Our patrons

SDCAS is proud to have the support of an esteemed group of patrons who share our commitment to providing assistance and support to those seeking refuge in the UK.

Our patrons bring a wealth of experience and expertise from a diverse range of backgrounds, united in their dedication to making a positive impact in the lives of the most vulnerable members of our society.

Riz Ahmed

Riz Ahmed is a British actor, rapper, and activist. Born in London to Pakistani parents, Ahmed began his acting career in the early 2000s, appearing in films such as “The Road to Guantanamo” and “Four Lions.”

Ahmed has also released music as a rapper, known by the stage name Riz MC, and has been an outspoken advocate for representation and diversity in the entertainment industry. In 2021, he made history as the first Muslim and South Asian actor to win a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his role in “Sound of Metal.”

Anood Al-Samerai

Councillor Anood Al-Samerai is a British politician and community leader. She was born and raised in Southwark, London, and began her political career as a Liberal Democrat councillor for the London Borough of Southwark in 2004.

Al-Samerai is a vocal advocate for social justice, education, and public services, and has been recognised for her contributions with various awards, including the Mayor of London’s Civic Award and the Southwark Civic Award.

Harriet Harman

Harriet Harman is a British politician and member of the Labour Party. She was born in London and was elected to Parliament as the MP for Peckham in 1982. She has since held various roles within the Labour Party and government, including Minister for Women and Equalities and Leader of the House of Commons.

Harman is a strong advocate for social justice and gender equality, and has championed initiatives such as the introduction of the minimum wage and the establishment of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Helen Hayes

Helen Hayes is a British politician and member of the Labour Party. She was born in South London and began her career as a lawyer, working on employment and discrimination cases, before being elected as the Member of Parliament for Dulwich and West Norwood in 2015. Since then, she has served on various parliamentary committees, including the Justice Select Committee and the Women and Equalities Committee.

Hayes is a strong advocate for issues such as affordable housing, climate change and social justice, and has worked to improve access to education and healthcare in her constituency.

Sir Simon Hughes

Sir Simon Hughes is a British politician and member of the Liberal Democrats. He was born in Cheshire and was first elected to Parliament as the MP for Bermondsey in 1983. He went on to serve in various roles within the Liberal Democrats, including President of the party and Deputy Leader.

Hughes is a strong advocate for social justice, civil liberties, and environmental protection, and has been involved in various community organisations throughout his career. He was knighted in 2015 for his services to politics and charity.

Dr Woyin Karowei Dorgu

Dr Woyin Karowei Dorgu is a Nigerian-born British clergyman and the current Bishop of Woolwich in the Church of England. He was born and raised in Nigeria, where he completed his primary and secondary education before moving to England to study medicine at the University of London. After working as a doctor for several years, Dorgu felt called to the ministry and was ordained as a priest in 1996. He served in various parishes before being appointed as Bishop of Woolwich in 2017, becoming the first black bishop in the Diocese of Southwark. Dorgu is known for his commitment to social justice and community outreach, and has worked to address issues such as poverty, housing, and youth unemployment in his diocese. He continues to serve as a prominent leader in the Church of England.

Rt Rev. Patrick Lynch

Rt Rev. Patrick Lynch is a retired auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark. He was born in Cork City, Ireland and, in 1998, came to the Archdiocese of Southwark to the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle, Nunhead. There, his ministry and work with migrant communities led to his appointment to the mission commission of the Congregation in 2000.

In 2003 he was appointed parish priest of St. Chad’s South Norwood. He was ordained by Archbishop Kevin McDonald on 14 February 2006 and retired in December 2020.

Veronica Ward

Veronica Ward is a community leader and former Councillor in the London Borough of Southwark. She has dedicated her career to advocating for the needs and interests of her constituents, particularly those who have been historically marginalised or underrepresented.

Born and raised in the community she serves, Veronica worked in a variety of roles over the years, including as a social worker and community organiser. She has also served on several boards and committees focused on issues such as housing, education, and economic development.

Barbara Pattison

Barbara Pattison is the Chair of the SE5 Forum for Camberwell. The forum works to improve Camberwell for the benefit of the whole community. Barbara leads a voluntary group of board members, who work closely with their supporters and the community.