Who we are

Board members

 

Robin Brierley, Chair
Robin is an Independent consultant on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. Robin joined Thames Valley Police in 1990, and went on to work for the National Crime Squad, the Anti Corruption Command within the Metropolitan Police, and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

 

He worked within the Enforcement Directorate as an SIO, and later within the Intelligence Directorate working on organised immigration crime. Robin was later seconded to the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) before leaving SOCA to set up his own company in 2011.

 

Robin is currently the Chair of the West Midlands Regional Anti Slavery Network and is also the Director and Coordinator. Together with Tatiana Jardan of the Human Trafficking Foundation he founded and Co Chairs and Coordinates the National Network Coordinators Forum set up to bring together the coordinators of Modern Slavery networks throughout the UK.

 

Robin is very much victim focused and endorses the view that partnerships are essential to identify and rescue victims and should also contribute to an increase in investigations, prosecutions and convictions in line with National Strategy.

 

Twitter: @robinbrierley

 

Alana Tomlin

Alana has been a Director of the Network since 2015 and has played a central role in developing its fundraising strategy and contributing to its sustainability. In her day job, she is Program Manager and Deputy Director (Operations) of the Developmental Leadership Program, based at the University of Birmingham.

 

She is currently in the final stages of completing an MSc in International Development alongside work, and her research interests include governance, international approaches to tackling modern slavery and women’s political leadership and participation.

 

Alana first graduated in English and Creative Writing and started her career in the arts and third-sector in charitable fundraising. Based on her long-standing interest in solving complex social issues, from 2015-2019 she worked in research management and support – specialising in research funding for the social sciences.

 

In her spare time Alana likes to read, run (short distances!) and brush up on her German language skills!

 

Shayne Tyler

Shayne Tyler is the Group Compliance Director for a leading fresh produce supplier to retail accounts.  A practical and hands on Director with over 25 years of people leadership within the food industry.  He relies on over 20 years of experience directly managing variable levels of employee exploitation identification and resolution, where he has actively helped shape legislation, guidance, best practice and support mechanisms for the prevention and eradication of worker abuse.

 

Having had ‘first-hand’ experience that has identified and tackled numerous examples of worker exploitation for such an extended timeframe, Shayne offers a valuable perspective in the fight to improve worker welfare.

 

 

Chanelle Alexander

Chanelle has worked in HR within the charity sector for over 10 years, initially working with training and recruitment which involved organising training events and providing administration support to a large charity. Chanelle moved into a generalist HR role within the charity, providing HR support to the senior management team, line managers and individual team members.

 

Chanelle is currently the HR Business Partner for a charity in Birmingham and works with the Senior Management Team and line managers to ensure that staff teams are engaged, committed and equipped with the skills to enable the organisation to achieve its aims. Chanelle also provides HR support on a consultancy basis to other organisations within the charity sector as part of her current role.

 

Chanelle believes that places of work should provide maximum opportunities and a safe space for individuals to use and develop their skills, and that organisations should aim to create a working environment centred on fairness, shared values, encouragement and respect.

 

 

Adrian Booth

Adrian has been employed by a government department for more than 40 years.  For 34 of those years he has worked in the law enforcement arena. During that time Adrian has undertaken many criminal interventions to protect the public purse and is now engaged in the assurance of his department’s operational involvement in the criminal justice system. He has worked collaboratively with various other law enforcement agencies both within the UK and overseas, including India, Slovakia, Poland and the Netherlands.

 

Additionally, Adrian has been involved in tackling human traffickers, working with both the Metropolitan Police on Operation Golf, where Romanian children were being trafficked to the UK and the Polish Police to terminate the activities of an organised criminal enterprise culminating in the arrest of 38 Polish nationals.

 

 

Siân Thomas

Siân is a lecturer, social researcher and practitioner with a background in human rights and social work. She first became interested in trafficking as a form of modern slavery while studying for her Master’s degree in Human Rights in 2005, and was part of the initial project team at The Salvation Army when they first took over the national contract for supporting adult victims of trafficking in 2011.

 

She has worked with migration and gender issues in the UK and Thailand, working with people with a diverse range of experiences, including refugees and asylum seekers, undocumented migrants, sex workers, survivors of torture, and women and men who have experienced domestic abuse.

 

She is also a registered social worker and has experience of statutory work with children and families in the West Midlands. She currently works for the University of Birmingham as a lecturer on qualifying social work programmes, with a particular focus on gender-based violence, migration and child protection.

 

She is a member of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS), and her research and evaluation work has included projects on supporting women in the asylum process, gender-based violence in the context of displacement, and preventative approaches to asylum support.

 

 

Team

 

Donna Pryor
Network Support

Donna has worked for the West Midlands Anti Slavery Network for nearly 3 years and before that she worked for several years at Adavu and the Regional Anti Trafficking Network.

 

She has a background in charity administration having previously worked as Executive Assistant and Clerk to the Trustees of Y Care International in London. In more recent times Donna has worked as an ESOL further education tutor and a Community Champion for a co-operative of 6 primary schools in the West Midlands Area.

