Nominations for the NEPOMAK UK National Executive Committee (NEC) 2021-2023 have now officially closed! Thank you to all our members who nominated for election – we have received 18 nominations!

The Annual General Meeting will take place at 12:00 on 5 December at The Clissold Arms, 105 Fortis Green, London, N2 9HR.

In line with Article 16.8 of the NEPOMAK UK constitution, the following individuals have already been deemed elected unopposed to the NEC for 2021-2023:

  • Adrian Patsalos (London and South East & UK wide)
  • Alexander Mantzalos (London and South East & UK wide)
  • Carolina Mantzalos (London and South East & UK wide)
  • Charlotte Robinson (London and South East & UK wide)
  • Christina Athanasiou (Scotland and Ireland)
  • Christina Tsangaris (London and South East & UK wide)
  • Christos Tuton (NEPOMAK Global President)
  • Constantine Alexandrou (London and South East & UK wide)
  • Constantine Georgiou (London and South East & UK wide)
  • Elle Zacharia (London and South East & UK wide)
  • George Alexandrou (London and South East & UK wide)
  • Katie Bedrossian (London and South East & UK wide)
  • Maria Christalla Christofi (London and South East & UK wide)
  • Maria Louise Christofi (Nottingham)
  • Nandia Karapatea (UK wide)
  • Penny Zacharia (London and South East & UK wide)
  • Peter Vassila (London and South East & UK wide)
  • Stavros Apostolopoulos (Wales)

The manifestos of the candidates who were nominated for election are listed below (A-Z by first name):

Adrian Patsalos
National Executive Committee Nomination for: London and South East & UK wide
Executive Officer nomination for: President

Having lived in South Africa, Cyprus and the UK since 2011, I know first-hand the strength and importance of a diverse community and organisation. As the future leaders the Cypriot diaspora, we must lead by example and inspire more young UK Cypriots to get involved, continuing the legacy of our predecessors. That is why I am standing to be NEPOMAK-UK’s next President.

Inspired by the remarkable work our organisation did, despite the barriers that COVID19 created, I would be honoured to lead NEPOMAK-UK in its next chapter. Having traditionally been on the receiving end of love and support from our parents and grandparents, we saw COVID19 as an opportunity to give back, either that was via volunteers who delivered shopping to the elderly, or breaking records through our charity campaign helping our enclaved compatriots, those in need in Cyprus but also giving back to the Greek schools, who helped us annually with Santa shoebox.

Utilising experience obtained whilst serving as President of the UEL Students’ Union and as the Chair of the HR & Governance Sub-Committee of Salford Students’ Union, we introduced an annual events calendar which we then used to create an annual budget, becoming more efficient and organised.

I’m delighted to have helped plan our first ever weekend away in Scotland and a new version of our weekend away in Wales, which we’re aiming to bring back next September. Equally, it was great to be back at Elysee for Halloween, to reconnect with a lot of our members and with student societies’ members, who once they graduate can find a home away from home at NEPOMAK-UK. Under my leadership, these parties and collaborations will continue.

Collaborations will extend beyond the Cypriot community. In collaboration with the Jewish and Armenian youth organisations, we are planning to co-host events to learn about each other’s cultures, traditions., history and identify common ground in our struggles, but also our ambitions as diasporas.

One person could have not done everything mentioned above on their own. I am privileged to have served as Secretary next to capable, charismatic and hardworking compatriots who are as passionate about Cyprus and it’s diaspora as I am. As President, I will see it as my duty to provide other NEPOMAK-UK members with the support and guidance they’ll need, to continue leading amazing initiatives that benefit our membership, our community and our common goal for a free, united Cyprus.

Alexander Mantzalos
National Executive Committee Nomination for: London and South East & UK wide
Executive Officer Nomination for: Treasurer

Nomination for NEC

For as long as I can remember I’ve always felt out of touch with my nationality. Growing up half Cypriot in Cyprus it was evident to my family and peers that I wasn’t a “full” Cypriot. I always found it hard to connect with my family and friends because of that due to language and cultural barriers. This has always been my problem. Until NEPOMAK.

