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The project was started by Jane Powell and Susan Shinman who, through their work with CALM, a helpline for men and boys, identified the need for a helpline for women. The creative agency Truant have worked tirelessly with Jane and the board to give this project a name, a face, and create compelling campaign work; supporting the fundraising required to make Polly a reality. Since then, we've brought women with us who have helped push this vision forward.


We hope you'll join us and make this helpline a reality. 

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Supported by


Pauline Gibbs

Pauline is a Mindfulness Teacher and trainer in mental health, with over 25 years experience of community projects in the voluntary and statutory sectors. She has been instrumental in the introduction and development of various innovative and creative programmes within the NHS. Pauline recently set up MindfulBowl, London. Specialising in urban community settings and seldom heard voices, she is currently undertaking a project looking at the BAME communities’ access to Mindfulness in the UK.


Annette Lewis

Annette has over 13 years’ experience of working in the charity sector, and is currently working in a senior leadership role. She has also worked in learning and development, project development, events, customer service, retail and office administration. Through Annette’s work in the charity sector, she has seen the impact that charities have on communities, the support they give to individuals and how they help to create a better society. It is because of this Annette wants to help with the launch of Polly and the support the service it will give, to all women and girls across the UK.

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Tanya Cohen

Tanya has over 30 years’ experience working in the commercial world, predominantly in the Events sector. Having transferred her skill set into the non-for-profit sector as Head of Fundraising in 2018, Tanya found that her true passion was assisting charities on reaching out to Major Donors, Trusts and Foundations and set up TC Consulting to focus on fundraising and business development. She has also recently embarked on a Masters in Philanthropic Studies. Tanya volunteers for Polly as she strongly believes that ALL women need support at moments in their lives, many don’t know how or where to go! Tanya wants to draw on her experiences to help build the Polly helpline.

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Gaby Fraser

Gaby has over 10 years’ experience in event and project management spanning numerous industries including financial technology, media and broadcasting and charities. Originally from South Africa, she has been living in London for 12 years enjoying the rich history of the UK and Europe, finding the best coffee spots and spending time with her sister and niece. Charity and volunteering are in her blood, as her mother worked for charitable organisations for over 30 years, the values of giving back are strongly instilled in her DNA. As someone who has dealt with mental health issues for many years, Gaby volunteers for Polly to help a charity that supports women and girls and their mental wellness.

Esther O'Callaghan

Esther has over 20 years’ experience spanning industries including UK Govt, local authority, the arts and music, tackling youth unemployment, homelessness, suicide and poverty. In recognition of her services to the voluntary sector she was awarded an OBE in 2007. In 2012 she put together the 31 Songs Album for CALM because of the high suicide rates in young men. Esther was shocked and saddened to learn that since 2012, the rates of self-harm and suicide in women has risen by 98.2%. Esther is supporting Polly to raise the funds needed to be there for women who need it.


Daisy Bambridge

Daisy has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, from PR and news to advertising and marketing. She has always been passionate about helping others and charities through work or volunteering. When Daisy was asked to join the team at Polly, she couldn’t think of a better fit for her to utilise her skills to raise awareness for a cause so true to her heart. She is excited to help get Polly the notice it deserves to help women and girls around the UK get the support they need. 


Susan Shinman

Susan is a Registered Social Worker and Nationally Qualified Youth Worker who has worked in the helpline sector for over twenty years. She is experienced as a helpline worker and manager with a wide range of helplines in the local authority and voluntary sector and is also a trainer and consultant in this sector. Coming originally from Middlesex she has lived and worked in the South West and Scotland and is now based in North West England.


Isolyn Donaldon-Ellison


Isolyn began her career in the financial services industry. She has over 8 years’ experience helping a global investment bank and financial technology firm operate ethically and in line with rules and regulation. Looking for more purposeful opportunities, she met Jane in early 2020 and became a Polly Trustee shortly thereafter. The saddening statistics about young women, from increasing anxiety to self-harm rates, added to her personal experiences and those of female friends and family drive her to make Polly a reality. With the support of Jane and her fellow Trustees, Isolyn runs Polly on a day to day basis. Her goal is to launch Polly in Greater Manchester and ultimately offer a dedicated support service to all women, girls and self-identifying females in the UK. 


