Governance and Trustees
Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group (GDWG) is a registered charity (1124328) and registered company (4911257). We are governed by a board of trustees, who are also directors of the charity for the purposes of the Companies Act 2006.
Our charitable objective is to give charitable relief to immigrants and refugees who are suffering hardship, distress or are in need.
Our mission is to improve the welfare and wellbeing of people held in detention by offering friendship and advocating for fair treatment.
Please see our Articles of Association for more details: Articles of Association
The charity has five paid employees, and we otherwise deliver our services through volunteers. The volunteers visit people held in detention in the Gatwick area.
Our trustees are:
Marie Dewson (Chair)
George Fitzsimons (Treasurer)
Rachel Phoenix (Secretary)
Marie Dewson has had an association with GDWG for more than 20 years, having been a visitor for 14 of these years. She was introduced to the excellent work of the charity by Ann Locke, one of the founder members. On Marie’s retirement she concentrated on her volunteer work for FineCellWork (a charity which helps prisoners) and also on being a trustee for Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid. On relinquishing these posts after many years, Marie was delighted to be invited to become a trustee of GDWG. Marie has also assisted in the Art Class at Tinsley House and at a food bank in Merstham.
Marie, a graduate of Glasgow University, taught for many years at St Bede’s School in Redhill and, along with her husband, Eddie, brought up four children and now has 10 grandchildren.
George is a Chartered Accountant and has been a Director of various companies, including non-profits. He is an experienced financial manager, is very familiar with best practice in corporate governance, and works as a financial and governance consultant. He has a strong interest in social justice, humanitarian issues and international affairs and has worked as a Trustee and volunteer in various charities working in the UK and overseas.
George became aware of GDWG through Worth Abbey, where he is a parishioner, and his wife has been a GDWG visitor and supporter for some years. His leisure activities include music (mainly singing), hiking and Japanese calligraphy.
Felicity started to visit detainees in the Beehive Detention Centre at Gatwick in 1995. She became the first Chair in 1996 when the group obtained charitable status and continued in that role until 2007. She has lead GDWG’s fundraising activities and, supported by staff and many dedicated trustees, the group has raised more than £1.5 million pounds since 1996.
She has a degree in Psychology and for many years worked on attitude studies for industrial companies. She has a Diploma in Counselling.
Jamie first heard of GDWG around 2005 and became a visitor in 2011 after his children left home and he had more free time. He has found the experience rewarding and fulfilling. Jamie has been attending trustee meetings since December 2015 and believes that he has a good understanding of the work and aims of GDWG. He feels able to make a valuable contribution to the board as a visitor as well as through his business experience.
His belief in the inherent good in people leads him to treat people with respect, fairness and equality: this is the main motivation behind his involvement in GDWG.
He has worked for most of his working life in the building industry and a recent switch to part time working has once again given him more free time to offer GDWG.