 

She has combined her role with the West Midlands Anti Slavery Network with employment at The Queen’s Foundation where she has been responsible for international partnerships and fundraising as well as working with students with disabilities enabling access to the further education system. She is passionate about the work of WMASN and it’s ongoing development.

 

Zita Abila
Digital Consultant

Zita developed the WMASN website and continues to manage the Network’s digital activities on a freelance basis. She holds an LLB in Law from King’s College London, and is an experienced digital and multi-channel marketing specialist, with a background in legal research and editorial work.

 

Amber Cagney
Development Manager

Amber has been employed by the West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network since April 2019. Amber has set up a Big Lottery funded ‘place of safety’ for identified male survivors of modern slavery and will be working on developing a resource and information centre for survivors at any stage of recovery from modern slavery and identifying future opportunities for the network. Amber has recently been accepted onto a multi-agency assurance panel of independent professionals who have experience and expertise in working with victims of modern slavery will add an additional layer of scrutiny to all negative ‘conclusive grounds’ decisions across the UK.

 

Amber previously worked for a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) subcontractor of the Salvation Army in various roles from caseworker to accommodation manager. Amber has directly supported survivors of modern slavery to access their rights and entitlements under the Article 12 of The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking of Human Beings and the Salvation Army care contract for a number of years and developed and managed safe houses and their staff teams with an ambition for improving survivor support.

 

Amber is passionate about having a survivor focused approach to all that we do and working to improve the challenges that survivors face throughout the identification to recovery journey.

 

John Hunter
Modern Slavery Coordinator Birmingham City Council (BCC)

John joined the West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network in September 2019 and is seconded to Birmingham City Council to serve as the Modern Slavery Coordinator.

 

John held the role as the first Modern Slavery Coordinator for BCC in 2017-2018 and whilst in post, submitted a successful bid to the Home Office for their Post-NRM Victim Support Pathways Pilot.

 

John previously work for Birmingham City Council has involved him the City Region project trying to improve the economic wealth of the West Midlands Region; Be Birmingham the Local Strategic Partnership, and the Social Inclusion Process which was led by the Bishop of Birmingham to improve the financial and social wellbeing of the people of Birmingham. John has always been keen to work on projects which aim to improve the quality of people’s lives.

 

In his leisure time John enjoys writing and wrote the poem about modern slavery, LIBERATE: Ode to Freedom, which is published on the WMASN web site. Under the pseudonym, John Wright, he has also published three books which are all available from Amazon.

 

Davina Woollery
Health and Wellbeing Specialist

Davina joined the West Midlands Anti Slavery Network in August 2019 as a health and wellbeing specialist in our SafePlaceWM ‘place of safety’ project. Davina’s role is to provide support to adult male survivors of Modern Slavery and Human trafficking whilst addressing and promoting their health and wellbeing needs. Her focus is creating a welcoming atmosphere and a safe environment for survivors to be able to freely express themselves by providing wellbeing activities. Davina will be helping survivors to navigate and make informed decisions about their future and signposting to the relevant agencies that can assist with the survivors needs.

 

Davina was previously the Hate Crime Awareness coordinator for Centre for Diversity and Equality, with tasks varying from casework with service users to awareness for the Borough of Dudley.

 

Davina is extremely passionate about supporting survivors who feel invisible and aims to help shine a light onto those kept in the dark.

 

James Walker
Advice and Advocacy Coordinator

James has been employed by the West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network since August 2019 and has helped the team set up the SafePlaceWM ‘place of safety’ project. He is working as an Advice and Advocacy Coordinator within the project providing advice and support to male survivors of modern slavery at the point of rescue and coordinating the day to day of the project with his colleague Matt.

 

James has worked within housing advice and homelessness in the charitable sector for the last two and a half years bringing experience leading projects working with a variety of migrants in advice and accommodation settings. He has also provided a high-level of practical advice and advocacy in supporting vulnerable adults and families to access what they are entitled to within a housing/homelessness context. Through this time, he has developed substantial expertise and knowledge in this field.

 

James is highly passionate and driven in practically resolving situations of injustice that exist for our clients and supporting them towards positive outcomes.

 

Matthew Davis
Advice and Advocacy Coordinator

Matthew has been employed by the West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network since August 2019 and has helped the team set up the SafePlaceWM ‘place of safety’ project. He is working as an Advice and Advocacy Coordinator within the project providing advice and support to male survivors of modern slavery at the point of rescue and coordinating the day to day of the project with his colleague James.

 

Matthew previously worked for Citizens Advice Birmingham as a mental health welfare rights adviser in a number of outreach locations. Matthew also has experience of helping other vulnerable groups including victims of domestic violence, victims of childhood abuse, asylum seekers and refugees. Matthew recently completed his PhD in Human Trafficking. His thesis examined the difficulties for victims to self-identify themselves as survivors of trafficking, and for civil society to overcome the challenges of spotting potential victims of trafficking. 

 

Matthew is passionate about empowering survivors of human trafficking by accessing their legal rights, and positively contributes to the team with his knowledge of adopting a human rights approach to supporting victims of trafficking through strong advocacy.