Linn Frost

Linn has over 20 years' experience working in Advertising and Marketing.  She is passionate about using her skills on a pro bono basis to help charities gain the attention they deserve. When Jane came to Truant London asking for help to create Polly, Linn knew she had to be involved. As a mother of a young daughter Linn understands the importance of building a strong positive brand and space for women to support each other. She will continue to work with Polly to ensure that it exists for this generation and the next. 

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Alison Rosen

Alison Rosen is a chief executive with over 20 years’ senior leadership experience in the voluntary sector. Currently at the Griffin Institute centre for biotechnology, her experience includes managing organisational change, introducing new and innovative programmes, strategic and business planning, implementing frameworks and infrastructure. Alison’s skills include financial and resource management, fundraising, business development and charity law. Her interest in mental health issues stem from her experience with women with autism with dual diagnosis. 

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As founder and CEO of CALM, Jane Powell spearheaded the issue of male suicide from 2006 until 2016. Launched from her bedroom, the campaign ultimately engaged household brands in raising awareness of male mental health, leveraged significant funding and pro bono support. She built a helpline and chat service taking 50K calls every year from men, preventing hundreds of suicides. A cause which caught the eye of the young Royals and an invitation for CALM to be a founding charity partner of Heads Together. She is now CEO of the British Stammering Association.

Jane Powell


Jodi Montlake

Jodi has over 20 years’ experience working in a range of industries, with the past several years providing copywriting, content, and operational assistance for start-ups and SMEs. Now a member of “The Sandwich Generation” as a mother of two children, the eldest a secondary school female student; and aging parents Jodi understands the pressures on young and older women today. She will combine her skills and passion for making a social impact to assist Polly in getting off the ground with its first pilot, a helpline for women and girls in Manchester in early 2021.

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Sarah Jackson OBE is the leading expert on work-life issues in the UK. She led the work-life charity Working Families for 24 years and was appointed OBE for services to quality of life issues in 2007. She is Chair of Parents and Carers in Performing Arts, and is a Visiting Professor at Cranfield University School of Management. She is a highly experienced and compelling communicator, regular national media commentator, speaker, chair and influencer, who has been instrumental in shaping family-friendly policy, legislation and public attitudes for over two decades.

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Sarah Jackson

Supporting Women


Kiya is a third-year student at the University of Manchester, studying International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response. She is passionate about supporting women and has experience volunteering for a charity that supports people who have been involved in domestic incidents. Kiya is excited to be a part of Polly as she believes that it is really needed in society, especially for teenage girls, to give them a safe place to go to for confidential support.


Kiya Hornby

Laura is a psychology graduate and is currently studying for her master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience at the University of Manchester. She has experience volunteering in multiple roles focusing on mental health and wellbeing. At present, she is working for the university to aid in the welfare and wellbeing of first-year students in halls. She aims to complete a PhD and doctorate in clinical psychology and wanted to volunteer at Polly because she is committed to improving support for women of all ages and backgrounds.


Laura Johnson

Maria is a biomedical sciences student at the University of Manchester. She has experience in student council, school board meetings, and leading the women in science club in her high school in Norway. Maria is especially passionate about women’s mental health and giving women an outlet to relieve their pressures and feel listened to. She is very excited to be a part of Polly and help provide a safe space for women and girls.


Maria Obregon

Afnan is currently studying law at university. She is extremely passionate about contributing to the wider community of Manchester. She is a very active member in her university societies having recently joined Lawyers without Borders as their new inclusion officer. In addition, she also helps in the Miscarriage of Justice Centre to aid people facing the death penalty. Having noticed the implications on mental health caused by the pandemic, she understands that the help which women need during such an unpredictable time in our life is more important than ever. Afnan is eager to join Polly and use her creative skills to support women and raise awareness about the struggles women face in today's society.  


Afnan Sadani

Nadiyah has just started her career in digital marketing but has worked with young people for over 4 years. She has always had a passion for helping people, especially her generation. Since her school days, Nadiyah has always helped and fundraised for many charities. She currently has her own blog and Instagram page called Moments Unfolded where she spreads awareness of mental health. When Nadiyah heard about Polly she was happy to help out because she knows how important it is to support girls and women. She sadly lost her mum back in 2015, when she was 17 years old and she believes Polly is greatly needed, especially for those who grew up without a female influence in their life. 


Nadiyah Rajabally

Young Women's Advisory Committee

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