latest the blog A decade of Asylos by Nick Witney Nick Witney is one of Asylos' founding Trustees. He served on the Board from 2014 until 2018 and is now a member of the Asylos Advisory Committee. He is a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). There is a pleasing symmetry here to my involvement with Asylos, which began as it is finishing with my decisive asset – possession of a UK address. This morning’s mail brought me a mysterious letter from an entity called Belastingdienst. It seems to have originated in Eindhoven—so that will be Dutch it’s written in, then. No matter – all I have to do is scan it, and ship it on to Sophie and Olivia. Another miniscule contribution to the Asylos cause! There is a pleasing symmetry here to my involvement with Asylos, which began as it is finishing with my decisive asset – possession of a UK address. I had worked with Thomas Klau and Ellen Riotte in the Paris office of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), so was aware of (and properly impressed by) the project they were launching; but it was only when I had returned to the UK, and it became necessary to register Asylos with the UK Charity Commission, that they invited me (with my UK residence) to become formally involved. Who could fail to be animated by the scale of the problem, and the shameful gap between the declared policies of European governments and how asylum systems operate in practice? I was a trustee for four years. Frankly, it was the claims of friendship rather than any pre-existing interest in asylum issues that brought me aboard. But once involved – who could fail to be animated by the scale of the problem, and the shameful gap between the declared policies of European governments and how asylum systems operate in practice? Generous donors (from the beginning the Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Open Society Foundation, as I recall it) were prepared to provide money – and scores of students and young professionals were prepared to volunteer their time, skills and determination to tackle the injustices, case by case. So I was more than glad to do what I could as trustee to help keep the machinery running as Asylos developed and grew. “Keeping the machinery running” may not seem much of a legacy – so allow me two particular boasts. First, I claim the main credit for the choice of Sophie as Director, in the spring of 2017. No need for me to spell out what a successful appointment that has been – most of you reading this will have had first-hand experience of Sophie and her multiple qualities. But it delights me that, three and a half years later, she is still at the helm (especially since we had to warn her on joining that the funds to pay her might not last more than six months!). My second boast is having lured Dick Oosting into the Asylos web. This was not particularly clever (I knew Dick, and his record, as another former ECFR colleague) nor particularly difficult – Dick was quite smart enough to see where the initial advisory role was likely to lead, but signed up anyway. No Board could hope for a better Chair than Dick. A decade of lives saved and transformed – and a decade of a community of young leaders taking a stand for decency and generosity. So whenever another official Asylos letter tumbles through the door, I feel a small glow of satisfaction at my indirect contribution to the achievement of a decade of Asylos. A decade of lives saved and transformed – and a decade of a community of young leaders taking a stand for decency and generosity. Onwards and upwards!