Who Are We?
HostNation was founded in 2017 to offer friendship and social opportunities to asylum seekers and refugees. We wanted to give refugees – who are often very isolated – a way into our society through the kindness of local residents.
Our founder, Anneke Elwes, was experienced in befriending refugees and knew there were many altruistic people willing to step up. So HostNation was born: a digital platform for matching friendly locals to lonely refugees, which has fast become a wide family of flourishing social connections.
We gained charitable status in 2018 and a network of refugee referrers are now alerting us to refugees in need of friendship in London and across the north-east of England.
We are a CIO registered with the Charity Commission. Charity no. 1180004
MEET THE TEAM BEHIND HOSTNATION
Anneke Elwes
Founder and Director
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Rossana Horsley
Director London Programme
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Anthony Berman
Operations Manager
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Magda Wolfe
Evaluation Manager
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Pete Widlinski & Biniam Araia
Teesside Hub Managers
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Daniel Silverstone
Trustee (Chair)
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Joanna Winterbottom
Trustee
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Emiljan Gega
Trustee
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Olivia Petie
Trustee
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Dina Nayeri
Trustee
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Claudia Möller
Art Director
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Jon Whitehead
Digital Architect
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Harriet Paterson
Communications Manager
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Abu Haron
Refugee Advisor
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Funders and Friends of HostNation
We are very grateful to the Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Pro Bono Team for their legal support, to the Paul Hamlyn Ideas and Pioneers Fund for funding our start up, to The London Community Foundation for awarding us a Comic Relief Core Strength Local Communities Grant and to Trust for London for funding our core costs through a Connected Communities grant 2018-2020.
2019 started well with another successful grant bid from the National Lottery Community Fund and ended with a social prescribing grant from Team London and the Mayor of London's office.
2020 was challenging for all small charities and we are hugely grateful to our existing funders for helping us again when we needed it the most. Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the School for Social Entrepreneurs provided us with a package of financial and mentoring support and funded our regional expansion. Trust for London have continued their core funding for a further two years (2020-2022) and The National Lottery/DCMS provided emergency Covid-19 funding through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF). By the end of 2020 we also had confirmation of three years funding from City Bridge Trust. In 2021 giffgaff partnered with us to help tackle digital exclusion amongst refugees with a generous package of hardware and data support.
Thank you to all our funders for believing in us and the work we do.
And thank you to the following people for giving us especially generous financial support or the benefit of your expertise (or both!):
Martin and Bud Sandbrook
Sue Odell
Imogen Wall
Mark Sutcliffe
Alex Graham
Makena Lohr
Anthony Fawcett
David Crook
Norma O’Flynn
Marion Gough and Martin Hill
Rebecca and Henry Tinsley
Whitehead Family
Frances Mayo
Debbie Forster, MBE
Leah Selinger
Liz Pepler
Jake Elwes
Sarah Robbins
HostNation is a charity. Registered charity number 1180004