NEPOMAK took me on board as another diaspora looking for their place in their own culture. I am surrounded by people who have experienced the same and for that I will be forever grateful and I would love to return the favour. For this reason, I would love to be given the opportunity to continue on the committee.

I have been a committee member for almost 2 years and in this time I have successfully organised our Christmas Charity walk and organised our first virtual quiz, as well as aid in several over events. Whilst we have been limited to the pandemic I have ensure to look for ways in which we could adapt to the (virtual) world.

Nomination for Treasurer

My reason behind running for Treasurer is simple: I like numbers and I like responsibility. I’ve held several senior positions both in my working career and extra-curricular career. These include being elected on my student council at university as well as the various positions I held at my time there in an operational capacity.

If you were to ask me what qualifies me to be your treasurer I would have to say that I am a hardworking, dedicated individual who holds a bachelor’s in mathematics and has just completed their training towards becoming a chartered accountant. I hold four years’ experience in the financial industry and my current job is that of an accountant. Whilst this experience highlights my skills in numbers and bookkeeping, I always look for ways in which to improve as an individual and a professional and I feel as this role would be perfect for me to expand upon my knowledge of cash and risk management as well as maintaining close relationships with our banks.

In short, I will work hard and be as dedicated as one can be to ensure that we enjoy a healthy financial (and social) term if I were to be honoured with this role.

Carolina Mantzalos
National Executive Committee Nomination for: London and South East & UK wide
Executive Officer Nomination for: General Secretary

Being half Spanish half Cypriot (from Famagusta) and born in London has always meant that establishing a sense of belonging was challenging. That changed when I found NEPOMAK-UK.

NEPOMAK-UK and its amazing membership finally connected the dots, making sense of my heritage and culture. It’s because of this that I am re-running for NEC and for an Executive Officer (EO) position as Secretary.

The last two years as a NEC and EO member have been challenging but provided us with an opportunity to think outside the box and work closely with other organisations within the community. We have not only led many virtual events and campaigns such as “What is NEPOMAK?”, but we also provided volunteers for the elderly and vulnerable who were shielding. We partnered with LGR to raise awareness, and once lockdown ended, we organised physical events such as the trip to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Bouzoukia, quizzes and the Missing Persons tree in December.

I have experience leading youth organisations as I was Vice-President and President at Queen Mary Students’ Union for two years where I represented and led over 40,000 students. Leading the Students’ Union was no small feat, having a budget of £6,000,000 annually which I was responsible for as the Chair of the Board of Trustees. This equipped me with essential experience in working with young adults to identify our values and needs, building communities, solidarity and an understanding of the importance to always put our members first.

I understand the work-life balance of young adults and I’m able to adapt the work of a voluntary organisation to cater to this. I have the experience required to establish partnerships with organisations of the community, demonstrating how we are the future leaders, proudly waving the NEPOMAK-UK flag.

When I last ran, I wanted to change the narrative and bring more diversity into the leadership by empowering more women to run for the EO positions. This is why I’m running for a different position as well, to empower others to run for Vice-President.

Having strong female voices, partaking in decision making would only contribute to engaging more youth within our community, especially with so many women already being involved with NEPOMAK-UK. I want to set this example to other young women in NEPOMAK-UK and empower them to feel part of what NEPOMAK-UK could represent, further building the community and connecting even more young UK-Cypriots.

Charlotte Robinson
National Executive Committee Nomination for: London and South East & UK wide

I am incredibly passionate about NEPOMAK as an organisation. I have been on two programmes run by NEPOMAK, NDCP 2017 and the first trilateral youth trip with the diasporas of Cyprus, Greece and Israel, these experiences have proved to be life changing. Due to these trips, I have now adopted the global role of Diaspora Relations which allows me to encourage regions to harvest relations with other diasporas around the world. These programmes hugely benefitted me as an individual and have allowed me to connect with diaspora both Cypriot and other across the globe. NDCP particularly let me reconnect with my Cypriot heritage and discover Cyprus in a new way.

In 2019, I organised our boat party. It was a huge success, being our biggest event in the year with just under two-hundred people on board. Through this I acquired an understanding of how to refine my organisation skills, expand our social media promotional outreach, and coordinate the event logistically.

