Remember you are not alone - domestic abuse can happen to anyone no matter your age, race, class, culture, disability, gender, sexuality or lifestyle.

Louise Sutherland - Chair

Louise has been Chair of the Board since February 2015. She is a heritage professional currently working at The National Heritage Lottery Fund, helping to distribute lottery funding across the North West to all sorts of heritage projects. Before moving to her current role, she was Head of Collections and Engagement at The People’s History Museum. She has also worked for Renaissance North West and Manchester Museum in a wide variety of engagement and learning roles. Louise is committed to supporting heritage and women’s causes. She is constantly inspired and motivated by women that she meets every day through her work at The Pankhurst Centre.

“I’ve been privileged to learn so much about the important work that The Pankhurst Trust (incorporating Manchester Women’s Aid) undertake and I am proud to be the Chair of the Board “

Sally Hobbs - Vice Chair

Sally’s background is in public service leadership, commissioning social care, health and housing services. She has worked at national, regional and local levels as part of leadership and improvement teams, headed joint commissioning for several North West health and social care authorities, and led local government transformation and improvement programmes. She has provided management consultancy in organisational and service change, undertaking research and innovation programmes, in public services.  . Sally has substantial expertise and experience in financial management, and has delivered significant financial efficiencies to ensure that services are sustained and protected for the benefit of the people they serve. She has been actively involved in the development of domestic abuse services for over 30 years.

Janet Pickering - Secretary

Janet Pickering is a retired social worker. Domestic violence was a significant factor in her work with children and families and in 1998 she joined the management Committee of a women’s refuge in South Manchester. She continued to serve as a Board member following the merger of 5 refuges to create Manchester Women’s Aid in 2008 and was actively involved in effecting the merger of 5 refuges to create Pankhurst Trust in 2014. She holds the office of Board Secretary and also volunteers as a tour guide in the Heritage Centre. The woman who inspires Janet most is Ellen Wilkinson, a radical Mancunian and the first woman Labour MP, elected in 1924 who was passionately committed to improving the lives of vulnerable people and fought hard for the equal rights of women. Janet strongly supports the provision of specialist services to safeguard and empower women and children.

 “The merger forming the Pankhurst Trust, has opened up opportunities to develop a resource for women in Manchester, at the birthplace of the Women’s Social and Political Union.”

Emma Evans - Treasurer

Emma is a qualified chartered accountant who has specialised in forensic accounting for over 10 years. She is a Senior Manager at BTVK Advisory LLP, a member of Baker Tilly International. Her skills consist of accountancy/finance, governance, charities audits and strategic planning and her qualifications include a Law Degree LLB, Legal Practice Course and the ACA.Emma is a Trustee and the Treasurer of the Pankhurst Trust. She is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee and a member of the Pankhurst Committee which looks at how to secure the future of the Pankhurst Centre museum.

“The woman who inspires me the most? That would have to be Emmeline Pankhurst of course!“

Mary Watson

Mary is a retired social services senior manager working for first Manchester and then Liverpool City Councils. She has been a Manchester City Councillor (Labour) for 13 years for her home ward of Whalley Range. She sits on the Audit Committee, Resources and Governance Committee and the Planning Committee. Mary was part of a group of women who helped set up the first Women’s Aid refuges in Manchester in the 1970’s inspired by her membership of  the Manchester Women’s Centre.  Mary was a board member of Manchester Women’s Aid that initiated the merger with the Pankhurst Trust to ensure its survival and is a member of the Pankhurst Trust’s Audit Committee

“I am inspired and excited by the opportunities this gives for women in Greater Manchester."

Suzie Thompson

Suzie is currently the Director of Development for the Royal Northern College of Music where she is a member of the Executive Team and oversees the fundraising activity for the College. She discovered the Pankhurst Centre while working at Manchester High School for Girls and was involved in hosting the 25th Anniversary celebrations for the Pankhurst Centre.

 “The history of the suffragette movement and women’s rights is something I have always been passionate about. I have supported a number of Women’s charities in Manchester and I hope it will be hugely rewarding to be part of the amazing Pankhurst Trust and that my experience will be useful to the organisation. “

Polly Simpson

Polly Simpson is a business communications professional; she helps organisations, teams, and individuals to communicate more successfully. Her expertise comes from supporting projects and organisations in sustainability and the environment, engineering and infrastructure.

Polly is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and has been a Trustee of the Pankhurst Trust since 2016. Her other interests include building sustainable local economies, social and climate justice and exploring her adopted city Manchester.

Melanie Sharples

Melanie has been a board member since 2009, initially of Central Manchester Women’s Aid before the merger of the organisations to form The Pankhurst Trust she held the position of Chair from 2011-2014 whilst the Trust was being formed. Melanie is a family solicitor, she specialises in Children’s Law which relates to arrangements for children and a large percentage of her clients have experienced domestic abuse.

 “I enjoy the challenges of making decisions as a Board and the honour of working with strong, intelligent and enterprising women.”

Sara Radcliffe

Sara Radcliffe is an experienced management consultant. She has 25 years’ experience of working in NHS leadership. Sara has a background in strategic policy. An experienced service change manager within the NHS. Sara has an MA in Women’s Studies, BA Hons English Literature, DIP HSM Institute of Health Services and Management.

Yvonne Lauder

Yvonne is a retired teacher with a background in engineering purchasing. Her main involvement with PTMWA came about because she worked as a support worker in one of the refuges for almost a year.

Saleema Kauser

Dr Saleema Kauser Lecturer in the Organization Studies Group at Alliance Manchester Business School (MBS). First degree in Psychology from the University of London. She holds a masters degree in Information Systems and Technology from Cass Business School; an MBA from Aston Business School and received her PhD (2000) from the Warwick Business School. Dr Kauser has been lecturing for over 15years on strategic and organizational management issues. Her research interests include Partnership collaborations, religiosity, gender and inequalities and business ethics and she has a number of articles in peer reviewed journals. Before joining academia Saleema worked as an advisor and consultant in the private sector.

Liz Jones

Liz is a retired teacher, and during her career worked for 5 different Local Authorities, teaching in Infant, Primary and Secondary schools, both in mainstream and in the special needs sector. She has also been on the Governing Body of a number of schools as a Local Authority Governor. Liz was originally a committee member of South Manchester Women’s Aid and participated in the merger process of 5 Refuges across Manchester. She then became a Board member of Manchester Women’s Aid and was part of the Steering Group who met regularly with The Pankhurst Trust members for over a year, to achieve our recent merge.

 “I have seen at first hand the effect physical and psychological abuse has on women and their children, and the positive effect MWA has had on their lives. I am really excited to be part of our new, dynamic organisation, as we go forward together.”








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