Important Update from Helen Hughes, Chair of Solace

10 December 2021

Dear all,

It is with an equal mixture of pride and sadness that I have decided to step down as Chair of Solace Women’s Aid.

I am immensely proud of Solace and its work. I have been a small part of the Solace family and I hope that my contribution has provided a solid foundation for this excellent organisation to continue to grow and thrive.

I have been Chair of Solace for five years and although it is a few months earlier than my term’s end date, now seems an appropriate time to step away. To be candid, a close family member became seriously ill towards the end of the summer, but I took the decision to commit to Solace and help see it through a difficult period. Now, I feel the need to prioritise my family and my own health moving forward.

The two most important elements of Solace are our service users and our staff. Everyone at Solace has a responsibility to lead by example, to uphold our beliefs and values, and to help defend and empower women. Solace’s work is extremely important and the impact our staff have had, and will continue to have, in helping vulnerable service users should be recognised and celebrated. It is extremely important that Solace continues to expand and support those who are in desperate need of help.

A key element of my role as Chair is one of Charity governance and organisational leadership. But put simply, my personal focus has been to help facilitate and support the best interests of our charity, our staff, and our service users, delivering our vision and mission.

I would like to thank my fellow trustees for their expertise, support and dedication in helping both myself and Solace during my tenure including when we’ve had to rise to overcome challenges, especially during the Pandemic.

Kirsty Telford, current Vice Chair, will step in as interim Chair to give us time to carry out a thorough and transparent recruitment process for our new permanent Chair. I firmly believe that with Kirsty as Chair and Judith as Interim CEO, Solace will continue to thrive and be there for those that need us.

I wish you well as I become a proud external champion of Solace and look forward to seeing our Charity strengthen and flourish. I have learned much, made strong friendships and will miss you immensely. Thank you.

Helen Hughes

Chair, Solace Women’s Aid