Broxtowe Women’s Project has a lively Board of Trustees made up of individuals from a variety of backgrounds. They include:
- Rachel Riggs, Chair and Chair of the Funding and Finance Subcommittee
- Sarah Hartshorne, Vice Chair and member of the Inclusive Practice Subcommittee
- Ellie Lewis: Secretary and Chair of the Inclusive Practice Subcommittee
- Sally Richards: Treasurer and member of the Funding & Finance Subcommittee
- Rosie Hepple: Chair of the Risk Management Subcommittee
- Patricia Higham: Trustee and Chair of the Human Relations Subcommittee
- Naomi Yeaman: Trustee and member of the Human Relations Subcommittee
- Margaret Coward: Trustee and member of the Risk Management Subcommittee
Please read on for more information about our trustees, including contact details and what valuable experience they bring to the charity.
Rachel Riggs: Chair and Chair of the Funding and Finance Subcommittee
Working as a solicitor for many years I represented many clients and their families from vulnerable backgrounds and saw first-hand the impact and complexities of domestic abuse. I felt I wanted to find a way to support more practically by applying my skills outside of work and to get involved in the amazing work of this charity local to home, alongside others from many different backgrounds.
To be able to help women find safety and become empowered to change their lives for the better is something I am passionate about. I hope that with my current role in HR in local government I can bring my experiences and insights to the organisation that will help it develop and grow. It is such a privilege to join with other staff and volunteers to collaborate and contribute whilst learning from each other and developing our skills too.
Sarah Hartshorne: Vice Chair and member of the Inclusive Practice Subcommittee
I have been a trustee for Broxtowe Women’s Project for over three years now and have recently re-joined as Vice Chair after taking a year’s maternity leave.
In my day job I am a workforce development officer for Museum Development East Midlands, specialising in supporting diverse museum teams through periods of change and growth. Prior to this I managed a National Trust property, The Workhouse in Southwell. I have also held roles at English Heritage and Civic Voice and have a master’s degree in Cultural Heritage Management. My focus has always been on supporting organisations to engage with their local communities and wider stakeholders, championing equal and fair opportunities for all.
I became a trustee as I am a passionate feminist and advocate for women’s rights and want to use my professional skills in a voluntary capacity for the locality. So far, my varied time at Broxtowe Women’s Project has led me to run a half marathon, support the launch of the new website and join a women’s march. I look forward to supporting the organisation even further in my role as Vice Chair and learning more about how we can support survivors of domestic abuse.
Ellie Lewis: Secretary and Chair of the Inclusive Practice Subcommittee
I have been a trustee for almost two years and this year have taken on the role of Secretary, meaning I take the minutes from Board meetings, draft our agendas and generally try to keep the Board organised!
I have very recently also taken on the chair of the newly formed Inclusive Practice subcommittee. This is an area that I am very passionate about and which is a key thread of the Healthcare Leadership diploma I am undertaking while on the NHS Graduate Management Trainee Scheme. Through this scheme, I am currently working as a Programme Manager in a community and mental health NHS trust, developing the trust’s COVID-19 recovery strategy. I am passionate about working to improve health inequalities in our county.
Before I joined the NHS, I worked for more than four years in the environmental sector, working on research, communications, policy and campaigns. And before that, did a master’s degree in biology at the University of Bristol.
My passion has always been women’s right and social justice, being the president of my university’s Amnesty International Society and attending the national student conference. There is also a history of domestic abuse in my family, which while it hasn’t affected me directly, has given me a very strong sense of the impact an abuser can have on their family.
Sally Richards: Treasurer and member of the Funding & Finance Subcommittee
My professional background, until July 2020, has been in research and evaluation. Having worked for a non-profit, independent research organisation for several years, after gaining my PhD, this gave me the opportunity to evaluate a number of high-profile programmes, including being part of the national evaluation team for the Big Lottery-funded Fulfilling Lives: Multiple and Complex Needs. This and other evaluations brought me into close contact with charities and gave me insights into what works well in programme delivery. I have always had a keen interest in the third sector and have volunteered for Shelter and Citizen’s Advice Bureau in the past.