I have also assisted with our social media and lead other events alongside other committee members. Covid-19 I think made us realise the importance of connection and community and they are two key things that NEPOMAK UK champions and will continue to champion.

NEPOMAK UK has had an amazing impact on my life and I hope that it will continue to do so that the next generation of Cypriots are inspired.

Christina Athanasiou
National Executive Committee Nomination for: Scotland and Ireland

Two years ago, when I first nominated myself to be the NEPOMAK Committee member for Scotland, I promised to:

  • Establish a collaboration between university student societies in Scotland and NEPOMAK
  • Lead on organising an annual NEPOMAK social in Scotland
  • Work with any Greek Schools and Churches to raise awareness of NEPOMAK and all its amazing projects, hoping to involve more UK Cypriots who live in Scotland
  • Engage the Cypriot youth with online campaigns and initiatives

By the time of the AGM, I am proud that NEPOMAK would have hosted its first ever weekend away in Scotland. During that weekend away we would have met with:

  • University Student societies
  • The Greek Orthodox Bishop and the community in Edinburgh
  • Local politicians

If re-elected I will aim to establish the social weekend away as an annual event and deepen the relationship between NEPOMAK and the Cypriot community, following their first ever in person interactions in 20 years.

Finally, as promised I have reached out to Cypriots living throughout Scotland, to send an email to their MP about Cyprus and join virtual NEPOMAK events during the pandemic. I aim to continue doing this since I care deeply about Cyprus and it’s diaspora.

Christina Tsangaris
National Executive Committee Nomination for: London and South East & UK wide
Executive Officer Nomination for: Vice President

My name is Christina Tsangaris and I am applying for the position of NEPOMAK UK Committee Member & Vice President. As an active member of NEPOMAK UK for 5 years, both in leading events, and engaging the Cyprus Issue, I have demonstrated that I can serve our current committee, and the community at large in this role.

As part of my largest contribution to NEPOMAK UK, I led the Christmas Charity Campaign in 2020 which raised £2,500 for the Help Rizokarpasso and other Charities in Cyprus as well as Greek School organisations in the UK. During this campaign, I led or oversaw many high profile events from a webinar with writer Victoria Hislop, virtual cooking class with Tonia Buxton, virtual concert with Antigoni as well as a virtual pub quiz, charity walk, and Christmas Charity Challenges. This was one of NEPOMAK UK’s most successful charity campaigns, with social media exposure than any other year.

I also lead the British Museum Event in collaboration with the Cyprus High Commission. This event was a great celebration of Cyprus’s history and identity, and allowed us to engage with the cultural section of the high commission in an exciting way.

When COVID-19 hit, I was part of transitioning NEPOMAK UK into virtual panel events. I worked alongside the Cyprus Medical Society in a joint webinar with immunisation lead Dr. Kassianos on COVID-19. This event had record-breaking online attendees and helped to promote vaccinations across the Cypriot community.

As NEPOMAK UK transitioned into in-person events, I nominated myself to organise NEPOMAK UK’s first post-COVID event; a Meze Night at Uncle Tony’s Taverna, which was a great way to support local Cypriot businesses, and to engage our committee to in-person events once again. This was a key event in the 2021 NEPOMAK UK calendar and saw 80 attendees.

As NEPOMAK UK Vice President, I promise to continue to empower our new committee, to inspire excitement and interest around culture, identity, and the Cyprus issue. I hope to achieve an exemplary 2022 across cultural, educational and social events, as well as balancing a better engagement with the Cyprus Issue. As a female, I believe there should be larger representation in NEPOMAK globally of women in leadership positions. Only in doing this can future members feel inspired to see this space as theirs to claim. In doing so, I hope to invest energy and commitment into our future leaders, which can only be achieved by example.

Constantine Alexandrou
National Executive Committee Nomination for: London and South East & UK wide

My name is Constantine Alexandrou and I am applying to be a NEPOMAK UK Committee Member.

I have been extremely honoured to have served as both Treasurer and subsequently as President of NEPOMAK UK for the last 5 years. Although it may come as a surprise to some that I have decided not to re-run as President for the next term, I am delighted to say that I can hand over this torch to a team who I wholeheartedly trust to take this organisation forward and represent the British Cypriot youth in an exemplary manner.

