Medina has worked in the domestic violence and abuse sector for 15 years. She has worked on IRIS since 2007 and was one of the original two IRIS Advocate Educators before becoming one of the National Implementation Managers for the project in 2010. She holds an honorary contract with Bristol University and is a collaborator on a number of academic research projects including ReProvide and DRiDVA. She is passionate to improve the healthcare response to gender violence and to improve the associated care pathways and support for women affected.
In 2017, Medina was part of the team that set up and established IRISi.
Medina’s background is in education and training and she has worked as a secondary school teacher, regional trainer for a large national charity, managed a project for single homeless people, and managed a resettlement service for women in housing need with mental health problems. She has an MA in European Business Management
Outside work, Medina is Chair of a small UK charity supporting a children’s home in Kenya and visits her African family each year. She is also a trustee of Women’s Adventure Expo, a pioneering social enterprise celebrating, inspiring and empowering women in adventure and exploration.
Medina lives in Monmouthshire and enjoys spending time in the garden with her hens and bees.
Annie is Programme Director at IRISi. Annie is passionate to improve the healthcare response to gender based violence, ultimately giving all survivors access to support.
Annie has worked in the domestic violence and abuse sector for 15 years. Her experience began in Sydney, Australia, where she worked for the Attorney Generals Government. During this time Annie worked in various roles including case supervisor for survivors of domestic violence, case manager for family members of homicide victims and subsequently working as a telephone counsellor on the victim support helpline, New South Wales. On returning to the UK Annie worked for the LGBT charity Galop before she started work at nia in 2007 as part of the IRIS research team. She was one of the original two IRIS Advocate Educators before becoming one of the National Implementation Managers for the project in 2010. The focus at this time to implement IRIS as a commissionable model nationally.
Annie is also a qualified Chair of Independent Domestic Homicide Reviews. She has a BA hons in Criminology.
Annie lives in Twickenham and enjoys spending time with her husband and three young daughters. She enjoys battling gender stereotypes, whether it be at the school gate or during a night out with friends. Annie has a passion for music and dance, loves cake decorating, enjoys boxing and likes going to the rugby.
Project Lead - Social Franchising
Lucy joined the IRISi team in September 2017 as a National Implementation Manager. Her current role is to lead on IRISi’s work to explore whether the concept of social franchising can be used to more easily replicate and spread the IRIS programme to new areas, so more clinicians and more patients can benefit from the successful IRIS service.
Lucy has worked and volunteered in the gender-based violence sector for eleven years, including a long period as an ‘advocate-educator’ for the IRIS service. She has supported many hundreds of women who have experienced domestic abuse. Lucy has seen first-hand the benefits for patients of educating general practice clinicians about domestic abuse, and of establishing a collaborative approach in which primary care and the domestic abuse sector work in partnership to tackle violence and abuse.
Lucy has recently completed an MSc in Public Policy, specialising in gender-based violence, at the University of Bristol, and holds a BA in English Literature and Social Philosophy and Applied Ethics from Cardiff University.
Mel joined the IRISi team in January 2019 as one of our Regional Managers. A present her main focus is supporting all the areas across London who are currently running an IRIS project, as well as supporting any new boroughs who decide to become a part of IRIS. In addition to this she helps run our train the trainer’s sessions throughout the year, training and equipping new IRIS team’s member across the country.
Mel has previously worked as an Advocate Educator for the IRIS project within both the areas of Bristol and South Gloucestershire. She has front line experience of just how impactful the IRIS project can be and is passionate about seeing this grow and develop across the country. Prior to this Mel worked as a Probation Service Officer in the Magistrates court, assisting with assessing offenders prior to sentencing and supporting the court with their sentencing decisions.
For many years Mel worked in a voluntary capacity with young people from deprived communities, she has a passion for travelling and has a BA in Drama and English Literature.
Hazel joined the IRISi team in May 2017 as a Regional Manager. Hazel’s background is in law; however, she has worked in the gender-based violence sector for the past 12 years, which includes working with Black Country Women’s Aid as there Advocate Educator.
Hazel attended Birmingham City University where she obtained a BA in Criminal Justice and Criminology. as part of this degree she wrote a dissertation entitled ‘The Barriers faced by Black Women in Disclosing Domestic Abuse’ which also allowed her to travel to the Caribbean to look at the infrastructure available to those experiencing domestic abuse.
Hazel supports the West Midlands and Northern sites and co facilitates the train the trainer's courses.
Naomi joined the IRISi team in January 2020 as a Regional Manager. She is working closely with local partners to support the implementation and set up of the IRIS programme in 7 new boroughs in London which has been funded by the Violence Reduction Unit.
