Women’s Breakout is an independent organisation – a company limited by guarantee (Company Number: 8377494), and an independent charity (Charity Number: 1150996). Governance rests with our Board of Trustees.

In January 2013, Women’s Breakout was incorporated as a private company with the company number 8377494; and in February 2013, we achieved charitable status and have been entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1150996. In June 2013 we held our first General Meeting, and appointed a Board of eight trustees and in September we co-opted a further three trustees. In January 2014 Women’s Breakout became fully independent.

We are governed by Articles of Association

Current Trustees:

Lisa Dando lisadandosmall2

Brighton Women’s Centre

Lisa has worked in the women’s voluntary sector for about 20 years and been the Director of Brighton Women’s Centre (BWC) for 3.5 years. BWC is the lead agency for the Women’s Services Strategic Network (WSSN) – a network of the 4 women centred organisations in the city that developed the Inspire Project, a women’s community project for women offenders and women at risk of offending.

Lisa sits on the regional Women Offender’s Executive Board and the local Reducing Reoffending Board and also represents her organisation on the local Domestic Violence Forum and Sexual Violence Reference Group. She is the city’s Community and Voluntary Sector Forum Gender Representative and was instrumental in the establishment of the cross sector Women’s Strategy Group.

Lisa has a BSc in Psychology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling.


Loraine Gelsthorpe lorainegelsthorpesmall2

Professor in Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Cambridge

Loraine Gelsthorpe is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. She is also Director of the Centre for Community, Gender and Social Justice at the Institute.  She has carried out a number of research studies: on police decision-making with regard to juvenile offenders; the operation of multi-agency juvenile panels; the role of the Crown Prosecution Service in juvenile justice; gender issues in juvenile justice; the treatment of fine defaulters in magistrates’ courts, and race and gender issues in pre-sentence reports included. She has also conducted work on Home Office-funded projects on inter-agency aspects of crime prevention strategies, on the sentencing of women and on community service orders (now known as unpaid work) as a requirement of a Community Order. Her chief research interests currently revolve women and criminal justice, the criminalisation of women, and migration.

Loraine has published a number of books and reports and over 160 articles and chapters in books, including work on ‘What works with women?’,  The Criminalisation of Migrant Women, and, for the Howard League, Deaths under Probation Supervision. Click here for more information.

Loraine is President of the British Society of Criminology, and a member of the Ministry of Justice’s Advisory Board for s. 95 statistics on women, amongst other things. She is also a (UKCP registered) Psychoanalytical Psychotherapist.


Lucy BaldwinLucy Baldwin small

Senior Lecturer in Criminology, De Montfort University, Leicester

Lucy Baldwin is a Senior lecturer in Criminology at De Montfort University, Leicester and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Prior to entering the world of Academia full time in 2004 Lucy had worked as both a Social Worker and a Probation Officer across a broad range of social and criminal justice settings. (In both custodial and community based environments).

Lucy is currently engaged in several research projects related to Mothers and the Criminal Justice System. Her ongoing Doctoral research is focussed on the emotional impact of custodial sentences on mothers – particularly how mothers negotiate the challenges to their mothering role and identity both during their sentence and following their release. In addition, Lucy is engaged in research concerned with Mothers circumstances surrounding short custodial sentences and sentence decision making. Other ongoing research relates to the managed emotions of mothers separated from their children and the emotional labour of those who work with mothers in ‘systems’.

Lucy has published articles and research and around Mothers, Criminal Justice and Emotion including author/editor of Mothering Justice: Working with Mothers in Criminal and Social Justice Settings. (Waterside Press 2015) the proceeds of which are donated to charity – including Women’s Breakout.

In addition to her academic work and research Lucy is also Director of ‘Mothering Justice‘. An organisation which hopes to facilitate mothers who have experienced the ‘systems’ in supporting other mothers thereby establishing a network of support for mothers in and around the criminal justice system via social enterprise.


Ellen Harris

Freelance education, training and development consultant

Ellen has worked in the voluntary sector for over ten years with a background in fundraising, advocacy, training and project management. She has also worked in prison education, delivering family learning workshops in London prisons and coordinating peer mentoring for Shannon Trust, the prison literacy charity. Ellen recently had an article published in Jail Mail on the importance of facilitated family time for women in prison.

Ellen spent two years sitting on the Training Advisory Group for Action for Prisoners’ Families and undertakes freelance education, training and development consultancy in the not-for-profit, higher education and community education sectors. She has a Masters in Social Justice and Education from UCL.


