A safe, just and equal world for women

Beryl Foster OBE

Beryl Foster OBE has been at the forefront of developing the women’s services supporting domestic abuse survivors in London, and is one of the two founders of Advance.

She came to London from Ireland in 1966 and after 8 years of community work in Notting Hill she moved to Hammersmith in 1975. She was a founding member of Hammersmith Women’s Aid who opened the first Refuge in the Borough in 1976, one of the first in London.

Beryl worked for Women’s Aid in many capacities until 1997 when she was seconded to LBHF Community Safety Unit to develop the unique partnership which became the ‘Standing Together Against Domestic Violence’ (STADV) project.

She established STADV as an independent charity and was instrumental in funding and running the organisation until she retired in 2013.

Beryl, together with Bear Montique, established Advance in November 1998 to provide services to domestic abuse women survivors working closely with the Police, Criminal Justice agencies, A&E and Housing, based initially near our current centre in Hammersmith.

Standing Together worked closely with Advance, within the multi-agency partnership to keep victims safe and to hold their abusers accountable for their actions. She explains that ‘’Advance was our key partner, making our initiatives safe for survivors’’.

She was awarded an OBE in 2003 in recognition of her work to tackle domestic violence.

‘When I need to refresh our ideals I return to Ellen Pence and her unerring ability to lead us to the heart of an issue and away from our defensiveness of our own sector and efforts. She continues to be relevant, practical and simply revolutionary and an inspiration to us all to ‘Standing Together’, says Foster.

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