Announcement of new Interim Chief Executive for Solace

Dear all,

I am writing on behalf of the Board to announce the good news that Bernadette Keane has joined Solace Women’s Aid as Interim Chief Executive as of 3 January 2023.

Solace is a leading specialist charity supporting women and children experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence, they support nearly 30,000 people each year, providing a range of services from advice, accommodation, rape crisis, women with multiple disadvantage, as well as providing training, campaigning and education based work and long term therapeutic services for support women to recover from the trauma of abuse.

Bernadette’s last role was Chief Executive of Unlocking Potential, a charity for children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs. Before this she was leading Violence Against Women and Girls programmes as a Director of Services (London and the National Homicide Service) at Victim Support.

Across her 30-year career, Bernadette has fought to improve the lives of people who have been disadvantaged by society, systems and personal circumstances. She brings a wealth of experience across all Solace’s priority areas.

From Bernadette:

“I am so proud to be joining Solace, an organisation that I have long admired. I have worked in and led homelessness, mental health, supported housing, children and young people provision, therapeutic and advice services, but I have always sought out roles which support the recovery of women.

I have worked extensively with service users in all my roles, ensuring that they are at the heart of everything I do. As a survivor myself, I understand how vital the services that Solace provides are.”

Making this announcement also signals Judith Banjoko’s last week with Solace. Judith deserves our fullest thanks for her fantastic leadership, warmth and hard-graft over the past 12 months as Interim CEO, and in the years’ prior as our Director of Services. We will miss her and wish her all the best with her new role at Shelter.

With warm wishes for a healthy and successful 2023.

Kirsty Telford

Interim Chair, Solace Women’s Aid