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

Board of trustees

Andrea was appointed in February 2020 and has over 25 years’ experience as a senior marketing digital and insight executive, leading and embedding strategic development. With particular focus working across commercial and public boundaries for leading charter and charitable organisations. Andrea leads the marketing function for The Royal Society of Arts, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a longstanding lecturer in data insight and customer centricity across the public sector. She holds a number of third sector positions and is Chair of Hackney Doorways. Doorways operates volunteer run homeless night shelters in the borough under Hackney Winter Night Shelter and last year secured the first all year round shelter for women in London.

Andrea is a member of the Income generation, Communications and Policy committee. Andrea is also the organisation’s Whistleblowing Trustee.

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.

Carolyn is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and the Safeguarding Committee.

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.

Christine chairs the Audit and Risk Committee.

Elizabeth was appointed in 2020 and has over 35 years’ experience in the commercial property and finance industry. She is a Chartered Surveyor and is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Elizabeth serves as a non-executive director for a FTSE 250 company and chairs the company’s Workforce Advisory Panel. She has a number of voluntary positions: NED of the Salvation Army International Trust Co and Sub Warden of the St Olave’s and St Saviour’s charitable foundation. She has worked with a number of inner London state schools, as a mentor and Governor. She has worked in Greece on two recent occasions, volunteering for a NGO working to alleviate the suffering endured by refugees. She has two children in their 20s, loves the Arts, gardening and Yoga.

Elizabeth is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Appointed to the board in 2020, Hetti became chair of Refuge on 1 June 2020. Hetti has a career spanning British Airways, Centrica, BT and Vodafone, leading financial, commercial and transformational change, often enabled by leading edge technology. She became the CEO of Ploughshare Innovations in April 2020 and is renowned for her highly creative, collaborative and engaging approach with teams and partners.

Hetti is the founder and former Chair of the Joanna Simpson Foundation and, until recently, was a Pioneer at Safe Lives. The Joanna Simpson Foundation was set up after Hetti’s best friend, Joanna Simpson, was killed by her estranged husband.

Outside work, she enjoys long walks in the countryside with her dogs and family. She loves theatre, music and ballet, and good food!

Hetti is also a member of the People, Nominations and Remunerations committee.

James Watson-O’Neill is Chief Executive of the Deaf health charity SignHealth which provides a range of services, including the only specialist domestic abuse service for Deaf women delivered by Deaf women, directly in British Sign Language.

James has worked in the charity sector since 2001, including a variety of roles at Scope and the NSPCC and has significant experience in leading operational services at a strategic level, including a wide range of residential and educational services for adults and children.

James is a trustee of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group; a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce; and a Leadership Fellow at the Society of Leadership Fellows at the College of St George at Windsor Castle.

Jon Rowney is the Executive Director Corporate Services in the London Borough of Camden.

Jon has over twenty years experience working in local government across a range of social policy areas including housing, education, welfare and health and social care. Jon previously worked in London Councils, working with all London Boroughs, the Mayor of London, the GLA and central government on how London government could become more independent and shape services for benefit of its residents and communities.

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.

Katie chairs the Operations Committee and is a member of the People, Nominations and Remunerations 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.

Kirsten chairs the Income generation, Communications and Policy committee and the Safeguarding Committee.

Ruth was appointed in February 2020 and is a leading UK Board and executive coach since 2000. She has significant experience of working with womens’ groups. She is known for her work around Authentic Leadership, with a published book in 2019, as well as her Authentic Leading women’s programme which she has been leading for 10 years. Ruth is a former board member of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership (NYLEP) where she chaired the Skills Board. In addition to being a trustee for Refuge, Ruth is Chair of trustees for Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind. Ruth has 3 children.

Ruth is a member of the People, Nominations and Remunerations Committee.

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).

Selina chairs the People, Nominations and Remunerations Committee.