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The Salford Women and Girls’ Commission is made up of 17 members, including one chair. Let’s meet our commissioners.


Councillor Sharmina August: Lead Member for Inclusive Economy, Anti-Poverty and Equalities, Salford City Council (Email:

Councillor Sharmina August

Biography: I am a Labour ward councillor for Eccles, and Lead Member for Inclusive Economy, Anti-Poverty and Equalities. I was the first Muslim to be elected to Salford City Council and I am passionate about representation and equity. 

“I am a member of and participating in the Salford Women’s Commission because I care deeply about the people in this city - we cannot move forwards if over half of us are being held back. Whether it’s poverty that disproportionately falls on the shoulders of women, lack of representation in all decision-making structures, or just not feeling safe, things need to change. I got involved in politics to make life better for everyone in my community, and I’m not planning on stopping until I do just that.” 


Jasmin Bakhre: Chief Executive Officer, Women with Wings (Email:

Jasmin Bakhre

Biography: I am the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Women with Wings, as well as being the business owner of Jasmin’s Cakes. I have over 10 years’ experience of working with local communities and am now working to improve women’s lives by empowering, motivating and supporting them, specifically getting them into training, employment and self-employment.

Engaged in multiple community-based activities, I am the treasurer of Spirit of Little Hulton, a member of Big Local Board, a member of Salford Community Voice, a member of Big Local Employment and Training Task Group and Finance Funding Committee. I’ve been nominated for and won multiple awards, including the Steve Sheridan Award. 

Lynn Blay: Chief Executive Officer, Ladybird Nursery (Email:

Lynn Blay

Biography: I am the Chief Executive Officer/ Owner of Ladybird Private Day Nursery at Springfield House, which is a welcoming, caring and secure environment where all children are encouraged to learn and develop. The nursery is registered for up to 96 children aged 0-11 years and cared for by a highly qualified and caring staff team. We were voted Salford Small Business of the Year 2017 and received a Best Employer Award.

I am an Early Years Professional with over 35 years of childcare experience, specialising in behaviour management. My roles in the past have included nursery manager, area manager and director of Early Years before launching Ladybird Private Day Nurseries with my business partners in 2013.

"I am a member of and participating in the Salford women's commission because I want to help contribute to helping others and inspiring women and girls in Salford to have better lives, equality and positive experiences now and in the future. I am really looking forward to working alongside each and every one of the commission."

Debbie Brown: Strategic Director of Service Reform, Salford City Council (Email:

Debbie Brown

Biography: I am the Strategic Director of Service Reform at Salford City Council, focused on developing new ways of working with partners, residents, and the voluntary sector to make best use of our city’s resources, embedding our corporate values and aligning ourselves to the City Mayor’s priorities. My services – Finance, HR and Workforce Development, Digital and Customer Services, Legal and Governance, Communications, Procurement, and Policy and Partnerships – play a critical role in ensuring the council can deliver efficient day-to-day operational services, transformation, and service improvement, which improves the quality of life for people in Salford.

Kimberley Cash: Vice Principal (Welfare, Safeguarding and Pastoral Care) Salford City College (Email:

Kimberley Cash

Biography: I have worked in Salford since qualifying as a history teacher in 2003. Within my various teaching and leadership positions, I have supported thousands of young people to gain qualifications and progress onto exciting next steps. In the role of Vice Principal, I am ardently committed to improving the lives of post-16 year olds by removing barriers to educational success. I also hold strategic responsibility for inclusion and welfare with a strong commitment to providing opportunities which empower others and tackle inequalities.

"I am delighted to be a member of the Salford Women’s Commission; it is a privilege to be given the opportunity to enact change through championing the voices of women. I am passionate about making society a fairer place and I am looking forward to supporting those who feel marginalised in their communities as we work together to come through the challenges of COVID and look towards a more positive future."

