Our Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of the organisation. They meet regularly to discuss, decide and review our strategies and policies and receive reports and updates from our senior management team. They ensure that we comply with all of the required legal and regulatory requirements. Our trustees work for us voluntarily to make sure we’re doing all we can to end domestic abuse and all forms of violence against women and children.
Paula Walters (Chair) heads Programme Management at Public Health Wales. Paula has over 28 years of experience working in the public sector in roles at the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Welsh Local Government Association and between 2008 and 2018 she was Director at the NHS Centre for Equality and Human Rights. In the latter roles she sat on a number of Welsh Government policy groups and values working through partnership and project groups to influence key policy makers and service provider agencies.
Jessica Taylor (Vice Chair) is an organisational development consultant, safeguarding and charity governance expert, and works across the UK and internationally on a range of equality and social justice projects. Jess also has 16 years’ experience of developing, delivering, managing and capacity building a range of services for people whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence, sexual violence, and offending behaviour at an operational and strategic level.
Rachael Eagles (Treasurer) has over 5 years working in the field of domestic abuse. Rachael is a trained and qualified IDVA and a regional representative for specialist services at regional partnerships in the Mid and West Wales region.
Dr Ceryl Teleri Davies is a qualified Solicitor and Social Worker. Ceryl has extensive practice-based experience across social care, criminal justice and learning disability services, including work on a multi-agency basis to support children, young people and vulnerable adults at practitioner, middle and senior management level. Ceryl’s research interests are focused on exploring the nature of young people’s intimate relationships, domestic abuse, healthy relationships and also learning disabilities. Ceryl teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels on Education, Law, Criminology and Social Work degrees.
Kirsty Palmer is the Director of Student Services, Cardiff Metropolitan University and has been working in Higher Education for six years following a decade in the voluntary sector, mostly in small, community-focussed groups working with volunteers and community activists and was involved in recruiting and training London Ambassador volunteers for the 2012 Olympics. Kirsty has particular interests in the power of community activism and involvement to influence decision-makers, working from the ground up to change policy and society. She was previously the Chair of Trustees at North Kensington Law Centre, focussing on delivering accessible legal representation for marginalised communities.
Angelina Rodriques has over 18 years’ experience of working in the charity sector and is the current CEO of Welsh Women’s Aid member service, Atal Y Fro. In her previous role, Angelina was responsible for the development of refuges across Wales, specialising in BME support. She later went on to lead the development of the first female refuge in Wales for victims of Human Trafficking, followed by the development of a refuge for male victims. Angelina’s achievements were recognised in 2010 when she won the Leading Wales Award for leadership. Alongside work, Angelina has been a board member for a number of charities.
Helen Kell has over 20 years’ experience of the third sector, the last five in a senior management role within a Welsh Women’s Aid member service. Across her career, Helen has gained knowledge and experience of child poverty, digital inclusion, physical regeneration, and violence against women, domestic abuse, and sexual violence. A common theme across her roles has been organisational development, quality, service management, and fundraising.
Our staff and volunteers
Welsh Women’s Aid employs around 50 dedicated staff across Wales, working on membership and engagement, communication, training, policy and public affairs, services development, survivor involvement, business support, and in direct services. We also have regular volunteers who work at our direct services.
Sara Kirkpatrick joined Welsh Women’s Aid as CEO in April 2020.
Formerly Research & Development Manager at Respect, the UK membership organisation for work with domestic violence perpetrators, male victims and young people. In that role, Sara supported member organisations to deliver interventions with perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse, as well as leading on research and service development across the UK.
Always working to challenge violence against women and girls, Sara describes herself as an Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) specialist having worked in criminal justice and community settings for over 25 years. Starting her career providing support in a women’s refuge she has worked with a range of client groups including male victims, children impacted by domestic abuse, women remaining in abusive relationships and perpetrators of domestic abuse. Sara has contributed to a number of frontline innovative projects with perpetrators of IPV including co-authoring and delivering the award winning CARA conditional caution project, contributing to the development of DRIVE and most recently working alongside Welsh Women’s Aid on their Change that Lasts perpetrator strand.
In addition to her role, Sara is also a Trustee of the End Violence Against Women (EVAW) coalition and a Visiting Lecturer at Winchester University in the social work department, as she too enjoys the opportunity to enable practitioners to address DVA safely and effectively.