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.
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