Board of Trustees
The Women’s Aid Board of Trustees is responsible for setting the strategic direction of Women’s Aid, ensuring that the charity complies with all its legal and regulatory requirements and that the charity’s governance is of the highest possible standard. The diversity of the Board is currently reflected with representation from all sectors including voluntary management, legal and financial expertise, and equality and diversity professionals. Just over half of the trustees are appointed from Women’s Aid members. As Women’s Aid is a Charitable Company, board members are Directors and Trustees of the Company.
Sarah Hill, Chair
Sarah Hill is CEO of Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS), a Yorkshire based charity working to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence. With more than 25 years’ experience of working in the charitable sector Sarah has overseen the growth of IDAS from a small local organisation into the largest regional specialist charity supporting over 7,000 people each year.
Sarah is passionate about working to end abuse and violence against women. She represents IDAS and, most importantly, victims and survivors, at children’s and adults safeguarding boards, CPS scrutiny panels and domestic abuse strategy groups.
She is part of the women’s steering group of ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) which provides peer support and networking opportunities for women CEOs. Sarah is also a board member for a Bangladeshi Women’s Centre in Leeds.
Jo Gough, Vice-Chair
Jo Gough is Chief Executive of RISE (Refuge, Information, Support and Education). She joined the Sussex-based charity as Head of Quality and Business Development in 2011, before becoming Chief Executive in 2017. RISE supports people affected by domestic abuse and violence, providing both crisis accommodation and community-based support. The charity’s LGB&T* service for survivors of domestic abuse was the first in England and they continue to provide one of the few dedicated LGBT refuge and support services in the country.
Becky Rogerson is the Director of WWiN, an independent specialist service in Wearside delivering a range of front line services. Formally CEO of My Sisters Place in Middlesbrough, Becky has worked in the sector for 20 years and was awarded an MBE in the 2019 Honours list for her services in the domestic abuse field.
Zlakha Ahmed set up Apna Haq, the specialist BME service based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, in 1996, which she has continued to manage full time ever since. Apna Haq supports black and minority ethnic women and girls who are experiencing any form of violence against women and girls. The survivor-led organisation has many years of experience in tackling the violence and abuse that BME women are disproportionately affected by and is also active in challenging racism and Islamophobia throughout society. In 2016, Zlakha was awarded an MBE for her outstanding services to the community.
Naomi Dickson has worked at Jewish Women’s Aid for over 18 years. She started out volunteering at the service before going on to become a refuge manager and then later communications co-ordinator at the service. Since 2014, she has been the specialist support service’s Chief Executive. Jewish Women’s Aid was set up over 25 years ago and is the only organisation in the UK working specifically to provide specialist support to Jewish women and their children who are experiencing domestic violence and abuse. The charity also works to raise awareness about violence against women and girls in the Jewish community
Madi Makgoba-Turpin is a South African born Consultant specialising in Adults and Children’s Social Care Commissioning . She has delivered projects across the UK for more than 100 Authorities, charities and care providers.
In 2006 Madi founded a network for black professionals which provides a safe space for members and supports them through networking and coaching. She is passionate about addressing issues of gender and racial inequality as well as enabling others through active coaching.
Dickie James has worked in the VAWG sector for over 25 years. She is CEO of Staffordshire Women’s Aid. In 2017, Staffordshire Women’s Aid received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services in recognition of over 40 years of specialist women’s community services in Staffordshire and in 2019, Dickie was awarded an MBE for her services to victims of domestic violence.
Dickie has also worked on a number of transnational research projects on VAWG including the DAPHNE funded ‘Empower’ project. Dickie has also developed and published a number of inter-agency guidelines on understanding and responding to domestic and sexual violence, and has led on the design of a range of accredited training programmes in the field. Dickie has published on her work in a number of publications including Feminist Psychology and SAFE. Dickie sees her work as feminist activism, and believes that the power of women working collectively at grass roots levels is never to be underestimated. Alongside her work in the Violence Against Women and Girls movement, Dickie is studying for a MA in Peace and Conflict Studies at Coventry University.
Angie Stewart has worked in the voluntary sector in Cambridge for over 25 years. She is the Chief Executive Officer for Cambridge Women’s Aid where she has worked for the last 19 years. Cambridge Women’s Aid (CWA) has provided specialist support to survivors of domestic abuse in Cambridge since 1977. In addition to offering highly rated services to those experiencing domestic abuse, CWA also provides significant support to professionals and community members to better understand domestic abuse and its impacts
Amanda Elwen is the business manager for Paladin national stalking advocacy service, HARV Domestic Abuse Services, HARV Housing and Safer Together EVAWG consortia. Amanda has worked in the charitable sector for 25 years, she is the founder of the Emily Davison Centre, the first ‘Ending Violence Against Women and Girls’ HUB in the UK. A 6000 square foot new build in Lancashire that aims to provide all EVAWG services under one roof.
Amanda is committed to ending violence against women and girls and campaigns nationally to ensure the EVAWG specialists have a voice in policy, legislation and the procurement of services.
Sara McIlroy is passionate about improving the family justice system. As a family law barrister at Harcourt Chambers, she has extensive first-hand experiences of the family court and the difficulties encountered by victims of domestic abuse as they navigate the justice system. Her practice there focuses on the financial consequences of family breakdown, disputes over children and cases concerning domestic abuse. Sara is undertaking a PhD in family law at the University of Exeter where she is examining procedures of justice in private law proceedings for litigants in person. Between 2015 – 2018 Sara was the Parents and Families’ Representative on the Family Justice Council. The focus of her work there was in respect of improving access and understanding of the family court for litigants in person. Sara is a member of the Family Law Bar Association and is a supporter of the Transparency Project.