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Who’s behind Solace Women’s Aid

The organisation is run by the Chief Executive Officer, Mary Mason supported by a senior management team. We employ over 140 staff delivering refuge and community services across London and work regularly with over 50 volunteers who provide a vital contribution to the services we offer. We continue to value our community base and partnership work with a wide range of community, voluntary and statutory services to enable us to deliver effective support to women, men and children. Our Board of Trustees has 13 members who are all volunteers and generously donate their time, energy, guidance and expertise. We share their commitment to safety for women and children in the capital and their vision for excellent services for all survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Chair Helen Hughes low res

Helen Hughes – Chair

Helen has over 25 years Board level leadership experience in public services. She is a qualified accountant whose career has focused on managing NHS organisations, improving patient safety in the NHS and internationally while working for the World Health Organisation and more recently as CEO and COO at the Equality & Human Right Commission and Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman respectively. She’s currently undertaking an Interim leadership role at the Charity Commission. Helen brings a personal understanding to Solace’s work and is committed to supporting the organisation to deliver excellent services, doing that by being a strong and supportive employer.

Trustee Mindy-Davidowski

Melinda Davidowski – Vice Chair

Mindy is the Vice-Chair of the board of Solace Women’s Aid. Mindy leads American Express’ International Rewards team for all its international issuing businesses. Her deep strategy experience (from her time spent with McKinsey) combined with her focus on digital capabilities (she’s also run American Express’ Online Commerce Marketing team) put her at the forefront of the financial services evolution. Mindy received her MBA from Stanford and her undergraduate degree in Sociology from University of Chicago.

Jen Bosiacki Trustee

Jennifer Bosiacki – Treasurer

Jennifer is the Treasurer and a Chartered Accountant. Having graduated from the University of Bristol with a First Class degree in Mathematics with Statistics in 2004, she began her accountancy career with Buzzacott LLP. When she left in 2016 she was a manager with a portfolio of charity and not for profit clients. In 2016 she moved out of practice and is currently a finance manager at an International NGO.

Trustee Natalia Schiffrin

Natalia Schiffrin – Interim Secretary

Natalia originally qualified as a lawyer and has been a member of the New York Bar since 1992. She has worked as a Senior Legal Officer at Interights, the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights, and as an advisor on child protection, children in the care system and domestic violence at Family Rights Group. She is currently a consultant on human rights at the Children’s Rights Alliance for England.

Trustee Alice Ashworth

Alice Ashworth – Trustee

Alice is a policy professional with experience of working in both the third sector and in central government. She is currently Senior Policy Officer at Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people, where she leads on policy development with a particular focus on the welfare system and welfare to work. Prior to this Alice worked in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality and human rights policy. She has a Masters degree in Gender Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Alice joined the Board in 2014 and sits on the Strategy and Operations sub-committee.

Trustee TeresaHoey

Teresa Hoey – Trustee

Teresa is Head of HR at The Young Foundation, an organisation whose mission is tackling structural inequality and works towards a more equal and just society. She has been providing HR and operations management in the voluntary sector for more than 15 years working with front line service providers promoting older people’s rights and care, and more recently a leading healthcare charity working on improving patient outcomes through clinical audit and looking at piloting audit in social care. She has a first degree in languages and politics, an MA in HR Development where she focussed on staff engagement and how gender impacts on motivation in the work place and is currently studying for the Advanced Certificate in Employment Law.

Trustee Judy

Judy Kawaguchi – Trustee

Judy is the Managing Director of Technology at  Moody’s Corporation, responsible for Technology Transformation and Delivery for Moody’s International offices across Asia, EMEA, and Latin America. She has been working extensively with Corporate Social Responsibility departments within Moody’s as well as with the past organisations for which she has worked. Judy provides technology advisory for Solace and is a founder of Solace’s flagship fundraising event, ‘Rock Against Violence’, which takes place every November. She chairs the volunteer fundraising committee, ‘Sounds of Solace’,  to raise unrestricted funding for Solace. Judy has been working with Solace since 2010. Judy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with concentration in Corporate Finance and Information Management, from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Trustee Heather Mah

Heather Mah – Trustee

Heather is a qualified social worker and works as a mental health inspector at the Care Quality Commission. Heather’s background is working in the homelessness sector, specifically with domestic violence, substance misuse and mental health. She also has experience in research and project management, report writing, database management, and delivering events and conferences.

Trustee Liz Rawlings

Liz Rawlings – Trustee

Liz is a TV producer for the BBC’s political programmes based in Westminster. She has worked across the BBC – on Daily Politics, the Andrew Marr Show and Radio 4. Liz has a Masters in International and European Politics from the University of Edinburgh – where she completed in-depth research on women’s representation in UK parliaments. She is a former trustee of Edinburgh University where she was President of the Student Union. Liz joined the board in 2015 and sits on Solace’s Strategy and Operations sub committee.

Trustee Kirsty Telford

Kirsty Telford – Trustee

Kirsty is a fundraising manager at the homelessness charity, St Mungo’s, where she leads a team to raise income and build relationships with members of the public. She has previous experience of corporate, event and community fundraising. Before this, Kirsty worked in service delivery, including the management of a day centre, winter shelter and client involvement programme. She has been supporting homeless and vulnerable people for 16 years and has a background in social research. She joined the Board in 2016 and sits on the Finance Sub Committee.

Trustee Deirdre Vereker

Deirdre Vereker – Trustee

Deirdre is an organisational consultant and psychodynamic counsellor. She has over 30 years’ experience in both the statutory and voluntary sector as a practitioner and trainer in criminal justice, mental health, substance misuse and homelessness. She has worked as a probation officer and as a forensic social worker. More recently she ran a counselling service in Camden for the families and partners of substance users and she worked with service users and staff at St Mungo’s.

She has an MA in Organisational Consultancy from the Tavistock and Portman. She is a qualified social worker registered with the HCPC and is an accredited member of the BACP.

KPodobnik 1

Kerri Podobnik

Kerri is a finance professional, experienced in both the public and consulting spaces. She currently works for KPMG in the Financial Management practice. She has also worked for a series of multinational firms and brings to Solace her experience in prudent financial management, controls, and investment optimization. She is passionate about Solace’s work and is dedicated to ensuring the financial health and integrity of the organization through her work with the Finance subcommittee.

Alice Dyke Trustee

Alice Dyke

Alice is Executive Director for People and Culture at Addaction, a charity that supports people to make positive life changes. Alice has spent her career in the public and social sectors. She is particularly focused on strategic communications, culture, managing change, and developing people and leaders. She’s done this across organisations including Citizens Advice, the Houses of Parliament, the Royal Society for Arts (RSA) and the Clore Social Leadership Programme. Alice joined the board in 2015 and sits on the income generation subcommittee.