Over the last two years, I have seen certain individuals step up and push through the obstacles which confronted us during the COVID-19 outbreak. Despite the difficulties we faced, the last two years saw us organise entirely new initiatives, such as the museum trips and virtual events, and we also broke previous fundraising records for charity.

Now that we are coming out the other side of lockdowns and social restrictions, NEPOMAK UK can continue engaging Cypriot youth through the normal programmes which have been so successful for us in the past. With that, I believe a fresh and invigorated executive team will be best placed to lead this organisation to new heights.

This being said, I hope that, by being on the Committee, my long years of experience can help guide the new team on the right path and build upon all of the successes of the last few years. Most of all, I want to ensure that all of our efforts ultimately lead to a free and united Cyprus!

Constantine Georgiou
National Executive Committee Nomination for: London and South East & UK wide

Over the past four years, I have helped represent NEPOMAK’s interests and values through: networking events, political meetings, social, cultural and educational events and charity schemes.

I believe that all these events have assisted with the development of both my leadership, organisational, social and communication skillsets. These are essential skills which will allow me to excel at continuing to promote NEPOMAK UK and NEPOMAK Global’s message and importance to our wider Cypriot, British and international communities.

I have been the best representative for our society and have promoted what we stand for when working with the wider Cypriot community, both in the UK and internationally, such as being selected to represent NEPOMAK as a delegate at both the World Conference of Overseas Cypriots 2018 and 2019 and having attended the EC conference in New York 2018. One of my proudest moments was representing Cyprus and our wider Cypriot diaspora at the 2018 Commonwealth Service whilst meeting the Queen, political leaders and other international delegates to promote the Cypriot diaspora’s international struggle and wider interests!

Being an active member of the NEPOMAK UK committee has allowed me to create new connections and to build successful relationships and friendships between NEPOMAK UK and other organisations in our wider Cypriot community.

I believe that I can continue to be a fantastic NEPOMAK UK representative.

It is my deepest belief that the future of NEPOMAK UK lies within the young Cypriot diaspora and therefore am passionate on building greater relationships with our UK Greek schools on promoting Cypriot heritage and culture.

Elle Zacharia
National Executive Committee Nomination for: London and South East & UK wide

Five years ago, I attended my first NEPOMAK UK AGM and have been an active committee member ever since. I am also the Press Coordinator, playing a key role in communicating with our media contacts to distribute the work of our inspiring committee. I maintained my engagement even whilst on my year abroad in Spain, when I took on the role of Secretary of our NEPOMAK Rest of Europe branch.

We have just been through an unprecedented time in our history and the pandemic has touched everybody’s lives in one way or another. NEPOMAK has played an important role in my life in terms of friendships, personal development and opportunities and I am proud of how our organisation has remained resilient in the face of the challenges posed by the pandemic. I am reapplying for a committee position to help NEPOMAK UK go from strength to strength as we grow to reflect a younger and changing audience and engage new members in a post-pandemic setting.

I played a major role back in the 2017 Santa Shoebox campaign which gave me my first glimpse into the incredibly important work we do in our shared role as global ambassadors. High on my agenda as a committee member would be to continue and increase our charitable work as I believe it truly is at the heart of what we do. I would also like to focus on more in-person social and networking activities to really bring together the young Cypriot diaspora to celebrate our shared heritage and culture.

George Alexandrou
National Executive Committee Nomination for: London and South East & UK wide

My name is George Alexandrou and I am applying to be a NEPOMAK UK Committee Member.

As an academic who has always been engaged in the Cyprus problem, I have always been intrinsically connected to our unique role as UK Cypriot diaspora.

Having been a part of NEPOMAK UK for many years, I have had an array of opportunities that have lead me to be engaged and passionate about this organisation.

My internship in 2019 for the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK allowed me to get a broad understanding of the Cyprus problem, as well as a unique insight into the role of the Cypriot community in fighting for a free and united Cyprus.

