The Team


Ben Pollard, 


CEO and Co Founder

Ben Pollard began his career documenting and supporting displaced communities in Bangladesh, East Africa and Zimbabwe before training as a community organiser in Washington DC and London where he co-founded the Citizens UK campaign to increase Syrian refugee resettlement.


Alice Newton-Rex, 



Alice Newton-Rex is VP of Product at WorldRemit, a fintech startup that helps migrants send money back to friends and family in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Before that she was a product manager on GOV.UK, and co-wrote the first digital strategy for the Ministry of Justice


Dr Ella Fitzsimmons, 



Ella is a digital strategist and writer. She helps digital teams work out what they do and how they talk about it. She's Swedish and American and has worked in 3 continents, most recently at GDS, Doteveryone and now the Co-op. She recently  her PhD thesis about how new communities of Muslim and Orthodox Jewish women are emerging online.


Martin Dittus, 



Martin has a decade of experience in community organisations and social computing. He is currently completing a PhD at UCL, researching community engagement for the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. He was a director and trustee at the London Hackspace, organiser and facilitator at Occupy London, Hack the Barbican, Electromagnetic Field, the Air Quality Egg DIY sensing community and others, and was a software developer for

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Subhi Barakat, 



Subhi has more than a decade of experience in international law, including human rights, humanitarian law and environmental law. He has worked in law, policy and strategic direction across private, public and charity sectors and within the UN system. He has also been involved with charitable organisations in the UK and Canada. Subhi currently works with the least developed countries to get a fair and ambitious deal for the most vulnerable people in global climate change governance


James Darling, 


Technical Co-Founder

James Darling has over 10 years of experience in the digital sector. He has been Technical Architect of the Labour Party, Head of Software Development at Ministry of Justice, Technical Lead at GOV.UK and Creative Technologist at design consultancy BERG. James also co-founded Rewired State.



Local Welcome has been co-designed with the support from Syrian leaders in the UK including:

Eiad Zeinah, Nasser Youssef, Adel Golan and Maher Barotchi



We wouldn't be here without help from:

Alex Pounds, Carmela Francolino, Kate Ivey, Eva Farina and Maria Izquierdo