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 -

Mary Tyler (Acting Chair) has recently retired as a lecturer in youth and community work at De Montfort University. She taught informal education, social policy and management to youth and community work students, tutored on management programmes for children and young people’s service leaders in the East Midlands, and undertook research and evaluation.

Previously she worked in many roles with young people and in the community including adventure playground worker, social worker, group worker and youth and community worker in London, and East Anglia. She has always been committed to single gender work with young women as an opportunity for confidence building.

Nicola Meskimmon (Acting Chair) is a Senior HR Advisor with Leicester City Council and has worked in Human Resources at operational and strategic level for over 12 years, in both local government and the voluntary sector. Nicola has had plenty of voluntary experience having previously sat on the Voluntary Management Committee of a local primary school After School Club for 5 years, worked as support to a local food bank and soup kitchen for the homeless, acted as a befriender and trainer with The Terence Higgins Trust in London and spent 2 years in rural Kenya as a teacher.

Before moving into human resources Nicola’s focus was on international development and she worked for Voluntary Service Overseas in both London, as a Training Advisor, and in Nigeria, as Education Programme Manager. Following this she went to Skillshare International based in Leicester as International Programme Manager and then Human Resources Manager.

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 the Christian group Jubilee.

Marea has a strong background in the voluntary sector, starting in 1999 when she joined the charity Marie Curie Cancer Care 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 also been a trustee of Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre since 1997 and has just been approved to work on Stoneywell, the new National Trust property in Leicestershire as a guide and speaker.