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Our people

Experts by Experience

The work of Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) is informed by ‘Experts by Experience’ – a group of women who speak openly and honestly about what they have gone through so that they can be a force for change.

Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs OBE, Founder and CEO

Nicola Sharp-Jeffs CEO of Surviving Economic Abuse

The charity is led by our founder and CEO, Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs OBE, who is supported by a growing team and Board of Trustees. Nicola is an expert in economic abuse as it occurs within the context of coercive control. She has worked in the violence against women and girls (VAWG) sector since 2006 in both policy-influencing and research roles. 

In 2016, Nicola was made a Winston Churchill Fellow and travelled to the United States and Australia to explore innovative responses to economic abuse. It was her determination to ensure that women in the UK have access to the same responses that led her to establish SEA. 

Nicola is also an Emeritus Research Fellow in the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU), London Metropolitan University.

In 2020, Nicola was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to victims of domestic and economic abuse in recognition of her work. She was the 2020 winner of the Third Sector Award for Rising Chief Executive and also named ‘Rising Leader of the Year‘ in 2021 by the Charity Times Awards.

Senior leadership team 

Melissa Bradshaw
Head of Specialist Team

Melissa has worked in the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) sector for two decades, and has committed her career to supporting and empowering victim-survivors.

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Helen Liles
Head of Operations

Helen’s background is in the health and disability charity sector. She has more than 20 years experience in operational management and service development.

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Shelagh Sejourne
Head of Development

Shelagh is an experienced fundraiser, and provides the overall strategic and operational leadership for the development and fundraising function within SEA.

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Rosa Wilson-Garwood
Head of Impact and Partnerships

Rosa’s background is in the international development sector where she has developed strategy, programmes and partnerships for women’s rights.

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Our teams

Specialist team
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Our specialist team use their expertise to provide support and guidance to professionals working with victim-survivors in the financial services and women’s sectors, as well as in the debt, money, benefits, housing and utilities industries. The team:

Policy and communications team
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Our policy and communications team works to raise awareness of economic abuse among the general public as well as decision-makers in industry and government. The team:

  • develops information for victim-survivors and the professionals supporting them
  • engages with the media to share information and survivors’ stories
  • influences changes to government policy that reflect the needs of victim-survivors of economic abuse
  • works with corporations, industry bodies and regulators to drive system and policy changes.

Impact and partnerships team
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Our impact and partnerships team ensures that SEA’s work makes as much of a difference as possible to the lives of victim-survivors, and identifies who we need to work with to make change happen. The team:

  • conducts research that contributes to changes in policy and practice
  • ensures our work is underpinned by evidence
  • evaluates what interventions are effective in addressing economic abuse
  • pilots new approaches and ways of working (such as the Economic Abuse Evidence Form)
  • manages a programme of training for professionals to influence deep and lasting change.

Development team
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Our development team works with partners and donors to secure funds for SEA, and shapes our fundraising strategy to ensure a diverse range of funding sources.

Operations team
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Our operations team provides the organisational infrastructure for SEA. The team provides support in finance, HR and governance to enable the charity to function as efficiently and effectively as possible.

 Trustees

The board of trustees help set out SEA’s strategic direction and ensure that the charity complies with legal requirements. The trustees come from a variety of sectors, representing the scope of SEA’s work. This includes domestic abuse, non-profit management, banking and financial expertise, law, government and policy. 

Cathy Millis
Chair of Trustees
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Sue Lewis
Trustee
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Janqui Mehta
Trustee
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Penny Miller
Trustee
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Katie Sayer
Trustee
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Jonathan Speight
Trustee
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Richard Walsh
Treasurer
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Sarah Williams-Gardener
Trustee
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Anna Yearley
Trustee
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Kirsty Madden
Trustee
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Shaun Tyndall
Trustee
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SEA ambassadors and advisory group

SEA ambassadors help us raise public awareness of economic abuse. Our advisory group consists of individuals who contribute their knowledge and experience specific to different areas of our work, helping us to achieve our mission.

Sam Beckinsale
SEA Ambassador
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Professor Miranda Brawn
SEA Ambassador
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Norma Cassius
SEA Ambassador
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Dr Bijna Kotak Dasani MBE
SEA Ambassador
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Selina Flavius
SEA Ambassador
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Gemma Godfrey
SEA Ambassador
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Francesca Campbell
Advisory group member
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Yasmine Chinwala OBE
Advisory group member
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Geraldine Costello
Advisory group member
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Annabel Griffiths
Advisory group member
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Imogen Maxwell
Advisory group member
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Sarah Pennells
Advisory group member
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Jane Portas
Advisory group member
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Ian Phillips
Advisory group member
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