Welsh Women’s Aid appoints new CEO

The Board of Trustees at Welsh Women’s Aid are delighted to announce that Sara Kirkpatrick has been appointed to lead the federation’s work in Wales, and will take up her role from April.

Sara is currently a senior manager at Respect (the UK membership organisation for domestic abuse perpetrator services and services for male victims) where she leads their research and services development programmes across the UK.

Sara, who is also an experienced trainer and lecturer, brings over 25 years leadership and service delivery expertise to Welsh Women’s Aid, which includes working in women’s refuges, in the justice system and in communities, to prevent domestic and sexual abuse. Sara is also currently a Trustee of the End Violence Against Women coalition.

This appointment follows our announcement in December that CEO Eleri Butler leaves Welsh Women’s Aid to take up an exciting new leadership position in Australia.


Paula Walters, Chair of Welsh Women’s Aid:  

“We thank Eleri for all her achievements at Welsh Women’s Aid and wish her well during her work in Australia. We are delighted to be joined by Sara who will lead our work with survivors, specialist services and others to lead the delivery of our national 5 year strategy through its next phase of delivery. Sara has considerable expertise, drive, and leadership experience to deliver our vision and objectives, and has a strong value base which aligns with the values that underpin all our work. We look forward to Sara joining us very soon.”

Sara Kirkpatrick said: 

“I am truly delighted to be joining Welsh Women’s Aid, and look forward to working with the national team, survivors and the members, to build on existing partnerships and forge new alliances. I want to ensure that survivors in Wales continue to be supported by the national Helpline and that responses to violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence across Wales are strengths-based, needs led, properly resourced and accessible to all who need them.

“I have great sadness at leaving Respect and will continue to champion their leadership in holding perpetrators to account, as Welsh Women’s Aid continues to collaborate with Respect and our sister federations in the UK. The women’s aid movements of Wales, England Scotland and Northern Ireland have been at the cutting edge of a revolution in social attitudes, refusing to accept the ongoing oppression of women and girls. It is my honour to stand with my sisters and continue to demand better for the benefit of women, men, children and young people in all our communities across Wales.”