The work of 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. The charity is led by Director, Dr. Nicola Sharp-Jeffs who is supported by a growing team and Board of Trustees.
DR. NICOLA SHARP-JEFFS – FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR
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 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 Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA).
Nicola is also an Emeritus Research Fellow in the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU), London Metropolitan University and a Visiting Senior Fellow in Social Policy at the School of Law and Social Sciences, University of Suffolk.
Awareness and Education Team
Georgia Powell – Communications Officer
Georgia has worked in communications, marketing and events within both the commercial and voluntary sectors for over 10 years. In her previous role at a youth charity she was responsible for the project management of youth-focused marketing campaigns, a number of which focussed on gender equality – including raising awareness of healthy relationships and period poverty. Georgia is also an integrative therapist and yoga teacher.
Katy Blanchard, Information and Resources Officer
Katy has worked in the voluntary sector for eight years in editorial roles for several charities, including a large charity focused on the rights of women and girls globally. Her career has focused on working with experts to write and edit material that informs and inspires, breaking down complex information to help people understand their circumstances and the options available to them. She has also worked as a trustee for a charity supporting young people with learning disabilities.
Jasbinder Kaur – Training Officer
Jasbinder is a trainer valued for her ability to work well with a wide range of audiences including workforce professional development and community outreach to vulnerable adults. Drawing on over 25 years in the charity sector she brings a lively and highly engaging approach to her workshops and training, tacking complex and sensitive issues with passion and sensitivity.
Christina Govier – Banking and Insurance Advocate
Christina has worked in the voluntary sector as an advocate supporting survivors of domestic abuse over the last 5 years. She has worked in a number of different settings providing advice on the National Domestic Violence helpline, within a refuge setting and providing advocacy and training to GP’s and patients. Christina has specialist knowledge and interest in economic abuse, having worked closely with survivors facing this form of abuse she has a solid understanding of the key issues this group face. She has also delivered an empowerment programme to survivors to support them to re-enter work, education or training.
Judy Barber – Domestic Violence Debt Advocate (DVDA)
Judy Barber has worked in the voluntary sector as an advocate and trainer for over ten years. In her previous roles she has worked in refugee resettlement, supported victims of forced marriage and honour based abuse and has taken part in educational programmes designed to raise awareness around violence against women and girls.
Stephanie Orr, Privately Owned Housing Advocate
Stephanie Orr has worked in the voluntary sector in various support roles for the last 6 years. Following an unusual pathway into the VAWG sector, her passion for supporting survivors of gender-based violence started whilst studying for a PhD in Chemistry when she began volunteering at her local Rape Crisis Centre, taking on a number of roles including regularly providing helpline support. Since then, Stephanie has worked as an advocate, supporting survivors of forced marriage and honour based abuse and working one-to-one with women and girls experiencing domestic abuse who were assessed to be at high risk of homicide or serious harm. Most recently, Stephanie has delivered a project in Children’s Services, training, consulting and working in partnership with social workers to improve responses to domestic abuse within a local authority.
Policy and Research Team
Cyrene Siriwardhana, Legal and Policy Advisor
Cyrene Siriwardhana worked as a government lawyer with the Ministry of Justice. She also has extensive experience of policy work on gender equality and violence against women in Sri Lanka, where she headed UNDP’s national access to justice programme and prior to that the policy and advocacy team at Oxfam.
Dr Kathryn Royal – Research and Evaluation Officer
Dr Kathryn Royal has a background in both practice and research in the field of violence against women and girls. She completed her PhD at the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse at Durham University in 2019. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Kathryn’s research examined how media coverage of rape affects victim-survivors of sexual violence. She has also been an active and committed volunteer for her local Rape Crisis Centre for over 7 years, taking on a number of roles in this time, including regularly providing helpline support.
Alexandra Jones, Policy and Public Affairs Officer
Formerly a Government and Politics and Sociology Teacher, Alexandra has extensive knowledge of the intricacies of political processes and policy making, as well as experience of working with young people. During her tenure as a teacher she led on PSHE (including sex and relationships education) and ran a debating society to get students discussing a range of important issues.
Having also worked as a Parliamentary Officer for a trade association and then as a policy consultant, she brings her expertise of engaging with parliamentarians and other stakeholders to her role at SEA. Alongside employment, Alexandra is currently finishing a part time, distance learning Masters in Gender, Intersectionality and Social Change at Linkoping University, Sweden, which has allowed her to write on a wide range of issues pertaining to gender and policy.
Sian Scholes – Operations Manager
Sian started her career in the charity sector, working for 11 years in the areas of service coordination and leadership. This included providing line management support to service managers and indirect management and support to operational teams across 3 large complex services. Sian joins SEA after three years of working within the cyber security sector.
Sam Dixon – Grants Fundraiser
Sam has worked in the charity sector for more than 25 years, mainly in grants fundraising roles. Her charity experience includes the arts, children and youth, counselling, literacy, homelessness and missing persons.
Cathy Millis – Chair of Trustees
Cathy is an HR professional who has held HR Director roles in UK & International organisations leading significant multi-channel and multi-market transformational change programmes. Now running her own business as an Independent Consultant focusing on Strategic HR, Executive Coaching & Training.
Sue Lewis – Trustee
Since leaving the Treasury in 2011, Sue has held a number of Board and advisory roles. She currently chairs the Financial Services Consumer Panel; and is a Trustee of the People’s Pension; and of StepChange debt charity. Sue also sits as a consumer representative on several financial services industry bodies. She also advises overseas clients on financial education, financial inclusion and consumer protection regulation.
Sue spent most of her career as a senior civil servant, advising government ministers on policy issues including financial services, early years, children and young people, and gender equality.
Nesta Lloyd-Jones – Trustee
Nesta Lloyd-Jones has extensive experience working in policy and public affairs in Wales having worked within the sector for over ten years. After completing her law degree at Cardiff University and being called to the Bar at Middle Temple Inns of Court in 2004, she worked at Welsh Women’s Aid for six years as legal issues co-ordinator. During her time at Welsh Women’s Aid Nesta was involved in a number of UK wide campaigns, including on no recourse to public funds, campaign against the changes to legal aid, and calling for the Forced Marriage Act.
After Welsh Women’s Aid, Nesta was part of the award winning External Affairs team at Macmillan Cancer Support, including leading on the campaign highlighting the financial impact of being diagnosed with cancer. During her time at Macmillan, Nesta was also a consultant for Rape Crisis England and Wales supporting their work in Wales around the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act 2015. Since April 2014, she has been working for the Welsh NHS Confederation, who represent the seven Health Boards and three NHS Trusts in Wales, as Policy and Public Affairs Manager.
Nesta has previously been a Trustee of the End Violence Against Women Coalition and has volunteered for the Citizens Advice Bureaux and BAWSO
Janqui Mehta – Trustee
Janqui Mehta has 13 years’ experience in media and communications. She has developed large scale, national awareness campaigns on a range of social issues, most recently at Smart Energy GB, where she is responsible for media relations for the largest single consumer engagement and behaviour change campaign of this decade – the nationwide smart meter rollout. She worked on national awareness campaigns for national domestic violence charity Refuge for four years.
Richard Walsh – Treasurer
Richard Walsh has worked in the Banking sector in a variety of roles for international banks over the past 16 years. His current day to day role in the restructuring team of a Canadian bank involves managing a portfolio of distressed credits with a view to minimising loan losses and maximising recoveries, in addition to recommending the Collective Provision for the UK division over the past 3 years.