Charlotte Cooke: Deputy Director of Delivery, LGBT Foundation (Email:

Charlotte Cooke

Biography: I am the Deputy Director of Delivery at the LGBT Foundation, a nationally significant charity firmly rooted in our local communities of Greater Manchester, established in 1975 to support the needs of the diverse range of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans through a wide range of evidence-based and cost-effective services.

Throughout all of our work, we support LGBT people to increase their skills, knowledge and self-confidence to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing. We also work in partnership with others to build strong, cohesive and influential LGBT communities.

Safieh Eskandari: Chief Executive Officer, Doosti (Email: or

Safieh Eskandari

Biography: I am the founder, co-trainer and leader of the Doosti community group in Salford, a Middle Eastern support group, consisting of mostly refugees. The group is an open, inclusive and vibrant community group with a focus on the diverse cultures of West Asia, now known as Iran, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, promoting integration and community cohesion within the UK. It is not only a friendly place to belong, but also promotes knowledge, social welfare and wellbeing.

“I am a member of and participating in the Salford Women’s Commission because I believe women, regardless of any language and background, have many common goals, aim and challenge. Being in the Salford women's commission brings more opportunities for women to learn from each other and improve their skills, awareness and power for change.”

Sue Fletcher: Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Age UK Salford (Email:

Sue Fletcher

Biography: I am the Assistant Chief Executive at Age UK Salford, an award-winning local independent charity, which exists to improve the quality of life for all older people in Salford through the provision of support, advocacy and direct services. I am an experienced Director of Business Development with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organisation management industry and a strategic manager with experience in leadership and personal development.

“I am a member of and participating in the Salford Women’s Commission because I am committed to the delivery of a range of programmes and services in Salford which help older females remain healthy, independent, socially included and stay safe as they get older. These include keeping active, encouraging social interaction, getting online, staying safe and well at home and delivering vital information and advice relevant to this group.”

Councillor Karen Garrido: Worsley and Westwood Park (Email:

Councillor Karen Garrido

Biography: I am the Conservative ward councillor for Worsley and Westwood Park. I was first elected to Salford City Council in 1986 and was re-elected in 2000 when I became leader of the Conservative Group, a role I held until 2015. I served as the Ceremonial Mayor of Salford from 2016 to 2017. I am the link member for the Worsley and Boothstown Community Committee and chairman of the Neighbourhood Partnership Board. I am also president of the Worsley Village Community Association, a founder committee member of Boothstown Residents Association and a member of Friends of Roe Green and the Worsley Civic Trust and Amenity Society.

Over the course of my professional career, I have worked for firms including Jaeger Fashion and Marks and Spencer and was appointed as a Salford Magistrate from 1975 to 1993, with a particular interest in the Youth Court. I also previously served as a member of Citizens Advice Bureau in Swinton from 1976 to 1986.

Maggie Langhorn: Operations Manager (Adults), Salford Foundation (Email:

Maggie Langhorn

Biography: I am a Senior Manager of Salford Foundation (one of three), a charity providing opportunities for young people and adults to create better futures. We've been helping people in Salford, Greater Manchester and the North West for over 30 years. By creating the right mix of opportunities, relationships and resources with people, we believe that everyone can reach their full potential. People are at the heart of all our work, shaping and co-creating what we do. We also have a fantastic network of businesses and volunteers helping us to achieve our goals.

“I am a member of and participating in the Salford Women’s Commission because I am passionate about hearing the voices of Salford’s women and am committed to make a difference in their lives, by ensuring that services are co-designed and delivered to meet the needs that they identify.

“I want Salford to be a safer and more equitable place for women, where differences are valued, and support and opportunities are open to all. Women in Salford deserve to live free of fear and abuse and to have happy, fulfilled lives.”

Councillor Sophia Linden: Pendlebury and Clifton and Executive Support Member for Climate Change, Low Carbon and Green Agenda (Email:

Councillor Sophia Linden

Biography: I’m a Labour councillor for Pendlebury and Clifton, and the Executive Support Member for Climate Change, Low Carbon and Green Agenda. Outside of the council, I work in the healthcare sector. I’ve also worked on community arts and horticultural projects to connect and empower Salford residents.

