Established in 1983 by Chris Tchaikovsky, a former prisoner, Women in Prison (WIP) is a national charity dedicated to making a difference to the lives of women affected by the criminal justice system by providing  holistic, women-centred support in order to enable them to meet their resettlement, education and training needs and reduce the risk of re-offending.  We also educate the public and policy makers about women in contact with the criminal justice system, to promote alternatives to custody and provide a voice for women's experiences. Our vision is of a world without women's prisons.  A world where the abuse,marginalisation and poverty at the root of so much of women's offending is addressed before women come into contact with the criminal justice system.

We are seeking a number of highly motivated and enthusiastic women to join our Trustee Board.  Black, Asian and minority ethnic women are particularly encouraged to apply, and we would welcome applications from women with direct experience of the criminal justice system.  We need someone with extensive financial experience (including an appropriate financial qualification) to deputise for, and directly support, our Treasurer.  We also need someone with recent HR experience and someone skilled in social media. To successfully undertake the role of Trustee, the successful applicants will need to have time to  spare between the bi-monthly trustee meetings to attend occasional meetings at WIP's South London office.

Women only need apply (these roles are exempt under the Equality Act 2010 pursuant to Schedule 9, Part 1).

For further information about these roles, contact Mary Pimm on

Type: Trustee
Salary: Voluntary , expenses paid
How to apply: After you have received further information, please send a CV and covering letter, explaining your interest in/what you would bring to the role to Yvonne Roberts, Chair of Trustees (



Dr Kate Paradine, Chief Executive. Kate has led various change initiatives in the public and charity sectors  on issues including domestic abuse, child abuse, substance misuse and mental ill health including publishing national policy and strategy documents. She led the project to transfer staff and services from the National Policing Improvement Agency to the College of Policing and was previously National Quality Lead at CRI and lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Southampton (including leading the Law and Discrimination course). Kate has been chair of trustees for a group of women’s refuges and trustee for national theatre company Clean Break.

Yvonne Roberts, Chair of Trustees. Yvonne has been involved with Women in Prison since it was founded over thirty years ago by Chris Tchaikovsky. Yvonne is an award winning journalist in television and print and currently writes for The Observer. She is a novelist and author of several non-fiction books. Yvonne is a fellow of the Young Foundation and a trustee of Maslaha. She is on the advisory committee of the Women's Budget Group.

Jo Ryan, Vice Chair of Trustees. Jo is Director of the Bright Ideas Partnership, a consultancy that supports charities to raise funds efficiently and cost effectively. She has extensive experience of fundraising for charities and not-for-profits. Her areas of expertise are statutory fundraising, trust fundraising and undertaking external evaluations. She previously worked as the Fundraising and Development Manager for Victim Support Southwark. In this role, she was a sole fundraiser and as such, she understands the need for developing and implementing an effective fundraising strategy for a small charity with limited resources and support. Jo has a Masters in Criminology and Forensic Psychology.

Katherine Brown, Treasurer. Katherine is a chartered accountant with eight years experience. Following completion of a BA in Law and Criminology at the University of Sheffield, Katherine trained at Deloitte where she had the opportunity to work with a number of Technology, Media and Telecoms clients. Since leaving Deloitte in 2011 she has gained valuable experience in the commercial and public sectors. Katherine developed a passion for the rights of women involved in the Criminal Justice System during her undergraduate degree and as a result, chose to return to university in 2014 to study for an MSc in Criminal Justice Policy at the London School of Economics, where she focused on the treatment and rights of mentally ill female prisoners. She joined WIP as a trustee in 2015.

Paramjit Ahluwalia is a criminal defence barrister (called to the Bar in 2002) and practices at Garden Court Chambers. She specialises in cases affecting individuals with migration crime and also individuals with a background of mental health difficulties. She is part of the advisory group for the Centre for Criminal Appeals and lectures and writes on issues of migration crime and modern day slavery.

Deborah Coles is Director of INQUEST and a leading authority on deaths in custody and their investigation. She undertakes policy, research and consultancy work on the strategic issues raised by contentious deaths, their investigation, the treatment of bereaved people and state accountability. She was a member of the reference group to The Corston Report on women in the criminal justice system, and is the author of several publications including Dying On the Inside: Examining Women’s Deaths in Prison (INQUEST 2008).  Deborah is a member of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody and a trustee for the Buwan Kothi International Trust and Clean Break Theatre Company.

Davina James-Hanman is an independent consultant on Violence Against Women. She has worked in this field for three decades in a variety of capacities including advocate, campaigner, conference organiser, crisis counsellor, policy officer, project manager, refuge worker, researcher, trainer and writer. She has published innumerable articles, two book chapters and has also authored a wide variety of original resources for survivors. She has worked with a wide range of organisations including the Home Office, the Mayor of London, Department of Health, CJS Inspectorates and as special adviser to the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Lynne Laidlaw. Lynne has over 20 years of experience working within the UK VCS covering a range of issues and constituencies including the Criminal Justice System, human rights, medical research, disability, advocacy, and mentoring.  During her working life, she delivered consultancy, facilitation, and training on monitoring and evaluation, strategic and organisational development, change management, and fundraising.  She also provided training on working with offenders and ‘social care/vulnerable clients’, including mentoring.  She engages in a range of volunteering roles including as a Restorative Justice Panel Member for Surrey Youth Support Services. Lynne has an MA from San Francisco State, USA in Political Science; an LLM in International Human Rights Law from Sussex University; and a Post Graduate Diploma in Mediation and Conflict Resolution from Birkbeck.

Martine Lignon. After most of her career spent in Adult, Further and Higher Education, Martine turned to prisoners’ education, training and employment. She worked as Head of Learning and Skills at HMP Pentonville and HMP/YOI Isis. Then, under OLASS 2, she was the education provider for residents of HMP/YOI Holloway and HMP Pentonville and clients of the North and East quadrants of London Probation. Now retired, Martine volunteers as employability trainer for The Refugee Council. She is the Chair of the Prisoners’ Advice Service years and was the Chair of the Detention Advice Service for 2 years. She joined WIP as a trustee in 2002.

Dianne Nelmes is a broadcasting consultant who has had a long and award winning career in documentary and lifestyle television programming. She was the first and only woman executive producer of ITV’s network, investigative current affairs series World In Action and subsequently Controller of Factual Programmes for Granada Television. A staunch supporter of women’s issues throughout her broadcasting career, Dianne is credited with changing the face of daytime television. She is a trustee of the domestic abuse charity Refuge; vice-chair of the Trustee Board of the National Union of Students; a fellow of the Royal Television Society and fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She holds an honorary Doctorate in Civil Law from Newcastle University and is a lay member of the University Council.

Mary Pimm. Now retired after 30 years in the Civil Service, with her latter years spent in HR following many years as an active trade unionist. She has been involved in a number of campaigns against death in custody and for several years was an Independent Custody Visitor.