Meet the Board!

Our Board of Directors has a wide range of professional expertise, including youth work, participatory practice, research, and marketing/PR.



Abi Billinghurst - Founder & CEO


Abi’s background is in youth work and she has spent her career working with young people who are marginalised and excluded from mainstream opportunities and decision making.


Prior to setting up Abianda in 2011, Abi co-founded a production company that worked with young people, supporting them to have their voices heard through the process of filmmaking. Since then, her work has spanned the criminal justice and violence against women and girls sectors, designing, delivering and managing services for young people. Abi's work has always had a focus on issues of social justice, violence against women and girls, and ensuring that young people have their right met of influencing decisions that affect them.


Her work has included developing models of practice for working with gang-affected young women and girls; developing participatory approaches and services to working with vulnerable adolescents and those who have experienced sexual violence; supporting specialist social care teams to implement strengths and participatory approaches to Child Sexual Exploitation and developing leadership and life skills programmes and participatory training for services that support young survivors of sexual violence across Europe .


Abi advises strategic bodies and government on policy and legislation spanning violence against women and girls, gangs and youth and criminal justice sectors. She is a visiting lecturer at various UK and European universities and regularly contributes to and advises on academic research that involves young people’s voices on issues pertaining to the work of Abianda. Since 2011, Abi has grown Abianda from a one-woman, sole trader entity to a not-for-profit company that employs 21 people and reaches over 150 young women and thousands of professionals a year.





Cadence Willis - Director


Why did Cadence join Abianda’s Board?

I joined the Abianda board to help us scale our activity so that we can reach even more young women and girls affected by gangs and county lines, with a particular focus on strategy, business development, brand and culture.


A bit about Cadence:

Cadence has over 20 years’ experience working in the private and public sectors leading global corporate responsibility and corporate affairs teams. She has a passion for responsible business and the role organisations have to play, in not only doing the right thing, but innovating to address global challenges. As VP of Sage Foundation, she’s helping to tackle societal and economic inequality through investments in education, technology and the environment to give individuals, businesses and our planet the opportunity to thrive. Cadence also works with a number of private and nonprofit sector organisations helping them to define their short, medium and longer-term impact goals.



Claire Walkeden - Chair


Why did Clare join Abianda’s Board?

I joined the Abianda Board initially from a place of wanting to give my time and skill set to help a purpose-driven organisation, that was really making a difference in its sector. In the past four years, I have so enjoyed being a part of the Board and being able to lend support where most useful, during both an amazing period of development and the challenges that the ever-shifting climate has also brought for Abianda. I’m really excited to be moving to the role of Chair, with a new cohort of Board Members who are going to bring relevant expertise to further support the Abianda team in their future development of the organisation.


A bit about Clare:

Clare runs Auburn Coaching and Consultancy and she's based in the Midlands. She's a long time marketing communications professional and predominantly works with third sector organisations that need to create a 360 marketing and communications strategy. She's also a qualified developmental coach, who likes to get people out in nature for the benefit it brings in wellbeing, creativity and solutions thinking. She predominantly coaches lone leaders, middle managers and business owners. In her spare time, she likes to be outdoors and especially on her bike!



Janice Altenor - Director


Why did Janice join Abianda’s Board?

I have joined Abianda because I am inspired by their mission to bring about change in the way that services are delivered to girls and women affected by gangs and exploitation. Their ethos and practice in valuing and upholding the rights of women and girls to be free from harm and having their voices heard, aligns strongly with my own. I feel honoured to have joined the Abianda board and to have the opportunity to contribute to their aspirations for girls and young women.


A bit about Janice:

Janice is the Assistant Director, Contact & Assessment, of the Children & Young Peoples Service in the London Borough of Harrow. She has 19 years of experience as a qualified social worker, 7 years of which have been in senior leadership roles within children's services. Janice is committed to ensuring that children, young people and their families experience social work services that demonstrate care and compassion for families when responding to need and the protection of children and young people. Also that they inspire positive change, promote the voices of children and young people and continue to evolve and be creative in how they deliver services.



Krystyle McGilvery


Why did Krystle join Abianda’s Board?

I had been on the lookout for a role that allowed me to give time to young women in need. The work I do in finance and behaviour was initiated when I became conscious of the injustices women face in the world today around finance, accessibility and decision making. The crucial work Abianda does paired with the ethos and approach of the team, made deciding to join effortless. The benefits of this work for the women themselves, close family members and the wider community is unquantifiable. The benefits extend far beyond what can be seen and contribute to the improvement of all of society.


A bit about Krystle:

Krystle uses behavioural finance to improve the confidence and financial acumen of aspiring people. She provides business consultancy and finance mentoring. She helps individuals and founders improve their financial capability and confidence by tackling the blockages that appear when trying to grow. Through her company Mind Over Money, Krystle provides workshops and programs to help people develop their financial acumen, consider their beliefs and behaviours, and improve self-efficacy.


After reading Financial Mathematics at university, Krystle worked as a qualified Chartered Accountant for over 15 years with companies in the creative spaces of PR, advertising, marketing, and technology. Krystle has been supporting people through education and mentoring and is widely known as the approachable finance expert, motivational speaker, and biggest cheerleader. Krystle provides mentoring to women through Like-Minded Females and the Women of Colour Global Network. Krystle is also a creative who loves to draw portraits using graphite and charcoal, dance and cook.

Naomi King - Director


Why did Naomi join Abianda’s Board?

I’m passionate about working to end abuse and violence against women. I admire Abianda's expert and passionate leadership on the rights of girls and young women and their solutions-based approach to working with those affected by gangs and county lines. I believe that the work Abianda is doing will make a positive impact and build resilience in local communities. I am committed to driving and championing gender equality and building a fairer world. A bit about Naomi:

Naomi King (Aryee) is an accomplished and respected Strategic and Operational HR professional with over a decade of experience that encompasses all facets of Human Resource Management. Sectors she has worked in include finance, legal, media, medical, railway, and fundraising charities for specific causes. Naomi has a passion for the industry which has led her to become a mentor to those seeking to enter into the world of HR. As a mentor for Black Women in HR, she has used her business acumen to help other junior HR professionals utilize and engage their skills and knowledge to help their organisations create purposeful, diverse, and inclusive work environments that help businesses grow and thrive.


Naomi has a degree from the University of Bath in Sociology and Human Resource Management and holds a CIPD certification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development. She is a member of the women's group of WIT (Women in Transport) which provides peer support and networking opportunities for women in the transport industry.



Pippa Goodfellow - Director


Why did Pippa join Abianda’s Board?

The critical role played by the specialist women and girls’ sector has been highlighted throughout my work, which has informed and strengthened my ambition to work closely with Abianda. From my perspective, this is a unique opportunity to work with an organisation that is so closely aligned with my own values and interests, as well as being based in my local community. I’m excited to contribute to the development of Abianda, grow the impact and influence of the organisation, and to be working alongside young women, members of staff and the Board to develop future opportunities.


A bit about Pippa:

Pippa is the Chief Executive of the Alliance for Youth Justice (AYJ), which brings together over 75 diverse organisations ranging from grassroots community groups to national charities, to drive positive change in youth justice. Her diverse experience in policy, strategy, research and communications has a particular focus on collaborative and partnership working.


Pippa is a Trustee of the National Association of Youth Justice and has various strategic advisory roles including for the Youth Justice Board, the London Adolescent Safeguarding Oversight Board, several national programmes and academic research projects. Pippa brings her experience of developing and implementing strategy, collaborations and networks with a diverse community of originations and stakeholders, and a strong commitment to the aims and guiding principles of the organisation.