Our people

Meet the people who support our work on immigration detention in Scotland.

Meet our SDV Board Members:

Mary Munro, Chair

Mary was previously served an SDV visitor and joined the Board in 2017 and served as Secretary between 2018 and 2020. Before full retirement, she was a Visiting Senior Teaching Fellow at Strathclyde Law School, where her particular interest was in developing restorative justice policy in Scotland. Earlier in her career she qualified and practiced in law and in social work. She is also Vice Chair of the Maryhill Integration Network.

Martha Harding, Vice chair

Martha joined the Board of Trustees in 2016 She has a background in International Development and she is currently Training Officer for the Scottish Refugee Council, raising awareness and capacity building for people who work with people seeking asylum and refugees. She has specialism in participation – getting people’s voices heard in the decisions and policies that affect their lives.

Neil Cowan, Treasurer

Neil joined SDV’s board in 2019 and is currently Policy and Campaigns Manager at the Poverty Alliance, the national anti-poverty network in Scotland, where he leads the organisation’s policy and campaigning work. Prior to this role, he worked at the British Red Cross as Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer, where he primarily worked on asylum and refugee issues. He also has experience of working in policy and public affairs roles at charities such as the Refugee Council and The Hepatitis C Trust. He holds a First Class Honours degree in Politics & English Literature and an MSc in International Politics from the University of Glasgow.

Sophie Lock, Secretary

Sophie joined the Board in 2019 and works in communications at the Scottish Government. Previously she worked as a campaigner at a national disability charity, Leonard Cheshire. She started working in the charity sector while studying immigration law in London, initially working for the human rights organisation Liberty. There she developed campaigns to end indefinite immigration detention and to bring refugee children to the UK. She also volunteered at South London Refugee Association as a youth caseworker. 

Anna Beesley

Anna first got involved in Scottish Detainee Visitors as the coordinator (2009-2012). She recently completed an Anthropology PhD focusing on individuals’ experiences of the asylum system in Glasgow. This gives her a theoretical knowledge of issues relating to asylum and immigration. Anna is currently working as a Practice and Development Officer on a Family Reunion Integration Service at the British Red Cross. Her research and her role an SDV Trustee helps to build the strong network of stakeholders involved in the area of migration that is crucial for SDV as a small organisation.

Anissa Thabet

Anissa joined the Board of Trustees in December 2020. She previously volunteered as a visitor with SDV between 2017 and 2018. Since 2018 she has worked at the Scottish Refugee Council, as Family Keywork Adviser, providing advocacy support to newly arrived asylum seeking families to access services and exercise their rights and entitlements.

Anissa has a Masters in Sociology and Human Rights from the University of Glasgow, and a Honours Degree in Politics and Public Policy from the Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain).

Meet our director: Kate Alexander

Kate works 21 hours per week and is based at our Glasgow office. She is usually in the office Wednesday to Fridays. She can be contacted by email: director@sdv.org.uk, phone or post.

Meet our administrator: Firdaus Ahmed

Firdaus works 7 hours per week and is also based at our Glasgow office. She is usually in the office Tuesdays and Thursdays. She can be contacted by email: administrator@sdv.org.uk, phone or post.

Meet our SDV volunteers

We have around 20 volunteer visitors at any one time. They are absolutely vital to the work we do – in fact we couldn’t exist without them. Our volunteer visitors typically make between two to four visits to Dungavel each month to see people in immigration detention.

We recruit new volunteers two or three times a year. If you’d like to become a volunteer visitor, find out more in our get involved section.

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