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Our people

From our specialist advisors, to our team of Trustees, everyone at First Light is committed to working together to build safer lives free from domestic abuse and sexual violence.

We’re here for you. To support you when you need it, along the whole journey.

Our people

From our specialist advisors, to our team of Trustees, everyone at First Light is committed to working together to build safer lives free from domestic abuse and sexual violence.

We’re here for you. To support you when you need it, along the whole journey.

I really wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without you… I am doing better every day.”

Our staff

People you might meet during your journey with First Light:
ISVAs – Independent Sexual Violence Advisors
ISVAs work with people who are going through the criminal justice system after experiencing recent or historic sexual violence. Your ISVA will offer emotional support, explain court processes, and help you get back on track to a brighter future.

If you haven’t reported to the police, ISVAs can also offer an options meeting to help you decide if you want to take your case through the criminal justice system.
IDVAs – Independent Domestic Violence Advisors

IDVAs are trained to provide intensive support to individuals in immediate risk of serious harm. They provide emotional and practical advice, guidance and support to help you and your family to become and remain safe. They will seek ways to empower you to make positive safe choices and they will liaise with other professionals on your behalf. The support they provide could include help for you through a court process, help to access safe accommodation and can advocate on your behalf.

DASAs – Domestic Abuse Support Advisors
DASA’s support individuals who don’t meet the IDVA threshold but who still need support, especially at the time an individual is leaving a relationship and the period after. They provide emotional and practical advice, discuss safety options and can advocate on your behalf.

Volunteer mentors

Volunteer mentors offer telephone support if you’ve been affected by domestic abuse. They offer one-to-one emotional support (not counselling) by providing a listening ear if your needs do not meet the criteria for referral to a DASA or IDVA, and/ or if you’re on a waiting list for therapy and other help. Five sessions of mentoring are offered over a five week period.

Knowing the support we offer is enabling victims of domestic abuse to move forward with their lives is so rewarding.”
Linda, Volunteer Mentor
Therapists
We have a number of different therapists available to different clients to work through trauma at every stage and find a way forward to a brighter future.

Adult therapists use an integrated approach to counseling to develop an approach that fits the specific needs of each individual they work with.

We also have specialised therapists who work with young people aged 11-18 to explore issues in a way that resonates with them. And play therapists help children aged 4-11 to explore their experiences and express their emotions through play.
Crisis workers
From taking your initial phone call to providing support in forensic exams, crisis workers are by your side at every step of the way if you’ve experienced rape or sexual assault and attend a Sexual Assault Referal Centre (SARC). They will help to explain the process and provide emotional and practical support.
Crisis advocates

Being on a waiting list to see an ISVA can be a difficult time. Crisis advocates help you during this period, providing emotional support and advice and making sure you’re not alone while you’re waiting.

Trustees
Our trustees bring a range of diverse experience and expertise to guide and oversee our work. They represent many different professions and organisations, but each of them shares our intent to create a brighter future, free from abuse and fear.

Management Team

Our senior management team includes key representatives from the different areas of the charity. This means we’re always able to consider what’s happening out in the real world and make decisions that really move us forward.

Lyn Gooding

Chief Executive Officer

Lyn brings a wealth of experience within the domestic abuse and sexual violence arena including the investigation of crime, the commissioning of specialist services, contract management and partnership working.

Having previously served as a Police Officer with Devon & Cornwall Police, Lyn gained experience in a range of areas including child abuse investigations, critical incident management and partnership working. Lyn was also successful in helping to secure funding to establish Cornwall’s first Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Truro.

Following retirement, Lyn joined the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Devon & Cornwall, latterly serving as the Criminal Justice, Commissioning & Partnership Manager. Working to the Police & Crime Plan Lyn established effective working relationships with several partners including NHS England, Ministry of Justice, Home Office, Local Authorities and a range of organisations who provide victim care services building on the relationships she previously forged whilst serving as a Police Officer.

