The Near Neighbours team grows.

The Near Neighbours team grows.

The Near Neighbours central team doubled in size this month with the hiring of two new interns. We are delighted to welcome Catherine Sorrell as our Grants and Administrative Officer and Tim Burton-Jones as our Communications and Media Officer. Two weeks into their post, they’ve take a moment to introduce themselves.               

A blog by Tim Burton-Jones


Tim Burton-Jones

I am the new Near Neighbours Communications Officer! I am very excited to be producing Near Neighbours communications material for our social media, our blog, and for the media. I recently graduated from King’s College, London with a BA in Religion in the Contemporary World and have, since then, gained some experience in online marketing.

What is it that you like about Near Neighbours?

I like that all of this work is about forming new friendships and making England’s diversity a national treasure. My degree and my experience of growing up in South East London has brought me to Near Neighbours with a real determination to unite different ethnic and religious communities so that we can celebrate diversity and learn ever more about each other. I have seen the beauty of diversity first hand and, throughout my degree, was consistently amazed by all that other faiths had to offer. I am very excited, therefore, to apply myself to the work that Near Neighbours is doing and can’t wait to get travelling around our hubs to meet the fantastic people we are working with.

And what is it that you’re doing when you’re not at work?

In my spare time I am obsessed with all things fiction and all things sport. At the moment I am preoccupied by re-watching the West Wing (for the third time) and watching the original series of Star Trek for the first time (I am definitely team Picard). I have also been known to enjoy books, films, and video games. As for sport, I am a diehard Liverpool fan and am pretty chuffed to have tickets to the Rugby World Cup.


Catherine Sorrell

I am the Near Neighbours Grants and Administrative Officer! My responsibilities revolve around processing our grants applications, which means that I liaise with our applicants, deal with the administrative elements of our grants scheme, and help decide which applicants are successful.

I recently graduated from King’s College, London with an MA in Philosophy and I had previously studied a BA in Philosophy at Heythrop College. I currently work as a tutor, working with children aged around 10 across South East London and have previously worked at a school in Eltham, assisting them with their administration work.

What is it that you like about Near Neighbours?

I love that Near Neighbours offers us a chance to move beyond our stereotypes of community; it is so easy to form an understanding of our neighbours without actually knowing them. What Near Neighbours does is offer a chance to get to know our neighbours on a personal level so that they can move from being a generalisation and into a real person with thoughts, passions, and a powerful history. I like that Near Neighbours can form lasting friendships that can transform communities.

And what is it that you’re doing when you’re not at work?

I have been tap dancing since the age of four and still regularly attend lessons. As well as this, I make dresses with my Victorian sewing machine (it has a hand crank and everything). I love to find items, like my sewing machine, that are beautifully crafted, despite having a primary function and therefore no need to be so beautiful. I’m a big fan of Russian history and literature, with a particular admiration for Dostoyevsky and love a whole range of films from Die Hard to Screwball comedies. In response to Tim’s affiliation with Team Picard, I must insist that I am team Kirk!

Author: Mr Tim Burton-Jones

Date: 20 February 2015