Hello, my name’s Julia Kinch and I have just joined Migrant Action’s Steering Group. I have lived in Leeds since 2010, but was born in London. I’ve worked with third sector organisations for the last 7 years, and have been volunteering since the age of 13, initially in a cold weather shelter for people who were homeless in London. I studied Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Leeds, which allowed me to deepen my understanding and passion for citizenship, criminality and the construction of social norms.
I have worked and volunteered in several charities covering areas such as volunteer coordination, advocacy, learning disabilities, mental health/ wellbeing, as a speaker on Holocaust education, research and business development.
I have a very personal connection to migration in that my grandmother moved to the UK from what was then Czechoslovakia in 1947, after having survived Auschwitz and being liberated on a death march to Bergen-Belsen on Easter Sunday 1945. I have learnt through her experiences, and my own, the importance of challenging discrimination and prejudice, and how challenging it can be to navigate new systems and bureaucracy.
I was really keen to join Migrant Action because they capture the needs, empower and support groups of migrants who are often unseen and forgotten by many and for who there is often little support. I hope that I will be able to use my knowledge and experience within Migrant Action, and to make a positive difference in the lives of vulnerable migrants.