Linda Mason-Brown

Business Manager - Finance

After studying Business and Finance at college, Linda has worked in Finance for her whole career, bringing 25+ years of knowledge and experience to First Light. She also has professional qualifications in Finance, Payroll and ILM.

Throughout her accounting career, she has worked for numerous companies including national organisations and charities in a variety of sectors including Marine Research, Commercial Property Management, Construction, Leisure, Retail and Education.

Her experience in charitable organisations include the Marine Biological Association where she spent 10 years in Accounts, EU Funding management and helping to raise and secure funds for the Plymouth Aquarium; and Plymouth Marjon University where she spent 10 years managing the Universities income, debt collection, investment portfolio and auditing.

Linda is originally from Plymouth, but having spent many years in the North West and overseas she returned to the West Country where she’s now been living for the last 30 years. In her spare time, she has an active social life enjoying dancing, walking, reading and family activities.

Lewis Leggatt

Swindon & Wiltshire SARC Manager

Lewis joined First Light in 2020 as the Engagement and Outreach Coordinator for the Swindon and Wiltshire SARC. In 2022, he was promoted to the Swindon and Wiltshire SARC Manager. He hopes to use this opportunity to further drive public and professional awareness of the fantastic work that SARC do to support victims and survivors of sexual violence.

In his spare time, Lewis enjoys SUPing, exploring new places, and trying new foods.

Cath Curno

Director of Sexual Violence Services

Cath joined First Light in 2012 taking up the role of Service Manager for the Plymouth Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) Service and Plymouth Therapy Service.  Cath now has a strategic role as the Director of Sexual Violence Services across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Swindon and Wiltshire.  This role supports a range of services including SARC, ISVA and therapeutic services, along with Safe Spaces, a national contract supporting people affected by abuse within the Church of England, the Catholic Church in England and Wales and the Church of Wales.

Cath’s previous experience was in NHS Healthcare Management in a variety of roles, including Clinical Governance, CAMHS, and within the Children & Young People’s Directorate as Deputy Directorate Manager.  Cath has a Level 7 Chartered Management Institute qualification in Strategic Management and Leadership and has most recently studied with the London School of Economics in Data Analysis for Management.

Sharon Minty

Devon & Cornwall ISVA Manager

Sharon completed her Certificate in Social Work at Plymouth University and on completion, worked as a Probation Officer in Wiltshire. Over two decades she worked in a variety of settings with the Probation Service and became a Manager with Dorset Probation.

Following a career break and relocation to Cornwall, Sharon was appointed as the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) Development Manager to establish the SARC in Cornwall. The SARC opened in 2011 and Sharon’s role changed to lead the SARC and Independent Sexual Violence Advisory (ISVA) service in the county. Throughout her life, partnership working and a strong victim focus have been key.

Richard Baker

Director of Governance and Compliance

After moving to the South West in 2013, Richard spent several years working in the world of Adventure Sports. This was followed by time with a national children’s charity as their Head of Facilities.

Richard joined First Light in 2020 in a temporary position, and took on the permanent role of Director of Governance and Compliance in April 2021.

In his spare time, Richard enjoys making the most of the beautiful South West and spends time walking, swimming and camping throughout Devon and Cornwall.

Mel Francis

Director of Domestic Abuse Services

Mel was born and raised in Manchester. She has lived abroad and established a drop-in group and support network for women and families experiencing Domestic Abuse in the Armed Forces setting.

Mel settled in Cornwall to raise her family. For many years, she studied as a part-time student and gained a number of qualifications. Alongside her studies, Mel volunteered for several organisations, including MIND and Action for Children.

As one of the first Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) in Cornwall, Mel has worked with women and men experiencing high-risk domestic abuse at the point of crisis.

She has three adult children and enjoys travel, kayaking, reading and spending as much time as possible at the beach.

