Polly Neate joined Women’s Aid in February 2013. She is a leading authority and prominent commentator on domestic abuse, sexism and feminism, and has significantly increased the influence of Women’s Aid on behalf of survivors of domestic abuse and our federation of local specialist services.
Other key achievements at Women’s Aid under Polly’s leadership include winning a total of £13 million of new government funding for refuges, securing the coercive control offence, and increasing government awareness of the importance of, and threat to, specialist women’s services. In addition, she has overseen the launch of Safer Futures, a national programme of preventive education in schools, ensured a major increase in capacity-building support offered to local services, and been a strong and influential voice for a feminist and gendered analysis of domestic abuse.
Throughout Polly’s career, she has influenced government and public opinion, and campaigned for policy change and social justice. Before joining Women’s Aid, Polly led the relaunch of Action for Children (formerly NCH), one of the UK’s largest charities, in her role as the Executive Director of External Relations and Communications. Her responsibilities included public policy, campaigns, research, communications, brand and fundraising. She also led significant strategic review and transformational change programmes.
Polly’s background is in journalism. As the editor of Community Care, a major weekly title for professionals in children’s services and social care, she won several journalism and campaigning awards. This includes the Professional Publishers Association Magazine of the Year (the most prestigious award in magazines), Campaign of the Year (for a campaign on the needs of young people leaving care in the mid-1990s, which led to changes in public awareness and in policy) and Writer of the Year.
Throughout her career, Polly has contributed to a vast range of media, including national newspapers, magazines, and books. She continues to write extensively for a range of media as the CEO of Women’s Aid, including the Telegraph, the Guardian, Huffington Post and Civil Society, and regularly appears on television and radio.
Nominated as one of the Third Sector’s 2013 ‘Rising Star CEO’ Award and in the same year voted as one of the Top 30 Social Charity CEOs on Twitter, she can be followed on Twitter at @pollyn1.
If you are interested in Polly writing an article or being interviewed for your publication, speaking at your conference, or to secure her for broadcast media, please contact the press office.