By Susan Fitzsimons
This month marks one year since I joined the SATEDA board as the Marketing and Communications trustee. It has definitely been an eventful year to say the least.
Joining a charity board during a pandemic has been a unique experience. The more established members of the SATEDA board have mentioned all of the lovely activities and gatherings that they used to have pre-Covid, and I admit, I am a bit jealous! I still haven’t had the pleasure of meeting any of our board members in person, and we (along with the rest of the world) have had to carry on with our duties virtually. Despite the challenges that this presents, we have managed to (mostly) stay off mute and work together to pave the way for SATEDA to continue to grow and make an impact in the lives of so many.
It has sadly been the case that domestic violence and abuse has been on the rise since the pandemic began. This makes the incredible work that SATEDA does to provide support to women and children who have been through this abuse more important now than ever. SATEDA’s passion and commitment for helping survivors is something that was very apparent to me from the beginning and was one of the main reasons why I wanted to join the board of trustees. I studied international women’s rights and gender-based violence during my master’s degree and had previously volunteered at an outreach centre providing support for women survivors of domestic abuse. This experience led me to discover my true passion for advocating for survivors and empowering women to break the power and control cycle of domestic abuse.
I spent the past few years with a long work commute to London and felt frustrated that I wasn’t able to dedicate any of my time to a cause that was so important to me. A few months into 2020 and everything changed. I found myself working from home full-time and began reevaluating how I wanted to spend my time going forward (Spoiler: it involved a lot less time sitting on a train!). I happened upon the trustee vacancy at SATEDA, and felt that it was the perfect opportunity for me to use my professional skills and knowledge to make an impact in an organisation that did so much great work for women and children in the local community. I still feel very honoured to have been invited to join the board of trustees, and although the past year has been a learning curve, it has truly been a rewarding experience. I am genuinely proud of the achievements that we have made for SATEDA, and I look forward to seeing what’s on the horizon for the future.