Meet the team
“The strength of Room to Heal comes from the enthusiasm and dedication of the people involved.” Amy Saunders, Comic Relief
Elli is the Director of Room to Heal. She has over 20 years’ experience in the refugee and asylum sector, managing refugee projects and teams, and working as a legal immigration adviser. Elli has worked at Bail for Immigration Detainees, Save the Children, Refugee Legal Centre, Refugee Council and, most recently, The Children’s Society. She has an MSc in Development Studies from LSE and is a qualified yoga teacher.
Bert-Jan is a Group Therapist at Room to Heal, currently co-facilitating a mixed group with Fartun. He has an MSc Psychodynamic Counselling & Psychotherapy from Birkbeck, University of London and has 9 years experience of community-based counselling. Bert-Jan previously worked at Sutton Counselling where he gained valuable experience of working with refugees and asylum seekers.
Fartun is a Group Counsellor at Room to Heal, currently co-facilitating a therapy group with Bert-Jan. She works in private practice alongside her role with Room to Heal and has gained experience in various counselling organisations. Fartun is active in and has a background as a facilitator and organiser around race and gender justice. More recently, she has pursued further training in processwork, an approach to psychotherapy and facilitation that explores the connection between inner work and social change.
Suzie is a Group Counsellor at Room to Heal. Suzie currently co-facilitates one of the mixed therapy groups with Rae. Prior to this, Suzie had also been working as a caseworker at Room to Heal. In addition to this experience, Suzie has worked at Freedom from Torture and the Dost Centre for Young Refugees.
Roro Ratih Ambarwati (Rae) is a Group Therapist, and has co-facilitated the support groups since 2009. Rae has qualifications in psychology and therapeutic group-work, and has worked at Room to Heal since its beginning.
Emily White has started in a new Community Manager role at Room to Heal having been a Group Therapist here for the last 4 years. Emily has a diverse background within the refugee sector and previously worked at Refugee Council, Refugee Action, Bail for Immigration Detainees and the Helen Bamber Foundation. Emily holds an MSc/Clinical Diploma in Transactional Analysis (TA) Psychotherapy and a Post-Graduate Diploma in TA Psychotherapeutic Counselling.
Cat has been working in the human rights sector for over 7 years primarily in policy and campaigning roles, including with ECPAT UK (Every Child Protected Against Trafficking), The Quaker United Nations Office and the Parliamentary Human Rights Group. Cat also has extensive experience of volunteering to support asylum seekers in the UK including at Detention Action and Room to Heal.
Veronica started as a caseworker at Room to Heal in January 2022 and is our only full-time member of staff.
Veronica has previously worked with adult and young refugees at the British Red Cross and has a wealth of casework experience including most recently at Prisoners Abroad.
Veronica also speaks fluent French and has led youth trips in Guadeloupe.
Jane has over 20 years’ experience in the charity sector, successfully raising funds and managing teams to raise income from charitable trusts, foundations and businesses. Jane is a Member of the Institute of Fundraising and long-time personal supporter of human rights.
Imogen Butler is our Finance Manager and has worked for Room to Heal since 2015. She has worked with a number of small businesses in organising and structuring their finances. She also has a degree in Swahili and Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies.
Mary joined Room to Heal as a volunteer in 2018 before joining the staff team in 2022. Mary is a clinical trainee in psychodynamic psychotherapy at the Tavistock NHS Clinic. She has worked on psychiatric wards and in care work, and has experience supporting people who are suicidal and people who are bereaved. Mary has a PhD in Literature from UCL where her research explored trauma narratives by women, and she is a contributor to the London Review of Books writing about prisons, empire and, currently, psychoanalysis and the welfare state.