact from their operations while ensuring financial sustainability and business success. She is qualified accountant (FCCA), holds a BSc in Industrial Management, a Post Graduate Diploma in financial strategy and is trained in sustainability leadership. She joined the ASAP's management committee in January 2020.