“You are the first person to knock on my door. Now I feel I have family”


Our Story.

Upbeat Communities started in 2005 by a group of Christians from Community Church Derby. It was founded in response to the needs of refugees arriving in the UK and the stories they shared of their lives and their journeys. Through building relationships with those from refugee communities we were able to identify their needs and the best ways to respond.

We began by giving practical help and support to refugees and asylum seekers, which rapidly grew into projects that built cohesion with the whole community. One of the first major projects was to set up a community café in a multicultural part of the city, providing employment and volunteer opportunities for refugees, with a space for community activities, arts, and family events. From this initial work we developed a range of services, delivered with a number of different partners (Derby City Council, The British Red Cross, St James' Centre, Derby Refugee Advice Centre & Refugee Action). For more information about our current activities see Our Work.

We strive to hear the voice of the people we work with, to better understand the challenges they are facing, and to learn from them how best to address these issues.

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We are a registered charity  1162856 and a social enterprise company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No. 05648977.

Why we do it.

Upbeat Communities is a charity founded on Christian values. 

We believe that one of the practical out-workings of the Christian faith is to welcome the newcomer and build caring communities where everyone has an opportunity to flourish. We value the uniqueness of each individual and the opportunity to celebrate cultural diversity and difference. We believe good cross-community relationships are key to building strong and cohesive communities.

Upbeat Communities works with and supports people whatever their faith, religion or beliefs. We believe in working together with others and have developed good partnerships with voluntary groups, faith groups, statutory agencies and local government.

We are also signatories to the Faithworks Charter of best practice for groups committed to excellence in community work and service provision in the UK.

Meet the Team.

We have a fantastic staff team who are committed to see refugees thrive in their new home. They each bring skills, experience, passion and commitment to the work of Upbeat Communities.

Andrew Jackson - CEO

Anthony Adams - Tutor

Delphis Akintunde - Project Coordinator

Einir Cooper - Senior Delivery Lead

Elliot Cooper - Project Worker & Tutor

Karen Phaisey - Finance & Operations Manager (Maternity Cover)

Karina Martin - Founder

Louise Mildenhall-Clarke - Finance & Operations Manager

Michael Gladwell - Business Manager & Project Coordinator

Milad Arbash - Key Worker - Syrian Resettlement

Richard Martin - Key Worker - Syrian Resettlement

Sam Thorogood - Communications and Fundraising Officer

Theresa Hempsall - Project Worker


Our Trustees.

We are grateful to the hard work and commitment of our trustees. They are:

Dave Priestley - Chair  |  Eleanor Moore  |  Heather Spooner  |  Nigel Town  |  Tim Ringer

Photo Credits.

Photos on this website include images taken by:

Farhad Berahman, Katie Garner, Sahar and Steve Fogg.