Meet the Team

Aneira Thomas

Chair: Leeds Maternity Voices Partnership
Project Lead: Snowdrops
Project Worker: Leeds Domestic Violence Service

Website

I joined Women's Health Matters in 2017 in my dream role to work on a project called The Key - supporting young women and girls who had experienced, or were at risk of experiencing, abusive relationships. It is an absolutely amazing organisation to be part of! The team here really is incredible, such a kind, caring and supportive team of women who not only go above and beyond to empower the women and girls that we work with but also each other, it's a privilege to be part of such a wonderful team. Outside of work I am kept busy with very active toddler. We spend much of our time in the park (normally facing my fears and searching for creepy crawlies!), attending active classes and doing loads of arts and crafts - the messier the better! In my down time, I love nothing more than chilling out, painting my nails, and watching a gritty true crime documentary!

Arlie Haslam

Wellbeing & Support Service Worker: Your Space

I work with Women’s Health Matters as the worker for the Your Space Project. Your Space is a community outreach service in East and South Leeds, which provides groups, events and workshops for community wellbeing in Leeds. My work focusses on women and girls, which is why I love the partnership working of Your Space and Women’s Health Matters. It is great to work alongside such a lovely and welcoming group of women! In my free time, I love to be outside; walking, rock climbing, cycling – I can’t sit still!

Bridget Walker

Finance & Office Manager

I started at WHM in September 2019. I previously worked at Relate Mid-Yorkshire in a variety of roles. It's great to be part of a lovely team, who are providing invaluable and inspirational support to women and girls across Leeds. Outside of work, I love to be outdoors, running, swimming, camping, walking, painting and building dens with my two young boys. I am creative and love to cook, paint and crochet. Life is very fastpaced and full, but mostly super fun!

Hala Wadi

Project Worker: Snowdrops

I am passionate about supporting people that face difficulties and challenges in life. I have volunteered as an Arabic interpreter for the past 4 years supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds. I have been able to develop my communication and confidence through volunteering for different organisations in various training, teaching and group delivery roles. I am pleased to be working at Women's Health Matters in a Project Worker role, supporting women who are facing the same challenges that I have experienced in my life.

Hannah West

Wellbeing Case Worker: Sunflowers
Project Worker: Rainbow Hearts
Project Worker: Feel Good

Project Worker: Wow

I have worked at Women's Health Matters since June 2018. I work on the Rainbow Hearts project and lead the Sunflowers group supporting women's wellbeing through the asylum process. I love working at WHM and regularly pinch myself that I have landed my dream job! I am honoured to work with and alongside such strong, caring and inspirational women. Outside of the office, I am passionate about the impact exercise has on our mental health and I co-lead a project which provides inclusive physical activities for people experiencing mental ill health. I am also a run leader and in training to be a body positive fitness leader to encourage more women to exercise for joy.

Heather Fish

Project Worker: Snowdrops

Hi – I am new to WHM as of December 2020 and I can definitely say I’ve got an early Xmas present landing a job here. Being part of a support team run by women, alongside other women that’s specifically for women, has made me feel really excited about 2021 and what we can achieve together. Already I’ve met some brilliant women, both who work here and who use the service. I’ve worked with adults and children in loads of different settings over the years so I have some useful experience to bring, as well as a lot of learning to do. Outside of work one of the things I do is make strange things out of cake for family and friends birthdays because it stops me overthinking and makes me relax. I like to get out and walk and see sky, sea and lots of green but really I don’t do enough healthy stuff. Having said that, I’ve got my eye on some of the yoga sessions WHM run to help me turn over a new leaf.

Karen Womersley

Project Lead: Leeds Domestic Violence Service
Project Worker: Inside Out

Project Worker: Rosebuds

Project Worker: Snowdrops

I officially started working at Women's Health Matters in 2017, following some freelance work. I run two of the women’s education and support domestic violence and abuse groups, and co facilitate Inside Out and Rosebuds. I absolutely love working at WHM; the general ethos of everyone that works here is kindness and I think that really shows in all the work we do. I think it's such a privilege to work with women and girls, to be part of their journey and watch them grow. I love to sing, and my children say what I lack in quality and experience I make up for in volume and enthusiasm, I think most people that know me would absolutely agree!

