For 40 years, Thrive Women’s Aid has provided a haven for women, children and young people in Neath Port Talbot, helping them to rebuild their lives and regain their independence in safe communities.

At Thrive we believe everyone has the right to live in safety and have a future without fear.
We don’t just help and support women in need, we help the whole family to thrive to ensure the cycle of abuse is broken for good.
Our aim is to encourage, enable and empower, as we believe that, given the right resources, everyone has the strength and capability to achieve, no matter how hard their circumstances.
Our organisation is resilient in the face of challenge. We are passionate and dedicated to our cause and we remain steadfast in order to provide a consistent, safe and trusted presence for the people we support.

Our Vision & Mission

Our vision is to create safe communities, free from domestic abuse where women, children and families can thrive and build successful independent lives.

Our mission is to be an innovative and sustainable provide of excellent, good value domestic abuse services that drive prevention, provide interventions and enable progression.

Our Values

Our values are at the heart of everything we do at Thrive. They were created by our team and embody the way we aspire to work and behave.


ROLE MODEL – Role model behaviour which benefits other people or society as a whole


IMPROVING – Continuously improve the service we provide and the environment we work in, through being proactive, innovative and forward looking. Be unafraid to change and flex and be brave and sensitive in challenging and seeking feedback to develop self and be better at what we do


INTEGRITY – Act openly and honestly with transparency, professionalism and high standards, respecting the importance of confidentiality in everything we do


INCLUSIVE – Operate in a fair, non discriminatory way, without prejudice and judgement, promoting equality and inclusivity for customers and colleagues, valuing the difference of others


SUPPORTIVE – Value the importance of the team that you work with, investing time in activities which build a strong team both with colleagues and other partners that we work with


EXCELLENT – Provide outstanding, holistic, bespoke services which are accessible, timely and responsive, and which are community based, person centred and encourage the support of the family as a whole, delivering on our promises


ENGAGED – Demonstrate a heartfelt commitment to our mission and to making a difference to the lives of women, having pride in our heritage and loyalty and passion for our organisation


EMPOWERED – Empower service users and colleagues to achieve their aspirations, providing all with the opportunities and confidence to be heard.




Our organisation was founded under the name Port Talbot Women’s Aid and in 1980 the first refuge was opened in a house provided by Port Talbot Borough Council.



A Floating Support scheme began in 1992 with Dewi Sant as the Registered Social Landlord and a large house with six family sized bedrooms was opened in partnership with South Wales Federated Housing Association (now United Welsh Housing Association).



New projects started to expand our offer of services which included funding for a 35 hour childwork post.

Community Aid


A Community resource opens, where women in the community call in for support, information, workshops and training courses in a safe environment.

Mothers and Toddlers


Funding to provide a ‘mothers and toddlers’ facility both in-house and in the community. A grant was awarded to provide therapeutic activities for the refuge residents.

30 Years


Our organisation celebrates 30 years of Women’s Aid in Port Talbot and the Afan Valley. Our name was changed to reflect the work undertaken in the valleys area and so we became Port Talbot and Afan Women’s Aid or PTAWA.



Our five bed ‘Move-on’ accommodation was opened, extending the reach of our residential service provision. We also appointed our first Manager, having previously operated as a collective.

Celebrate 20 Years in Current Refuge


PTAWA celebrates 20 years in the current refuge. Since 1992 approximately 900 women and 1200 children have been accommodated in our refuge.

Male Support


We began supporting male abusive parents in a bid to improve safety, reduce risk of harm and ultimately prevent domestic abuse.  

Funding Milestone


After a period of substantial growth the organisation exceeds half a million pounds income to support our charitable activities.

Thrive Women's Aid


Thrive Women’s Aid was borne. While supporting and empowering women in the local area is at the heart of what we do, we felt that the time was right to change our brand to reflect the needs of our service users, who are based across the entire Neath Port Talbot area. We felt that we needed to reposition our brand to show the breadth of services we offer. Our new brand name has been chosen by our service users who wanted something positive, warm, and friendly.

