Meet the 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!

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Victoria (Tora) Abrahams
Operations Manager and Uganda Project lead

Having worked as a trustee since 2018, earlier this year Tora took over operational management of the charity. Getting involved with Freedom4Girls was meaningful for her for two reasons - in 2014 she was diagnosed with ME and out of work for several months with no income, relying on family and friends to support my menstruation needs, secondly, as a keen sports woman she has spearheaded the organisation's campaigns that enable, support and empower all young women to feel like they can reach their potentials through sport irrespective of their menstruation and gender issues. Having pursued a career in human rights law, representing women and their gender specific needs in when in prison, Tora is passionate about supporting young people, those with multiple complex needs and disabilities. 

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Sheona Masterton
Trustee, sewing workshop coordinator, 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. She now runs monthly and ad-hoc sewing workshops for Freedom4Girls and helps out a little with tech support.

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.

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Roopen Kalirai
Trustee

Roopen is a family law solicitor who joined as a trustee in 2019.

Her work with Freedom4Girls has seen her represent the rights of women and girls before the Department of Education and the Government's Task Force that are working to address period poverty in schools and holistically across the country. 

Roopen is a fierce advocate for women and girls in he day to day work and through her tireless volunteering for Freedom4Girls.

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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 contact us 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!

As many of you know, we are a very small voluntary-led organisation. We already have one member of our team in self-isolation, so are running on low capacity. However, 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