Board of Trustees

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 Women's Aid Trustee

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 Women's Aid Trustee  

Jo Gough is Chief Executive of RISE, a Brighton & Hove based, women-centred, registered charity founded to help and support vulnerable people affected by domestic abuse and violence across Sussex. RISE works with women, children, young and LGBTQ+ people, providing a refuge, advocacy service, groups, drop-ins, therapeutic services, and a helpline. Jo is a committed feminist and long standing social justice activist with 30 years volunteering and working in the third sector. She joined RISE as Head of Quality and Business Development in 2013, before becoming Chief Executive in 2017. The charity’s LGB&T service for survivors of domestic abuse was the first in England and RISE continues to provide one of the few dedicated LGBT dispersed refuges in the country. Since its inception 25 years ago, RISE has helped around 25,000 people (mostly women), and last year alone over 7,000 referrals were made to its services. Jo is Vice-Chair of the Women’s Aid Board and also chairs the Research, Policy, Campaigns, and Communications subcommittee.

Lindsey Wishart Lindsey Wishart is a qualified accountant with a background in Local Government, specialising in Housing and Social Services. She currently holds a variety of non-executive positions as Treasurer of a number of charities and Lay Deputy Chair of Brent Clinical Commissioning Group. Lindsey chairs the Finance, Resources, Risks and Governance subcommittee.

Dickie James 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.

Madi Makgoba-Turpin 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

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. Zlakha chairs the Services Directorate subcommittee.

Caroline Chang is a Trustee and Non-Executive Director of various charities and corporates across multiple sectors globally, with expertise in Strategy, Governance, Risk Management and Organisational Development and Transformation. 

Ms Chang is committed to championing the interests of the vulnerable and disadvantaged, with several decades of volunteer experience including for charities addressing LGBTQIA+ rights and animal welfare. She is especially passionate about upholding the rights of women and protecting children. 

With a background in research Science and having spent over two decades in Asset Management, Ms Chang also dedicates time to supporting social impact technology start-ups and scale-ups in MedTech / HealthTech, FemTech and GreenTech. 

Peri is a HR Leader with experience across a range of industries from Financial Services to Engineering and Utilities as well as a Public Sector owned non-profit. Her voluntary work includes being a trustee board member for a small university, following on having been a school governor for two schools, and being a mentor for the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. This global gold accredited mentoring women in business programme is transformative for women in developing countries and has a significant impact on her life, family but also beyond as supporting women’s businesses has a bigger impact on their local communities.

Her HR career has included all aspects of HR: Culture, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, Coaching, Reward & Benefits, Pensions, Leadership and Personal Development, Organization Design and Development, Policies, Operations and working with Trade Unions. She is passionate about creating good work for people to achieve their potential, particularly for women from under-represented groups or lower socio-economics backgrounds. This led to winning an industry wide award, against global firms, in 2022 for the measurable impact of her Diversity & Inclusion approach. 

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.

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

Claire Lambon is the Chief Executive Officer of Stop Domestic Abuse and she has had a leadership role in this organisation since 2001 and has worked in the fields of housing and social care since 1991. She is a Practice Educator for Student Social Workers and a Home Office qualified Domestic Homicide Review Chair. She has a BA hons in Politics and History from The University of Kent.  Professional qualifications include: Professional Diploma in Housing and Graduate Foundation Course in Housing (Solent University), Enabling Learning – Specialist Level (University of Chichester), Foundation Course in Fundraising and Certificate of Fundraising (Institute of Fundraising), Domestic Homicide Review (OCN accredited).  

Claire is an alumnus of the fifth cohort of the “Leadership for Empowered and Healthy Communities Programme” (a programme aimed at leaders in health and social care who want to be part of a movement for change and reform).  In 2021, Claire secured a bursary and completed ACEVO’s Next Steps Leadership Course. Claire’s experience in the domestic abuse/violence against women and girls sector includes frontline contact with survivors as well as strategic and organisational development. Claire has excellent strategic, partnership, project, communication, research, writing and presentation skills.

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