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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Scottish Refugee Council welcomes four new board members


The national refugee charity’s appointments includes three people with lived experience. 

Scotland’s national refugee charity, Scottish Refugee Council, has appointed four new members to its Board of Management, including three people with lived experience of the refugee and asylum system.

The council has announced that David Simpson, Inam Akbari, Vitalii Diakov, and Ronnie Tagwireyi will join its board. 

David Simpson, who recently retired as Head of Housing and Communities at Dundee City Council, brings a wealth of skills and experience in areas including social housing, homelessness, community learning and development, and the dispersal of refugees and people seeking asylum in local authorities across Scotland.

David established Dundee City Council’s award-winning Humanitarian Protection service, working closely with Scottish Refugee Council in a very successful partnership. 

Originally from Northern Ireland, David is also a non-executive director of Alpha Housing Association based in Belfast.

Inam Akbari has a background in finance and law enforcement, having worked as the deputy general director of FinTRACA, the unit responsible for safeguarding Afghanistan’s financial systems from money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes. 

He first experienced life as a refugee after fleeing Afghanistan in 1990, before returning to help rebuild the country.

Following the Taliban take over in 2021, he and his family were evacuated to the UK.  They settled in Glasgow after a period in bridging hotels.  

Since arriving in Scotland, Inam has dedicated his life to helping fellow Afghans settle in their new communities, and access English language courses and employment opportunities. He hopes to use his skills and experience to contribute to the empowerment and integration of refugees in Scotland.

Vitalii Diakov is a member of the National Bar Association of Ukraine and has been practising as a lawyer since 2010. He arrived in Scotland from Odessa with his wife Hanna at the outbreak of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Vitalii completed an accredited mediation course at St Andrews University and volunteers with Sheriff Courts and the Citizens Advice Bureau. He is currently studying online for an LLM in Mediation and International Dispute Resolution.

Since settling in Dundee, Vitalii and Hanna have established Ukrainians Together in Scotland, a social enterprise working with newly arrived families and local authorities to overcome barriers to successful communication and integration through using conflict resolution and trauma-informed practice. 

Ukrainians Together actively participates in the Regional Integration Network established by Scottish Refugee Council.

Ronnie Tagwireyi works both formally and informally to support refugees in Glasgow and beyond. He is no stranger to Scottish Refugee Council, or the asylum and refugee experience. Born in Zimbabwe, Ronnie came to the UK in 1991. 

He worked in telecommunications as a Customer Services Manager until claiming asylum in 2001. Since then Ronnie has endured periods of homelessness, destitution and detention, latterly at Dungavel from where he was bailed to Glasgow in 2015.

Ronnie is co-chair of the Advisory group of Migration Exchange and has been a trustee with both Refugee Sanctuary Scotland (formerly Refugee Survival Trust) and Scottish Detainee Visitors. 

He is a successful presenter and fundraiser and was part of the Reaching New Scots Fund participatory grant-making panel, which was co-designed by Scottish Refugee Council and volunteers from refugee backgrounds in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund.



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