Barbara Conridge - Chair of Trustees

A Befriender since 2006 and a Trustee since 2010, I have been Chair of Trustees since November 2014 – a considerable responsibility and commitment. YWB has grown and prospered in recent years, and I feel very privileged to have played some part in this, as our work is still very much needed. Visiting and supporting the women in Yarl’s Wood is, I am sure, still the most important thing I do. I live in Bedford, where I spent most of my career as an Education Consultant.

Belal Bunian - Treasurer

This is my first experience as a volunteer and as a trustee; usually I have a passion for helping people, and because I’m a refugee from Syria I understand people who are struggling to leave their countries where they lived before in danger and bad circumstances and move to a safe and better life with dignity here in the UK.

I worked as an accountant for many years; my most recent role was Chief accountant at Egyptian Aluminum Company.

I really interested in this role as I know that being a trustee and as a treasurer would allow me to improve and plan the future of YWB.

I believe that I have the ability and the skills to control and improve the financial policies at YWB'

Angela Huddart

I have been a Befriender since retiring from teaching in 2010 and have since been privileged to visit some very brave women. A French speaker, I often visit women with limited English from French-speaking parts of Africa. I have been a Trustee since 2012, fulfilling the role of fund-raiser for five of these before passing that particular baton to a staff team. Involvement in planning and decision-making for YWB is satisfying, as is attending the quarterly meetings at the Centre – this allows an insight and, I hope, some input on behalf of the detainees into how the IRC is run.

Robina Pelham-Burn

I have been befriending since the beginning of 2018 alongside my work as a freelance editor. Visiting women in Yarl’s Wood has been both rewarding and enlightening, and I have enjoyed using my knowledge of other languages to communicate with women who have little English. I have become a trustee in the hope that my previous role as the CEO of a charity will help me to support the staff and volunteers of YWB. Their unfailing commitment fills me with admiration.


Sarah Grahame

I retired from teaching children with severe learning difficulties two years ago, to further indulge my passion for travel. Looking for volunteer work at home, my on the ground involvement with projects in Malawi, and my experience and interest in the lives of people from different cultures led me to Yarl's Wood Befrienders, which has been the perfect fit. I've met some amazing women who have taught me a lot. I have only just become a trustee, and I look forward to developing my role within YWB and working with the talented people in the organisation, to further help the remarkable women detained in the IRC.

Joan McDowall

I have been a volunteer Befriender at Yarlswood for the last 3 years.  It's a role I thoroughly enjoy as it provides an opportunity to support and build a relationship with individuals who due to a variety of circumstances have been detained and are at a low ebb in their lives.

My involvement and contribution form a strong basis for deciding to extend the scope of my involvement by becoming a Trustee on the Board of YWB.

I possess very varied life experiences as a mother, nurse and midwife. Having worked as Acting Director in a regional teaching hospital I have vast experience in operational and strategic management within the NHS.

Other invaluable areas of experience include Public speaking, organising Conferences, utilising aspects of Employment Law, Conflict Management, Resources Management, Negotiations, Human Resources, Managing changes, Partnership working with a variety of external organisations including the Department of Health and, for several years before retirement, I worked as Senior Lecturer at two UK universities.

I do believe I have the ability to make a significant contribution to the success of the Charity's overall vision and long term aims.

We offer befriending support to people held in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, aiming to reduce their isolation, reinforce their self-esteem and affirm their human dignity.

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Yarl's Wood Befrienders is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. Charity Number: 1143160

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