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About Us



We are women surviving domestic and/or sexual abuse; some of us are women who have been affected by the criminal justice system, some of us experience mental health difficulties and most of us are women who have experienced some level of isolation, disadvantage and loneliness at some point in our lives.  We are survivors and are simply women supporting other women in our community.  We know what we need to enhance our confidence and resilience, that is being other women in a non judgemental and friendly environment.

We are not counsellors or therapists, we are women who come together to support each other, to learn new skills and to enjoy opportunities in our own women safe community.  We offer peer mentoring to other women, advocate on behalf of women and support each other in a non judgemental and inclusive way.  We don’t ‘do to’ women, we do with women.

We offer social and skill development groups, jewellery making and craft classes, outings, events and training opportunities.  Our model is simple, but it works.  We know this because our women tell us so, again and again.  We don’t ‘do to’ our women, each woman determines what she needs, when and how.  Women know what they need to reinforce their own survival from abuse and together we make it happen.

Some of us are independent professionals from criminal justice backgrounds, with many years of experience of working with individuals who experience difficulties with mental health, disability, addiction, financial disadvantage or other welfare related issues.

We are trained to use a variety of risk assessment tools to evaluate the specific level of risk in terms of domestic abuse. We have over two decades of experience in risk assessment and management. We are experienced in multi agency working and have had training in child protection and use of risk assessment tools such as DASH, SARA and other criminal justice based risk assessment tools.




Beverley:  MA Professional Development: The Dynamics of Domestic Violence (2016), MA in Ethics: Policing and Criminal Justice (2010); Leadership Certificate; Post graduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (Fellow of HEA) (2015); BA(hons) Community Justice (2003).

Beverley has over 30 years of experience in the field of criminal justice, working as a Family Protection Officer, supporting families affected by domestic abuse and other intra familial violence. She has 12 years experience working one to one with clients who have perpetrated abuse. Beverley is a Senior Lecturer in Domestic Abuse, teaching postgraduate level students from across the UK and abroad, particularly with regard to working with perpetrators of abuse, encouraging desistance and prevention of harm. She has completed research on behalf of the University to evaluate voluntary perpetrator programmes.  Beverley has been a sessional Expert Risk Domestic Abuse Risk Assessor in London.

In her University capacity Beverley is currently working with the Maltese Directorate of European Affairs and Equality as principle partner on an EU Daphne funded, two year project, to train some 600 lead professionals in Malta in effective multi agency work to reduce risk connected with domestic abuse. She is author of their Full Cooperation: Zero Violence Train the Trainer manual in interdisciplinary working practice and is writing their information sharing and multi agency risk strategy document.

Beverley is a Fellow of HEA and Fellow of the Midland School for Social Entrepreneurs.

Publications and Report:

Gilbert, B., (2017) ‘Emotion, Time, and the Voice of Women affected by the Criminal Justice process: Corston 10 years on,’ (submitted; pending peer review, publication date December 2017).

Jones, R., and Gilbert, B., (2017) An evaluation of the extent to which the Canine Hope programme, fosters positive behavioural chance, personal development & recovery in participants who have experienced sexual violence. Worcester: University of Worcester.

Gilbert, B., and Egginton, R. (2017) ‘The Multiple Impact of Peer Mentoring within Criminal Justice Settings to Mentees, Mentors and to the Wider Community,’ in Criminal Law & Justice Weekly, Vol. 181(1), January 2017.

Women’s Equality Party Blogpost (2016) Survival takes time – a range of services is required for a range of women’s needs, October 2016

Ellis, J, and Gilbert, B. (2016) A Review of Relationship Education in Worcestershire Schools. Worcester: Worcester University.

Gilbert, B. (2013) ‘Public Protection? The implications of Grayling’s “Transforming Rehabilitation” Agenda on the Safety of Women and Children,’ in British Journal of Community Justice, Vol. 11 (2-3), December 2013.



Maragaret Ingram

Margaret brings wisdom, compassion, encouragement and balance to Cohort 4. She is an integral part of all that we do and achieve, with a career dedicated to education, life enhancement and positive life chances for individuals in many communities.

Carol Director

Carol: BA(hons) Community Justice, Diploma in Probation Studies.  One of the founding Directors of Cohort 4 and so much more than that… woman, mother, daughter and dear friend to so many.

Saying goodbye has been one of the hardest things to do, rest in peace dearest friend, your legacy and memory will live on at Cohort 4 and in the hearts and minds of all who knew you.  Some of the sparkle, mischief and magic has disappeared.

Bless you x


Rachel: Qualifications: MA Social Work, BSc Psychology (Hons)

Rachel is a qualified Social Worker and has experience working with vulnerable children, young people and adults. She has worked with young people at risk of sexual exploitation and those who have experienced domestic abuse.

Rachel also has experience working with both adults and young people experiencing mental health difficulties and has an interest in raising awareness of mental health in the community. Rachel enjoys supporting people to make positive changes in their lives and continues to do this as a Director of Cohort 4 and as a qualified Social Worker.

Rachel is co author of the Criminal Law & Justice Weekly, Vol. 181(1) 2017, article, ‘The Multiple Impact of Peer Mentoring within Criminal Justice Settings to Mentees, to Mentors and to the Wider Community.’



Ruth Jones OBE

Dr Ruth Jones OBE, Principal Lecturer and Founder and previous Director of the National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse (NCSPVA), based at the University of Worcester is Patron of Cohort 4.

Ruth was awarded an OBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for services to victims of domestic and sexual violence, and from scratch developed a post graduate qualification in the dynamics of domestic violence at the University of Worcester, leading to a full MA in this qualification, leading to the development of the NCSPVA as it campaigns to raise public and professional awareness of how to prevent violence and abuse and to support victims. Throughout her distinguished career, Ruth has played an instrumental role in championing education, research and support services both in the UK and internationally.

She designed the UK’s first postgraduate professional qualifications in domestic violence; and in advocacy for victims of sexual violence.  Ruth been recognised locally, nationally and internationally for her work, including the award for best UK Universities Applied Researcher (2010). She was awarded the title of Worcestershire Woman of the Year in 2011 and named as a Woman Inspiring Europe in 2012.

Ruth is for us an inspiration, a remarkable woman who encourages, champions those who work around her, and promotes the need to recognise women survivors.

We are delighted that Ruth is Patron of Cohort 4.