Beyond Detention logo

Our Story

Since 2001, we have been offering hope to people detained in Yarl’s Wood IRC through friendship, practical support and advocating for justice.

The beginning

Our story starts with the struggle of men and women who find themselves caught up in the hostile environment of the UK's immigration system. Yarl’s Wood IRC was originally intended to hold refugees for two weeks until a decision had been taken on their case. But in practice men and women are detained indefinitely for months and even years while our broken, inhumane system decides whether to deport or release them. Between 15,000 and 32,000 people are detained each year in immigration detention across the UK. Over the last 20 years, Beyond Detention has borne witness to the traumatic and degrading impact of indefinite detention.
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The now

We have a new Strategic Plan for 2023-2026, including updated Vision, Mission and Values which reflects the work we do both inside and outside Yarl’s Wood IRC. We have grown our staff team, now including 3 Coordinators, who with our team of circa 40 volunteers, support our service users in a number of ways. On the board of trustees and among staff and volunteers are people with lived experience of detention who inform and shape our way of working.
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Our vision, mission and values

Our vision is a time when people who experience immigration detention in the UK have their rights respected

Our mission is to through emotional and practical support, we empower, restore dignity to and improve the wellbeing of people in immigration detention and after their release

Our values are that
•we are compassionate, empowering and inclusive 
•we act with integrity andkindness
•we are respectful and non-judgmental 


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Who we are

Staff

We have a small team of staff, a large body of volunteers and a board of trustees.
Alina Karim

Alina Karim

Post-detention Coordinator

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Belal Bunian

Belal Bunian

Finance Manager

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Blandine Mokenge Nakie

Blandine Mokenge Nakie

Activities Coordinator

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Donna-Louise Cobban

Donna-Louise Cobban

CEO

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Katrina Allen

Katrina Allen

Administrator

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Lorna Delayahu

Lorna Delayahu

In-detention Coordinator

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Volunteers

We could not do the work we do without our team of dedicated volunteers. We hold regular information sessions about what visiting people in Yarl’s Wood involves, and we recruit volunteers throughout the year. If you are interested in volunteering with us, please getin touch.
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Trustees

Our trustees have between them a wide range of skills and experience. Their role is to ensure that the charity achieves the goals and objectives defined in its governing documents, maintains financial and operational viability, and complies with charity law.
Angela Huddart

Angela Huddart

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Catherine Kirk

Catherine Kirk

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Eleanor Hitchman

Eleanor Hitchman

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Jivan Dempsey

Jivan Dempsey

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Kristen Hope Burchill

Kristen Hope Burchill

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Robina Pelham Burn

Robina Pelham Burn

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Sarah Grahame

Sarah Grahame

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Stella Shyanguya

Stella Shyanguya

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Our Funders

We can only do what we do because of the generosity of our funders and donors: individuals and charities that care that women and men are being detained indefinitely in Yarl’s Wood. We are fortunate to have funders such as:
Gale Family Trust
Harpur Trust
House Of Industry
Lloyds Foundation
National Lottery
Sam and Bella Sebba
The Bromley Trust

Noticeboard

Strategic plan 2023-2026

January 11, 2023
Strategic plan 2023-2026
Find out more
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Christmas Appeal

November 17, 2022
Give a gift of kindness this Christmas
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Beyond Detention welcomes our new CEO

January 17, 2022
We welcome Donna-Louise Cobban
Find out more
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Beyond Detention is totally independent of the UK government, the Home Office and the management of Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre (YWIRC).