Bekele Woyecha appointed as Director of UK Welcomes Refugees

UK Welcomes Refugees is pleased to announce that Bekele Woyecha, a former refugee, a leading refugee and asylum rights advocate and one of the pioneers of the Community Sponsorship Refugees scheme will be leading the new organisation as it strives to build a strong, organised, and powerful organisation that aspires to change the discourse on migration through participation of the Community Sponsorship family.


“On being appointed as Founding Director of UK Welcomes Refugees, Bekele brings his lived experience, inspirational track record of organising, an obvious passion for Community Sponsorship and a bold commitment to ensure UK is open and welcoming. We are proud and privileged to have Bekele as our Founding Director. His experience and determination will help us Build Community Sponsorship Together with others, which is needed now more than ever.”- Neil Jameson CBE, Executive Chair of The UK Welcomes Refugees Board.


UK Welcomes Refugees will bring together Community Sponsors; Sponsored families; Lead Sponsors, Partners, and allies at the heart of the Community Sponsorship Refugees movement. It is keen to see the active participation of sponsored families and other refugees and the appointment of Bekele as Director will contribute towards fulfilling the aims of the organisation.


Before joining UK Welcomes Refugees, Bekele worked as Senior Manager and Community Organiser at Citizens UK for over 9 years. Bekele a former refugee from Ethiopia, held senior managerial positions in his home country Ethiopia. He has seen the good and the bad of the Immigration System including detention and destitution and hopes to use his experience to work with others for a better and welcoming environment for refugees.


Upon taking the post Bekele said, “To be appointed as Director of UK Welcomes Refugees is a big honour, and an opportunity that I relish and use to contribute my bits to change the course of history and leave a long lasting legacy. I am grateful and ready to go.”


Bekele started his role as Director of UK Welcomes Refugees on 1st July 2020.


Notes to Editors:

  1. Bekele is the founding director of UK Welcomes Refugees.
  2. Photo available on request.

UK Welcomes Refugees seeks to build strong participation across the Community Sponsorship Movement, to ensure we all thrive in an open and welcoming United Kingdom. For more information, please contact UK Welcomes Refugees via email