I am involved in a number of Quaker-led activities locally and elsewhere, and until recently was a trustee of Quaker Social Action, a wonderfully innovative organisation based in the East End of London with a national as well as local reach. Simplicity is one of the Quaker testimonies and a particular interest in this led to the development of a multi-ethnic and multi-faith ‘Living Simply’ group in Baku. Since then I have facilitated a group in Suffolk that met over 6 weeks, and which was equally stimulating.

My parents worked in Pakistan, where I was born and spent my early childhood. So being invited to do voluntary work and so revisit somewhere full of happy memories was a wonderful gift. This included management development and coaching of headteachers, and team development in a non-governmental organisation also in Pakistan.

Whilst living in Azerbaijan I made a regular commitment to the UNHCR-sponsored Women’s and Youth Refugee Centre offering management coaching and team development to Azeri staff and refugee volunteers; English conversation, and other activities with refugees mainly from Afghanistan and Chechnya. Elsewhere I mentored a budding Azeri psychologist. From this time, lasting friendships have resulted.