Staff & Board Members

Louise White (Chair)

Louise has 20 years HR experience, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has a Master’s Degree in Employment Law. She currently works as the Head of HR at DVLA, leading on all people issues for over 6,000 employees. She believes that people are the most valuable asset in any organisation and is committed to creating a positive working environment. Louise has a particular interest in championing women’s issues in the workplace.

Louise lives locally, in Port Talbot, with her husband and the last one of her 3 grown up children who is still at home. In her spare time, she likes walks along the beach with the dog rain or shine, watching live music and dining out.

Karen Tipple (Vice Chair)

Karen has worked within the supported housing sector for 7 years and is currently a Service Manager within the Thrive team at United Welsh with responsibility for partnership working and delivering health and wellbeing contracts. Prior to this Karen has managed Supporting People services including homeless hostels and floating support services. Karen originally trained as a Probation Officer after graduating from University and worked as a Probation Officer for 8 years before moving into housing. Karen has a keen interest in ensuring that services are delivered based on what matters to the person using that service and has recently completed the Vanguard Method for Person Centred Services programme.

Karen lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, growing her own vegetables and long walks along the beach.

Carly McCreesh-Johnson

Carly has worked in the voluntary sector for almost ten years, firstly at New Sandfields Aberavon as a Project Development Officer for over 5 years and secondly, working at Chwarae Teg as a Senior Project Officer. She previously worked as a Social Economy Officer for Bridgend County Borough Council, managing a £2.2m European grant scheme to support the development of social enterprises. Now Carly is employed as Project Manager for a Community Shared Project at Wales Cooperative.

Carly has a wide range of experience in the voluntary sector around business development, fundraising, project development and management. Carly has lived in Port Talbot all her life, she has two children; Ava 6 and Finley 10. Carly is currently undertaking an ILM 5 course for leadership and management for Directors through the LEAD programme, delivered by Swansea University.

Carly is the longest standing Board member, with over 10 years service.

Her interests involve keeping fit, spending time with family and going to the cinema.

Harry McKeown

Harry has extensive experience of working within middle and senior management roles within the housing, support and homelessness sectors. He was previously part of the Senior Management Team within The Wallich, taking responsibility for the leadership of all aspects of the organisation’s operations across South West Wales.

Harry is currently employed at Pobl Group as Assistant Director – East Wales, with responsibility for leading on homelessness services in Gwent, Bond Scheme services and Cre8 social enterprise and Education, Training and Employment services throughout Wales.

Harry believes a healthy approach to life contributes towards balance, stability and well-being, and regularly mediates, practices yoga and runs long distances as a hobby; occasionally competitively in Ultramarathons.

Nia Singleton

Nia is currently Community Liaison Manager UK at Tata Steel in Europe. Based in Port Talbot, she has over 10 years experience in communications, undertaking numerous role within Tata Steel including; Internal Communications Business Partner and External Communications Community Relations Executive.

Nia has been instrumental in helping to shape ‘Thrive Women’s Aid’ to be recognised as a leading provider of domestic abuse services.

Nia was previously a Drug and Alcohol Misuse Counsellor and is a trained Probation Officer.

Nia is also a Welsh language speaker and writer.

Gail Hemming-Richards

Gail is a qualified and registered social worker with almost 17 years’ experience in child and family social work in the South Wales area and the south of England. She have experience of undertaking child protection investigations as well initial and core assessments alongside working with children in the looked after system and work within the courts. Gail has experience of completing fostering assessments, auditing files and has spent the last seven years working as an Independent Reviewing Officer and Child Protection Case Conference Chairperson.

Gail has a huge passion for training and have undertaken a great deal of training related to social work, child protection, counselling and education. She is also qualified to masters level and hold additional professional qualifications in Teaching and Counselling.

Gail currently chair the Parents and Friends association at her son’s school, where she is also a parent governor.

Guy Smith (Treasurer)

Guy is currently employed as Community Asset Transfer Officer for Bridgend County Borough Council, responsible for overseeing the Council’s policy of encouraging property asset transfers to the third sector in support of its Asset Management Plan and Disposals Strategy.

