The People

2017-11-17 15.37.59
Caroline Beatty

Caroline Beatty is founder and director of Hill House Retreats CIC. She has a background in equalities work with a particular focus on race equality and multiculturalism.  She has worked in the refugee support sector in Bristol since 2006, is a patron of Bristol Refugee Rights, was for several years a trustee of City of Sanctuary UK and is now co-chair of Bristol City of Sanctuary. She now lives in Stroud.

A Management committee for Hill House Retreats CIC, of people with a range of relevant skills and experience meets 6 times a year to support and advise on the development of the community interest company and in particular the Sanctuary Breaks project.  They are:

John Patrick Njau  has lived experience of the UK asylum process.  It took 17 years JPfor his claim to be recognised – he was finally given leave to remain in the UK in 2021. He is a long time supporter and champion of Hill House,and is now employed as an Outreach Officer in Bristol’s refugee support sector.


Naomi Millner    is a lecturer in human geography (social sciences) at the University of Bristol. She is a Trustee of the Bristol Hospitality Network (BHN), which she helped to set up in 2009. BHN supports asylum-seekers who have lost the right to housing, by providing accommodation, information and advocacy, and creative community involvement. Naomi also enjoys creative writing, gardening, and outdoor adventures

Sarah Hughes has had a long career in international humanitarian aid and Sarah mugshotdevelopment, focusing on community development and peace building, and taking on senior management roles. She was Director of Notre Dame Refugee Centre, London and is now a Trustee of Happy Baby Community, a community of support for women who have fled from violence or traffickers, are pregnant or with a young child, and are seeking international protection in the UK. Sarah now lives in the Stroud Valleys.

Ramesh Shivarajah (Treasurer) Ramesh  has 9 years experience in the international      ramesh development sector and has been working for several years as the Finance and Resources Manager for Tree Aid, which is a large and well established Charity. He is on the brink of completing his Chartered Accountancy qualification.  As a second generation member of the Tamil refugee community, he feels close to the concerns and needs of people seeking sanctuary, and is keen to support the respite scheme offered by Hill House.  He also has a close family connection to the Stroud Valleys.

Sally Pickering

sally pickeringwas brought up a Quaker with a strong sense of social justice.  Most of her working life has been in the voluntary sector heading up small local charities in the fields of homelessness, mental health, domestic abuse and, most recently, as CEO of Citizens Advice in Stroud.  For 10 years she was also CEO of the Gloucestershire Association for Voluntary and Community Action, She has extensive experience of legal structures, governance, HR management, employment law and finance relating to charities and community groups,and good practice around working with volunteers. Sally lives in Stroud.

Judith Large has worked internationally with refugee issues in areas of policy and Judith mugshorpractice.  She first encountered refugees when working alongside local activists in former Yugolsavia during and after the war,  in Croatia,  Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo. She was part of a team evaluating UNHCR response to the mass refugee/IDP return following the independence war of Timor Leste.  Her last active mission was to interview displaced persons in Iraqi Kurdistan for an EU project.  She lives in Stroud and is active in refugee support work locally.

Alex Raeburn  has recently spent time as the medium term resident at Hill House, supporting the development of the CIC. She joined the Hill House Management Committee in 2023.  Her particular area of expertise is in anti-discrimination legislation, and in equalities, diversity and inclusion. Alex lives in Stroud.


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