Mara Treliving

Business Support Manager

Mara recently joined the First Light team as the Business Support Manager. Starting her career in Business Administration 7 years ago in another charity, her passion is to contribute, support and make a difference.

Mara has a Level 2 and 4 Diploma in Business and Administration and enjoys using her problem-solving skills in new challenges and projects as it involves working on something ‘different’, which motivates her. Working for an organization that’s values align to her own are also important. 

Mara has lived in Plymouth all her life and is a mother of dogs! In her spare time, she enjoys walking her dogs, going to the gym, and spending time with family and friends. 

Karen Barnitt

Therapeutic Team Manager

Karen came to First Light in 2015, and has worked as an Adult and Child Sexual Violence Counsellor, Team Leader and now Team Manager.

Her background before she came to us was working in residential drug and alcohol rehab, where she worked with both men and women. Karen has also counselled in several secondary schools in Plymouth. Originally hailing from the London area, she has lived in Cornwall over 25 years.

Martin Nelson

Safe Spaces Team Manager

Martin began his career working as classroom support for children aged 4-11 with complex needs. He completed his degree in Education and Philosophy in 2016, before focusing on outdoor education and experiences, and moving to New Zealand.

Upon his return from New Zealand, he relocated to Cornwall, and joined First Light as a Complex needs ISVA, before helping develop the Male Specific ISVA role and gaining national accreditation for this service.

He joined the Safe Spaces Team to procure and launch the service with First Light, before taking the manager’s role on a full time basis.

In his spare time, he likes to take in the outdoors by sea swimming, walking his dog on Dartmoor, kayaking and spending time with family.

Tom Godwin

Head of Communications and Income Generation

Tom is an experienced senior professional with a history in the charity, performing arts, education, music and entertainment industry. 

Tom joined First Light after working various Citizens Advice’s in Devon and leads on Communications and Revenue Generation.

Trustees

Our trustees bring a range of diverse experience and expertise to guide and oversee our work. They represent many different professions and organisations, but each of them shares our intent to create a brighter future, free from abuse and fear.
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Michelle Davies

Chair of Trustees

Michelle is a Director of Partnerships on the VAWG Task Force, she co-wrote the VAWG Strategy and lead on the development of the VAWG Digital and Education Strategy. As a previous Strategic Lead for Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Michelle lead the first DASV Strategy that included violence against men and boys, and also commissioned First Light to deliver the integrated DASV Services in this area.

Michelle is also a Trustee for a Police Benevolent Fund, and has a wealth of experience leading whole system transformation on a local and national platform. She is relentless in her pursuit of improving accessibility and standards of services for victims, early identification and intervention, crisis management and recovery programmes, and sustained behavioural change programmes for perpetrators.

Michelle is step mum to two wonderful children, and in 2018 took a career break to work and teach in a Scuba Diving Centre in Cyprus. Prior to that, she is proud to have been awarded an MBE for services to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in 2017.

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Ali Chitty

Lead Trustee for Communications

Ali is an Assistant News Editor at BBC Southwest, responsible for producing Spotlight, the regional news programme. She lives in Plymouth with her two teenage children.

During her time as a journalist she has covered numerous court cases and interviewed the victims of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence. She joined the Board of Trustees to support the valuable work conducted by First Light.
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Vikki Martin

Lead Trustee for Legal

Vikki is a partner at a local law firm and is the head of their Family Department. Vikki provides legal advice to clients who are separating and has particular specialism in helping clients who are victims of Domestic Abuse.

Vikki returned to Plymouth in 2006 to pursue her legal career after spending time studying in Cardiff and in France.

In her spare time, Vikki enjoys the theatre, live music and travelling to far-away places.
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Paul Jones

Trustee

Paul is currently the Chief Information Officer at Delt Shared Services Ltd in Plymouth and lives locally with his wife and children. He has spent over 30 years working in Information Technology roles which included 10 years in the Royal Air Force and over 20 years in private and public sector Information Technology companies.

