Meet the Team

Meet the Team


Management Team

Lily Greenan. Chief Executive.

Lily was appointed manager of Scottish Women’s Aid in 2006. Lily has been active in work to challenge violence against women for almost 30 years.  She worked for Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre, as an unpaid support worker and as a development worker, between 1981 and 1999.  As chair of the Promoting Women’s Safety working group of Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership, she played a key role in the development of Edinburgh’s first multi-agency strategy to tackle violence against women. 

She moved to NHS Lanarkshire in 1999 where she established the EVA Project (now known as EVA Services), and managed a multidisciplinary team delivering counselling, clinical psychology and advocacy services to women with experience of violence and abuse.  As a member of the North Lanarkshire Domestic Abuse Working Group she supported the development and early implementation of the first pilot Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) in Scotland.

She is the author of Violence Against Women: a literature review, published by the Scottish Executive in 2005.

Lydia Okroj. Housing Policy Officer. Manager: Service Development Team

Lydia Okroj took up her current post as a Housing Policy Officer at SWA in 1997. She has been active in the Violence Against Women field for over 30 years including working as a support worker with Edinburgh and East Lothian Women’s Aid.

Her current role involves working with a range of agencies, policy makers and government departments to improve access to services and service provision for women, children and young people with experience of domestic abuse. Lydia loves shopping for, cooking and eating food, especially when this involves sharing the experience with family and friends.

She says that the one thing she has learned in life is ‘never say never’.

Infrastructure Team


Max Marnau. Information and Administration Worker

Max has been the Information Administration Worker for Scottish Women’s Aid since early January 2014. Her background is in care work, writing and translation and she also works as a counsellor, both as a volunteer and in private practice. In her free time she enjoys fly fishing and gardening – she usually has a major re-landscaping job on the go in the pocket-handkerchief she calls her garden. Another hobby is learning languages, the current project being Welsh – which is why she can be heard muttering what sounds like strange incantations during her lunch hour. Max’s favourite quotation is from Soren Kierkegaard via Carl Rogers: To become the self one truly is.

Rosemary Banner. Training Administrator Worker

Rosemary is from Perthshire and began working as the Training Administrator in July 2014. Previous jobs have included care assistant, cook, media monitor and postie. She has worked in the third sector for several years now with jobs at Citizens Advice, Youth Scotland and Carr Gomm.
Her main hobbies are gardening and learning to play the fiddle.

CEDAR team

Kirstie Farmer. National Development Worker

 In June 2012, Kirstie joined the CEDAR Project as a National Development Worker. Kirstie joined Scottish Womens Aid as Participation Worker in March 2009 Her role involves supporting the national CEDAR network, including supporting the establishment of new CEDAR projects across Scotland, delivery of training, provision of information and resources, and support with Monitoring and Evaluation.  Kirstie has worked in the voluntary sector for the past ten years, initially working as a youth worker in the Borders, before moving on to promote children’s rights at a national level, working in the mental health sector before moving into the Violence Against Women field. Kirstie loves the challenge and variety of working on a national project, particularly working with so many committed and passionate people.

 When not she’s working, Kirstie enjoys country life with her family in the Borders. When she’s not trying to learn how to drive or ride a horse, Kristie’s favourite way to relax is to cook a meal while listening to radio 4 and enjoying a glass of wine.

Orlaith McAree. Information and Communications Development Worker

Orlaith is the Information and Communications Development Worker for the National Cedar Project. Through community development work, research, writing and activism, she has developed and supported work around issues of inequality - particularly gender and race inequality - in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Poland. One of her main areas of interest is the perpetuation and exacerbation of inequality through language and popular culture. She enjoys scrambling around hills, live music and satire. Her favourite quote is "Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

Sasha McDougall. Training and Resources Worker

Sasha McDougall is the Training and Resources Worker for the National Cedar project at Scottish Women’s Aid. Working in partnership across agencies and promoting recovery, strength based person centred services is at the heart of Sasha’s work. Other roles include capacity building across a range of third sector and equality groups, developing information and support services, partnership working across public bodies.

When she’s not working Sasha enjoys running or up and down hills, zooming about on her bike or paddling about in the sea – with all the cake to match. Sasha loves digging about in the garden and will never say no to a game of table tennis.


Service Development Team

Ash Kuloo. Learning and Development Coordinator

Ash Kuloo joined the team at Scottish Women’s Aid in May 2008 as Learning and Development Coordinator. Her role is to provide support for network members in relation to training, learning and qualifications.

Ash has previously worked within the statutory sector in a number of different roles and in the private sector. She moved to the voluntary sector in a paid post as Project Manager in January 2003 within a Black Minority Ethnic Refuge in Sheffield. In May 2006 she joined a Women’s Aid group in Scotland as Change Manager. Ash has also been an active board member for Saheliya in Edinburgh, Sheffield Women’s Therapy and Counselling service and SASH Domestic Abuse group in Halifax. Ash also volunteered for Women’s Aid and the Citizens Advice Bureau in Huddersfield.  Ash loves going to India to visit family and enjoys the hotter climate. She would like to see more of India and experience the different cultures and hopes one day she can work in a project in India. She is particularly passionate about working with homeless children.

