Refugee Action names Oxfam GB Deputy Chief Penny Lawrence as new Chair of Trustees

Last updated July 25, 2016Press release

Penny Lawrence has been announced as Refugee Action’s new Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Penny will lead the board in setting and providing oversight of Refugee Action’s strategy and activities. She takes up the role at a time of great change and challenges in the UK and across the world as the global refugee crisis continues to unfold.

For more than 30 years Refugee Action has been supporting asylum seekers and refugees in the UK, and speaking up passionately for their rights.  As the leading charity supporting the resettlement of refugees here, Refugee Action’s current work includes helping Syrians arriving as part of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme as well as providing direct support and advice to asylum seekers and refugees, and campaigning on the need to improve access to English lessons.

Now Oxfam GB’s Deputy Chief Executive, Penny originally joined the organisation in 2006 as International Programmes Director. She has led Oxfam’s programme teams, across 60 countries, responding to humanitarian crises, engaging in long-term development and addressing the causes of poverty through advocacy and campaigning around the world.

Penny started her career as a teacher and was International Programmes Director at VSO before joining Oxfam.  She has over 30 years experience in the development field and has lived and worked in Sudan, Zimbabwe and Ghana as well as the UK.

Stephen Hale, Refugee Action’s Chief Executive said:

“I’m delighted that Penny is joining us and bringing with her such extensive experience in and commitment to achieving social justice. She is hugely respected in humanitarian and development fields and as the global refugee crisis continues to unfold is the right person to oversee Refugee Action’s ambitious new plans.”

Penny Lawrence said on her new appointment: “I am thrilled to have been appointed Refugee Action’s Board Chair. The need for Britain to show compassion and provide support to people fleeing war and persecution has never been greater. I look forward to helping steer the work of Refugee Action, so that refugees are able to reach safety and rebuild their lives successfully in the UK.”

Refugee Action thanks the outgoing chair Julia Meiklejohn who has served Refugee Action so well for many years, having been involved with the organisation from the outset.

Notes to Editors:

Any questions or for a photograph of Penny Lawrence please contact:
Georgette Thomas, Refugee Action, Media Manager on: 07771 748 159 / media@refugee-action.org.uk