Claudia Borgognoni Holmes
Group Founder and Chair
Born in Rome… still ‘developing’ in London. She worked in the Tourism industry in Italy and in the UK. Claudia studied at the Middlesex University, she graduated in Deaf Studies, Education and Communication (Interpreting strand) and currently works as Communication Support Worker/BSL Interpreter for various colleges across London. In August 2016, she founded UKCEN. Her idea was to provide reliable information to EU born/UK residents seeking to apply for UK citizenship. She says about UKCEN: “I feel blessed to have met such a very special group people: the volunteers of our group… I wish for all the European citizens in the UK to become voters!”
Adda spent many years as a corporate designer, marketing and presentations specialist, working for major financial institutions, before leaving the sector after the global financial crisis in 2009. She then started working as a webmaster and content creator, producing public information materials for local authorities and NHS CCGs. The financial crisis drove her to become interested in legal and consumer matters. Over the years, she became a significant contributor on the major consumer fora and obtained a paralegal qualification with CILEx. She then took an interest in immigration law and is working towards OISC authorisation while volunteering for UKCEN.
Eline van der Vlist
Eline is a curator and researcher in contemporary art. She has lived in London since 2000, taking her freedom of movement rights for granted. After Brexit she used UKCEN’s advice on several occasions. She started volunteering for the group as an admin to support others who wish to secure their status in the UK.
Karen Fornos Klein
Karen graduated in Public Relations and has a master in Marketing; however her real passion is project management. She is a certified PMP and nowadays works as Business analyst in IT environments. When Brexit was voted she found UKCEN group and after some months there, when Claudia needed help with moderation she offered her help. “Being in a group that has a goal and a positive and helpful view of this situation is a great chance to learn, support and meet other constructive people.”, says Karen.”
Muriel is originally from Belgium where she graduated in French and Spanish Linguistics and Literature at the Liege university (Belgium). After 1 year of teaching French as a foreign language in Belgium, she moved to England and started to work in a big IT company where she still works today. Soon after the Brexit referendum, Muriel decided to apply for her British citizenship. With the help of the UKCEN, she became a British citizen in January 2018. Muriel found the forum so useful and helpful to others that she offered to volunteer. Muriel is a mum of 2 (dual citizenship) children, who loves running and traveling the world to enjoy new cultures.
I was born on the western coast of Sicily. My kindergarten was Saint Mark’s square in Venice. I read my classics in a grammar school in Sicily. I was taught the secrets of my guild in the city of silk. I did climb the white cliffs of Albion as I shared with my sweeter half only the language of Shakespeare. After duly paying my taxes for seven years, I kindly asked to become a British citizen, a pleasure I was then granted. There is some irony on that, but to discovered why, you’ll have to read a thousand words: http://ale.riolo.co.uk/2013/04/a-thousand-words-worthier-than-picture.html
Elina graduated with an MA in English, German and International Politics from the University of Tampere in Finland, and studied English Literature, Linguistics and Politics at the University of Manchester. She started a career in professional services marketing (working in a law firm and an accountancy firm), but gave it up when her children were born. Elina volunteers as an active PTA member at her son’s school, and also as one of the admins at UKCEN helping others to achieve their goal of securing PR and British citizenship. Elina got her own PR just before the Brexit vote, and stumbled across UKCEN soon after. She naturalised in March 2017.
Miriam works as an Executive manager in a multinational financial services company in the City and has experience in transformation, underwriting, client management, project coordination and operations. She has degrees in Economics and Management and is certified in Lean management from Cardiff University. Miriam is passionate about developing women and chairs the UK Women & Allies ERG and is the committee member for Gender Inclusion Network for Insurance. She obtained PR and naturalised in 2017 with the help of UKCEN, where she volunteers as an admin. She is a mum of 4 (and 2 rescue cats!), and in her free time, she loves lifting, boxing and travelling the world.
Louise is originally from Germany but – thanks to freedom of movement – also spent several years living, studying and working in Portugal and France.
She moved to the UK 7 years ago to start a job in the Higher Education industry and to complete her Master’s degree. She now works in the Academic Registry of a London-based university where she advises home and international students.
Through work and whilst preparing her own PR and citizenship applications, she developed a keen interest in immigration law and very much enjoys supporting others on their journey to PR/citizenship as a UKCEN admin.
Jesus was born in Spain, but he has spent more years in the UK than there. He studied towards a postgraduate degree on Social History at Royal Holloway, London; besides History, his other interests are Civil Rights, and the Arts in general.
Silja is a qualified nurse with more than 20 years of experience in the the NHS and in Germany in a variety of roles. She is very aware of the impact of Brexit on the NHS and it’s multinational staff, many being unsure about their future status. Having recently aquired PR and British Citizenship herself with the help of the UKCEN forum, she would now like to offer help and support to other EU citizens applying for PR/citizenship through volunteering at UKCEN.
Anne is a Lecturer in Law at the Open University Law School, specialising in European Union Law and comparative constitutional law. She holds an undergraduate degree in German law and is about to complete her PhD thesis titled “European citizenship as a constitutional right according to the rulings of the European Court of Justice”. Anne also holds a LLM in European Union law.
Anne’s research focuses on the constitutional construct of the European Union and the interrelations with the Member States and is closely involved in current debates around the UK referendum. She is also interested in concepts of citizenship and the European Union citizenship.
Monika is an academic with a background in social sciences and medical law. As project/trial manager she has focused on supporting vulnerable adults, including the very old, frail, disabled, or those lacking capacity due to intellectual disabilities or dementia. She currently volunteers as Vice Chair of a Research Ethics Committee and takes a keen interest in ethical issues in the care and treatment of older people and the prevention of elder abuse. Monika has lived in the UK since 1992 and finally found UKCEN in Nov 2017 after feeling very cross since the referendum. She naturalised in April 2018 and is delighted to be able to volunteer for UKCEN.
Born and raised in Germany with a Master’s degree in Russian language and literature from Moscow University, Janamoved with her family to Oxford in the early 90s, and qualified as a certified court and police translator and interpreter. She has since been involved in numerous complex police investigations and court cases with links to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Russia. Jana is now also sworn as a legal translator and interpreter by the courts of Baden-Württemberg. She is a firm believer in European citizens’ rights and freedom of movement, which allowed her to live her dreams in an open society.