Paul joined the board of trustees to use his experience to help First Light achieve its mission.
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Tim Smith

Trustee

Tim is a qualified solicitor who was employed in the Magistrates Courts Service for 40 years, the last 33 of them as a Justices’ Clerk in the South West.

After service in Greater Manchester and the East Midlands, he came to Cornwall in 1984, moving to Devon following re-organisation, and then into a role covering Devon, Cornwall and Dorset from 2012. As principal legal adviser to the magistrates in his area, he spent many hours in the courtroom, seeing at first hand how the justice system deals with issues of domestic abuse and sexual violence, and helping to implement many aspects of the Victims Code.

A further restructure of the service led to his early departure in 2018, allowing time for voluntary roles as a school governor in Plymouth and a member of the committee which recruits new magistrates.

Currently living in Cornwall with his two adult children, Tim enjoys the theatre and daily walks with the ageing family dog and tries to enjoy his season ticket at Plymouth Argyle.
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Sophie Dupre Echeverria

Trustee

Sophie Dupre-Echeverria is a governance, risk and compliance practitioner with over 20 years of experience in the financial services. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion and, in particular, gender equality.

She is the Chief Risk & Compliance Officer and Chair of the D&I forum at GIB Asset Management, a boutique sustainability asset management in London, where she lives with her husband and her younger daughter, whilst her eldest studies at Exeter university.

Sophie joined the board of trustees to advance First Light’s mission to support the victims of, and raise awareness about, domestic and sexual violence.
Beate van Loo-Born

Beate van Loo-Born

Trustee

Beate van Loo-Born is a senior executive in financial services, currently working for the Swiss stock exchange after 15 years at UBS. In line with her passion for sustainability, she leads various industry groups towards ESG data transparency facilitating sustainable investments.

She also chairs the Women Data Professionals European Chapter which promotes the development and advancement of women in data science. She is keen to use her finance and risk experience to support the valuable work of First Light.

Beate lives in Zürich with her Australian husband and 7 year old daughter and loves competing in long distance triathlons.
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Adrian Foulger

Treasurer

Adrian is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) having qualified with Ernst & Young (EY) in London.

Adrian spent 20 years in senior finance and leadership roles at blue chip financial institutions including Flemings, Cazenove and Standard Chartered.

He was a top ranked equity research analyst and lived in Asia for a number of years. He also co-founded and acted as treasurer of an industry linked charity.

In the past 10 years Adrian has focused on supporting growth companies and on sustainability initiatives. He has a BSc (Hons) from Exeter University and has three nearly grown-up children.
Franka

Franka Fueller

Trustee

Franka is a senior fundraiser who is passionate about leading teams through change and developing people to achieve their best.

With 12 years’ experience in fundraising and leadership in environmental campaigning, international development, and humanitarian aid, she has a track record of growing income and facilitating new ways of working.

She spent 8 years at international disaster relief charity, ShelterBox, where she created a direct marketing programme from scratch, growing it to a multimillion-pound income stream and launching innovative new products like ShelterBox Book Club.

Franka now heads up public fundraising at environmental campaigning charity, Surfer’s Against Sewage, and supports First Light with developing their strategy to fund their vital services.

With a passion for insight-led decision making, she is also Treasurer for the Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s (CIOF) special interest group, Insight in Fundraising.

Originally from Germany, Franka has lived in Cornwall, UK, since 2010. And despite her efforts, she is yet to find a more beautiful place to live.
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Chloe Lewis

Trustee

Chloe is an HR Leader with over 25 years’ experience leading HR functions in various FTSE 100 businesses such as Lloyds Banking Group, Sainsburys and BAE Systems as well as privately owned and VC backed businesses. She has spent many years working in Senior level HR roles delivering an innovative people agenda to enable business performance.


