Our People

Meet the team driving our work to transform the justice system and open up women’s futures. Based across our head office, in prisons and in Women’s Centres, our passionate team brings together their experience and expertise to provide women with holistic support and to campaign for change.

Sonya Ruparel, Chief Executive

Sonya joined WIP in July 2022 and brings an intersectional feminist approach to championing women’s rights. With a background in tackling poverty in the UK and overseas Sonya has also supported women in their leadership of humanitarian action in different countries. Coming most recently from Turn2us where she led UK programmes to tackle financial insecurity through a lens of shifting power and collaborative leadership she also oversaw the organisation’s safeguarding approach. She had previously worked at ActionAid and Barnardo’s.

Women in Prison Patron

Baroness Jean Corston

Baroness Corston is a champion for women's rights through her appointment as a Life Peer in 2005 and prior to that as MP for Bristol East. In 2007, Baroness Corston led the ground-breaking review into the experiences of women throughout the criminal justice system. The Corston Report made 43 recommendations providing a roadmap for a women-specific criminal justice system. The overarching aim was for a "distinct, radically different, visibly-led, strategic, proportionate, holistic, woman-centred, integrated approach”. The key call was for a significant reduction in the number of women in prison alongside sustained investment in gender-specialist community support. The biggest success of the Corston Report was in establishing a network of 'one-stop-shop' women's centres across the country of which Women in Prison runs three under the Corston model.

Read our Interview with Baroness Corston in WIP's national magazine and how we marked the ten-year anniversary of the Corston Report.

Juli Browne, Chair

Juli is a Supported Employment Manager within Local Government devising opportunities for individuals to be able to excel within their lives, no matter their background or social status. Juli has created, developed and implemented a range of high quality and innovative work experience and training opportunities to bridge the gap between long-term unemployment and the mainstream labour market. Previous to this, Juli spent time working within the criminal justice sector supporting people caught up in substance misuse. Juli is passionate about inclusion, equality and fairness and is CIPD qualified.

Grace Stevens, Treasurer

Grace is the Director of Group Tax and is responsible for tax affairs across Legal & General. Together with her team, she manages the global tax obligations in line with the Group's business strategy and governance framework and works with NGOs and other companies on developing tax policy and management. She was a trustee with Women's Breakout, an umbrella organisation for community support services working with women affected by the criminal justice system.

Minda Burgos-Lukes

Minda is a freelance consultant in social justice and social change and currently works as an External Investigator into complaints in UK post-16 education institutions. Prior to this, Minda was the Head of Liberation at the National Union of Students (NUS). She is an Associate at NEON (New Economy Organisers) and an Organisational Coach for OrgBuilders.

Sonya Burke

Sonya has held senior national and global fundraising positions in the UK and abroad with organisations such as Amnesty International, Save the Children and Médecins Sans Frontiers. She is now a fundraising consultant helping NGOs to build sustainable sources of income. Her focus is on establishing the right organisational environment for growth. A former helpline councillor for young people, Sonya is committed to supporting those most affected by structural inequalities in our society.

Jessica Donnellan

Jessica has advocated for child and adult survivors of domestic and sexual violence and abuse through a range of roles in frontline services. She is a passionate advocate of the Coordinated Community Response in ending violence against women and girls. During 8 years working at Standing Together against Domestic Violence, she learned about embedding gender-responsive, trauma-informed, whole-system infrastructures to meet the needs and uphold the rights of all women and girls. Jessica loves poetry and admires so much of the creative work produced by women who use WIP’s services.

Vicky Pryce

Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). Previously she was Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting, Director General for Economic at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Joint Head of the UK Government Economic Service. She holds a number of academic posts and sits on the Advisory Board of the central banking think-tank OMFIF and on the Economic Advisory Group of the British Chambers of Commerce. She is the author of a number of books including Prisonomics - Behind Bars in Britain's Failing Prisons.

Hazel Renouf

Hazel is a qualified Social worker, practice educator and coach. Hazel has over 11 years of experience working with the criminal justice system in the voluntary sector; supporting street sex working women affected by the criminal justice system in both custody and community settings and in operational and project management roles for Golden Key, a Big Lottery Fulfilling Lives pilot in Bristol. She is a past Griffins Society Research Fellow and is currently employed by NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board as the Trauma Informed Systems Manager. Hazel leads on the ICB Trauma Informed Systems Programme, developing and embedding a trauma informed and responsive system across the NHS and within partner organisations.