New Chair – Trustee Rebecca Harrington
The Maya Centre has elected Rebecca Harrington from amongst its trustees to take on the role of Chair from January 2015. Rebecca has extensive experience in senior leadership roles in social care and health services, and has been a trustee since 2013. Sue Kon and Claire McElwee have been sharing the role for the past year, and Sue, an experienced psychotherapist, will continue as deputy chair with a lead role in the clinical leadership of the Centre’s work.
Rebecca says: ‘ I’ve been really impressed by the high quality of the services provided by The Maya Centre. There is tremendous commitment amongst the counsellors, support staff, management, trustees and patrons who together make it possible for some of the most vulnerable women in North London to benefit from good quality psychological support. Its not an easy time for small voluntary sector organisations, but The Maya Centre has been here for 30 years and is developing and adapting to meet our clients’ needs efficiently and effectively. There is a great team here. I’m delighted to be asked to Chair the organisation, and will do whatever I can to support our work to help abused and deprived women to take back control in their lives and to thrive.’
New Patron – Author Jill Dawson
Jill Dawson is an award-winning poet and novelist, author of eight novels including Fred and Edie (which was short-listed for the Orange and Whitbread prizes) and The Great Lover, about the poet Rupert Brooke.
She is an Advisory Fellow for the Royal Literary Fund. Two of her novels have themes of relationship violence (Trick of the Light and Lucky Bunny). These draw on her own experiences as a young mother in her twenties; living in squats and council flats in London she found herself trapped in a terrifying relationship for five years until – with the help of friends and the insightful comments of a therapist – she managed to leave.
She knows first-hand how hard it is to escape from abuse when you have no money or job and when despair and fear have set in. But she also learned the importance of psychotherapy in healing, both for herself and her son. Now living in Cambridgeshire, married and with a second son and foster daughter, (both teenagers) Jill is delighted to be able to be an advocate and champion of the Maya Centre in its unique and vital work, offering first-class therapy to women who need help and cannot afford it.