Board of trustees

The Mary Thompson Funds has had many contributors in the past twenty years. We couldn’t do what we do without these people.

Pete was a founder member of the Mary Thompson Fund back in 2001. Pete has led many campaigns in support of refugees experiencing injustice and has worked in the field of immigration for nearly 30 years, first as Project Manager of the North of England Refugee Service, then as Communications Manager for Justice First. He now co-ordinates ‘Host Nation’, a Befriending Service and is Chair of the MTF.

Kath Sainsbury

Like Pete, Kath was on the original team that set the Fund up in 2001. At that time she was part of Middlesbrough Council’s Asylum Support Team. In 2003 she became Coordinator for the North East and Scotland for the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns before taking up a post with Justice First in 2006. Kath retired in 2020, but continues her voluntary work through a number of local organisations including the Saltburn and East Cleveland Befrienders of asylum seekers and refugees. She is currently the Secretary of the MTF.

Lucie Fleming

Lucie is our Vice-Chair and is a Senior Caseworker and the Development Lead for Justice First, assisting people whose asylum claims have been refused to pursue avenues of appeal or gather new evidence to support their applications for protection. She has been closely involved in the development of services across Tees Valley. Lucie liaises at the Stockton Drop-in and with those seeking support based in the Hartlepool area.

Alison Smith

Alison had a successful career as an Educational Psychologist and teacher, whilst volunteering as the North East Volunteer Development Officer for UNICEF.

Since retirement she has devoted her time to multiple volunteering roles. Including, being a member of several committees within the Royal College of Physicians and acting as Lead Volunteer Advocate for the Royal Osteoporosis Society. In addition to being a Trustee at MTF, Alison has been a dedicated volunteer for a number of years.

Maureen Hall

Maureen began as a volunteer with MTF at the Middlesbrough Drop-In where, alongside fellow Trustee Liz Wood, she was responsible for making emergency payments and distributing food. This front-line role enabled her to get to know many of the clients and to gain an understanding of the problems they faced. Family commitments eventually resulted in Maureen taking a less active role, but she remains a supportive Trustee.

Liz Wood

Liz joined MTF as a volunteer when she retired from the Inland Revenue, bringing many skills. Together with Maureen she was part of the Drop-in partnership which operated from NERS office on Woodlands Road Middlesbrough, later relocating to the John Paul Centre. She eventually relinquished this role and became a Trustee, assisting with administrative and financial tasks.

Having missed the face to face contact with our clients, Liz joined chair Pete at Middlesbrough Drop-in and, since Christmas, Liz and Kath have taken over responsibility for the Stockton Drop-in.

Stephen Nutts

Joseph Smith

The most recent member of the board of Trustees, Joe is a dedicated professional with an academic background in Criminology. He holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice where he developed a passion for understanding and addressing issues related to social justice. Currently working at the Cabinet Office, Joe is deeply committed to promoting equality and diversity in all aspects of his work. With a politically impartial perspective, he approaches his responsibilities with a dedication to upholding the principles of balance and inclusivity. Joe is responsible for digital transformation at MTF.

If you feel like you can help Mary Thompson Fund, please get in touch.