Meet the Team

Joanna Pienkowska

Joanna Pienkowska (she/her)


Joanna has years of experience volunteering with migrant and refugee charities through fundraising events, oral history projects and casework support. She is currently the Policy and Campaigns Coordinator at Haringey Migrant Support Centre and previously worked on policy, communications and collaboration engagement with charitable foundations. Joanna holds a BA in History from UCL and an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from Oxford University, focusing her research on border studies.

Having lived in South East London since she moved from Poland as a child, Joanna is passionate about her local community and keen to support people seeking sanctuary into stable employment while sharing stories through food.


Samuel Morton

Co Chair

Sam is South East London born and bred, growing up in Greenwich and studying at Camberwell College of Arts. He now lives in Lewisham, and is passionate about supporting our refugee community in the borough. In Sam's professional career, he has more than 10 years working in the charity sector. He is passionate about human rights, refugee protection, and the arts. By day, Sam is the Philanthropy and Special Events Manager at Freedom from Torture, developing and managing a diverse portfolio of high profile and award-winning fundraising events, engaging and securing significant gifts from high-net-worth individuals, as well as managing a successful celebrity and patron programme. Sam is passionate about innovation, creativity, and positive leadership.


Mona Jamil (she/her)


Mona is a community-oriented coordinator with experience in creative engagement and co-production. Mona is the Museum Manager at the Migration Museum, helping to shape the permanent establishment of Britain’s missing museum. She has previously worked with sanctuary seekers in a number of capacities, including through recipe book development at Migrateful, a charity running cookery classes led by migrant, refugee and asylum seeking chefs.

As the child of refugees, Mona is passionate about work that uplifts those that have been displaced. She primarily connects with her Iraqi identity through food, and celebrates her heritage through the processes of cooking, feeding, and sharing food practices with others.
Mona studied Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London and the University of Amsterdam. She also holds an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics.


Tajwar Shelim (he/him)

Trustee & Legal Advisor

Taj works as the Campaign Organiser for Migrant Voice, a migrant-led national advocacy and campaigning organisation building a community of migrant voices to call for justice for all. Called to the Bar of England and Wales in the Summer of 2021, Taj has been a Caseworker for Refugees and Asylum Seekers for over 5 years providing legal advice and support both in the UK and abroad. Taj grew up in Windsor, where his family owns a curry house where he spends his time working with local foodbanks and other charitable initiatives.


Hannah Angle


Hannah is deeply involved in the Lewisham community she calls home. Her work in the community and the refugee sector, spanning over a decade, reflects a genuine commitment to refugee integration. With a focus on refugee resettlement and community development through various roles at Refugee Council, Hannah has been part of efforts aimed at providing practical support and facilitating the integration of individuals into new environments.

In her role at Refugee Cafe, she draws on this background to contribute to the charity’s aim of being supportive to sanctuary seekers. Together with a team of trustees, each bringing their own expertise, Hannah works to maintain refugee cafe as a bastion of community and support.

Irem Ahmed


Irem is a qualified management accountant originally from Manchester now in North London and has been working in not-for-profit finance for over 20 years with charities including MAG, Refugee Action and Marie Stopes, most recently housing and local authorities including Peabody and Brent Council. She has predominantly worked financial and management accounting including financial statements, board reports business partnering with senior managers on finance issues and directly liaising with external auditors for year-end audits. Irem has a BA (Accounting and Finance) from Manchester Metropolitan university and is also a CIMA member.

She currently works as an interim Finance Business Partner for Notting Hill Genesis assisting with rents and management accounting. She is second generation from a Pakistani immigrant family and feels strongly for refugees and wants to contribute and add value to Refugee Café with her knowledge and expertise. She also runs a large social WhatsApp group and holds social events for friends regularly. She also enjoys travel and strength training.