A safe, just and equal world for women

Advance announces new appointments to its Board of Trustees

December 17, 2020
Increased need for domestic abuse support provides stimulation to recruit diverse Trustees with new skills and expertise.

Advance, the sector-leading charity that supports women suffering from domestic abuse and those in the criminal justice system, has announced five new appointments to its Board of Trustees. Following a period of increased need and the result of COVID induced restrictions, Advance has faced the requirement for more of their expertise and services to help women over the past two years. Advance has responded by increasing services and income to meet the challenge, alongside the recruitment of a diverse and knowledgeable group of professionals to its Board.

The Board is now 14 strong, consisting of 13 women and one man with professionals in a broad range of relevant disciplines and industries from law to public health, from the not-for profit sector to technology, from national government and public sector to digital communications, from organisational change and leadership to finance and the criminal justice system. The increased diversity, including Black and Asian Trustees, and breadth of expertise of the cohort of Trustee professionals allows Advance to better represent the communities they work with on a daily basis. By including a man for the first time on the Board, Advance can help to ensure men are involved in the conversation about domestic abuse which disproportionately affects women.

As a consequence of enforced lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a three-fold increase in the requirement for front line support services for women experiencing domestic abuse. The clear message to stay at home earlier this year resulted in many women and children facing an increased risk of abuse and violence in their homes. Advance has continued to respond despite the very changed circumstances and working practices to ensure women affected have continued to receive the help they need.

Chair Christine Losecaat MBE said:

“Never has Domestic abuse been so prominent in the media or the requirement for services so acute. As Advance has grown significantly in the past two years we have taken the opportunity to refresh the membership of the Board of Trustees, bringing on the skills and expertise required to keep Advance at the leading edge of service innovation and front line service delivery.”


For all press enquiries, please contact:

Niki Scordi 
E: niki.s@advancecharity.org.uk 
T: 020 3953 3111

Notes to Editors
About Advance

Advance was founded in 1998 and is an award-winning London-based innovative charity that supports women who have experienced domestic abuse and those who have committed crime to end their re-offending. The charity’s vision is a world in which women and children lead safe, equal, violence-free lives so they can flourish and actively contribute to society.

A women-only organisation delivering services for women, by women, the team help victims to be safe and take back control of their lives, and helps re-offenders break the cycle to keep families together. Since its inception, Advance has led the way in innovation in the sector with community, “through-the-gate”, and whole-system co-located services. Through its women’s centres and advocates, the organisation delivers holistic, specialist one-to-one support and engaging group interventions tailored to women’s needs.

The charity’s message is to encourage and empower women to take back control and rebuild their lives with its support. Supporting women and children of all ages, the team supports a wide range of abuse; emotional, financial, physical and controlling behaviour. Each year, Advance supports over 7000 women and children.

Meet the Board of Trustees 

The recent appointments include:

Karthik Mahadevan,

the first male Trustee in the history of Advance. This reflects not only Advance’s desire to be inclusive, but also the fact that domestic abuse is a gendered problem, so it is vital that men be a part of the solution. Karthik, who holds a senior position at IBM, will be supporting the senior leadership team to develop corporate partnerships as well as supporting on systems and process change.

Dolly Jones

is a journalist and digital strategist who edited British Vogue’s digital platforms for 15 years before becoming Content & Strategy director of Conde Nast’s wider digital portfolio, comprising a combined audience of 15 million monthly unique users and 50 million social followers. She now runs her own digital consultancy.

Hannah Hoare

joins Advance from a London-based family foundation, with extensive third sector experience, most recently in Social Finance where she worked with local and national government, charities, social enterprises, and grant-making trusts and foundations to develop effective responses to social issues including responding to perpetrators of domestic abuse, enabling addiction recovery and supporting children leaving care.

Naomi Simpson

is a criminal justice professional with almost 15 years’ experience working at a local, regional, and national level. She has extensive commissioning, strategy, strategic planning, and policy experience across a range of priority areas. These include mental health, substance misuse, supporting females in the criminal justice system, serious youth violence and CSA/CSE. Having previously worked at the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) for six years; she is currently employed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), as a Senior Strategy and Strategic Partnerships Adviser.

Michelle Nightingale

brings a wealth of knowledge, skills, and experience in all aspects of safeguarding, and recently took up the post of Nurse Consultant for Safeguarding/Named Nurse at Great Ormond St Hospital. Michelle was previously the Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Children, Hammersmith & Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group and Named Nurse Safeguarding Children at the Royal Brompton Hospital. She works closely with a number of partner agencies, including police, children’s social care and education, and sits on the editorial board for the London Child Protection Procedures. Michelle will guide the charity’s work on Safeguarding across the organisation.

Trustees who have been with Advance a little longer include:

Emily Midwood,

an experienced transformation specialist and currently leads the Transformation Office for Operations at HSBC. She is Chair of the Governance, HR and Risk Committee

Christine Mullin

is Treasurer with more than 20 years’ experience in leading global media and technology companies, driving and financing rapid growth and transforming business models.

Dr Carole Easton OBE

is a highly experienced leader in the third sector, having been CEO at Young Women’s Trust, ChildLine and CLICSargent. She has been chairing our Finance, Fundraising and Business Development Committee, and is currently Interim CEO at Refuge.

Anita Hamilton

is a Communications, Organisational Change and Leadership strategist with more than 25 years’ experience across a range of industries and organisations. She is also an author and lecturer.

Helen Arbon

is an experienced career diplomat working in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Throughout her many years of work in the FCDO, she has often worked on the frontline of delivering consular services to vulnerable British nationals working, living, studying, or travelling abroad.

Kate Parsley

is a public health expert and currently leads the healthcare public health team in two London Boroughs. She has a passion for sexual health and women’s rights and was formerly a trustee for the Young Women’s Hub, based in Lewisham.

Tallulah Perez Sphar

is with the communications team at the Department of Communities and Local Government and chairs the Advance Service Advisory Board, giving our beneficiaries a voice at the Board.

Vanessa Challess

is a qualified lawyer, runs her own practice and has just been shortlisted as 2020 Solicitor of the Year at the Inspirational Women in Law Awards.

Christine Losecaat MBE

is Chair. She has been with Advance since 2012 as Trustee and is in her fourth year as Chair. She runs a strategy consultancy working on global projects.

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