A woman and a girl sitting at a kitchen table, laughing together.

Board of trustees

Maggie has been a member of the board since 2005 and became chair in 2012. She is a family lawyer with great experience of advising in cases involving domestic violence and abuse. She writes and teaches extensively on family law and her leisure interests include cooking and travel. Maggie will retire from the board in June 2020.

Manel was appointed in 1986 and has worked in the public sector for 32 years. As a principal social worker and service manager in Social Services she managed the provision of support to older people and adults with learning disabilities for several London boroughs including Sutton, Hillingdon and Hammersmith and Fulham. Manel also managed teams based in hospitals. In the 1980’s Manel worked with the then Alzheimer’s Disease Society, pioneering the setting up of services for people with dementia as there were no specialist services at that time. In retirement, Manel continues to work in a voluntary capacity with homeless people, a cause close to her heart for many years.

Katie Farrington was appointed in December 2018 and is a senior civil servant who has spent her career working in a range of social policy roles. She is currently working in the Department of Work and Pensions and has previously worked in the Department of Health and Social Care, Cabinet Office and the Department for Education. She has three teenage children.

Christine was appointed in December 2018 and has over 25 years’ experience in financial services and is a chartered accountant.  Over the last nine years she has served as a non-executive director on the boards of a Housing Association, a Mental Health NHS Trust and a mutual leisure club for the public sector.  In addition to her role as a trustee of Refuge, she is a non-executive director at the Buckinghamshire Building Society and PCF Bank.

Carolyn was appointed in December 2018 and has spent over 20 years leading technology teams for organisations such as BBC, ITV, EasyJet and KLM Royal Dutch airlines before launching her own company Maiden Voyage, which specialises in travel safety for both female and LGBTQ travellers. Carolyn is also a member of the Global Business Travel Association Risk Committee.

Kirsten was appointed in December 2018 and is an established global communications leader who has developed world-class brands in over 120 countries. Named the 2018 Global PR Professional of the Year, Kirsten offers her client’s extensive reputation management and corporate, creative, and branding communications experience. She has worked some of the worlds most established brand and complex organisations, including work with UN organisations and NGOs, governments, Fortune 500 corporations, heads of states, members of the Royal Family, and high-level personalities.

Selina was appointed in December 2018 and has nearly 26 years’ experience as an international corporate lawyer and is a barrister (non-practising) and solicitor. She has a depth of experience in financial services regulation, corporate governance and focuses on environmental, social and governance (ESG) advisory matters. Selina serves as a non-executive director of a FTSE 250 company and its FCA-regulated subsidiary and also sits on a number of industry advisory boards and committees. Selina chairs her firm’s London Diversity, Talent and Inclusion and its Corporate Affairs Committees. She also co-chairs the cross-firm networking group for senior women in legal and compliance – NetworkforKnowledge and is a member of the Advisory Boards of the think tank Diversity UK and the not-for-profit In their Lifetime (Christian Aid).

Dianne is a broadcasting consultant who has had a long and award winning career in documentary and lifestyle television programming. She was the first and only woman executive producer of ITV’s network, investigative current affairs series World In Action and subsequently Controller of Factual Programmes for Granada Television. A staunch supporter of women’s issues throughout her broadcasting career, Dianne is credited with changing the face of daytime television: creating two of ITV’s long running and award winning daytime series, This Morning and Loose Women. She is a fellow of the Royal Television Society and the Royal Society of Arts. She holds an honorary Doctorate in Civil Law from Newcastle University and is a lay member of the University Council.