RAY Staff

RAY currently employs a small team of staff on a part time basis to run each aspect of the services RAY offers. All employees hold enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service, formally CRB) clearance.

Meet the team below:

Zainah El-Haroun- Youth and Children's Coordinator

Zainah is a British-Palestinian who has completed a Masters degree in International Human Rights Law and Practice at the University of York. Before this, Zainah completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Durham in politics, focusing on the Middle East and North Africa region. Zainah has long taken interest in human rights and social justice, through volunteer work in Palestine and at RAY, as well as research on Hate Crime in the UK and the current refugee crisis. In her role as Youth and Children’s Coordinator, Zainah supports young people in their development, helping them reach their full potential through Youth mentoring and 4 Corners, the weekly Youth club. At this, RAY hosts a range of activities, talks and workshops to aid young people from York’s refugee and migrant communities. We are always looking for volunteers to help out with our Youth club and run activities for our service users. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact if you would like to get involved.

Carrie wheater - RAY Manager

Carrie has worked as RAY’s Manager for 8 years on a part time basis. Previously Carrie worked for a local church for 8 years, and prior to that spent 9 years working for a housing association in the South East of England, marketing Low Cost Home Ownership.

As Manager, Carrie’s main role is to oversee the running of RAY’s various projects and services including:

  • The Hub – a weekly drop-in session for refugee, asylum seeker and migrant families and individuals in York
  •  A weekly conversation & coffee morning
  • Parenting courses (in partnership with Family Matters, York)
  •  4Corners youth club
  • Mentoring Projects
  • A weekly Men’s Group
  • A "Welcome to Work" pre-employment project

Another part of Carrie’s role is working with the trustees to promote The Hub to potential referral agencies and users, to represent RAY at meetings with other agencies, to contribute to policy development, funding applications and to monitor and evaluate RAY’s work, including consultation with service users.

John Williamson - Volunteer Coordinator (Information and Support).

John has been involved with RAY for several years, initially as a Volunteer and more recently as a Volunteer Trustee. He came to RAY with a lengthy background in anti-racist activism and this was the driver in becoming involved in a charity that directly helps refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. 
John’s work background involves 28 years in the Civil Service working in the Courts and Tribunals system. The first half of that time was spent in clerical and managerial roles in Court offices and the second half as a Learning & Development professional covering areas ranging from South Yorkshire northwards and in to Scotland. He is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD). He did also train as a greengrocer in his youth!
As our Volunteer Coordinator for the Information and Support service, John is responsible for ensuring that support, guidance and signposting in a range of fields is offered to those in need, specifically via appointments at RAY’s Hub. He also oversees the work and development of the Ambassadors who represent RAY at charity events and talks. But he is happy and willing to be involved in anything involving RAY and supporting its Service Users.
Away from work John is a Leeds United Season Ticket holder, a keen cyclist (albeit on sabbatical!) and helps to coach a boy’s football team. 


CAROLE JACKSON - Volunteer Coordinator

Most of her working life has been in the corporate sector where she worked in PR and marketing, initially with Bass, then the UK’s largest brewer and pub operator. She moved to a Leeds consultancy in 1993 where she became a director/co-owner.

The consultancy specialised in food and drink clients, and work with a bottled water company brought Carole into contact with a UK water and sanitation charity working in Africa, which sparked her interest and on going support for organisations working in this field. It also prompted her to move to the charity sector, and for the last six years Carole has worked as a project worker at The Children’s Society in York, supporting disabled young people to reach their life goals. She was also responsible for recruitment, training and supervision of volunteers.