WHO WE ARE Advance

We are a women-only organisation, providing emotional and practical support to women in London. All our services are free and confidential.
A large part of our work is crisis intervention – for women who require urgent help and face imminent danger.

We are domestic violence support specialists

From advice on how to avoid being followed, to help making a report to the police, our specialist staff can help with whatever support women need. We can even accompany women to court hearings for moral support and advice on options such as injunctions, non-molestation orders and issues around contact for any children involved. Our team is also based at police stations, in hospitals, a housing office and within a team of social workers in Hammersmith, so that we are best placed to reach and support women affected by domestic violence wherever they are. For more information about our domestic violence services click here. Many women come to us directly from front line services, such as medical staff or police, but anyone can make a referral. If you or someone you know would like Advance’s help please visit our how to refer page

DO YOU NEED HELP?

Are you worried about your safety?
Scared of someone hurting or controlling you?
CLICK HERE to get free and confidential help now.
You can also call us on 020 8741 7008

Get help
Advance charity

The Advance Charity ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16

Click here to download

“I can’t speak highly enough about Advance. If I needed any help I was always able to call you. For those people who don’t have family support it must be a god send.”

We are experts in helping women who have committed crime

Our support for women who have committed crime is aimed at helping them rebuild their lives and reduce their risk of re-offending. This service is delivered by a highly-skilled team who provide a range of services, from visiting women in prison and finding housing and furniture for those coming up for release, to arranging counselling sessions and addressing substance misuse issues after release. Many rehabilitative services are provided from our Minerva centre, a safe, woman-only space where women can share their story and get the support they need.

For more information about our services for women who have committed crime click here. Many women come to us directly from the police, prison and probation services. At present women cannot refer themselves to us. For information about other available support, please see our advice page.

THE MINERVA PROJECT

Our Minerva Project accepts referrals from a variety of sources for women aged 18+ who have been involved in the criminal justice system across  London Boroughs.

More information

OUR TRUSTEES AND STAFF Advance

Our trustees

Christine Losecaat MBE (Chair)
Christine has been a Trustee at Advance for four years as Chair of the Fundraising & Business Development Subgroup and as Vice Chair for the last year. Christine is an internationally experienced senior business strategy, marketing and communications specialist and leadership coach. As CEO of consultancy, Little Dipper, she effectively conceives and delivers innovative and award-winning international strategies, initiatives, programmes and events for clients in the public and private sector. Christine is an Emmy® award winning producer, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, an Honorary Fellow of the British Institute of Interior Design and in 2016 was awarded Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the creative industries in the UK.

Helen Arbon (Treasurer and Chair Finance & Future Funding Sub Group)
Helen is an experienced career diplomat. She is currently taking a sabbatical from her role in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to undertake some studies. Throughout her many years of work in the FCO, she has often worked on the frontline of delivering consular services to vulnerable British nationals working, living, studying or travelling abroad. In the last 10 years or so, she has also led teams working in challenging environments across diverse regions of the world – most recently as the regional Consular Director across the Sub-Saharan Africa region. In her last overseas role, she led and advised teams working with customers facing difficult circumstances overseas – from forced marriage and FGM to assisting victims of crime and helping those detained abroad.

Rebecca Egan (Chair of Governance, Risk and HR Sub Group)
Rebecca is currently Head of Safeguarding at the Home Office and has extensive experience in developing national strategy and policy in Government. Prior to joining the Home Office Rebecca has worked in the Attorney General’s Office and the Crown Prosecution Service where she was Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy Manager. Rebecca began her career working in the Domestic Violence sector, working for the charity CAADA (now SafeLives).

Louise Finer
Louise is currently Senior Policy Officer and National Preventive Mechanism Coordinator at HM Inspectorate of Prisons (London). She has worked in a range of roles, mainly in the NGO sector, in which she has concentrated on addressing issues that put women and girls at risk and disadvantage. In particular, she has focussed on research and advocacy around women’s rights in a number of countries, including sexual and reproductive rights. For the last three years she has been employed as the Senior Policy Officer at HM Inspectorate of Prisons and the Co-ordinator of the UK National Preventive Mechanism, where she has worked to strengthen protections for people who are vulnerable by virtue of the fact that they are in detention. This includes women detained in prison, police custody and in mental health detention, and children in and out of the criminal justice system.

Ruth Fuller Sessions
Ruth is a Production Executive in the Television and Film industry and was Chair of Advance 2015 – 1017. Until recently, she was Director of Operations at Atlantic Productions Ltd, an independent production company that specialises in high end specialist factual programmes. She is currently setting up two new ventures in the sector.

Swatee Jasoria
Swatee is a US qualified lawyer and mostly practices IP/Commercial law. She is currently converting her qualification to a UK recognised qualification. She came to London from New York City four years ago to co-found the first liberal-arts inspired undergraduate educational business in the UK called New College of the Humanities (“NCH”). Swatee is also Events Co-director of American Women Lawyers in London.

Elizabeth Jones (Chair of Fundraising and Business Development Sub Group)
Elizabeth comes to us from a project management and health research background and currently works as Senior Consultant at Pope Woodhead & Associates, working with pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies.

Emily Midwood
Emily currently works in the Corporate Strategy department of a global bank. Her previous experience includes working in the Strategy, Operations and Human Resources functions of banks and other companies. Emily also spent part of her career as a management consultant working on mergers and acquisitions.

Christine Mullin
Christine is a CFO/COO predominantly working in the media and technology sectors. She is currently focusing her time investing in and mentoring London based technology companies.

Tallulah Perez-Sphar
Tallulah currently works at the Department for Work and Pensions and has a background in external communications, across government and within the charity sector. Alongside this, she has volunteered for a domestic violence charity based in Southwark before joining the board at Advance.

Pria Rai
Pria is currently Director of People Services and Communications at a south London based housing association which is stakeholder led. Her professional interest lies in developing organisational capacity and systems in the third sector. One of her previous roles was Director of Human Resources at New York’s largest and leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking and related forms of gender violence.

Maria Sookias
Maria is currently Head of Operations at the nia Project where she leads the development and delivery of the Huggett Women’s Centre, a safe and accessible space for women and girls who face multiple and complex disadvantages in particular those relating to domestic abuse, sexual violence and exploitation. Her role includes taking responsibility for the day to day delivery of services at the Centre; developing and building partnerships locally, regionally and nationally with stakeholders including funders and commissioners, statutory and third sector organisations and ensuring that service user participation is at the heart of project delivery and incorporated into strategic development. She has spent the majority of her working life supporting survivors of domestic abuse and more broadly, working to end violence against women and girls.

Our staff structure

Due to the nature of female domestic violence and of female crime, we feel that this structure with an all-female staff gives our female service users the most comfortable environment to seek the help they need.

Advance charity

“Advance was instrumental in helping keep me safe and I began to feel less worthless and took control of my life.  It’s been a long journey, but I am stronger now and have the confidence to work with others, and although it was very tough, I like who I am today!”