Our trustees

We are proud to be led by a group of trustees with wide experience from many fields.

Isabel Boyer became Chair in September 2017. Isabel brings a wealth of experience at Board level in the private, public and charitable sectors, with a particular focus on health including women’s health. She is currently on the Board of the National Institute for Health Research.

Andrew May was Group Finance Director of Monsoon plc, the international retailer, between 1980 and 2003. Thereafter he became a retail consultant, a magistrate and trustee and treasurer of several national charities, specialising in substance abuse. He is currently also a trustee of two social mobility charities: Making the Leap and The Rendezvous in Sherborne.

Uzair Patel is a finance professional for Barclays. In 2013 he co-created their award winning #ThisIsMe mental health campaign which has since been launched across the City of London in collaboration with the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Prior to this, he was a parliamentary researcher to Rt. Hon. John Denham MP in his capacity as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. Uzair read Biomedical Sciences, with a focus on neuroscience, at King’s College London and sits on the board of King’s College London Students’ Union (KCLSU) as chair of the audit and risk committee.

Olivia Pinkney is chief constable of Hampshire Constabulary. She is the national lead for the Policing of Children and Young People, and the chair of the UK Women Chief Officers’ Network. Before this Olivia was deputy chief constable at Sussex Police and an assistant inspector of constabulary with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, independently reporting upon the effectiveness and efficiency of all police forces in England and Wales. She has previously served as assistant chief constable for Surrey and Sussex forces, and was the national lead for the police on tackling organised immigration crime including people trafficking. She began her career policing with Avon and Somerset Constabulary. Olivia was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the 2016 New Year Honours list.

Roger Taylor is Chair of the Open Public Services Network at the RSA and is an expert in the use of data within public services. He is currently working with the Careers and Enterprise Company on education outcomes. He was co-founder of Dr Foster, the health information business. He has written widely and is a frequent public speaker on the uses of transparency. His book God Bless the NHS was published by Faber and Faber in 2013. He is a non-executive director of Ofqual, the qualifications regulator in the UK.

Alex Butler has a marketing background, with extensive experience in digital and technology leadership. She led the transformation of the UK Government’s approach to and use of digital technologies. Responsible for the original service proposition for Directgov, the UK Government’s citizen website, she also established and ran a new digital delivery division, the forerunner of the UK’s Government Digital Service.

Cassandra Wiener is founder and trustee at Treebeard Trust, an innovative charitable trust that is particularly active in the social impact space, and which has special interests in domestic abuse and criminal justice. She is also a lawyer, and is currently doing ESRC funded doctoral research at the University of Sussex looking at domestic abuse and the criminal law, with a particular focus on coercive control. Cassandra is a member of the Law Society, the Society of Legal Scholars and the Socio-Legal Studies Association. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Eduction Authority and a Trustee of the Association of Post Natal Illness. She publishes and is a frequent public speaker on domestic abuse and the criminal law.

Takki Sulaiman is Assistant Director Communities, Culture and Leisure for a London Borough.  His responsibilities include management of a multi-million pound voluntary sector grants and commissioning  programme.  Prior to this Takki had twenty years’ experience leading the communications function for two high profile local authorities and the family court service (Cafcass).  In addition he also co-founded his own AIM listed financial PR company and started his career as a charity fundraiser.  From 1998 to 2006 he served as a local authority councillor including four years as cabinet member for social services.

SafeLives Advisory Group for Scotland

As well as our formal group of Trustees, we also have a Scottish Advisory Group. 

Mhairi McGowan is the Head of Service for ASSIST Glasgow, one of SafeLives Leading Lights accredited services and is a member of the Joint Strategic Board of Equally Safe, Scotland's National Strategy for the prevention and eradication of VAWG. She helped set up ASSIST, Scotland's first domestic abuse advocacy service in 2004, which has grown from a small locality project to covering 42% of Scotland's population. Previously, Mhairi spent 10 years in Women's Aid and 22 years in the Civil Service. 

Anna Mitchell is the Domestic Abuse Lead in Edinburgh City Council, having worked in a variety of domestic abuse settings and in local and national government operational and strategic roles for more than twenty years. She is interested in how child welfare systems engage with fathers who perpetrate domestic abuse in order to increase the safety of women and children.

Helen Hughes is a partner with McAuley McArthy and Co, Paisley and is a specialist in Family Law, with a particular expertise in cases involving domestic abuse. She has practiced in this area of law since 1987 and, when Chair of the Family Law Association, was involved in consultations with the Scottish Government and SLAB on legal aid issues in family law and domestic abuse cases. Helen is editor and co author of Domestic Abuse and Scots Law and an editor of Greens Practice Styles. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Scottish Women's Right Centre and is also a mediator accredited by the Law Society of Scotland. Helen is currently the Chair of CALM (Comprehensive Accredited Lawyers Mediators). Throughout her career she has provided advice and guidance to voluntary organisations, including Renfrewshire Women's Aid. She regularly provides training to solicitors and the public sector on family law, mediation and issues arising in domestic abuse cases and delivers the Civil Law training input for the Idaa training course organised by SafeLives, Scottish Women's Aid and ASSIST.

Girijamba Polubothu is the manager of Shakti Women's Aid in Ediburgh which also has an outreach service in Fife Tayside and Forth Valley in Scotland. She has worked extensively with minority ethnic organisations and has been working with Shakti Women's Aid for the past 19 years. She currently sits on the Scottish Government's Forced Marriage Network Group and has been actively involved in drafting the Forced Marriage etc. (Protection and Jurisdiction) (Scotland) Act 2011, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill which criminalises forced marriage and Multi agency practice guidelines – handling cases of forced marriage. She is also one of the Forced Marriage Commissioners (National Commission on Forced Marriage).  Girijamba an active member of the National No Recourse to Public Funds Campaign Group lead by Southall Black Sisters and is locally involved with various Violence Against Women Partnerships and, Edinburgh's Marac and Cross Party group - Men’s Violence against Women and Children.

Gillian Gunn has worked in the field of Violence Against Women in the Highlands since 2004. During this time she has run an awareness campaign on domestic abuse, devised and implemented training for staff on Violence Against Women and deveoped a strategic approach to the issues on behalf of the Highland Community Plannin Partnership. Gillian is currently the Highland Violence Against Women Partnership’s Development & Training Manager.

Dr Christine Goodall is a Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Oral Surgery at The University of Glasgow's School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing. She trained in Academic Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Glasgow and Aberdeen and it was her work with facial trauma patients over many years that led to her founding the charity Medics Against Violence in 2008. Medics against Violence aims to prevent violence and reduce injury.  They work in schools to help young people understand the consequences of violence from a health perspective. They also developed and provide training on domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault for health professionals, and others in front facing roles, through their Ask Support Care programme. They work in partnership with the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit to run the hospital based violence intervention programme, Navigator.Christine's research interests lie in the fields of alcohol, violence and facial trauma. She is an Honorary Member of the Faculty of Public Health and was awarded and OBE for her work in violence prevention in 2016.