A bit about your work experience and skills: Prior to being diagnosed with post traumatic stress and dissociation following the death of my mother I had worked full time in catering management. I did three years at college in Gloucester training in Hotel Catering and Institutional Management which included accountancy and general administration. My first post was at the campus of the American University of Evansville in the UK at Harlaxton Manor. I moved on to work in the family business The Red House in the vale of Belvoir until the birth of my children. Following my breakdown I did my basic Counselling Skills Certificates and a Certificate in Art Therapy Skills.
Hobbies/Interests: In enjoy reading, writing, arts and crafts and spending time with my granddaughter and gardening.
How do you see your role within S.H.E.: I am the Founder of S.H.E. and currently a trustee and volunteer. I see myself as a catalyst bringing different people together to create change. I will always be the Founder and aim to stick around to offer whatever help and support I can to staff – paid and unpaid and to our members but I think it is time for the next generation to move things forward to eventually include men as well as women.
Why did you get involved: Having memories of my own childhood abuse resurface after the death of my mother in 1994 and a complete breakdown in my ability to operate as an adult in the here and now, I slowly began to learn from personal experience the impact sexual abuse had had on my whole life. I decided at that point if I was going to get through this I would have to do something to change things ; to stop abuse happening ; to make people realise how damaging it was ; to reach out to other women. I had no idea at this point how many people were affected by this type of abuse or that it affected boys/men as well as girls/women. As well as support from a CPN twice a week, I was receiving support in the form of weekly counselling from ISAS but I still felt very isolated. I wanted to meet someone else who had a similar experience. My ISAS counselor put me in touch with another survivor and we met up weekly for about 18 months getting to know each other, researching what other support was available and planning how to fill the gap. At the same time I did my Basic Skills Counselling Diplomas. With the help of Sue McLeod, my ISAS counsellor we held the first meeting of S.H.E. in August 1998.
A bit about your work experience and skills: I come from a background of creative pursuits and a sales & customer focussed approach to things within my working ethic. I have done a variety of work from market research, sales & customer service to assistant arts facilitator on an over 50s singing group for the local community.
Hobbies/Interests: My hobbies are singing, writing short stories, catching the latest films, yoga & chocolate testing.
How do you see your role within S.H.E.: My current role in S.H.E. is as a Trustee which I started last year after attending committee meetings & drop-ins. I wanted to give whatever I could to help the charity survive & progress as it is so important to give survivors the space & opportunity to heal from the devastating affects of abuse, so they can get the life they deserve & keep reaching and blossoming.
Why did you get involved: I became involved in S.H.E. as a volunteer newsletter editor, putting together, editing & distributing a newsletter called ‘The Open Door’. This included articles direct from S.H.E. members, health professionals & areas of interest for readers of The Open Door.
A bit about your work experience and skills: I have been a volunteer at S.H.E. for around 10 years. My main working life was as a machinist in a shoe factory.
Hobbies/Interests: My interests are my family and friends, music and films, and I enjoy spending time in the countryside. I’m all for lots of fun and laughter.
How do you see your role within S.H.E.: My role in S.H.E. is a therapist working with members in one-to-one sessions and facilitating the Creative Therapy group.
Why did you get involved: I am a survivor myself and understand the turmoil survivors face. When I felt I had completed my own personal journey I felt drawn to supporting and helping other people along their paths to recovery.
Russell Jays (Secretary)
A bit about your work experience and skills: My background and main employment is Data Processing and IT Management – the two main areas I’ve worked in are Manufacturing and Telecoms. I also work part time for a charity where I started as a volunteer. Apart from looking after the computer systems, I started a project to promote fitness and motor skills for Adults with learning disabilities and mentoring long term unemployed individuals. I’ve been co-ordinator for an LGBT Youth group since May 2014, so my weeks are pretty full!
Hobbies/Interests: I’m learning to play the piano. I’m a bit geeky about steam trains and railways. I love 80’s music and old sci-fi, and I’ve recently become a lover of cruise holidays!!
How do you see your role within S.H.E. UK: As a trustee I hope to bring my commercial and voluntary sector experience along with a sense of fair play and balance.
While I share the passion of our paid and unpaid staff, I hope that being slightly removed from the day-to-day activities can help give a different perspective to strategic and financial matters.
Why did you get involved: Having worked with some of the SHE UK team before, I was interested to find out more about the organisation. Having had some experiences of abuse, what we do struck a note with me and I’m happy to be of some small help to support the brilliant work the team do.
A bit about your work experience and skills: I taught English, French and RE for years, became a remedial teacher and then trained for and became a vicar in the Church of England. I am now retired from full time work, but still help out. I’m a very good listener, and have completed the Level 2 Counselling Skills course. I have a wide experience of working alongside people in many different areas, the church, prisons, hospitals, schools, NHS etc.
Hobbies/Interests: I love all kinds of art, crafting, knitting etc., and nearly became an opera singer at one point in my life, I still sing a lot. I love to spend time with the family, do a lot at Church, enjoy my allotment and drink tea like there’s no tomorrow. Somehow, life is always very full.
How do you see your role within MENding UK? I joined as a trustee in May 2015, having ‘retired’ from volunteering as a support worker with SHE UK. I aim to bring my business acumen plus my passion for the charity sector to the board.
Why did you get involved: I’d been involved as a support worker with victims of sexual abuse for over 7 years. I just can’t stay away: it is like the rest of my working life has prepared me to be part of the S.H.E. UK family, and now there is the brother charity of MENding UK, I feel the charity needs as much support as possible to encourage it to flourish. Working with these survivors is a huge privilege.
Kate Drake (Treasurer)
A bit about your work experience and skills: My current role is as a Senior Manager in the Commercial Finance team at Boots where I have been part of the team since June 2012. My career started at EY (formerly Ernst & Young) which I joined after graduating from the University of Leeds with a bachelor’s degree in Management Studies. Whilst working at EY in the Transaction Services division on financial due diligence assignments for acquisition and sale of businesses, I studied for my professional accountancy qualification and became a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland in 2008. Following four and a half years at EY, I joined the finance team of Experian working as a Finance Planning and Analysis Manager for two years before I joined the team at Boots. My current role includes supporting decision making, delivery of sales and profit in the retail business and working with my finance counterparts at businesses that supply Boots.
Hobbies/interests: I love to travel to new places and was lucky enough in 2009 to spend six months travelling around Asia, Australia and New Zealand and many more places since then. I enjoy reading, spending time with friends and family, and also have a passion for tea and all things related (my teapot collection is getting a bit out of control!). I also like to cook with speciality being Sunday roast.
How do you see your role within S.H.E. UK? I see my role at SHE as bringing financial expertise to support the charity in financial planning, governance and reporting. I also bring an objective view and an ability to think strategically about the future development of the charity and commercially about how we can deliver the best service for the most people on the funds available.
Why did you get involved? I heard about and got involved with SHE through the Boots Charitable Trust and have always got involved in charity activity throughout my career. SHE has such a fundamentally positive impact on the lives of the survivors it supports and hearing about all of the great things the charity already does and the ambitious plans to develop for the future inspired me to want to use the skills I have developed in my career to support that work in the best way I can.