Leigh is a senior public health manager working in City of York Council, leading on the commissioning and contract management of a variety of local authority contracts. Leigh has a background in mental health nursing and addictions having over 25 years experience of operational management with vulnerable people in third sector, prisons, NHS and local authority organisations. Recently undertaking an MSC in public health Leigh is renowned within the field for her pragmatic no nonsense approach to solving challenging problems and situations with innovative ideas. After a family holiday in Lesbos and seeing the work undertaken by volunteers, she became commited to supporting the aid back home in the UK
I have been working professionally in the field of UK-based migrant & human rights for 14 years now. My record as a human rights defender and campaigner is much longer. I currently lead the advice team of Praxis, a significant pan-London migrant NGO. We provide frontline advice, triage and casework to vulnerable migrants in the areas of immigration, housing and welfare benefits, and also provide group work and self-advocacy for young undocumented & unaccompanied migrants and survivors of trafficking and domestic violence. I am particularly passionate about gender-based violence and issues relating to LGBTI and HIV discrimination. I am an OISC Level 2 immigration caseworker, technical supervisor, line manager and project lead. I am a key member of our organisation’s senior management team and have significant experience in and responsibility for our work on fundraising, report-writing, volunteer management, strategy, policy & development. I have managed and led on successful European-funded transnational projects as well as UK and local funding streams. I have a professional background in journalism, academia, languages and the arts which I hope might indicate the wider range of my interests, abilities and references as a writer, researcher, administrator, teacher and analyst. I continue daily to be provoked by the lack of common humanity and legal protection afforded to migrants in the UK. But I still prefer to choose hope over anger, and I want to be part of creating and enabling change in our time. Even if – perhaps especially – that means accepting that change happens one person at a time.