Naomi has worked and volunteered in the VAWG sector for nearly 10 years and has worked in many frontline roles including an IRIS Advocate Educator at Solace Women’s Aid, a young person’s IDVA in King’s College Hospital and as a specialist outreach worker supporting women with multiple and severe disadvantage. She is passionate about bridging the gap between health and specialist voluntary organisations to improve the response to gender-based violence and for this to be recognised as a public health issue.
Naomi is currently studying a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling and is volunteering with the mental health charity, Mind.
Comms & Events Manager
Allie joined the IRISi team in April 2018 as part time comms and events manager. Allie’s background is in music and events comms, but she joined the IRISi team after moving back to Somerset from London. Allie has a degree in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths University and has spent the past 13 years working with some of the UK biggest music acts on number one albums and tours.
Allie works across all IRISi comms channels and events, dealing with press and media enquiries, IRISi social media, the IRISi website and our many events When she’s not coming up with ideas for content and digital schemes, Allie is a keen ultra-runner who spends most of her spare time running with her four dogs in the Mendips.
Development Manager: Social Franchising
Ellie joined IRISi in June 2019 and is working to engage with new partners and develop the IRIS model as a Social Franchise. She has worked and volunteered in the women’s sector for 6 years and has supported the development and growth of several successful women-led projects and events in Bristol. She is passionate about tackling gender based violence as a healthcare issue to ensure that DVA is consistently recognised and survivors receive the care that they deserve. Ellie recently completed an MSc in Gender and International Relations, specialising in gender based violence and security at the University of Bristol and holds a BA in Art and Visual Culture from the University of the West of England.
Estela is a Data Scientist at IRISi. She has a BA in Business Administration and Economics from FGV in Sao Paulo, an MSc in Political Economy from Pontificate University of Sao Paulo, and her PhD investigated methods for measuring inequality at the Centre for Health Economics, University of York. Before coming to the UK, Estela performed evaluation of health interventions for the Brazilian Ministry of Health. Besides working for IRISi, she holds an academic post at UCL, where she works as a health economist for NIHR CLAHRC North Thames and she is involved on a broad range of projects, including the evaluation of the implementation of IRIS; and the evaluation of screening for HIV in primary care, the evaluation of a hospital group model and the Child Policy Research Unit (CPRU).
National Support Officer
Cheryl joined IRIS as our National Support Officer in March 2016 and along with Medina, Annie and Lucy was part of the team that set up and established IRISi as a social enterprise in 2017.
Cheryl manages the IRISi office providing administrative support to the team and working with them to develop and implement their strategy and vision.
Before joining IRIS, Cheryl had a long career co-ordinating mental health and injury prevention research studies at a number of UK universities and managed the Editorial Office for the Journal of Family Therapy for 12 years.
When she’s not helping community groups or practising yoga, you’re most likely to find Cheryl traipsing through Longleat forest with her beautiful rescue lurcher Talisker.
Contracts and Programme manager
Dr Shim Vereker is a programme and change manager with a background in health. Shim joined the IRISi team in January 2020 as Contract and Programme Manager for the IRIS in 7 London Boroughs programme.
Her first career was in health – she was an NHS Dentist, managing large patient lists of up to 30 patients a day, performing a full range of restorative dentistry such as endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, as well as practising preventive care and oral surgery. She went and worked as a Dentist in Australia in 2011 whilst also fulfilling her love of travelling by visiting New Zealand and many parts of South East Asia. After a successful 13-year career, she retired from dentistry to join Diversity Role Models – an anti-bullying LGBTQ+ children’s charity. Shim has worked as a programme manager in the sector for various organisations since 2017, one of them being Rights of Women.
Shim holds a BDS Hons [Bachelor of Dental surgery] from The Royal London College of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary’s in London and has qualifications in programme management such as PRINCE2, AGILE Project management and Change management.
Donna has been Director of AVA since December 2014. She started her career in the Trade Union movement, specialising in equality and diversity issues, and spent 10 years as a member of the TUC General Council. She has run a number of third sector organisations, including Asthma UK and the Refugee Council. She has written extensively on health, equality and human rights issues. In 2013 Donna was awarded the CBE for services to equality and human rights.
Donna is Chair of the IRISi Board, is one of the Directors and was part of the team that set up and established IRISi in 2017.
Gene is Professor of Primary Health Care at the Centre for Academic Primary Care, Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol Gene qualified at Guy's Hospital medical school, following a BSc in Biology and Philosophy from the University of Sussex. He trained as a GP and was a principal in Hackney for 21 years until moving to Bristol. His research started with the health and healthcare of Traveller Gypsies, followed by studies on the development and implementation of clinical guidelines, management of chronic respiratory and cardiovascular conditions in primary care and the health impact of domestic violence. Current research focuses on healthcare responses to domestic violence globally. Gene’s methodological expertise is in randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews, collaborating with epidemiologists and social scientists on cohort and qualitative studies respectively. He has chaired four NICE guideline development groups and led the WHO intimate partner violence guidelines. In 2017 was awarded an OBE for services to healthcare and victims of domestic abuse.
