Caroline de Alarcon
After more than 2 years fighting to keep her family together in the UK, Caroline set up Reunite Families UK with Jane Yilmaz. Both realising that there were many families being torn apart they decided to create a space that would offer support to others and turn one voice into many. Reunite Families UK has become not just a campaign group but a family fighting together to bring a positive change to an immigration system that puts profit before people.
Caroline oversees the campaign group and its team with Jane as well as creating and maintaining relations with key immigration organisations like JCWI and immigration experts. She also looks after the media arm of the group with Alex Mitchelmore from Imix PR. When Caroline isn’t working on Reunite Families UK she splits her time between work as a Producer/Director in television and spending as much time with her little boy who really does think he is Spiderman.
Having lived as a family together in Turkey for 6 years, Jane returned to the UK in the summer of 2016 with her then 6 year old daughter. Unfortunately her husband Altuğ could not join them until Jane could meet the financial requirements. As a teacher, Jane did not think she would find it difficult to find a job to meet the requirements but with cuts in education and a daughter who was suffering emotionally without her father requiring referral to CAMHS, she was proved very wrong. In 2017, Jane met Caroline who was experiencing different but similar problems with immigration rules and together they realised there must be so many more families affected like them. Their mutual aim was to provide a platform to bring people together so they could be many voices heard as opposed to just one.
From here the campaign group Reunite Families UK was formed and it has since gone from strength to strength. Jane oversees and maintains the general running of the campaign group with Caroline, has been instrumental in increasing membership and tries to reach out to as many members as possible to offer emotional support.
Jane, a qualified and experienced secondary school teacher with a history of working as a tennis coach too, has decided on a career change and is currently studying to becoming a Full Stack Web Developer. When she is not working on the campaign group Jane can happily say after 2 years of separation her family are finally reunited and she enjoys spending time rebuilding her family life in Devon and being a taxi driver to her daughter’s endless activities!
Olesya joined the campaign in August 2017. This was just after the family finally reunited in the UK in May 2017. Whilst Olesya spent several months in Ukraine with their son, fighting for the family right to be together, she also managed to finish her MBA and write a dissertation, no matter how difficult it was to focus at that time. Olesya was trying to find support and connect with others that are in a similar situation and was happy to join the campaign admin team. She has almost 10 years of experience in Administration and Business Support and applies her experience and knowledge for the benefit of the campaign. Also, as a part of the campaign, Olesya is collecting stories from affected families/couples and planning to publish them in a book for Kindle, to start with.
Her husband, Kyle, likes baking and sports and often helps her with ideas for the campaign. Olesya has also a full time job and likes spending time with her two little boys, playing with cars, painting or reading stories.
Campaign & Membership Manager
Paige first became involved with Reunite Families UK in May 2018 after struggling to cope after an unlawful refusal of her now husband’s fiancé visa in 2017. Despite having taken on 2 jobs to satisfy the Minimum Income Requirement, the HO denied the visa stating that she didn’t meet the MIR. The HO were also not satisfied that their relationship was genuine despite sending more than enough evidence, including 700 pictures.
After the refusal Paige suffered a mental break down, which sadly led to her attempting suicide and being sectioned. It was a very difficult time for Paige – with very little help around her and her fiancé who was her only support unable to be here. After 11 months and 2 days of anguish, the visa nightmare was finally resolved through many complaints, 2 big news stories and an appeal. Whilst now has her happy ending there are many in this group who are still facing the challenging these harsh family migration rules bring.
Determined to turn her negative experience into a positive, Paige decided to reach out to others in similar situations and came across Reunite Families UK. She is now an integral part of the team not only doing campaign administration but also dedicates herself to offering information, advice and guidance to others facing similar issues, and supporting those who are having to deal with mental health, such as anxiety and depression, as a result of being separated from their families & facing extreme uncertainty..
When she finds a spare moment, Paige’s main job is full time Communications & Administrative Support officer for a local charity in North London.
Support Group Admin & LGBT campaigner
Brian joined Reunite Families UK in April of 2018 while preparing for a First Tier Tribunal Hearing, Brian was seeking support from the frustration and stress of the Home Office and looking for folks that were struggling with the Home Office and their culture of hate. Brian and his husband have been fighting the Home Office for 4 years now and are hoping that the end is in sight.
Brian is an Architect by training but wants to use his problem solving skills on helping this group and families to reunite with their loved ones and end this Hostile Environment. Brian hopes to make an impact with Reunite Families UK and support this group to make his and all our dreams come true.
When they are not fighting and campaigning for this group and their rights as a same sex couple, Brian and his husband Ben live in Milton Keynes and love to go on a walks with their dog, Tucker.