We announce the departure of our Chief Executive, Melanie Jeffs

The Board of Trustees of Nottingham Women’s Centre (NWC) announces the departure at the end of May 2017 of the Chief Executive, Melanie Jeffs.

Over six years Melanie has propelled NWC in an expansion of its services to the women of Nottinghamshire, playing a critical role in its development, growth and success. This has been alongside a considerable commitment to regional and national campaigning on issues fundamental to the values of NWC.

Her dedicated support of her team, service users, stakeholders and communities across Nottinghamshire has enabled NWC to achieve a significant positive impact on the outcomes for women in Nottinghamshire including;

  • Development of our work to support women with multiple and complex needs, including the expansion of our services to women offenders, our counselling service and our provision of welfare rights advice
  • The refurbishment of key spaces within the Centre, including the re-establishment of Nottingham Women’s Library
  • Significant campaigning successes, most notably the move to recognise misogyny as a hate crime in Nottinghamshire and beyond.

Melanie has enhanced NWC’s service delivery, reputation, and reach, and leaves us on financially sustainable footing for the years ahead. She says:

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Nottingham Women’s Centre and feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such an inspirational team of women – the trustees, staff, volunteers, partner organisations and the women who use the Centre and make it the vibrant community space that it is.

I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved together over the last 6 years and I’ve no doubt that the Centre will continue to go from strength to strength”

NWC are currently recruiting a new Chief Executive.

WAIS survivors create historic change in legal aid



Our sister organisation based in the Women’s Centre, WAIS (Women’s Aid Integrated Services) has brought about a major change in the Legal Aid system which will affect every woman in the UK going through the family law courts who has experienced domestic violence and abuse.

WAIS service users personally contributed to a review by the Ministry of Justice into the rules affecting and preventing women from seeking legal representation in disputed family court hearings. As a direct result of this review the government has announced that it will now scrap rules requiring survivors to prove they’ve experienced abuse in the past five years in order to apply for Legal Aid. A further change is that survivors will now be able to draw upon a much wider pool of resources to evidence abuse – which will also include records and statements from domestic abuse charities like WAIS and other organisations.

Val Lunn, Chief Executive Officer at WAIS stated “We welcome the changes in the rules. We’re pleased that the Ministry of Justice listened to what survivors had to say and we’re very proud of the women who were willing to share painful and upsetting experiences in order to make the situation better for other women in the future. Our job as an organisation is not just to provide services to women and children but also to highlight unfair rules and systems. This is a victory for women and for common sense”.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive Officer at Women’s Aid England has written a personal letter of thanks to the survivors who attended the meeting. In her letter she wrote “I hope it reassures you to know that your courage was genuinely the deciding factor in achieving change in this case”.

Read the following article for more details https://www.theguardian.com/law/2017/feb/23/legal-aid-domestic-violence-law-courts