Our staff

Council of management

Refuge is governed by a council of management consisting of a chair and eleven members. The council of management meets quarterly and exercises its management functions through a system of delegated authority. Members are professional individuals skilled in management and community care, property management, finance, health and safety, equal opportunities, marketing and the law.

Chief executive

Refuge’s chief executive, Sandra Horley CBE, is responsible for the day-to-day management of the charity and implementation of policy.

She has over 38 years’ experience in the field of domestic violence. She has given evidence to several UK Government select committees, acted as an advisor to foreign governments, given expert witness testimony in criminal trials and made keynote speeches. She has also published a number of books on domestic violence.


Refuge employs staff across the following areas:

  • Frontline services
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership with Women’s Aid)
  • Head office
  • You can find out about opportunities for working at Refuge on our Jobs page


We offer a range of volunteering opportunities across various departments within Refuge.

A team of trained volunteers work alongside paid staff on the National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline.

We also recruit volunteers to support our fundraising and communications teams. Other volunteers also support our core activities in other departments, such as HR, IT and finance.


Refuge is a national charity (277424) and a company limited by guarantee (1412276).