Guy is Chartered Secretary and PRINCE2 Practitioner with extensive leadership and management experience of strategic planning, financial management, auditing, governance and compliance, project and change management, systems development and implementation, and the preparation and introduction of processes, policies and procedures in both the public and voluntary sectors.

Guy has extensive experience of public services duties across a number of charities, schools and colleges as Board Member, Trustee, and Governor.

Lousie Fleet

Louise is currently employed at the Wales Audit Office (WAO) as Manager of the Performance Development & Guidance Team, supporting auditor colleagues with audit guidance, learning and development, and ensuring compliance with internal quality framework for audit work.

Louise is an elected employee Board member of Wales Audit Office (WAO) and is a member of the HR and Remuneration Committee.

Louise has significant experience, at a senior level, of auditing public sector bodies, analysing and interpreting complex data, making judgements and forming reasoned conclusions based on robust evidence.

Since 1993 Louise has been a Magistrate and in 1999 she became a Chairman in the Adult Court and Family Court in Swansea.

During 2017/18 Louise was the High Sherriff of West Glamorgan.

Louise is also currently the Chairman of the Neath Port Talbot Child Contact Centre.

Louise is a keen golfer and in 2010 was Appointed Director of the Board of Ryder Cup in Wales. She also enjoys keeping fit, reading, music, theatre and cooking.

Stevey-Liegh Radford

Stevey-Liegh graduated from Law School having obtained a law degree and post graduate diploma in legal practice.

Straight from law school Stevey-Liegh went to work for David Prosser & Company Solicitors where she commenced her training contract. During her training she practised in civil litigation, wills, probate and personal injury but spent the majority of her time in the family department where she qualified as a solicitor.

Stevey-Liegh now practices exclusively in the area of family law. Her practice areas include Public Law proceedings including domestic violence, injunctive relief and child protection issues together with placement applications and adoption cases.

Stevey-Liegh is currently a Solicitor & Assistant Childcare Lawyer at Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council.

Stevey-Liegh is a member of Resolution which is a national organisation of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce, separation and other family issues. Stevey-Liegh is also a member of the Association of Lawyers for Children.

Seren Môr Consortium

The Seren Môr Consortium is a partnership of specialist organisations working together to end Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence.

The Seren Môr consortium has recently been formalised with the completion of a due diligence procedure and sign off of our Memorandum of Understanding. The consortium is made up of the following VAWDASV provider partners:

– Bawso

– Hafan Cymru

– New Pathways

– Thrive Women’s Aid

– Swansea Women’s Aid

The main aim and purpose of the consortium is to strengthen, sustain, develop and protect domestic abuse, sexual violence and violence against women services across the region. Our partnership has an ethos of mutual respect, trust, fairness and collective action on the basis that a collective approach is stronger than individual organisations acting alone, so to become more resilient and able to respond effectively.

The Consortium will work collaboratively to:

– Bid for and provide services to support victim-survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and violence against women, in support of each member’s core business

– Bid for and provide services to prevent these crimes, in support of each member’s core business

– Share, discuss and develop new projects, activities and sources of funding

– Provide mutual strategic and practical support

– Explore and develop strategies to reduce and mitigate risk to the domestic abuse, sexual violence and violence against women sector

– Share expertise and personnel, where appropriate

– Develop a shared voice on common issues and sharing representative roles

– Share information and data as appropriate and within Data Protection legislation.

– Avoid duplication and unnecessary competition

– Set standards to ensure the provision of holistic, high quality and consistent services

– Build individual organisational resilience through the ethos of partnership and collaboration

As a group, we are keen to work closely with other key partners to ensure that through the delivery of services we are supporting your priority aims and objectives, meeting the needs of those facing VAWDASV issues across the Western Bay region and delivering the highest quality of services so to prevent and respond as early as possible to those women, men, children and young people requiring help, safety and support for their low, medium and high level VAWDASV needs.

Please direct any queries to


Supporters and Donors