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Our trainers

AVA Staff

Dr. Lucy Allwright

Lucy Allwright is an AVA trainer and coordinates the London Stella Project providing training, consultancy and research on the interconnecting issues of drugs, alcohol and mental health . She has been working in the VAWG sector since 2008 in a variety of frontline, training and policy roles in both the charity and public sector. She has developed a range of training packages and curricula on gender-based violence. Lucy has lectured and taught and holds a PhD from Warwick.

Shabana Kausar is the National Stella and PRIMH Coordinator (Promoting Recovery in Mental Health). She is a qualified trainer and an Associate Lecturer, specialising in addressing violence against women and girls. She has developed and delivered training on a local, national and international level and frequently speaks at national and international events on gender based violence, sharing her passion for creating a joined up approach to supporting victims and survivors.

Shabana Kausar
Shabana Kausar is the National Stella and PRIMH Coordinator (Promoting Recovery in Mental Health). She is a qualified trainer and an Associate Lecturer, specialising in addressing violence against women and girls. She has developed and delivered training on a local, national and international level and frequently speaks at national and international events on gender based violence, sharing her passion for creating a joined up approach to supporting victims and survivors.

Karen Bailey
Karen is currently the Deputy Director at AVA. From December 2005 until September 2010 she was the  Stella Project Coordinator and has worked with numerous drug, alcohol and domestic violence agencies across London and further afield to support integrated working and changes to practice. She also has several years experience working as a sessional group worker for the Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP), a community based perpetrator programme in London.  Previous to this role, Karen has worked in a range of frontline, policy and strategic roles in the areas of domestic violence, education, and young people's development initiatives both at a local level and internationally.  Karen holds an MA in Human Rights from the University of Essex specialising in the human rights of women.

Jo Sharpen

Jo is a qualified youth worker with person centred counselling training and holds an Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, BSc (hons) in Psychology and an MA in Women and Child Abuse. She works for AVA as the Children and Young People's Project Coordinator. Prior to working at AVA she worked for Women's Aid for several years. She has written the Improving Safety, Reducing Harmnational toolkit on children and domestic violence for practitioners, published by the Department of Health in 2009. She has also written numerous training packages on these issues and is currently writing a book on domestic violence in teenage relationships.

Jennifer Holly

Jennifer coordinates AVA's Stella Project, having spent ten years working with vulnerable women. From 2004 to 2010 Jennifer worked for Women's Aid in frontline, policy and strategic roles. During this time she acquired extensive knowledge and experience of developing and delivering a range of services to victims of domestic violence and their children. Before this, she spent two years in Central Europe coordinating HIV prevention activities with young people and supporting the delivery of harm reduction services to women involved in prostitution. Jennifer has an Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, a BA (Hons) in Modern Languages and European Studies from the University of Bath, and an MSc in Gender and Social Policy from the London School of Economics. She is currently studying psychology at the University of Derby.

External Trainers

Dr. Roxane Agnew-Davies - C.Psychol, AFBPsS

Roxane is a Chartered Psychologist, a full member of the Division of Clinical Psychology and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She qualified over twenty years ago and for over ten years worked in various settings for the NHS, ending as a Principal Grade Clinical Psychologist. She is a clinician specialising in trauma and experiential therapy and has particular expertise in helping practitioners develop skills and techniques that can further improve their practice. Roxane is currently the Mental Health Advisor to AVA and an independent consultant, trainer and therapist. She is a Cardiff University accredited expert witness and Director of Domestic Violence Training Ltd. Between 2000-2004, she was Head of Psychological Services for Women at Refuge, responsible for the design and management of psychological services for women experiencing domestic violence.

Linda Finn

Linda is a qualified Nurse and Health visitor. She has worked for some years within the London Borough of Sutton where she also worked as a Therapist in a community based children's Sleep and Behaviour clinic. She has been a Senior Health Visitor for child protection and also worked within child mental health services, offering social skills training, to children who were diagnosed with ADHD and/or Aspergers Syndrome.  She was seconded to Social Services in 2000 to implement parenting programmes and the project won a runner-up prize for innovative practice in the London Modernisation Awards in 2003. She has been co-ordinator for a community group programme for children exposed to domestic abuse since 2003. This project won the LGC award for innovation in 2006. She has developed an anger management programme for children aged 5 -11 years, some of whom will also have experienced domestic abuse. She is also Chairperson for Sutton Women's Aid.

Martine Renoux - Dip Psych, MA, UKCP Reg.

Martine is an integrative psychotherapist and counsellor who qualified at the Minster Centre in 1987 and who has worked as a therapist, trainer, supervisor and consultant since then. She has a private practice and currently works in the NHS where she is developing domestic violence services.

