Refuge CEO retires after 37 years

Refuge’s chief executive Sandra Horley is retiring after 37 years in the role.

She is stepping down with immediate effect due to planned leave having led the charity, which supports survivors of domestic abuse, since 1983.

During her time at Refuge, Horley was awarded an OBE in 1999 for services to the protection of women and children and was made CBE in 2011 for services to prevent domestic violence.

“Now is the right time for me to retire from Refuge,” said Horley.

“I am proud to have led the charity over the last 37 years. It is now established as the leading service provider in this country for those fleeing domestic abuse and other forms of gender based violence. It has also been at the forefront of the campaign to change social attitudes to these issues.”



Refuge supports more than 6,500 domestic abuse survivors every day and has a 400-strong team of staff and volunteers.

Recruitment for her replacement is now underway with consultant Carole Easton appointed as interim chief executive. Easton is a former Young Women’s Trust, ChildLine and CLICSargent chief executive.

The charity’s chair Hetti-Barkworth-Nanton added: “I want to thank Sandra for her long and renowned career with Refuge and her unwavering support for the many women and children she has helped over the years. It’s an incredible achievement, devoting so much of her career and energy to a cause that we all care about so much.

“I wish her my very best wishes for the future and, as a board alongside all of our staff and volunteers, we will do our absolute best to build on her legacy so Refuge can increase the support we provide for women and children escaping domestic abuse.”

    Share Story:

Recent Stories