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AVA staff

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Donna Covey CBE, Director

Donna has been Director of AVA since December 2014. She started her career in the Trade Union movement, specialising in equality and diversity issues, and spent 10 years as a member of the TUC General Council. She has run a number of third sector organisations, including Asthma UK and the Refugee Council. She has written extensively on health, equality and human rights issues. In 2013 Donna was awarded the CBE for services to equality and human rights.

Savita Narain, Deputy Director

Savita has worked in the voluntary and community sector since 1996, mostly in advice and information services. Before working at AVA she was Head of Rethink Mental Illness' Advice and Information Service. She has a Postgraduate Diploma in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School's Centre for Charity Effectiveness.  She is a qualified trainer and delivers training on equality, diversity and discrimination issues.

Joanna Sharpen, Policy Manager

Jo is a qualified youth worker with person centred counselling training.  She is a qualified trainer with a BSc (hons) in Psychology and an MA in Women and Child Abuse. She has worked at AVA since 2006 and is a nationally recognised leader in the field of children and young people affected by gender based violence and abuse. She has written national guidance for the home office and numerous toolkits and training packages.

Jennifer Holly, Project Manager

From 2004 to 2010 Jennifer worked for Women's Aid in frontline, policy and strategic roles. During this time she acquired extensive knowledge and experience of developing and delivering a range of services to victims of domestic violence and their children. She has also worked in central Europe supporting the delivery of harm reduction services to women involved in prostitution. Jennifer is a qualified trainer and has an MSc in Gender and Social Policy from the London School of Economics.

Dr Lucy Allwright, Project Manager

Lucy has been working in the Violence Against Women and Girls sector since 2008 in a variety of frontline, training and policy roles in both the charity and public sector. She has developed a range of training packages and curricula on gender-based violence and lectures on gender based violence and abuse.  She holds a PhD from University of Warwick.