Meet the team

The Operations Team:

Tina Leslie
Founder, Trustee, Kenya Project lead

Mum of 3 and grandma of 1, Tina works in Public Health and as a fitness Instructor.

She founded Freedom4Girls after spending time in Kenya, volunteering for other charities and working on a mother & baby project; this work inspired her to start a project of her own. After supporting a local Kenyan Gym and raising money to renovate a football field and supply football kits to local children, Tina was horrified to discover that 60% of girls and women in Kenya had no access to safe menstrual protection. It took her back to her experience of starting her period when she was 11 years old, almost 40 years previously. She was on a French exchange trip and couldn’t access any menstrual products, so had to manage with toilet paper and sleeping on the floor for a week, worried that she would soil the sheets. We all have stories to tell about how we have had accidents when we have been caught short on our periods. That is why Tina is so passionate about helping to create a world in which everyone is educated about their bodies and has safe, hygienic access to menstrual products. No one who menstruates should have to suffer!
Read more
Email
Victoria (Tora) Abrahams
Operations Manager and Uganda Project lead

Having worked as a trustee since 2017, in early 2020 Tora took over operational management of the charity.

She does this alongside her work as a Prison law consultant and running the organisation’s Uganda based projects. Tora’s awareness of the issue of period poverty originated during one of her first female human rights law clients; a woman with severe learning difficulties who was disciplined following her refusal of a strip search because she was menstruating. The differences between how men and women are treated across socio-economic and criminal justice systems led then led Tora to turn her career focus onto gender-specific work for women and girl’s voluntary organisations. As someone with endometriosis and M.E. Tora is passionate about supporting young people and women with multiple complex needs and disabilities.
Read more
Email
Sheona Masterton
Trustee, sewing workshop coordinator, tech support

Sheona runs monthly and ad-hoc sewing workshops for Freedom4Girls and helps out a little with tech support.

Sheona first met Tina Leslie when she was leading a team of sewing volunteers in Leeds, making re-usable cloth pads to distribute to girls and women in developing countries. They began to collaborate, and Sheona's involvement with Freedom4Girls gradually increased until she officially joined as a trustee in July 2018. Her inspiration to become involved in the fight against period poverty stems from her feelings about the importance of educational opportunities for all, regardless of their social, economic or religious background. Something as simple as access to safe and hygienic menstrual products really is life-changing, and Freedom4Girls provides a unique opportunity to make a tangible difference to the lives of those who menstruate and to interact directly with people who benefit from the charity's work.
Read more
Email
Megan Crossland
Social media and marketing

Megan runs the organisation’s social media and digital marketing needs.

 

 

Megan is passionate about the work Freedom4Girls is doing because as an organisation, we place a high value and focus on education and not just provision. Despite the fact that provision is important, Megan states that only through education can awareness and change be brought. “If no one knows there’s a problem it can’t be fixed.” Megan is a trained actor and in her spare time she like to read. 
Read more
Lesley Drurey
Admin support

Lesley is the organisation’s administrative support assisting with all the fundamental ‘behind the scenes’ work that keep us up and running.

Mum of 3 and passionate business woman, Lesley part time studies and works part time for Freedom4Girls. Lesley enjoys working at Freedom4Girls as she is a women’s and girl’s rights enthusiast and support of gender specific support within the women’s sector.
Read more

Our Brilliant Board of Trustees:

Roopen Kalirai
Chair

Roopen is a family law solicitor who joined as a Trustee and was appointed Chair in 2019, having previously volunteered with the charity since 2017.

Roopen is a fierce advocate for promoting a diverse and equal society in which all people are treated with the same respect and provided with equal opportunities. Her passion for this brought her to the role with Freedom4Girls as she believes strongly that all people that menstruate should be able to do so with the same respect, education and access to basic provisions.  Roopen’s work with Freedom4Girls has seen her represent the rights of those who menstruate on a national scale. She has attended steering groups with the Department of Education to provide knowledge and assistance in implementing their ground-breaking decision to provide period products at schools, and also as part of the Government’s Task Force who work to address period poverty more holistically across the country. Roopen’s aim and passion is to ensure that period poverty is no longer a conversation that needs to be had and that society as a whole becomes more open to conversations about periods resulting in negative stigmas falling away.
Read more
Megan Thomas
Trustee

Megan is a qualified accountant and has previously been a trustee of Girlguiding. She joined the Board of Freedom4Girls in 2020.

She is passionate about ending period poverty, the stigma around periods and is known among colleagues and friends for talking openly about periods and encouraging others to do the same. The work of Freedom4Girls is important to her because as well as providing period products to those who need them in the UK and abroad, there is also a focus on sustainability through the production of reusable pads. In her spare time, Megan enjoys cycling, learning languages and baking (and eating) cakes.
Read more
Sonia Kumari
Trustee

Sonia currently works at a women and girl’s voluntary organisation and joined as a trustee in 2019.

Sonia works and volunteers for different women's charities in Leeds and has a background in Education and Equality & Inclusion work. She is excited to work alongside F4G as they begin their journey of growth, impacting and empowering people who menstruate from all backgrounds.
Read more
Sophie Rowan
Trustee

Sophie joined F4G as a trustee at the end of 2019.

She used to work at Brook delivering health and wellbeing workshops for young people, including sex and relationships education and period education, so she is excited to be involved with Freedom4Girls, as it is right up her street! She previously volunteered for Abortion Support Network, which provides information and financial support to women who are forced to travel to access safe and legal abortion services. Sophie is also a qualified Independent Sexual Violence Advocate and has worked at Rape Crisis centres and Victim Support.
Read more

COVID-19 UPDATE:

Unsurprisingly, we’ve made the decision to cancel our sewing workshops until further notice. However, if any of our volunteers would like to continue sewing at home, we’ll happily provide fabric, templates etc for you to do so. Please send us a message or drop us an email for more info (info@freedom4girls.co.uk). Our upcoming trips to Kenya and Uganda will almost certainly need to be postponed, so we’re taking this as an opportunity to build up a good supply of period packs for later in the year!

We are also aware that the current levels of panic-buying have left many shelves empty of period products. If you’re in need, please let us know and we will help you. We will be restricting supplies to 1 or 2 packs per person, and if you can normally afford to buy products, we ask that you give us a small donation so that we can replenish our supplies once things calm down a bit. Over the next week we hope to establish pick-up points so that we aren’t inundated with requests, so watch this space!

In these uncertain times we are as determined as ever to ensure that everyone has access to safe period products and will continue to provide those in need throughout the Leeds area to the best of our ability.

Stay strong and safe,

The F4G team x