Furthermore, my experience on NEPOMAK UK trilateral trip in Greece, Israel and Cyprus was an unrivalled experience in which I liaised globally with youth diaspora. It solidified for me the power of youth as agents of change, and how together our united voice can make a difference. It also highlighted our ties to global allies, and how in strengthening these ties, we can make a larger impact. I hope many of these lessons in how we retain our culture as diaspora, as well as celebrating it, will help me contribute as Committee Member.

Finally, I have always engaged independently in the Cyprus problem. I am studying my Masters at Cambridge University and feel that my academic skill set and critical analysis allows me to think holistically about the Cyprus issue, as well as our role in contributing to a solution.

Katie Bedrossian
National Executive Committee Nomination for: London and South East & UK wide

I would like to be part of the Nepomak National Committee as I am passionate about my Cypriot heritage.

As someone who is an Armenian woman and comes from a family of immigrants, I am determined to act as a voice for underrepresented communities. I love my Cypriot heritage. My dad was born in Cyprus, and I have always been interested in spreading awareness on issues impacting Cyprus. I am motivated to work in Armenia and Cyprus one day in the human rights sector. I feel extremely eager to work together and explore ways in which we can educate people on Cypriot culture and heritage. I am currently working in the civil service and take part in many voluntary roles, which further contributes to social change and having a positive impact on the world.

My Cypriot heritage has always been important to me, and I have enjoyed attending the Nepomak social events so far. One way in which I educate people about my culture is through writing podcasts, hosting webinars, and writing articles. I believe that my skills will be helpful for the Nepomak Committee, and it would be great to develop my skills, whilst working with others on the committee. Overall, I am confident that the committee will be a lovely environment for me to enhance my passion and love for Cypriot culture.

Maria Christalla Christofi
National Executive Committee Nomination for: London and South East & UK wide

Being a current NDCP participant in 2019, I cannot express how much this trip has changed my life. Not only did I make new friends and learn more about my culture I have made an international family, and this is something the experience has done that will have an everlasting effect on my life. Going on NDCP has helped me grow as a person with my confidence and wiliness to try new things, as exemplified by making friends with people from varied backgrounds such as South Africa and Australia. I have already expressed how amazing NDCP is to all my family and friends and have in fact got many friends or family on board to participate. Therefore, I believe that it is my duty to continue praising and persuading people to do NDCP. I would love to continue to be involved in the Nepomak UK committee and continue to help organise many events. Some events I have already participated in was leading the Tonia Buxton cooking event which not only gave me confidence but helped me to get more involved in the committee. Similarly, I am an NDCP UK advisor, unfortunately these participants have not been able to go yet due to the pandemic, but I am continuing to get them involved in other events.

Maria Louise Christofi
National Executive Committee Nomination for: Nottingham

I am writing as I wish to be considered to be a part of the committee. I am currently living in Nottingham and I am enthusiastic to promote NEPOMAK and our message to the area and incorporate more Cypriot students here into the organisation. I’m looking forward to helping put together more events in the future, such as a Christmas charity quiz and more bouzoukia nights now that restrictions are eased.

Participating on NDCP was truly one of the most life-changing experiences of my life. Spending 3 weeks exploring Cyprus and getting to know so many incredible people was an experience I’ll never forget. My view on my heritage and the world changed and I reconnected with my Cypriot roots in a way I never anticipated. Now being one of the NDCP coordinators, I can’t wait to have the opportunity to help others have this life-changing experience and support them through the process.

I am excited to continue being a part of NEPOMAK and would hope to make a difference by being a member of the committee. The importance of the Greek community we have created is something I’m passionate about expanding not only in London but also in Nottingham.

Nandia Karapatea
National Executive Committee Nomination for: UK wide

I am running to be a NEPOMAK committee member, to represent Cypriots who live in Southampton and the wider southern region of England. I really enjoyed the virtual events of NEPOMAK and I want to stay involved.

I attended the last Bouzoukia event and Annual General Meeting, where I was one of the three Elections Committee Members. It was great to meet fellow Cypriots living in the UK and I hope to raise awareness and engage young UK Cypriots in the area I live, with all the exciting opportunities NEPOMAK has to offer.