“I’m participating in the Salford Women’s Commission because I believe in the power of women sharing their stories, finding commonalities in our diverse experience. This commission is a vital step in improving women’s lives in Salford, and I’m proud to play a part in it.”

Pipeeh Miyalu: Chief Executive Officer, Warm Hut (Email:

Pipeeh Miyalu

Biography: I'm Pipeeh S Miyalu, one of the co-founding members of Warm Hut UK, a Refugee Community Organisation (RCO) based in Salford with branches in Wigan and Manchester who have provided emotional wellbeing support, including additional social support to the Francophone, Lusophone and Lingalaphone African population, primarily but not exclusively in Greater Manchester since 2009. In total, 80% of our service users are women and young girls who have lived experience of domestic violence, female genital mutilation, and trauma due to exile. 

I’m actively involved in churches and faith groups and I am committed to making the problem of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) a critical concern. I initiated the Let’s Bloom Together initiative to educate community faith leaders about child abuse reporting requirements and the importance of confidentiality and women’s safety issues. I also created the Wellbeing Group for survivors to discuss their needs and encourage women and young girls to discuss sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking within their faith communities in a manner sensitive to their cultures and backgrounds. I initiated the Golden Age Programme (GAP) to campaign against violence and witchcraft accusations against older people within their faith communities and work with faith leaders to ensure that measures are in place to deter any future false accusations of witchcraft, making sure that older women can lead safe and secure lives. 

“I am a member of and participating in the Salford Women’s Commission because I would like to offer my expertise and voice to address key issues affecting women and girls, asylum seekers and refugees.”

Alison Page: Chief Executive Officer, Salford CVS (Email:

Alison Page

Biography: I am the Chief Executive Officer of Salford CVS, in post since April 2013 and I’m passionate about Salford and working in partnership with the city’s voluntary organisations, community groups, charities, social enterprises and other strategic partners in order to benefit local people and this place. I’m also the Chair of the Salford Social Value Alliance, one of the organisers of Salford Social Enterprise City and several Greater Manchester bodies; a Director of 10GM, a founding member of the GM VCSE Leadership Group, co-chair of the VCSE Commissioning sub-group and Chair of Voluntary Sector North-West.

I’m currently heavily involved in the changes around health and social care in Greater Manchester, including sitting on the GM Transition Board, the Electronic Data Interchange and Population Health workstreams, and helping develop an Alternative Provider Federation for the social sector. In Salford I’m a member of the local ICS Transition Board and its workstreams. Other work areas include tackling poverty, reducing inequalities, promoting equity and creating an inclusive economy in Salford and across Greater Manchester.

Councillor Hannah Robinson-Smith: Cadishead and Lower Irlam (Email:

Councillor Hannah Robinson-Smith

Biography: I have worked with women and girls in Salford for many years, previously as a volunteer at Salford Citizens’ Advice, as a breastfeeding peer supporter in our Children’s Centres and Family Hubs, and more recently in my work as a Labour ward councillor for Cadishead and Lower Irlam.

I have seen the devastating and inequitable impacts of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis on women and girls, I hear about women and girls feeling unsafe in our city who don’t feel listened to, who are not represented on the bodies that make decisions about their lives, and women and girls who feel failed by inherent patriarchy and misogyny in wider society. 

“I have joined the Women’s Commission so that I can listen to these women and girls from across our city. I want to listen to their views and their issues, and I will work tirelessly with partners on the commission to drive positive change, and to ensure that Salford is a better, fairer, and safer place for all our women and girls. I’m really excited to get to work.”

