National Conference 2022

Date: Thursday 14th and Friday 15th July 2022

Please email [email protected] with any queries about this event



Thursday 14th July: Come Together: A society wide approach to ending domestic abuse (open to all)


Conference Chair: Farah Nazeer, CEO of Women’s Aid


 09:00 – 10:00: Registration and refreshments

10:00 – 10:30: Welcome and presentation from Farah Nazeer, CEO of Women’s Aid

10:30 – 11:00: Keynote speech: Michelle Griffith-Robinson OLY, Olympian, lifestyle coach and Women’s Aid Ambassador

11:00 – 11:30: Refreshment break

11:30 – 13:00: Workshops

13:00 – 14:00: Lunch

14:00 – 15:30: Panel: Come together: creating a society wide approach to making domestic abuse intolerable across the board


Confirmed speakers include:


  • Chief Superintendent Samantha Millar QGM, Programme North Yorkshire Police – Violence Against Women and Girls Lead for NPCC
  • Medina Johnson, Chief Executive, IRISi
  • Toby-Alexander Smith, Actor and Women’s Aid Ambassador


15:30 – 16:00: Refreshment break

16:00 – 17:30: Workshops

17:30: Conference closes for non-residential delegates

18:00 – 18:30: Fringe sessions, inc: Women’s Aid archive project

20:00 – late: Dinner, drinks and disco

Friday 15th July: A federation for the future (members only)


Conference Chair: Sarah Hill, Chair of Women’s Aid Board of Trustees and CEO of Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS)


07:30 – 09:00: Breakfast and activities for residential delegates

08:45 – 09:30: Registration and refreshments

09:30 – 11:00: Panel – Innovative Commissioning: building successful partnerships


Confirmed speakers include:


  • Jasmine Mohammad, VAWG Services Manager, The Angelou Centre
  • Dickie James, Chief Executive, Staffordshire Women’s Aid


 11:00 – 11:30: Refreshment break and networking

11:30 – 13:00: Workshops

13:00 – 14:00: Lunch

 14:00 – 14:30: Key note (to be confirmed)

 14:30 – 15:00: Conference round up and end


Michelle Griffith-Robinson OLY, keynote speaker

Michelle describes herself as an Olympian, life coach, trainer and a proud wife and mMichelle Griffith-Robinson OLY, keynote speakerother of three beautiful children. She represented Great Britain for two decades as a Triple Jumper, competing at the highest level, and was the first woman to jump over 14 metres in the Commonwealth. Since retiring in 2006, she has worked as a personal trainer and life coach and provides mentoring and coaching to individuals and organisations. Michelle is now an Ambassador for Women’s Aid saying that “Sport has enabled me to use my voice as a platform for change”

Medina Johnson

Medina Medina JohnsonJohnson is Chief Executive and co-founder of IRISi, a social enterprise established to promote and improve the health care response to gender based violence.  Medina has a background in education and training, managed the floating support team for a women’s mental health service and managed a charity supporting single people who are homeless.  She has worked in the violence against women and girls’ sector for 18 years, first as coordinator for Bristol Domestic Abuse Forum and for the last 15 years as part of the IRIS programme.  IRISi’s flagship intervention, IRIS (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety), is a general practice-based domestic violence and abuse (DVA) training, support and referral programme.  Medina holds an honorary contract as a Research Collaborator with the Centre for Academic Primary Care at the University of Bristol and participates in national and international research programmes on domestic violence and abuse.  She is also a board member of NIHR ARC West Advisory Board.

Toby-AlexaToby-Alexander Smith - Charity Ambassador for Women's Aidnder Smith

Actor, Toby-Alexander Smith, joined Women’s Aid in September 2020 as a charity ambassador. Viewers have watched his character, Gray Atkins, in EastEnders, abuse his on-screen wife Chantelle in the BBC TV soap opera. Toby says “Taking on the role of Gray Atkins in EastEnders felt like a huge responsibility given how much awareness of domestic abuse it could raise. EastEnders has a history of tackling important issues on screen and I knew as an actor it was important for me to get this storyline right”

Chief Superintendent Sam Millar QGM

Sam is cSam Millar QGMurrently a Chief Superintendent working as the Programme Lead on the National Police Chiefs Councils VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) Taskforce.

Before joining policing, Sam spent time after university as in the army as a young officer. Sam became an accomplished adventurer, was the first female officer to undertake artic warfare survival accreditation, became a ski instructor and even learned how to build igloos! After a tour of duty in Northern Ireland, Sam was awarded the Queens Gallantry Medal, something she would describe as the proudest moment of her service for her family.

Sam started her policing career in West Yorkshire Police in 1993 and transferred to North Yorkshire Police in 2019.  She is an experienced public order commander, a current firearms commander and has recently been nominated for awards around her activity in coaching and mentoring.

Sam joined the police as a graduate entrant, was selected as part of a fast-track promotion scheme, undertaking roles at every rank in operational delivery in some of the most complex and challenging areas within West Yorkshire and Specialist Operation roles. After a short spell as staff officer, Sam’s interest in partnerships saw her head up a large community safety partnership in Leeds in 2014, known as Safer Leeds.  In this role, Sam had strategic responsibility for a range of safeguarding work streams. She has influenced the national agenda around policing street sex working, has held roles as deputy chair of adults and children safeguarding boards and was recognised locally and nationally for her innovative and influential work with her Safer Leeds Team in developing the MASH in Leeds.

In December 2018 Sam completed a master programme with the University of Cambridge in criminology, using it as an opportunity to research and evidence the operational impact of a multi-agency approach to tackling on-street sex working.

Sam is married with three children, having adopted her third child. She is a governor for her children’s local primary school and still retains a passion for skiing and walking in the mountains!

© 2022 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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