In 1998 she trained in the Response Based Approach with Allan Wade and worked closely with him to integrate and develop in depth her understanding and use of the approach. Martine is passionate about her work and loves teaching for AVA. She has used this approach ever since while working as a therapist with perpetrators at Families Without Fear and also with victims of trafficking, rape and intimate partner violence at Eaves.

She is the author of aiming to help victims of rape and which has been distributed to key people within the police and the CPS.

Colin Fitzgerald

Colin was formerly the Service Manager for the Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) where he also delivered perpetrator programmes in group settings and trainings for over four years. He wrote risk assessment reports for agencies such as social services in relation to domestic violence. Previously he worked for Camden and Islington Mental Health Trust, delivering groups in a community day hospital before working for Barnet social services as a project co-ordinator within a community mental health setting and facilitating groups which included psycho-dynamic work with men and cognitive behavioural therapy based interventions. He has over 12 years experience of working in therapeutic group settings and currently works for Respect as their London Development Officer supporting member organisations to achieve the Respect Accreditation Standard.

Amanda Middleton

Amanda has been delivering Stella Project training for the last five years. Initially trained as a psychologist in dual diagnosis in Australia she has been working alongside young people, substance users and women for the last ten years. She delivers individual and group therapeutic work as well as numerous training courses for practitioners. She delivers training on substance misuse, domestic violence and safeguarding children, as well as supporting agencies to develop ways of working which do not pathologise or minimise either issue and allow for holistic joint working. She is particularly passionate about social justice, narrative therapy and sexual diversity.

Davina James-Hanman

Davina is the former Director of AVA. Prior to working at AVA she spent five years at L.B. Islington as the first local authority Domestic Violence Co-ordinator in the UK. From 2000-08, she had responsibility for developing and implementing the London Domestic Violence Strategy for the Mayor of London. She has worked in the field of violence against women for over two decades in a variety of capacities encompassing volunteer, front-line work, policy and strategy roles. She has published innumerable articles and two book chapters and formerly acted as the Dept. of Health policy lead on domestic violence as well as being an Associate Tutor at the national police college. She is also a Lay Inspector for HMCPSI, acted as the Specialist Adviser to the Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into domestic violence (2007/08) and Chairs the Accreditation Panel for Respect. In 2009 she assisted the Home Office in the writing of the national violence against women strategy.

Anjum Mouj

Anjum is the Trainer and Information Officer at Imkaan and is responsible for training, development and support for member groups. Examples of recent work include CPD training on Honour-based crimes, Immigration and Sharia Law, contributions towards government policies and legislation related to Forced Marriage, Supporting People and the Domestic Violence Bill. Anjum was a previous Director of Newham Asian Women's Project (NAWP).  NAWP is a frontline agency which runs a plethora of services including refuge, outreach, counselling, advice, training and youth-work. In her role as Director, Anjum commissioned research examining the issues and needs of young Asian women who self harm.  At NAWP she was instrumental in establishing services for young women, survivors of sexual abuse and women with mental health needs.  She is now the chair of NAWP's management committee.  Anjum has also developed a high-quality portfolio of community-based education, training and advice services. She has been extensively involved with the voluntary sector for over 20 years with a particular commitment to supporting black and Asian communities. She is also a Trainer and Consultant to community organisations and statutory bodies on funding, equalities, resource management and strategic development.

Dr. Chris Newman

Chris has a research background in developmental and forensic psychology, including research investigating emotional and cognitive deficits in psychopathic criminals, as well as the effect of drugs on emotional perception. He has 14 years of experience doing individual work and group work with men around their violence and abuse to partners and has also facilitated the 'Caring Dads' fathering programme. He also carries out risk assessment reports and acts as an expert witness in private law child contact cases and public law child protection cases. He has co-authored  and piloted a training in Risk Assessment for the Family Courts for CAFCASS, as well as  a programme for working with DV on an individual basis for the National Offender Management Service. He currently acts as a consultant and treatment manager for a range of organisations across the UK.

Foziha Raja

Foziha has been delivering the Domestic Violence, Problematic Substance Use and BAMER communities training for the Stella Project for the past three years. Trained as a Counsellor she has worked with EACH Specialist Counselling and Support Service for four years, counselling and supporting women from the Black, Asian Minority Ethnic and Refugee communities experiencing violence and abuse. Foziha has an MA in Counselling & Psychotherapy and is particularly interested in the experiences of women from BAMER communities.


Jen training


DJH housing training 3


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karen workshop


DJH housing training


Shannon training


DJH housing training 4


Jo training


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AVA is an accredited OCN centre.