Meet the team!
Sam Slatcher is a singer-songwriter, community arts facilitator and founder of Citizen Songwriters CIC. Sam is passionate about engaging different communities in the process of storytelling through songwriting. His honest and reflection songwriting, delivered with a calming and delicate voice captures the warmth of humanity and a longing for peace and justice. Sam set up Citizen Songwriters in December 2018 after the success of Stories of Sanctuary
Pippa Bell is as an exile from the south of England who has lived in the North East for 25 years and believes Durham, with the strong sense of community and welcome at its core, to be the best place in the world to live.
She is an Art historian who works for an award-winning educational charity, Magic Lantern, working across diverse platforms with children & young people, prisoners and those with mental health challenges. She is involved with various community projects in Durham City.
Sabah Al Hassoun
Sabah Al Hassoun is a director of Citizen Songwriter and one of the Stories of Sanctuary Tour Coordinators. Sabah worked as a teaching assistant in Syria and was passionate about encouraging children to learn, but was forced to leave her country and her job because of the war. She was grateful for the chance to come to Durham to start a new life, but explains how hard it is to be separated from her family: “I am not used to being away from my family for more than a month. It has been three years now and God knows how long will it take before I see them again”. Since arriving in Durham, Sabah has brought her talents and enthusiasm to many projects, including Stories of Sanctuary. She plays a huge role in the choir and describes how the project has given her the chance to discover her hidden singing talent, strengthen her confidence, and widen her networks. Sabah Al Hassoun is a director of Citizen Songwriter and one of the Stories of Sanctuary Tour Coordinators.
Beth was born and grew up in Hull, where she volunteered with Hull’s City of Culture team and later Hull Help for Refugees. In 2015, Beth came to Durham to study Liberal Arts and in her first year of University co-founded Durham for Refugees – a group of students working to raise money and awareness for refugees and asylum seekers. Through the group she has learnt a lot about issues faced by refugees, made friends with people from different cultures and been inspired by the resilience of those seeking sanctuary. She was excited to get involved with Stories of Sanctuary after seeing the choir perform in Durham Cathedral and remains very proud to be part of the team!