Ash’s favourite quote is: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” Gandhi

Megan Johnson

Megan is the Service Development Worker at SWA. Her role is to support members to sustain, develop and evidence the value of their specialist services and share good practice with one and other.  Her work includes co-ordinating the member programme and offering tailored support to members. Since leaving university Megan has worked mostly in the voluntary sector- specifically in the fields of widening participation in education, early years, and play.
One of Megan’s favourite quotes is ‘political freedom, generally speaking, means the right to be a participator in government or it means nothing.’ Hannah Arendt.

Policy and Public Affairs Team

Ellie Hutchinson. Prevention Worker

Ellie Hutchinson is the Prevention Worker at Scottish Women’s Aid. She coordinates campaigns and engagement projects to supportthe involvement of the general public in ending domestic abuse. This includes work on bystander programmes, healthy relationships and so called revenge pornography. She co-ordinates online forms of communication including blog posts, web content and social media dialogue. She has volunteered as a youth worker, a rape crisis support worker, co-founded Edinburgh Feminist Network, and founded Hollaback! Edinburgh.In her spare time she enjoys trashy films and thinking she knows more than she does about alternative music.

Ellie’s favourite quote is:  “Do you think I have worked hard all these years just to say the same thing?” Michel Foucault

Louise Johnson. Legal Issues Worker

Louise has worked for Scottish Women’s Aid since 2001. Her remit as National Legal Issues Worker is to improve access to justice and promote the legal rights of women, children and young people with experience of domestic abuse, through both influencing the development and implementation of justice policy and legislation, and monitoring and assessing emerging legislation and policy and the impact of these changes. Louise’s background is in business and she spent nearly 17 years working in the arena of corporate and personal insolvency with one of the world’s largest accountancy firms.

Louise has two favourite quotes; “When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened ” from  John M. Richardson Jnr, and from Sir Francis Bacon, “Knowledge is power” "  

Jo Ozga. Policy Worker

Jo joined SWA in 2004 as a Policy worker and has been responsible for progressing policy responses in relation to women and children becoming homeless as a result of domestic abuse, this includes supporting the provision of refuge accommodation across Scotland.  Other aspects of her role include working with housing providers to develop their practice in responding to domestic abuse and work on the welfare reform proposals that particularly impact on women and children experiencing domestic abuse.  Jo has a background in social housing, previously working as a housing manager in a community based housing association where she managed accommodation and support services for a range of vulnerable client groups. Before joining SWA she worked for a project that provided a range of supported accommodation for homeless people with different and often complex needs.  Jo finds it really valuable to be able to draw on this previous practical experience to support her in her policy work.

When she’s not working Jo enjoys the trials and tribulations of being an Arsenal fan.

Tanya Rhodes. Media Worker

Tanya has been the Media Worker at Scottish Women’s Aid since August 2011, with responsibility for promoting the organisation and related issues in the press and online. Tanya worked as a journalist, magazine editor and events manager before moving into PR and communications in 2007. Tanya has wide-ranging experience gathered from the NHS, government and private sectors, as well as four years volunteering for a national helpline.  Prior to her professional career, early work experience was eclectic to say the least, ranging from time spent in a police control room and a car-repossession firm, to music critic for a Scottish newspaper and an ice-skating steward.  Needless to say, Tanya much prefers grown-up life at SWA.

Tanya’s favourite piece of music is the last movement of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony

Kay Steven. Children's Policy Worker

Kay has been the Children’s Policy Worker at Scottish Women’s Aid since August 2014. She works to improve the response towards children and young people with experience of domestic abuse in Scotland through influencing the development of relevant policy and legislation. Kay has previously worked in campaigns and public affairs in the children’s sector in Scotland, and research on prostitution legislation in England and Wales. She has a particular anthropological curiosity around how ideas of gender and social justice form and evolve, and how this shapes the world we live in. In her spare time Kay can be found exploring beaches, running into the sea and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Kay’s favourite quote is “Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” (A.A. Milne, Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh).

Cheryl Stewart. Information and Research Worker

Cheryl Sutherland Stewart is the Information and Research Worker for Scottish Women’s Aid.  She coordinates Census Day activities, develops evaluation tools and techniques for our members, and undertakes research with universities and other organisations to further our understanding of the causes and consequences of domestic abuse.  Her passion for this work began 17 years ago while she was a PhD student at Michigan State University.  She started out by investigating the links between domestic abuse and women’s health issues, but also ran a community advocacy project for women and provided direct support as a volunteer with a crisis intervention project.   Soon after coming to Scotland in 2000, she joined East Fife Women’s Aid, to set-up a rural outreach program and to provide family support services.   

 When not working, she’s usually outdoors somewhere in Fife; riding Bracken, weeding the allotment, or at the play-park with her two children. 