Roma Hooper Roma Hooper small

Roma Hooper worked in the disability field for many years as assistant director for Contact a Family, a charity supporting families with disabled children. At the invitation of Feltham Young Offenders, she helped establish Radio Feltham in 1994, the UK’s first prison radio station. Roma has a Masters in Criminal Justice Policy from the LSE and she went on to become the first voluntary sector coordinator at HMYOI Feltham for two years until 2003. In 2006 Roma set up the Prison Radio Association to expand prison radio skills training in the UK and establish a national prison radio station. She is now Chair of the PRA.

In 2008 Roma set up Make Justice Work, the campaign to highlight the wastefulness of short-term prison sentences and promote the wider adoption of intensive community sentences. The campaign closed in June 2013 but Roma continues to invest her energies in the campaigning field and the voluntary organisations she is close to. She has recently agreed to join the Board of the Comedy School and as Chair for Spark Inside (a new charity providing professional life coaching to high risk young offenders). Roma is working closely with Penelope Gibbs from Transform Justice on how to change the debate around criminal justice in the UK. She is an advisor to DiversityInCare and Switchback.


Kirsty MooneyKirsty Mooney small

Rock Pool, Devon

Kirsty Mooney is the joint founder and Director of Business at Rock Pool. Rock Pool provides innovative, professional and challenging approaches to working and supporting individuals and families who have experienced abuse and the subsequent life changing impact this has. Kirsty has over 14 years experience of working in the public sector at a senior strategic multi agency level specialising in Community Safety, Domestic Abuse and Family Intervention, for which she was nationally recognised. During her time in the public sector she delivered a range of transformative projects across a breadth of public sector organisations, raised external investment to expand and create new provision. Kirsty is a graduate of the School of Social Entrepreneurs and has a BA Hons in Corporate Communications.


Michelle Nicholson Michellesmall

KeyChanges, Sheffield

Michelle Nicholson is the founder and Director of KeyChanges-Unlocking Women’s Potential. KeyChanges was set up to support women resettling into the community from prison, creating opportunities and to tackle the stigma many women face in the criminal justice system. Initially the charity was for mentoring and educational presentations to support women in the criminal Justice system. Since then KeyChanges has gone on to set up a training college and a women’s centre.

KeyChanges are the winners of the ‘Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber Social Impact Award 2013’.

Michelle has worked within the voluntary sector for several years and has extensive experience working with people of varied abilities. She currently works in four main areas: the criminal justice system, gender specific mentoring, public speaking and regeneration with a focus on Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Michelle has a BSc in Social Science with Psychology.


Laura Seebohm

Changing Lives, NewcastleLaura Seebohm small

Laura is based in the North East where she has lived since university – working in the homeless sector, before six years as a Probation Officer. In 2006 Laura joined Changing Lives to set up a support service for women involved in sex work and exposed to sexual exploitation. This led to the establishment of Women’s Services for Changing Lives, including Ministry of Justice funded work following the Corston Report.

Laura moved to the South East in 2009 when she started a family, during which time she chaired the board of a homeless charity and received a Visiting Fellowship from University of East Anglia for research into the Suffolk Prostitution Strategy. However the lure of the North East was such that she returned with her family in 2013 to become Director of Changing Lives, responsible for Women and Criminal Justice Services across Northern England and the Midlands.


Grace Stevens

Legal & General GroupGracesmall

Grace is Chief Tax Officer at Legal & General Group having joined the tax team at L&G in 2011. Her teams have won several awards including PwC’s 2012 Building Public Trust Award for Tax Reporting in the FTSE 100.

Grace has worked in tax for 16 years, working in practice at Andersen and Deloitte before moving in house. She has been in the insurance sector for 10 years in roles with tax responsibilities around the world.


Jessica SouthgateJessica Southgate

Head of Strategy and Engagement at CVAA

Jessica is Head of Strategy and Engagement at CVAA, the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies. She has worked in the voluntary sector for ten years in policy, development and participation roles, which have included developing gender-specific services for women, at 4Children, The Howard League for Penal Reform, Platform 51 (now The Young Women’s Trust) and theatre and education company Clean Break. She has an MSc in Gender from the LSE and a Griffins Society Fellowship during which she carried out research on community services working with gang-affected young women. She also volunteers with Opening Doors London, which provides information and support services to older LGBT+.


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