Gene was the principal investigator on the original IRIS trial and has been closely involved with the development of the programme and IRISi ever since. He was also one of the team that set up and established IRISi in 2017 and is a Director.
Andrew is a Senior Research Commercialisation Manager at the University of Bristol and works with academics and clinicians from the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences to facilitate the transfer of a range of technologies and healthcare interventions to commercial organisations. This includes licensing and new company creation. Andrew joined University of Bristol from UWE, where he worked in Technology Transfer for 10 years. In the more distant past he was a plant sciences researcher at Bristol.
Andrew worked with the IRIS team and other stakeholders to create IRISi and is a non-executive director, providing oversight of company activity alongside his fellow directors.
The IRISi team welcomes My Sisters Place, our new social franchise partner organisation. Together, we will be delivering the IRIS Programme to general practices in Middlesbrough starting in January 2021. While this work gets...Read more
In the first lockdown, there was an increase of 50% in calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline and a 400% increase in web traffic for online support. Domestic abuse is often invisible as...Read more
IRISi invited their Advocate Educators to share their perspective over how the pandemic has impacted the support provided for Domestic Abuse and Violence victims – and how the IRIS programme has been adjusted to...Read more
AVA is an expert, groundbreaking and independent charity working across the UK.
Their vision is a world without gender based violence and abuse. They aim to inspire innovation and collaboration and encourage and enable direct service providers to help end gender based violence and abuse particularly against women and girls.AVA’s work is focused around those areas where they can make the best contribution to ending violence and abuse. They do this by making sure that survivors get the help and support they need in the here and now, through providing innovative training that has a proven direct impact on the professional practice of people supporting survivors of violence and abuse
developing a range of toolkits, e-learning and other material that supports professionals to provide effective and appropriate support to survivors of violence and abuse
using our influence and networks to ensure survivors voices are heard. We work closely with AVA in many areas including the Pathfinder project
SafeLives are a national charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, for good. We combine insight from services, survivors and statistics to support people to become safe, well and rebuild their lives. Since 2005, SafeLives has worked with organisations across the country to transform the response to domestic abuse, with over 60,000 victims at highest risk of murder or serious harm now receiving co-ordinated support annually. SafeLives are members of the Pathfinder consortium.
Imkaan is a UK-based, Black feminist organisation. We are the only national second-tier women’s organisation dedicated to addressing violence against Black and minoritised women and girls i.e. women and girls which are defined in policy terms as Black and ‘Minority Ethnic’ (BME). The organisation holds nearly two decades of experience of working around issues such as domestic violence, forced marriage and ‘honour-based’ violence.
They work at local, national and international level, and in partnership with a range of organisations, to improve policy and practice responses to Black and minoritised women and girls. Imkaan works with it’s members to represent the expertise and perspectives of frontline, specialist and dedicated Black and minoritised women’s organisations that work to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. Imkaan delivers a unique package of support which includes: quality assurance; accredited training and peer education; sustainability support to frontline Black and minoritised organisations; and facilitation of space for community engagement and development. They are a part of the Pathfinder Consortium.
The Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) is a leading centre for primary care research in the UK, one of nine forming the NIHR School for Primary Care Research. It is part of Bristol Medical School, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for population health research and teaching.
The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK. The Health Foundation’s Exploring Social Franchising programme aims to generate a deeper understanding of the potential of social franchising models for scaling effective health and social care interventions within the NHS.
We are one of four project teams participating in the programme to develop a social franchise to enable the sustainable spread of our intervention, the IRIS Programme. We receive funding and support from the Health Foundation, including technical expertise on social franchising, and attend programme learning events. The Health Foundation has also commissioned a programme-wide evaluation to support understanding of the use of social franchising in the UK health and care system. We and our franchisees will support the evaluation through co-designing data collection requirements, providing access to data as requested, hosting site visits and attending learning events.
Standing Together Against Domestic Violence is a UK charity bringing communities together to end domestic abuse. They bring local services together to keep people safe
Most public services weren’t designed with domestic abuse in mind, and they often struggle to keep people safe. Poor communication and gaps between services put survivors at risk.
STADV aim to end domestic abuse by changing the way that local services respond to it. They do this through an approach that they pioneered, called the Coordinated Community Response. The Coordinated Community Response brings services together to ensure local systems truly keep survivors safe, hold abusers to account, and prevent domestic abuse.
Their model of a coordinated local partnership to tackle and ultimately prevent domestic violence is now widely accepted as best practice. They are also a part of the Pathfinder consortium.
Spring Impact is a not-for-profit social enterprise born out of the frustration of seeing social organisations constantly reinventing the wheel and wasting scarce resources. Spring Impact uses a combination of tested commercial and social principles and extensive practical expertise to support organisations to identify, design and implement the right social replication model to scale their social impact.