Whilst growing up in Cyprus, I served on youth organisation committees and often led engagement and recruitment initiatives. I have also gained years of work experience in customer service which has helped me develop my people skills. These are skills and experiences that I can use at events such as the wine festival, to help NEPOMAK recruit new members and applicants for the two fantastic programmes that NEPOMAK runs.

As a Fine Art graduate, I believe that we can convey messages about our culture, traditions, history and struggle through art. Working with the Cultural team at the High Commission we should engage NEPOMAK members with such opportunities.

Penny Zacharia
National Executive Committee Nomination for: London and South East & UK wide

Since leaving Greek School, I have felt a sense of disconnect from my Cypriot roots but I have since been exposed to NEPOMAK through my sister, Elle, who has encouraged me to get more involved. I would relish the opportunity to contribute to the fantastic work of the organisation by sitting on the committee.

My first proper engagement with NEPOMAK UK was during the Santa Shoebox charity appeal in which I collected boxes from Greek Schools and delivered a short presentation with my sister about the important work NEPOMAK does for the community. It was incredibly rewarding and I believe charity work truly is at the heart of the organisation. I also attended the APPG for Cyprus event at the House of Commons in 2018 as I understand the importance of having a Cypriot diaspora youth presence to ensure the interests of our wider community and our campaign for a free, united Cyprus continue to be lobbied in Parliament. I have also attended several committee meetings over the last couple of years and immediately felt a sense of community and passion for the organisation which I look forward to becoming a part of.

I would like to be elected to the committee to bring a fresh perspective and seek to continuously find new ways to promote our brilliant initiatives and events through our social media channels which I would be interested in getting involved with. I consider myself to be organised, committed and level-headed and I will give my time, dedication and passion to the organisation to help it evolve as it continues to grow to reflect an ever-changing, younger audience.

Peter Vassila
National Executive Committee Nomination for: London and South East & UK wide

I joined NEPOMAK UK in January 2019 and have been a committee member since January 2020. I have consistently attended the committee meetings and where possible, the open events. My initial motivation for joining NEPOMAK was so that I could get in touch with my cultural heritage. NEPOMAK has certainly delivered on this front.  But I have also been pleased to discover that this organisation is full of passionate individuals dedicated to promoting Cypriot culture. I have certainly benefitted from this. I have contributed to helping NEPOMAK UK – I volunteered for the stall at the Cypriot Wine Festival in 2019 to help promote the work of the organisation and also helped organise an online mental health event in April 2020, to help support NEPOMAK UK members during the lockdown. I really would like to get involved in more initiatives over the next year. In short, NEPOMAK UK has far exceeded my initial expectations when I joined in 2019 and I have benefitted greatly from the opportunities that have been offered to me. In return, I would like to contribute to the work that NEPOMAK UK does in order to be able to give back to the community in the same way that NEPOMAK UK has helped me throughout the last couple of years.

Stavros Apostolopoulos
National Executive Committee Nomination for: Wales

Over the past two years I have had the opportunity to engage with NEPOMAK UK events thanks to the introduction of virtual events. I believe such events are vital for NEPOMAK UK members who do not live in London and if elected as a committee member, I’d like to explore how such events can continue happening so members like me who live in Wales can continue to engage.

I would also like to work with the Officers, to bring back the weekend away in Wales, in Swansea where I live. I had helped plan the weekend away that was meant to take part in September 2020, however the pandemic stopped it from going ahead.

Having completed a masters in Communication, Media and Public Relations and having worked at an integrated Public Relations and Marketing communications agency for the past two years, I am confident I can bring a different skillset to the committee of NEPOMAK UK.

As a grandchild of a refugee from Famagusta, I care about Cyprus and want to see a just solution to the Cyprus issue. I created the 2018 #HandsOffCyprus campaign video for the Federation and will continue to help our country however I can.

NEPOMAK (Global) President on NEPOMAK UK’s National Executive Committee:

Pursuant to Article 7.7 of the NEPOMAK UK Constitution:

“Where the President, Treasurer, General Secretary or Organising Secretary of NEPOMAK is from the UK they must also serve on the NEC of NEPOMAK.UK.”

Therefore, Christos Tuton, who is currently the NEPOMAK (Global) President, will also serve as a member of the National Executive Committee.