The Trustee Board
The Trustees volunteer their time and expertise to oversee the legal and business functioning of the Service. They have a range of skills, experience, qualifications and an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Certificate. They all come from various walks of life and this provides the organisation with a firm secure structure from which it can operate.
Meet our Trustees
Liz Taylor- Chair
I worked for many years as a mental health professional with a particular interest in severe and enduring conditions. I was aware of the impact adverse life events such as sexual abuse had on mental wellbeing and this became a personal experience when a member of my family became ill as a result of domestic abuse. Contact with, and subsequent counselling, from the Birchall Trust marked a recovery turning point for both the victim and the rest of the family. As a result, I became a Trustee in 2018 to support the work done by the whole team and to further knowledge of the impact of sexual abuse on victims, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Simon Hanson- Treasurer
“I believe that supporting survivors of rape and sexual abuse is a social imperative and from my own experience as a survivor I could see there was the need for greater provision of specialist counselling.” In order to pursue this ideal I became a Trustee of the Birchall Trust in 2009. During the following years I have been able to help the Birchall Trust to grow and provide support to more survivors and to extend our reach beyond south Cumbria into north Lancashire. I will continue to use my knowledge and experience to support the development of our service to the best of my ability. I have lived in Cumbria since 2005 and work in audio/visual arts. Prior to this I worked in senior managerial roles for a large multinational company. I have a wealth of experience managing organisations and working with people from all walks of life.
Siobhan Weare – Secretary
I am a Lecturer in the Law School at Lancaster University, where my research is currently focusing on men who experience sexual violence from women. I am passionate about improving the legal and criminal justice responses to all survivors of sexual violence. I have been a trustee of The Birchall Trust for nearly three years and I am proud to be part of such an amazing organisation that delivers real and positive change and support to survivors and their families.
After recently returning to the area, I was extremely keen on finding a position where I could add value to an organisation, but that also works in an area I am passionate about; and I cannot tell you how impressed I have been by the passion and commitment show by all of the team at Birchall, it is inspiring. I hope to use my skills and experience to assist in the furthering of the trust’s aspirations.
During my undergraduate degree in Criminology and Sociology, I gravitated towards the study of interpersonal crimes, sexual violence and abuse. Whilst it is a subject area some may find uneasy, the complexities and overall injustice I felt during my studies had an incredibly deep-rooted impact. My experience as a volunteer helpline operative at Manchester Rape Crisis later provided me with a heavy hitting reality and human context to the issues. In later years I returned to University as a mature student to complete a MA in Criminal Justice, specialising in sexual violence and now I wish to do more to improve the experience of all those affected by these issues. Professionally, I am a trained Mediator and have my own small business offering mediation and dispute resolution services. I also currently work part time for a local charitable foundation.