Ruth Hopkins - Chair My first contact with Women’s Aid was in the early 1970s when I was working in Islington, London. This was the time when Erin Pizzey set up the first refuge in Chiswick and the effects of domestic abuse on women began to be taken seriously. My career brought me to Mid Glamorgan Social Servicers in 1975 and I have had a working relationship with Women’s Aid groups in the area since that time mostly in an advisory capacity in relation to funding, governance and training through my work as Director of Interlink, the County Voluntary Council for RCT. In the summer of 2003 I assisted Pontypridd Women’s Aid with strategic planning and joined the Board in the autumn of that year following my retirement. When it became clear in 2012 that the main statutory partner agencies required one body with whom to negotiate funding I chaired a steering group that worked on a plan to merge the 3 Women’s Aid groups in Rhondda Cynon Taff and this was achieved in April 2013. The Women’s Aid movement has grown and developed greatly since the early days of the 1970s but it has stayed true to the feminist principles that underpinned it from the start. I admire the way in which Women’s Aid groups have kept up with the times and adapted to changing circumstances whilst staying true to their founding principles. Women’s Aid – Rhondda Cynon Taff is a values driven organisation and proud of it seeking always to understand and serve vulnerable women and their children as they try to escape from domestic abuse and make a new life. It is a privilege to be part of this movement.