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.

Alex Butler is Vice Chair of SafeLives.  She has extensive experience in digital, technology and change leadership and is the Chief Digital and Information Officer at the University of Bath, where she also holds the post of Executive Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She has held numerous senior leadership roles across the public sector. She's a passionate advocate for EED&I, and in particular the widening of opportunity for all, particularly in encouraging diversity in technology.

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.

Bex Spencer is a manager at Social Finance, a non-profit that works to find better ways of tackling social problems by partnering with the government, the social sector and investors. Her work focusses on operational delivery of projects and helping existing interventions to reach scale. She was previously the national project manager to the Drive project, an intervention designed to challenge the behaviour of perpetrators of domestic abuse. More recently she has been working alongside NHS England to drive the national scale up of an intervention supporting people with ill mental health into employment. 

Kelly Rust is Director of Grants and Impact at the London Community Foundation. She is responsible for the oversight and effective management of c1,200 grants per year valued at c£9m into grassroots charities in London. Overt the last 20 years she has worked in small and large charities and social businesses, with over 13 years in senior leadership positions. She has experience working in the fields of criminal justice, substance misuse, mental health/complex needs, women, LGBT+, human rights and community development as a staff member, trustee and consultant.

Liz Hughes is a Chief Superintendent in Avon and Somerset Constabulary, her responsibilities include leading the response to Neighbourhood Policing and Partnerships across the force area.  She has been a police officer for over twenty five years working in many roles and ranks across urban and rural areas. In 2013, Liz worked on a national level with the Home Office and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate to address and improve the policing response to domestic abuse. She supported the national rollout of legislation such as Domestic Violence Protection Orders and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme and was recognised by the College of Policing for her work and commitment.

Takki Sulaiman is Chief Executive for the Argyll and Bute Third Sector Interface in Scotland with responsibility for supporting 1000 third sector organisations,  He sits on a number of health, social care and community development partnership boards.  Formerly he was Assistant Director Communities, Culture and Policy for a London Borough with responsibility for the voluntary sector grants and commissioning programme and led the community response to Covid-19.  Prior to this Takki led the communications function for two 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.

Ursula Lindenberg is CEO of VOICES, a survivor-founded charity in Bath specialising in domestic abuse recovery and lived-experience consultation. Previously a human rights journalist and editor in London and Vienna, she has worked for the past 15 years as a translator specialising in environmental science and social ecology, and is a Clore Fellow.

Uzair Patel is an Investment Banking finance professional and Chartered Accountant with the ICAEW. He was co-creator of the award winning #ThisIsMe mental health campaign launched across the City of London in partnership with the Lord Mayor of London. He was previously a parliamentary researcher to Rt. Hon. John Denham MP in his capacity as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. Uzair previously sat on the board of King’s College London Students’ Union as Chair of Audit and Risk.

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 also the UK Lead for Safe and Together, and 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.

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.