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our team

ilda stafa

founder and coordinator

Everything started through my personal experience when I moved to Southend-on-Sea in the UK. I cannot forget how hard everything was at the beginning; I had started a new life, in a new country. I was also pregnant and expecting my first child. In the first few months, I tried to reach any organisation to find support to start a new life, just as every mother and newcomer has the right to when they move somewhere new.
I researched online, but all I found was a place in London. There was nothing in the town where I lived.

This is how Welcome to the UK came to life - a charity founded in Southend-on-Sea to help families from overseas and it is something that I am very proud of today!

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ilda stafa

Hub coordinator

I was born in France and lived there for the first 18 years of my life. After obtaining my baccalaureate, I moved to the US for my post-secondary studies. I spent the first year in a host family, on a student-exchange programme. I enjoyed life in the US so much that I decided to stay there for university. In 2008, I graduated from Cornell College with a double master in Education and French. Shortly after graduation, I moved to the UK and worked in secondary schools until 2022. I started volunteering with Welcome to the UK in 2017 and have recently taken up a permanent role within the charity - as the Southend  Hub Coordinator. My professional experience helps me supervise and oversee our ESOL provision, while my personal experiences enable me to help and relate to our members, as they settle in a new country.

Elsa Nathan

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board of trustees


We could not succeed and organise such events without our amazing team of our volunteers!

English classes: Emily Lusty, Terence Lewis, Natalie Taylor, Laura Clarke, Anju Lund, Chris Steggles, Sharon

Donations and Events: Elspeth Spall, Philippa Peters, Eugenia Gomera, Najiba Bougossa, Sarah Lark, Frances Tepliski

Translation and Interpreters: Lina Aldani, Gasha Bekaw, Vlada Zabielina, Liza Wiles

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