SEA’s CEO Nicola Sharp-Jeffs is Charity Times’ Rising Leader of the Year

Last night a group of SEA staff donned their glad rags and headed to the London Marriott for the 22nd annual Charity Times Awards where we were nominated in three categories.

We were absolutely thrilled to see our own CEO Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs win the ‘Rising Leader of the Year’ award! Over the past four years Nicola has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of economic abuse, leading the SEA team to drive systems change and make sure survivors’ voices are heard at the highest levels. This has included the following incredible achievements:

  • Ensuring economic abuse was included within the statutory definition of domestic abuse for the first time as part of the new Domestic Abuse Act, as well as successfully calling for legislation on controlling or coercive behaviour to be extended to post-separation abuse.
  • Contributing to the working group which developed the UK Finance Financial Abuse Code of Practice, launched in October 2018. To support institutions in implementing the code Nicola developed a banking strand of work within SEA, holding a banking conference to engage the industry, and launching an award to recognise best practice within financial services.
  • Working alongside financial institutions, many of which have now set up specialist economic abuse teams to ensure they provide an effective response.
  • Inviting women who had experienced economic abuse to work alongside SEA to create change. This group has now grown to over 100 victim-survivors of economic abuse who inform all of SEA’s work.

Nicola Sharp-Jeffs said,  

“It’s an honour to have received this award given such an impressive shortlist. Huge congratulations to my fellow nominees.   

I’d like to thank the dream team which is SEA, our Trustees and partners for their support, and to the women we work alongside who inspire me day in and day out.” 

We were also pleased to have been nominated for the Charity Collaboration of the Year for our partnership with Money Advice Plus (MAP) and for the Best Use of Technology for our Economic Abuse guide. A huge congratulations to Citizens Advice and Trussell Trust, and Guide Dogs for their wins in these categories.

Charity collaboration of the year (with MAP)

With MAP’s expertise, we’ve been able to bring real financial solutions for victim-survivors of economic abuse such as

  • Running the Financial Support line which offers specialist advice to people experiencing domestic abuse who are in financial difficulty
  • The Economic Abuse Evidence Form (EAEF), a pilot project aimed at creating a single mechanism through which a money/debt adviser can verify that their client has experienced economic abuse. It also ensures that the victim-survivor only needs to tell their story once.
  • Working together to make sure Coronation Street’s economic abuse storyline was accurate, responsible and realistic.
  • Creating the Economic Abuse guide (see more below)

Best use of technology for the Tech v Abuse project

Earlier this year, SEA and Money Advice Plus (MAP) launched a digital guide to help people understand if they are victims of economic abuse.

Working with creative agency Neon Tribe, and funded by Comic Relief’s Tech vs Abuse programme, we developed the guide by speaking with victim-survivors of economic abuse, reflecting on their experiences and deciding priority areas for the guide. You can read more about this on our website.

Many survivors report that they haven’t always been able to understand or identify what is happening to them until much further down the line. This can be because of the insidious drip-drip-drip nature of the abuse, sometimes initially masked as acts of kindness, so this guide is a vital resource and we’re so pleased to see it celebrated.

A huge thank you to all the victim-survivors of economic abuse who worked with SEA, MAP and Neon Tribe to develop this project and produce the guide.