Leeanne Rowinska

Project Lead: Rosebuds

Project Lead: Inside Out

Project Worker: Snowdrops
Social Media

I am lucky enough to have been working at Women's Health Matters since 2004 and I have worked on a number of projects. I started as a young mums worker and currently am working with women who have children who live away from them. It really is such a privilege to work with such inspiring, courageous, generously hearted women. Every time we have a visitor who comes into the groups, they go away feeling as impressed by them as I do. They really are amazing and I feel so lucky to play a small part in their growth and learning. Alongside these women, my colleagues are an equally impressive bunch and make Women's Health Matters a place of such kindness, compassion and fire in the belly that it is a pleasure to go into work. Not everyone can say that, but I can. Away from work, I enjoy being out in the fresh air, walking and exploring the great outdoors.

Lucy Fishwick

Projects Manager
Safeguarding Lead

Project Worker: Snowdrops

I'm Projects Manager here so I get to see inside all our projects and have helped develop and deliver many of them. I was a volunteer for WHM in my early 20's then came back years later and started working as the first Young Women's Worker. I have made a point of developing support projects for women that respect each individual's unique situation and encourage women to choose their own way forward. I have always felt this organisation echoes a bit of poetry that I'm probably misquoting here, "What is now true was once only imagined". WHM is somewhere that helps women bring their own aims and goals into focus and supports the journey to reach them. When I'm not at work you'll find me complaining about housework (bad days) or walking, laughing and being terrible at Kung Fu (good days).

Lucy Potter

Project Lead: YUMS
Project Worker: Rainbow Hearts

Project Worker: Snowdrops

Project Worker: Wow

I have been working here since 2017, originally just one day a week on the Maternity Voices Partnerships. Since lockdown, I changed roles and started working part time as a Women's Lives Leeds Complex Needs Worker offering 1:1 support to women. I now find myself working full time as a Project Worker for Rainbow Hearts and running the YUMs group.  This has helped me gain more insight into the groups we offer here and learn from the women I work with and the women who we support.  I am still a maternity geek and passionate about perinatal mental health support, the importance of early years and the first 1001 days of a child’s life. I am the charity founder of Baby Week, which is an annual event, sharing best practice by bringing together professionals from across all sectors of the maternity and early years services.

Lydia Harford

Project Worker: Snowdrops

Volunteer Coordinator

Social Media

I work on the Snowdrops project which was set up during Covid-19 to help relieve people's isolation and stress during this difficult time and look after Volunteer Coordination. I've been at Women's Health Matters since July 2020, when I came back from travelling around South America due to the pandemic. I have swapped my back pack for a laptop and love running the online group ensuring that women and girls across Leeds can spend some quality time together, sharing wellbeing activities and empowering each other!

Minnow Bachas

Project Worker: Snowdrops

I am excited with the opportunity to work with WHM and the team to connect and improve the wellbeing of women during this immensely difficult COVID-19 period. I am passionate about supporting women to achieve empowerment and justice and understand the difficulties and barriers to accessing support from hard to reach services. I am an (armchair!) activist supporting causes of marginalised groups across the world, including those facing persecution for demanding equality and justice. My interests also include reading, cooking & gardening, particularly working at my allotment!!

Rachel Kelly

Chief Executive

I've been Chief Executive since September 2019. My previous roles include National Director of Local Services for Beanstalk and Chief Executive of Reading Matters. I'm proud and privileged to work alongside an amazing group of women, with us all focussed on enabling and empowering women and girls to make postive changes in their lives. Outside of work, I'm a trustee of Canterbury Imagine, part of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, and I run the No.1 Ladies Reading Group. I have two teenage daughters and I love spending time with family and friends. I'm trying to relearn the piano, and I really enjoy being outdoors, be that walking, exploring, socialising or swimming...if only I lived nearer the sea!