Chloe holds a master’s in strategic human resource management from Manchester Metropolitan University and, is a Fellow of the CIPD. She was recognised as one of HR’s ‘One to watch’ in 2023. Outside of work you will find Chloe in Cornwall living on the edge of Bodmin Moor with Neil her husband and three stepdaughters plus Ellie her four-legged best friend.


Chloe is very passionate about the opportunity to work with First Light, a charity in her local community with the vision of creating a society where we live in safety. Having an impact and leaving a lasting legacy from her business and HR background.

Susanna Snyder

Trustee

Susanna Snyder is a lecturer and researcher, currently working as Director of Research and Programme Leader for Short Courses at Sarum College in Salisbury. Her research has focused on faith-based community engagement with refugees as well as on spirituality and social action.

Susanna has experience of accompanying survival migrants and students with experience of sexual violence and domestic abuse, and is passionate about social justice and inclusion. She has taught on social justice in a range of university contexts in the UK and US, and has also held senior leadership roles in small non-profit higher education colleges. She gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Psychodynamic Counselling from the University of Oxford in 2022.

She is keen to draw on her higher education, pastoral and leadership experience to support First Light as it continues to grow and develop vital new service and operational strands.

Susanna lives in Oxford with her husband and two children, and enjoys edible gardening and running.

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Helena Frumson

Trustee

Helena Frumson has distinguished herself over a 25-year career in international leadership and commerce, driving organizations to exceed shareholder expectations and achieve significant growth. She is skilled at analysing complex concepts and converting them into viable business strategies. She currently serves as a Managing Director, Corporate and Business Development EMEA at Numerix, a leading Financial Technology house.


Helena is recognized for her ability to cultivate strategic partnerships, influence critical decisions, and optimize operations. Her leadership has earned the trust of CEOs and investment funds alike, who rely on her and her team to navigate the intricacies of global commerce and strategic alliances effectively.


Helena is fascinated by commerce, leadership, and business strategy, particularly accelerating product innovation, harnessing human potential, teamwork, and new technologies. Ms. Frumson’s career spans significant roles in the Education and Finance sectors, with a period dedicated to the Fashion industry, showcasing her versatility and strategic insight.


Helena continues to use her position and expertise to educate and support others by speaking at industry events (e.g., Risk.Net and Risk Europe), guest lecturing on university MBA courses, and lending support through advocacy work – particularly as a Mentor for The Female Factor and PMP, she is also a proud wife and a mother of two teenagers.
Helena joins First Light to continue her effort of making this world a better place supporting eradication of domestic abuse risks, assisting the victims and foster global charity collaboration efforts.

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Amy Young

Trustee

Amy is a senior procurement, commercial and change executive, with over 13 years experience in leading tenders, negotiations and change programmes within local and global markets. She is passionate about sustainable growth, business and team development and fostering a positive environment for success. 

Amy is currently supporting local Cornwall based businesses grow their production capability and is enthusiastic about supporting companies achieve their business and sustainability goals. 

She is keen to use her experience and skills to support the amazing work and team at First Light. 

Amy lives in Cornwall with her husband, two youngest children and their rescue dog and in her spare time enjoys reading, painting, wild swimming and trying to train their dog.”

Kimberly Jones

Trustee

Kimberly Jones is a Human Resources specialist with a background in the public sector, having worked for Local Government and the NHS and is currently working in the charity sector for Devon Air Ambulance as the Head of People.  Her skills encompass a broad range of people related subjects including employee relations, organisational development and change management, HR projects, systems digitalisation, talent acquisition, employee wellbeing and HR strategy. 

Kimberly was born in Devon where she has remained throughout her career and she is passionate about using her professional skills to support First Light in achieving its aims.

More information

About First Light

First Light is a charity supporting people in Cornwall, Devon and Wiltshire who have been affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Funders and partners

Our lifesaving work supporting thousands of people would not be possible without our amazing funders, donors and partners.

Media contact

If you’re a member of the media who would like to find out more about First Light and our work, please get in touch.