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Our Story

Watford Women's Centre was established in 1989 by a group of exceptional women who came together to volunteer their time and support to victims of sexual violence and rape in and around Watford. 


Over the past 30 years the charity has developed a needs-led service, shaped by what local women tell us makes a real and lasting difference in their lives. We recognise that the challenges women face can often be complex and overwhelming, and we strive to reduce gender inequality, build trusting relationships and empower women to become independent, productive and healthy.


The charity has also been responsive to the needs of the wider community and we now deliver education and training services to men as well as women over the age of 18, who are in need of support in and around the Watford area and across Hertfordshire. Our domestic abuse services are for women only, and our Centre remains a safe space for them. 


Our Mission

We provide life changing services for women to lead independent, productive and healthier lives, and also support our wider community


Our Vision

To create a community wide culture that has zero tolerance for family or partner abuse and that fosters healthy relationships based on mutual respect and equality


Our values

Encouraging of involvement and empowerment 

We are a centre for all women, offering information, support, education and signposting, with a women only space available at the centre.  


Generous of spirit and resource

Valuing each woman by sharing of our time and resources.  


Respectful of difference and non-judgemental

We provide a place that values every woman's contribution and does all it can to support personal development. 


All women are welcome 

Every woman is accepted.  We are an organisation that actively values diversity and sees diversity as a source of enrichment.   


Responsive to changing needs

Our programmes reflect what our current clients have told us they want and we see our role as trying to accommodate any woman's changing needs. 


Low cost

We aim to keep costs to a minimum and provide an affordable service. 



We respect any woman's right to privacy and maintain total confidentiality unless there are safeguarding issues.


A safe space 

We provide a safe and mutually respectful place to work, learn and grow.  


Our Strategy

The cornerstone aims that inform our strategies are as follows: 


Our Team 

Our Charity is governed by a board of trustees who have a range of expertise across key areas of the organisation.  Day to day management of the charity is delegated to the Chief Executive with support from a team of dedicated and experienced Service Leads and delivery staff.


Our volunteers are highly valued and over 50 volunteers bring passion and experience to support the delivery of services such as teaching, administration, reception, and counselling.


We are connected to a wide range of local partners whose support is invaluable in helping us deliver high quality integrated support to our clients.  

I love this sanctuary: A place to confide, overcome challenges and grow!





Fiona Miller CEO Watford Women's Centre







Lucy Martin - CEO

Lucy Martin joined Watford Women's Centre in March 2024, as the CEO responsible for leading the charity's strategic vision. Following a career at BBC, Lucy has worked in VCSE sector for 12 years, firstly as a counsellor at a Rape Crisis Centre and then in various leadership roles at a Carers Support Organisation. Lucy is a strong advocate for women's rights and believes the charity plays an integral role in ensuring all women in our community are able to access the support they need. 


Dirin Hamakarim







Dirin Hamakarim - Education & Training Manager

Dirin Hamakarim is a qualified teacher and career advisor, she has worked at WWC for 15 years.  A passionate and determined service area lead, Dirin ensures that every person who decides to learn with us achieves and thrives.  Dirin has supported many volunteers over the years, to develop skills and confidence, gain qualifications, and move into work both at the centre as tutors and the wider local labour market.


Watford WomensCentre







Debra Clay - Clinical Advisor 

Debra joined  Watford Women’s Centre in 2010 as a volunteer placement counsellor.  After she gained her qualification in 2011, she continued as a volunteer counsellor for a further seven years.  She has a background in adult education and has delivered self-esteem courses for the Centre, and has co-facilitated the My Life programme with Alison.   Debra ran the counselling service with Amanda for two years.  Amanda now runs the service with Debra providing clinical and management support.  She is also a clinical supervisor, runs her own small private practice and is a counsellor trainer. 








Amanda King - Clinical Services Manager 

Amanda King joined the Women’s Centre as a student counsellor on a two-year placement in January 2012. She stayed on as a volunteer counsellor after she qualified in May 2014 with an MA in Contemporary Therapeutic Counselling from the University of Hertfordshire.  In January 2019 she took over the management of the counselling service as a job share with Debra Clay.  Amanda is now responsible for the bulk of the day-to-day management of the service, with Debra providing clinical support.




Keely Yorke - Domestic Abuse Services Lead 

Keely has been working with the domestic abuse services since early 2021 as a Volunteer Coordinator for the My Ally services and has recently been appointed as Interim Domestic Abuse Lead.  With a wealth of experience in managing services and volunteers within the charity sector, Keely brings passion and commitment to her role.  She firmly believes that no woman should ever feel isolated or without someone to talk to, especially in challenging situations like domestic abuse.  Keely takes immense pride in being part of a charity that provides crucial support and services, ensuring every woman feels heard, supported, and valued.  




Catherine Tyack - Chair of Trustees

Catherine is the current Chair of Trustees at Watford Women's Centre. She works in the national office at NHS England on vaccination policy and strategy and worked on the Covid vaccination rollout during the pandemic.  Her career has largely been spent working as a civil servant on policy for central government departments, most recently the Department of Health. She has also worked on third-sector issues at the Cabinet Office and at the Charity Commission. She lives in Watford with her husband and two daughters.









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