Our Board of Trustees

Headshot of Lucy Downes, Chair of Trustees
Lucy Downes, Chair

Lucy has worked and volunteered in the Violence Against Women and Girls sector for fourteen years in a variety of frontline and management roles. She currently works as Network Director for a small not-for-profit social enterprise established to improve the healthcare response to gender-based violence.

Lucy has been a member of the Board of Trustees at Womankind since 2015. She was appointed as Chair of the Board in November 2021.

Lucy has an MSc in Public Policy, specialising in gender-based violence, at the University of Bristol, and holds a BA in English Literature and Social Philosophy and Applied Ethics from Cardiff University.

Headshot of Aly Fielden, Vice Chair of Trustees
Aly Fielden, Vice-Chair

Aly leads adult’s and children’s mental health service development in a large NHS Trust and has worked for 10 years in the NHS mental health sector at a local, regional and national level. Prior to this she worked in social care, commissioning services for adults of working age with mental health, learning disabilities and physical impairments. She has worked in drug and alcohol services in Bristol and set up a number of services which directly supported individuals with dual diagnosis in Bristol.

Aly is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of women and girls, and particularly about ensuring equality of access to good, high quality and effective mental health support

Headshot of Louise Lacey, Treasurer of Trustees
Louise Lacey, Treasurer

Louise is a qualified accountant with experience in both the public and private sector in internal audit and management accounting. She was drawn to volunteering with Womankind having experienced her own mental ill health and wanted to contribute to an organisation which supported other women’s mental health.

Louise has acted as Treasurer for Womankind for a number of years, taking an active role in Womankind’s financial governance and charity accounts.

Headshot of Sally Bennett, Secretary of Trustees
Sally Bennett, Secretary

Sally is a professional fundraiser with over ten years’ of experience. Passionate about making a difference to women’s lives, Sally is currently Fundraising and Partnerships Lead for global women’s rights NGO The Circle. Previous roles include Researcher at Women’s Aid, Corporate Partnerships Executive at Bristol & Weston Hospitals Charity and Senior Development Manager at The University of Bath.

Claire Simmons

Claire has joined the Womankind trustees with 20+ years of working across criminal justice, social care and the charity sector with a focus on frontline work with vulnerable women with complex needs. Claire is a qualified IDVA, ISVA and accredited trainer, and currently works for a national charity that works with women who have had children removed from their care, and her role is in guiding and supporting practitioners across the South-West.

Claire is passionate about excellent services for women across all sectors and has a particular interest in partnership working, ensuring different organisations work together to provide trauma-responsive, integrated services for the women they support.

Frances Hall

Frances joined the Womankind Board in early 2022 and is the trustee lead for safeguarding. Frances has worked in frontline social work as a child protection Social Worker for over 22 years and for the past 3 years as an Approved Mental Health Practitioner. She is also an associate lecturer at UWE on the Social Work degree and teaches on the relationship-based skills, risk and protection modules.

Frances is deeply committed to addressing the inequalities faced by marginalised groups in society and a keen advocate for people to make the positive changes needed in their lives. She is particularly interested in working with women, having previously worked for Women’s Aid and supported women who have had their children removed from their care through the court process.

Heather Toyne

Heather has recently retired after 36 years of NHS experience. She is a Chartered Member of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) and has significant HR and workforce development experience in a range of local NHS organisations. Heather joined the board in November 2023 and is particularly committed to supporting Womankind’s staff and volunteers.

Hélène Titus-Glover

Hélène is the trustee lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Womankind. She specialised in family law, with a particular focus on domestic abuse, before moving into her current work as a Civil Litigation Advanced Paralegal.

Jo Feather

Jo joined Womankind as a trustee in mid-2023. She has been working in women and girls’ health and rights internationally for the last 25 years. She has worked for a range of not for profit organisations, and currently works for a private sector social enterprise providing gender equality and social inclusion expertise to a range of civil society, private sector and governments globally with a specific focus on violence against women and girls, education, safeguarding, and monitoring and evaluation.  She has volunteered with various helplines and advice services providing support to people living with HIV, women survivors of violence, and refugees and asylum seekers.

Melody Russell

Melody is a solicitor in private practice with over 15 years experience in family law. She is an accredited children’s law specialist and has also provided pro bono legal advice through a number of voluntary organisations in all areas of family law with a particular focus on domestic abuse and child protection matters.

Sarah Bartlett

After a brief career as a teacher, Sarah retrained as a Counselling Psychologist. She worked for many years in the NHS and with a particular interest in working with adults with learning disabilities. Sarah worked as therapist at The Bridge Foundation for Psychotherapy and Arts before retiring in 2020.

Terry Jones

As a qualified social worker, Terry worked for a local authority in the Midlands and then with voluntary agencies in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Throughout her career much of her work was with survivors of abuse and their children.

Terry has been involved with Womankind for many years and believes passionately in women having access to specialist services to support their recovery from violence and abuse.