Heather Thomas graduated from London Institute of Education in the 70s before teaching science in Jamaica, Wolverhampton, Shropshire and Telford. Whilst raising her family she studied social sciences with the OU and worked for many years in a voluntary capacity with Voluntary Service Overseas including several years as a trustee. After returning to work as a special needs teacher she studied for her Masters and Doctorate in Inclusion and Special Needs at Birmingham University. 10 years ago she indulged a life time’s ambition to work with refugees and asylum seekers. She is now Senior Consultant at the Refugee and Migrant Centre (RMC) in Wolverhampton, The Black Country, Walsall and Birmingham. RMC offices provide one-stop shop services including free holistic support for up to 250 vulnerable clients a day. RMC supports asylum seekers, refugees, EU migrants and members of more established BAME communities from destitution through to settlement as contributing citizens of the UK. Heather is also Chair of Trustees for the charity: Shropshire Supports Refugees. She has written many successful applications for awards including the application to Third Sector awards which led to RMC being named Charity of the Year in 2020.
For me a winning entry needs to be a concise description of a project which describes the change for the better that it has brought about. Wherever possible this would be user led or at least co-produced, be capable of scaling or replicating and be involved in or contributing to improving knowledge and practice in that field.