Hibiscus Initiatives’ board of trustees are a diverse group, reflecting the diversity inherent in the world their work is shaping. They are thought leaders who have significantly influenced thinking and action in the social justice and immigration movements. They bring expertise, resources, and vision to their work – along with track records as catalysts of change.
Rachel Youngman | Chair
Rachel has both national and international experience across a range of sectors both at CEO and Board level. Her work has involved developing relationships and working on achieving policy change with senior stakeholders including those from the UN, EC, national governments and regulatory bodies. In her former role as Deputy Executive Director of an international legal organisation she was responsible for the commercial law programme. She has experience with the Prisoners Education Trust as the Interim CEO developing new ways of working as a team including for government policy on prison education. Throughout her career, she has volunteered for a number of different projects, ranging from teaching English to young refugees from Vietnam.
Anne-Marrie Whittaker | Company Secretary
Anne-Marrie has over twenty-five years’ experience within the criminal justice and social care sectors. She is a senior educational practitioner with established experience in group work skills, restorative justice work, and in assessing trainees and established staff members. She has been a trustee board member with Hibiscus for over ten years as she whole heartily believe that the work undertaken with disadvantaged individuals within the criminal justice system is important. She enjoys working with individuals on either side of the criminal justice sector, both legal professionals, and perpetrators or victims of crime.
Liz Hogarth OBE | Trustee
From the mid-1970s to 1992, Liz worked as a practitioner and manager in both the voluntary sector and London Probation. Liz then worked in HMP Holloway as Head of Probation Team/Throughcare Manager for 8 years, moving to strategy work as Head of Treatment Programmes in HMPS Drug Strategy Unit 2000. From 2002, she worked on offender policy in the Home Office and then the Ministry of Justice as Head of the Women’s Policy Team until 2008, then Deputy Head of the Cross-Departmental Women’s Strategy Team that was responsible for the delivery of the Government Response to the Corston Report. She was a member of Baroness Corston’s Reference Group in 2006 and was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to women offenders. After retiring from the civil service in May 2011, Liz is now working in a voluntary capacity as a Research Assistant to Baroness Corston and as an advisor to the Corston Independent Funders’ Coalition.
Geraldine McLeod | Trustee
Geraldine has worked in the criminal justice system as a Probation Officer at HMP Holloway for almost 10 years. She started working with Hibiscus Initiatives when it was still FPWP Hibiscus and decided to get more involved as the work and ethos fit in with her values, particularly those regarding women. Geraldine is very passionate about women’s rights and is the single point of contact for women in Tower Hamlets where she gathers and shares varying information for and about women.
Dr Helen Easton | Trustee
Helen Easton is Lecturer in Criminology at London South Bank University. Prior to this she worked as a Senior Research Fellow, guiding and advising the PEER Research Project and working on the evaluation of The Chrysalis Project. She also conducted research for the Scottish Equality and Human Rights Commission on the experiences of people trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. Helen has also recently conducted research for the Ministry of Justice, evaluating the pilot of conditional cautions for women offenders; for the Northern Ireland Office evaluating the Inspire Project and for the Scottish Executive evaluating the work of the 218 Project. Helen’s main research interests are women’s desistance from offending and women exiting prostitution, however, she has also conducted research on a range of topics including the effectiveness of the Prolific and Priority Offender scheme, fear of crime, the outcomes of anti-social behaviour orders, and alcohol-related violence and disorder. Prior to working at LSBU Helen worked as a Policy Development Officer at Nacro and as in independent consultant where she delivered research, training and support for community safety partnerships.
Anna Frisina | Trustee
Anna has over 10 years’ experience working with vulnerable women, young people and families. She has worked for various organisations as a Refuge Worker, Outreach Worker, at One Stop Shops, as Project Manager, as a Sexual Violence Prevention Worker, as a Young Women’s Advocate for survivors who are exploited by gangs, and as a training provider and workshop facilitator to both survivors and professionals. Anna believes that people end up in situations as a consequence of circumstances beyond their control and aims to provide a voice to those who are unheard in society; to empower them and support them in making serious and difficult decisions, while enabling and equipping them to break free from violence and exploitation. She signs petitions, participates in campaigns, fundraising events, and works with various movements and organisations that fight against violence, bigotry, discrimination, objectification and exploitation.
Anne Stephens | Trustee
Anne was a long-term member of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Holloway before joining the Board. Anne also sits as a lay Magistrate.
Sara Khan | Trustee
Sara’s academic background is in psychology and gender and she has worked in roles relating to mental health and equality and diversity. She spent three years as a Diversity Manager in HMP Brixton supporting staff and prisoners and improving services. Since 2009 she has worked in policy and corporate roles in central government on justice-related issues.
Margaret Crisell | Trustee
Margaret worked as a solicitor for almost 40 years, and has specialised in children’s law, family law and mental health law. She is a qualified mediator and now serves as a tribunal judge. She was appointed by the North East Strategic Health Authority to chair two independent homicide inquiries. Margaret has conducted teaching and training in mental health law and practice and in children’s law and practice for various institutions. She was a founding committee member of the first Women’s Refuge Sunderland and participated in the Northumbria domestic violence forum.
Becky Shepherd | Trustee
Becky worked as a Probation Officer for over 15 years and is now a youth justice practitioner. Becky has a longstanding interest in women’s issues and is currently completing an MSc in Criminology, focusing on women offenders. Becky is also a member of the Quaker Criminal Justice Network.