• Crisis Number
  • Hide Site
Support, Encourage, Enable

'We are passionate about what we do and are inspired daily by the challenges faced by the women we support'

Our Team

Our Charity is governed by a board of trustees, who bring skills and expertise in key areas.  Day to day management of the charity is delegated to our Chief Executive Officer, with the support of the Senior Management Team, leading a team of dedicated, skilled and experienced programme managers and delivery staff.  

The capacity of the organisation is further supported through our army of volunteers - currently numbering over 300 - who bring on board vital skills, community knowledge and above all else passion for the work they do.

Dr. Susan Ramsdale - Chair of Executive Committee

Sue has served on the board of Lancashire Women's Centres since September 2012, taking on the role of chair in 2015, becoming  involved with the organisation through her role in training Psychological Well-being Practitioners at the University of Central Lancashire.  She worked closely with the organisation as we developed our involvement in the national Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative. 

Sue has worked in higher education since 2003 and currently works as a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health at the University of Manchester, prior to this she worked as a mental health nurse working mainly in East Lancashire in acute and crisis mental health services.

Sue has completed a Doctorate in Education about the qualities and competences needed to work as a nurse educator in higher education and is using this to improve the educational experience of both staff and students.  Sue is a member of the Royal College of Nursing’s Education Steering Committee and works as an external academic advisor to a number of universities and societies throughout the country.

Sue is a great believer in promoting recovery and independence from a values based perspective and see this as the underlying principle of her role as a mental health nurse, educator and role of Chair of Trustees.


Dr Susan Ramsdale, Chair of Executive Committee
Sarah Swindley - Chief Executive Officer

Sarah leads Lancashire Women’s Centres joining the organisation in 2009.  She was formerly the Women’s Mental Health Strategy Lead for East Lancashire Primary Care Trust, and was a founder board member of the Families Health and Wellbeing Consortium, working to connect voluntary sector health and social care services within communities. Sarah has particular expertise in IAPT and Mental Health, Criminal Justice, supply chain management and integration. 

In 2013, Lancashire Women’s Centres were the overall winner of the GSK Impact Awards, delivered in partnership with the Kings Fund. Sarah remains involved with the Kings Fund through the GSK Impact Network and as a consultant in their Cascading Leadership Programme, supporting the development of leadership voices from within the Third Sector. 

Sarah previously held the role of Chair of Women’s Breakout – the national infrastructure body for community providers of services for women in the criminal justice system. She currently sits on the RR3 Third Sector ministerial advisory board for criminal justice and sits on the Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Board as the Lancashire Third Sector representative.  These platforms provide an opportunity to share our learning, champion the role of the Third Sector in health and social care delivery and ensure that the voices of women in Lancashire are amplified and heard.

Sarah recently blogged for the Kings Fund on the evolving role of the Third Sector in the Health and Social Care economy.

To read Sarah's blog click here

Sarah Swindley, Chief Executive Officer

Penelope D'Souza - Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Penelope joined Lancashire Women's Centres as Operations Manager in August 2013 before becoming Deputy CEO in 2017. Her previous career in large private sector companies gave Penelope experience and insight in to operations, quality processes and people management, using data to inform decisions.

She is a qualified Registered General Nurse, Six Sigma Green Belt, ITIL and PRINCE2 practitioner and currently in the process of achieving the Chartered Quality Professional status through the CQI. 

Penelope D'Souza, Deputy CEO
Liz Islam - Head of Business Development

Liz joined Lancashire Women's Centres in 2012. Originally coming on board as Fundraising Manager her role has broadened to Head of Business Development, with responsibility for income generation and marketing. 

Liz has a background in community development and fundraising, working for organisations including Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Council for Voluntary Service and Marie Curie Cancer Care. Liz has a particular interest in the role of grant making in supporting voluntary action, and is currently a trustee for a national grant making trust and a former member of the BBC Children In Need Northern Grant Making Committee, serving in a voluntary capacity for three years. 

Liz Islam, Head of Business Development 
John Calvert - Head of Finance

John joined us in October 2016. He began his finance career working in private practice where he qualified as a Member of The Association of Accounting Technicians  before moving to the Charity Sector where he has worked for the last 20 years. He brings to us a wealth of experience in financial reporting, financial systems and charity accounts.

John Calvert, Head of Finance
Kerry Scruton - Operations Manager

Kerry is very passionate about the ethos and values of LWC, having joined in 2005 originally as an Employment Support Officer, progressing to become a Project Manager and then the Deputy Operations Manager before starting her current role of Operations Manager. 

She has previous experience in HR and recruitment, is psychology level A trained and has several years experience in Advice & Guidance as well as being qualified to Management at Level 6. After managing a range of successful projects Kerry is now using her utilising her 12 years of third sector knowledge as part of the Senior Management Team.


Kerry Scruton, Operations Manager