Sally Blyth

Project Lead: Rainbow Hearts
Project Lead: Feel Good

Project Lead: Wow

I’ve worked here since 2007 in different roles and different projects. After 7 years in Belgium, I started as PA to the Director whilst studying to become an ESOL teacher. I volunteered to teach in one of WHM's groups, and from that, was supported to set up an English-Language Learning project for the organisation. The amount of support I received from my colleagues, both personally and for my work, was, and still is, amazing. It’s great to work for an organisation that truly puts the women it supports in the centre of things and sees women as the experts in their own experiences. There’s just so much love and respect. I feel so lucky to be a part of it. Outside of Women’s Health Matters, I am very involved in music and sound. I’m a qualified sound practitioner and I run two health-focused choirs.  I also play bass guitar and sing in a band, which is the best fun!

 

Our Trustees

Alison Cater

Chair of Trustees

I became a trustee in 2007 and chair a few years later. I live in Leeds and have two adult children. Since 2020, my day job is Head of Organisational Systems and Compliance for Northpoint, a charity that provides mental health support to adults and children in Leeds, Calderdale, York, and Doncaster. I lead communications activity, HR, Data Protection, Equality and Diversity amongst other things. I used to work for WHM on the Include project about 20 years ago. I like gardening, cooking, walking, watching telly and being with friends and family.

Amie Tolson

Treasurer

I’ve been a trustee since 2010 and treasurer since early in 2020. How time flies! I’m passionate about the work we do, having been affected by domestic abuse in the past. I’m disabled, with several long term health conditions, which gives me a real interest in women’s health. I often feel that I have more in common with the women we work with than I do with the other trustees, I live in a disadvantaged area and can’t work, so I share many of the challenges faced by our women. I want to help make a difference in their lives because there was no one to help me when I needed it and I don’t want anyone to go through that. Outside of WHM, I enjoy reading (upwards of 150 books a year) and listening to music, especially heavy metal.

Amita Fearon

   

I became a trustee in 2020. I have worked in Marketing for over two decades in a variety of senior leadership roles across industries. Until recently I was part of the executive team for a new digital bank, which was launched successfully in January 2020. I want to support organisations such as Women's Health Matters as I am not only a survivor of domestic violence, but also extremely passionate about the opportunity to spread a message of positivity and be a beacon of hope, by not only drawing on my extensive professional experience but also the personal experiences I had in the past.

Emma Dickens

Vice Chair

I’ve been a trustee since 2015, live in Leeds and have a 12-year-old daughter. My day job is Head of Communications and Engagement for Locala Community Partnerships CIC, a social enterprise that provides NHS community healthcare services across Kirklees, Calderdale and Bradford. I lead the organisation’s communications activity, membership involvement, volunteering programme, community grants programme, patient experience feedback, and patient and community involvement activity. All keep me busy! I became a trustee because, having worked in the charity sector in the past, I was keen to continue some involvement, and use my skills to make an impact. I was, and remain, inspired by the work that Women’s Health Matters does for women in Leeds.

Hannah Jones



Sarah Salahuddin

  

I became a Trustee in 2020. My day job is working as a Programme Manager for Lloyds Banking Group, leading programmes and projects in Group Transformation with the overarching aim of Helping Britain Prosper. I am also a keen and active advocate of Diversity and Inclusion. I got introduced to Women's Health Matters through the Lloyds Bank Foundation. I am eager to support and contribute to a cause that I feel strongly about particularly after suffering with my health and requiring significant support for hyperemesis during my second pregnancy. I live in Halifax with my husband and two little girls, 5 and 2 years old, who keep me on my toes. I also enjoy learning and practising crafts including jewellery silversmithing, book binding and sewing.

Tracey Glanville



 

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