About us Who we are Who we are Women’s Aid Leicestershire Limited was established in 1974 when we opened the first refuge in Leicester to support women and children fleeing domestic abuse. Since then we have continued to provide vital assistance to all victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Our work continues to be as important now as it was when we first began. Women's Aid Leicestershire Limited is part of a consortium of three local, specialist providers called United Against Violence & Abuse (UAVA). Alongside FreeVA and Living Without Abuse, we aim to provide a simplified journey, which can be accessed by anyone who has been affected by domestic abuse and / or sexual violence. Chair of the Board of Directors - Harjeet Chakira is Policy Assistant for the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner. Graduating with an MSc in Clinical Criminology in 2004, Harjeet began her career in the domestic violence sector working on the front line. Since then she has worked for several Women’s Aid organisations across the country (including Eaves Housing, formerly known as Westminster Women’s Aid), who are nationally recognised as experts in the sector; progressing from the front line through to Business Development. Harjeet’s work has included, supporting the pioneering of the Domestic Violence Empowerment Star; a tool now being used nationally to support victims of abuse. Harjeet has an in-depth understanding of the issues affecting victims/survivors of domestic violence, direct experience of local authority commissioning processes, writing successful tenders and a strong operational background. Harjeet is committed to finding new and innovative solutions to supporting survivors of abuse and bringing perpetrators to justice. Harjeet’s commitment and dedication to VAWG is driven by her own personal struggle for autonomy and freedom against the oppression justified by the patriarchal value system of the culture she grew up in and losing her mother to domestic violence at a young age. Head of the Fundraising Committee and Member of the Board - Marea Roberts has had a varied career starting out as a beautician including work in the Bahamas. She joined her family fabric business in Leicester and Coventry and was involved for over twenty years sourcing fabric from around the world and running retail outlets as well as a mail order company. Marea was active politically holding several positions in the Labour Party including General Election agent and became a district councillor in 1996. She was a school governor and was active in CND and Anti Apartheid as well as serving on the national executive of Jubilee, a left wing Christian group. Marea joined the charity Marie Curie Cancer Care in 1999 and became Area Fundraising Manager for several Midlands counties working on the strategic aims of the charity and delivering an annual budget target of over £1 million. She retired in 2012 but continues to volunteer for Marie Curie. Marea has been a trustee of Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre since 1997and has just been approved to work on Stoneywell, the new National Trust property in Leicestershire as a guide and speaker. She lives in Sutton in the Elms, is married to Jim and has two grown up sons and a springer spaniel. She enjoys narrow boating, cooking and gardening.