Meet the team

WHAG’s staff team bring a wide range of skills and experience to the organisation and work to WHAG’s values of support, empowerment and equalities.

If you’re interested in joining us, see our Careers page.

Kirsty, CEO

Kirsty RhodesI feel very privileged to be the CEO of WHAG and I am in the fortunate position of being able to say I love my job.

WHAG is an incredible organisation with a team of dedicated staff, supporting 1000+ people every year to change their lives for the better.

My background was as a nurse and whilst I would not call myself a nurse now, those skills have always come in useful, and as a support worker. I started working for WHAG in 1995 as a project manager and have progressed from there.

As CEO, I am instructed by the Board of Trustees to develop and deliver the organisations strategy. It has been my pleasure to work alongside the Trustees and staff to establish the organisation as a high quality deliverer of domestic abuse and women’s homelessness services.

In my free time, I am a taxi service for 2 beautiful boys and a keen football supporter with one of them. I also run (shuffle) sometimes, enjoy crafts, gardening, baking and cooking. My husband is at the end of the list and we speak whenever we get the chance!

Julie, Finance and Administration Manager

Julie is WHAG’s Administration and Finance Manager.  She has been a member of staff since August 2000, working full-time hours across 4 days.  Her role is varied, challenging, interesting and enjoyable.  She is responsible for all financial activity within the organisation, along with ensuring administration process and practices are effective and efficient.  She is also WHAG’s Company Secretary and line manages the Finance and Human Resources Officers.

In her free time, Julie is an avid Manchester City FC supporter, active in her local supporters’ branch, and she is their ticket secretary – mainly so she gets access to hard-to-find match tickets!  She also has 3 fabulous cats, is a carer, and enjoys travelling and eating out.  She loves the outdoors, nature and the sea.  She is a trained person-centred counsellor, practises meditation, and really enjoys trying out new activities.  Oh, and she says shopping isn’t bad, either…

Katie, Operations Manager

Katie, Operations ManagerI am the Operations Manager for WHAG and in comparison to my colleagues, I am fairly newly appointed, having only started with the organisation in March 2018.

I am a university graduate with a combined BA honours degree and my background is predominantly in domestic abuse and mental health sectors. In recent years, more specifically managing services which support clients with primary mental health diagnoses, both single female survivors and families affected by domestic abuse and childhood sexual abuse. I have always had a passion for supporting others and genuinely love to see people achieve their own goals in life. Outside of work, I love to spend time with my family and socialising with friends. I have an additional full time job as a step-mum to a little boy that I adore and wouldn’t have our busy lives any other way.

I am really enjoying my new role as operations manager and I feel proud to say what I do and believe that we are at a really exciting time within the organisation. I look forward to my continuing career with WHAG, growing both personally and professionally in role.

Jackie, Service Manager, Rochdale and Bury

Jackie, Service Manager, Rochdale and BuryJackie is WHAG’s service manager for 2 the Rose Court supported housing project in Rochdale and the domestic abuse outreach service in Bury. She has worked for WHAG for over 13 years working in both support and managerial roles during that time.  This work has given her specialist knowledge around housing, benefits, substance misuse, mental health and the impact of homelessness. Since joining the Bury project two years ago, she has greatly increased her knowledge of the issues around domestic abuse and the legal remedies available for both female and male victims.

Jackie is responsible for managing frontline staff to ensure that both services are meeting and, in most cases, exceeding contractual criteria. She has a staff team who are passionate about supporting vulnerable homeless women and victims of domestic abuse and empowering them to gain independence and confidence, and take control of their own lives.

Jackie worked in finance for nearly 26 years with a major high street bank before deciding she wanted to take a different career path. Consequently, she completed a Sociology degree at MMU and did lots of voluntary work in the caring/voluntary sector to gain the necessary skills and knowledge in this field of work. She is passionate about her work at WHAG and feels that both she and the staff team really do change lives for the better.

Outside work Jackie enjoys socialising with her friends and especially enjoys going on holiday to relax. She has passion for reading and can always be found with a book in her hand when not in work.

Kate, Service Manager, CWAC

Kate, Service Manager, CWaCKate is WHAG’s Service Manager for the Cheshire West and Chester Supportive Accommodation Service.  She has over 14 years’ experience of working in the domestic abuse sector.  She is a domestic abuse and stalking specialist, with particular expertise in managing front-line accommodation and outreach services.  She currently manages the refuge, dispersed refuge and resettlement services. Kate has a specific interest in delivering services that focus on well being, strength and recovery.  People who come to WHAG have often experienced severe trauma.  It is important our services recognise this, understand the impacts this can have, and appreciate related  experiences such as drugs, alcohol and self harm.

Kate is passionate about providing this service, alongside providing homely and uplifting physical environments and therapeutic support to help clients recover from their experiences.  She is proud to lead a team that empowers clients to find independence and have the confidence to regain control of their lives.. Kate has a Postgraduate Certificate in Voluntary and Third Sector Management (Level 7), is an AAT Qualified Accountant and Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker (ISAC). She has Board and Treasurer experience at Chester Women’s Aid.  Kate’s approach personally and professionally is to be sincere, fair and kind.

Gill, Service Manager Complex Needs CWAC

Gill, Service Manager Complex Needs CWaCFollowing experiences in her own life Gill has been passionate about helping people through difficult times in their lives, particularly people who have experienced trauma and domestic abuse.

Gill has worked in a number of roles helping people directly for over 20 years. For the past 10 years her main focus has been domestic abuse, and her role now involves helping the most vulnerable and complex people who have a number of issues and needs due to the trauma they have experienced. Gill says the work can be exhausting, but that helping the most vulnerable people is also hugely rewarding and worthwhile, and she loves making a difference with the work she does.

Susan, Volunteer Manager

Sue, Volunteer Manager

Karen, Policy and Development Manager

Karen, Policy and Development ManagerKaren is WHAG’s Policy and Development Manager, responsible for working with managers and trustees to make sure WHAG’s internal policies on things like data protection, equalities and safeguarding are up to date and used effectively in the organisation.  She also keeps the organisation up to date on external policies that affect our clients, such as changes to benefits, new laws on domestic abuse, and how supported housing will be funded in the future.  She produces WHAG’s newsletter and regular news digests, and helps with fundraising.  Her background is in advice work and consultancy; before joining WHAG she spent several years in the Citizens Advice service, and also worked for Macc, which is Manchester’s Council for Voluntary Service.  When not at work, Karen can usually be found doing something musical, guest-singing with different choirs around Manchester and her folk trio The Bailey Sisters, or anywhere with birds and gardens.  She is trying hard not to become a Cat Lady.

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