Sue Sutton: Chief Executive Officer, Salix Homes (Email:

Sue Sutton

Biography: I am the Chief Executive Officer of Salix Homes, a multi award-winning social housing provider based in Salford, Greater Manchester. We’re a not-for-profit charitable organisation who put our customers at the heart of everything we do, from investing in our homes and communities, to how we go about providing our services. We also provide jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities for local people and we work with our partner agencies to help our tenants improve their own lives.

I joined the organisation in 2008 when Salix were an arms-length management organisation (ALMO) of Salford City Council, successfully leading the stock transfer of homes from the local authority in 2015, to create Salix Homes as a Housing Association. Prior to joining Salix, I worked in the social housing sector in and around Liverpool.

Allison Taylor: Manager, Women’s Centre (Email:

Allison Taylor

Biography: I have been the manager of Salford Women’s Centre, which was set up in the early 1980s by women, for women for 14 years, having worked at the centre since 1997. We provide education, support and advocacy for any woman (and their family) who lives or works in Salford. Our services include counselling, post-natal support, accredited job-related training, debt advice, domestic abuse support, access to health services including drama, a choir, a walking group and creative writing. We have a community cafe/ teaching kitchen and fully equipped creche. Our centre is open from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The commission’s work is supported by the following individuals:

Jessica Pathak: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Salford City Council (Email:

Jessica Pathak

Biography: I have been in the equalities field for over 25 years, starting my career with Salford Youth Service and working with a number of girls and young women’s groups across the city. I also set up the first project for young people and their communities affected by racial inequalities in Salford. Through this work, I was involved in the Council of Europe’s All Different, All Equal Campaign – an initiative against Racism, Anti-Semitism, Xenophobia and Intolerance. From this opportunity, I was part of the founding group setting up and establishing a European Network for Young Women from Minorities which ran between 1995 to 2005.

As the Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion lead for Salford, my role is that of Secretariat - supporting the development and smooth running of the commission. I will also be ensuring that women’s voices and experiences from across Salford are central to and form the foundation of the commission.

“In the current climate, I believe the Salford Women’s Commission is very much needed - COVID, the death of Sarah Everard, the rise in misogyny and hate online, the #MeToo campaign - all highlight the challenges faced by society. Women of all ages, ethnicities, ability, faith and sexual orientation are tired of the inequity - they want to be listened to, be safe in and out of their homes, be valued, treated equitably, invested in and offered accessible opportunities.”

Jacquie Russell: Assistant Director of Policy and Performance (Service Reform), Salford City Council (Email:

Jacquie Russell

Biography: I am the Assistant Director of Policy and Performance (Service Reform) at Salford City Council, responsible for Policy and Partnerships, Equalities, Business Planning and Performance, Procurement, and Information Governance activities for the council. This includes oversight for the delivery of the ‘Salford Way’ (launched March 2021), which sets out an ambition to create a fairer, greener and healthier Salford, particularly through the Inclusive Economy Strategy, the Tackling Poverty Strategy, and the Equality and Inclusion Strategy.

I have worked in Salford for ten years and the North West for just over 20 years. I have held equalities roles wherever I have worked, including with Manchester City Council and the old Government Office.

“I am really pleased to be supporting and participating in the Salford Women’s Commission because it’s essential that women in Salford are heard and that their experiences directly shape the way the Council and all other organisations approach their responsibilities. Women are at least 50% of Salford’s community, they can and do shape every aspect of life in the city – and this Commission looks to celebrate and support women; take action where inequalities persist, and ensure their voices are at the heart of decisions that directly affect them and their families.”   

Jo Rutter: Policy and Equality Officer, Salford City Council (Email:

Jo Rutter

Biography: I am a Policy and Equality Officer (Policy and Partnerships) at Salford City Council. As the lead for hate crime as part of the Cohesion and Prevent team, my role involves working with a broad range of external partner agencies including schools, GMP and housing organisations.

My past roles have also involved working with children, families and communities across the North West region.

“I am a member of and participating in the Salford Women’s Commission because I would like to support this valuable work and encourage women from all communities to have their voices heard.”

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