As a survivor of domestic abuse myself, when I decided to re-train as a trauma-informed, women’s empowerment coach, last year, I kept coming back to the idea of using these tools with other survivors. In October 2019 I founded Women of Wisdom and Courage and have a free Facebook group with nearly 2,700 women survivors from around the world getting support. In April 2020, I was interviewed for an audio documentary about the impact of lockdown on women living with domestic abuse and this led to me being invited to deliver the National Lottery Community Funded Project Sisterhood Support, overseen by women’s community group When Women Gather. This is an online support service for women in Nottingham affected by DV currently, or needing support to recover from it, and will run until June 2021.
I feel incredibly privileged to have been given the opportunity to become a trustee of Broxtowe Women’s Project and hope that my professional and personal experiences will help to take the charity from strength to strength.
Rosie Hepple: Chair of the Risk Management Subcommittee
I have been a trustee of Broxtowe Women’s Project for nearly eight years and have been chair for the last three years. I had also been a trustee before and am currently a trustee and chair of Voluntary Action Broxtowe as well.
I worked in the NHS for over 30 years as a clinician and manager, mostly in mental health until I took early retirement in 2011. Working in mental health I was aware of some of the issues of domestic abuse and welcomed the opportunity to learn more about this and do voluntary work in this area. I have specifically enjoyed the staff, volunteer and service user contact I have had while being a trustee. I also am a keen gardener and have an allotment. although my time as a trustee is coming to an end, I am keen to help the board develop and learn and so plan to be around for some months to see a smooth transition and some of the new plans implemented
Patricia Higham: Trustee and Chair of the Human Relations Subcommittee
I joined Broxtowe Women’s Project as a Trustee in 2016.
I am a qualified social worker and am Professor of Social Work and Social Care (emeritus) at Nottingham Trent University. I completed my undergraduate degree at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, my social work qualification at the University of Sheffield, and my PhD at Cranfield University. Born in the USA, I have lived in the UK for most of my life.
After gaining social work experience, I lectured in further and higher education and became Associate Dean for Planning and Quality at Nottingham Trent. I was a consultant for Skills for Care in the East and West Midlands, visiting employers and universities to promote post-qualifying qualifications. I served as a Visitor for the Quality Assurance Agency and for the Health and Care Professions Council, inspecting the quality of professional and academic awards at individual institutions. I was a Non-Executive Director of Nottinghamshire NHS committees. For several years, I chaired the Board of the charity Relate Nottinghamshire.
More recently, I became a qualified counsellor, and now spend one day per week counselling at Women’s Work in Derby. I shall be offering coaching and support to individual social workers in association with the British Association of Social Workers.
Interested in addressing the impact of poverty, inequality and power on individual lives, I support the efforts of Broxtowe Women’s Project. My most recent book is Communication and Interviewing Skills for Practice in Social Work, Counselling and the Health Professions (Routledge, 2020)
Naomi Yeaman: Trustee and member of the Human Relations Subcommittee
I have been a Trustee for over 12 months, having experienced the support and help offered by Broxtowe Women’s Project. I am passionate about giving back and helping others who find themselves in need of support. I have undertaken various training courses offered by Broxtowe Women’s Project such as ‘Freedom’, ‘Freedom Forever’ and ‘Confidence’ and I found them to be incredible in my own personal journey. I now want to be a voice for the service users and by becoming a Trustee I can continue to empower women to make the best choices for them and their children. In October 2021, I will undertake a Charity bike ride in Croatia to raise funds for Broxtowe Women’s Project, to raise awareness of this incredible Charity. Being a Trustee inspires me to continue my own journey and inspires me to help as many other women as possible. I am grateful to every member of the team for the work they do.
Margaret Coward: Trustee and member of the Risk Management Subcommittee
I am a new recruit to the Broxtowe Women’s Project Board of Trustees and am currently enjoying meeting everyone and getting up to speed. My background is housing and currently work in the regeneration field on social housing new build programmes. Before this, I have worked in supported housing with single homeless young people and young mothers in projects across the country. My other voluntary roles include a Trustee of a local almshouse charity providing accommodation for older people and a Board Member of an East Midlands housing organization focusing on their care and support services.
My interest in ensuring domestic abuse services are accessible to all stems from work and personal experiences which have demonstrated how domestic abuse can pervade any sort of environment. From vulnerable young people being exploited by family members, to seeing the impact witnessing domestic abuse has on children and helping young mothers recognize abusive situations, the list goes on and on. I hope my input into Broxtowe Women’s Project brings some added value to a highly respected and much-needed organization.
If you are interested in becoming a Trustee for Broxtowe Women’s Project or would like to know more, please contact Board Secretary Ellie Lewis.