Nel Whiting. Learning and Development Coordinator

Nel is a Learning and Development Coordinator with Scottish Women’s Aid, where she has worked since September 2003. Her role takes her throughout Scotland providing learning opportunities which explore the dynamics of domestic abuse to a range of professionals in the voluntary and statutory sector.  Nel is a regular lecturer at the Scottish Police College, the Scottish Probation College and Stirling University.  She also teaches on the Queen Margaret University ‘Gender Justice’ module.   She is author of What Can Contemporary Gender Theory Contribute to An Understanding of Abuse in Same Sex Relationships? which was published in the Scottish Journal of Criminal Justice Studies 2008, Asking About Abuse: Routine Enquiry of Domestic Abuse and Childhood Sexual Abuse Training Pack (with Cosgrove & Beavon) which was published by the Scottish Government Health Directorate in 2011, and “Effecting Operational Change Through Training: Challenges and Approaches” in N.Lombard and L. McMillan (eds.) (forthcoming, 2012) Research Highlights in Social Work: Violence Against Women, Jessica Kingsley Publications.

Nel’s favourite painting is David Allan’s portrait of the family of Sir John Halkett.

Our Directors

Nicola Gilchrist

Nicola is an advocate at the Faculty of Advocates with experience in all aspects of family and child law.  Her practice at the Bar has seen her appear at all levels in the Scottish Courts and she has a particular interest in the prosecution of crimes of sexual violence and domestic abuse and the new legislation pertaining to forced marriage.  Nicola joined the board of directors of Scottish Women's Aid in 2013.  She is a committed and passionate feminist and joined the board in a bid to make a practical and real difference to the lives of women, children and young people in Scotland.   Nicola enjoys reading, theatre, dance, cooking for friends and getting on her soapbox.Nicola's favourite quote is "There's nothing a man can do, that I can't do better and in heels" Ginger Rogers

Judy Ferguson

Judy joined the board of Scottish Women’s Aid in October 2013, having previously held the position as chair of Women’s Aid South Lanarkshire.  Judy is currently employed by East Ayrshire Women’s Aid where she is responsible for the design and delivery of the East Ayrshire Violence Against Women Partnership’s multi agency domestic abuse training and development programme alongside the delivery of training, information and resources to the wider community.  As a committed and passionate feminist, Judy brings with her a wealth of experience in working to address structural and societal inequalities gained from over 20 years employment within the voluntary sector. Initially working as a welfare and advocacy worker within the homelessness sector Judy’s career as a senior manager within one of Scotland’s largest social enterprises  included managing a range of projects supporting marginalised groups, requiring creative, effective and meaningful partnership working with colleagues across disability, health, education, criminal justice, third sector and statutory agencies. In her spare time Judy enjoys getting away from it all in her campervan, and when she can’t do that cooking and spending time with friends and family.

Suzi Macpherson

Suzi joined the Board of Scottish Women’s Aid in October 2013. She has been a feminist since… always. And has worked in equalities research since 1998. Suzi is a policy / applied researcher by profession and in this capacity has worked for the Scottish Government, University of Stirling, Napier University Edinburgh and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Her current role is with the Scottish Parliament Information Centre where she leads on providing impartial research and policy information and advice to MSPs and the Scottish Parliament corporate body on the broad themes of further and higher education.

As well as Scottish Women’s Aid, Suzi is a co-opted member of the Board at The Poverty Alliance. In her spare time she likes to dance, watch films and drink fizz - not necessarily all that the same time or in that particular order - with the sole aim of striving to achieve a peaceful and happy existence.

Joanna McLaughlin

Jo has worked in the Third Sector for the last 6 years and joined the Board of Directors of Scottish Women’s Aid in 2013. Her current role is with The Robertson Trust where she is responsible for sharing the learning from the charitable projects that the Trust funds to help inform policy and practice at a local and national level. Jo has a particular interest in promoting better evidence exchange across the Third and Public Sector to help improve services and support for vulnerable groups. She is currently a member of the Knowledge Translation Network and the co-secretariat of the Scottish Third Sector Research Forum. Prior to joining the Trust in 2012, she worked at Fairbridge and The Prince’s Trust. In her spare time, Jo enjoys travelling, binging of DVD boxsets and playing more monopoly than is probably healthy.

Lynne Porteous

Lynne's originally from Barnard Castle in County Durham but has lived in Edinburgh (with the exception of 4 years) since she came to college here in 1974. Her professional background is rooted in community learning and development, largely in the voluntary sector but for the last 10 years as part of City of Edinburgh Council.   Her voluntary sector experience includes working in Edinburgh's Garvald Centre (based on the work of Rudolph Steiner), managing Tyneside Women's Health Project and working in North Edinburgh for 10 years in urban aid funded projects from 1992 - 1999.   She now works for Children and Families Department in the capacity of Partnership Development Manager and has a very mixed "portfolio" of policy and planning work including oversight of a range of health improvement initiatives and the coordination of work at a strategic level to better support parents and carers.  She has two daughters (aged 25 and nearly 29) and in her spare time likes to walk, cycle and socialise and works once a week (whenever possible) in a Cancer Research Charity shop in Edinburgh.



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Staying Safe

If you need immediate help contact Women's Aid, the police domestic abuse liaison officer or your local social work office.

You can also phone the domestic abuse helpline on 0800 027 1234

Current Activities

Domestic abuse.
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Facts & Figures

In 81% of cases of domestic abuse there is a female victim and male perpetrator (SCS 2012)

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