After 15 years leading the organisation, BID Director Celia Clarke, has announced she will be leaving us at the end of the year.
Celia’s unwavering passion, and dedication to ending immigration detention in the UK have played a central role in driving BID’s work to secure people’s release from detention while exposing the violence and cruelty of the detention system in the UK.
The past 15 years have seen huge changes to immigration detention and deportation in the UK, and under Celia’s leadership the BID team has consistently adapted to changing circumstances, and has cemented its position as a leading expert on immigration detention and a well-respected force for change.
Celia’s departure marks the end of an era and, as we reflect on BID’s key achievements over the past 15 years, of which there are too many to mention here, it is difficult to find words that encapsulate the significance of her contribution. Luckily, we have until the end of December to properly say our goodbyes and wish her all the best. In the meantime, you’ll see plenty more from Celia over the coming months.
BID’s Board of Trustees and staff have been developing the recruitment process for a new Director which begins next week, so please do spread the word and encourage people to apply for this amazing job.
“I am incredibly sad to be leaving BID after fifteen years, which have been the happiest and most fulfilling of my working life. I have been so privileged to work with so many amazing staff, volunteers and trustees over the years, so many of whom remain part of the BID family. I want to thank you all for your encouragement and support. The rage I felt fifteen years ago on being exposed to the full horrors of immigration detention remains undiminished. I have visited detention centres and prisons and seen for myself the utter misery inflicted on people caught up in this nightmarish scenario. I have heard story after story of desperation, cruelty, and of families being torn apart. I have been privileged to meet people who have been detained. Their courage and bravery has been both inspiring and humbling. I have always felt that the end of detention was tantalising close because, after all, what society in its right mind would incarcerate people for immigration purposes? As I leave, the number of people being detained is at its lowest level ever in BID’s history, and two of the detention centres are closing. I know that my colleagues and the new Director will continue the fight against this abhorrent system until it is ended completely.”
Maggie Pankhurst, Chair of BID’s Board of Trustees said:
“We are very sorry to be losing Celia.
Under Celia’s leadership BID has developed into a highly respected and well-established organisation. BID is now recognised as a leading voice for people held in detention and is well-positioned to influence policy, practice, public opinion and the lives of individuals held in detention.
Celia will be missed by everyone she has worked with over the past 15 years. She leaves with all our thanks and warmest wishes for the future.”