Lived Experience in Governance: Lessons learnt at Clean Break — Clean Break



Lived Experience in Governance: Lessons learnt at Clean Break

6 February 2024 – 6 February 2024

An online event

Tuesday 6 February 2024 
12pm - 1pm 
Online, Zoom


Panel members 
Alison Frater – Clean Break Co-Chair and trustee 
Erin Gavaghan – Joint CEO at Clean Break (panel chair) 
Nola Sterling – Clean Break trustee and criminal justice professional 
Tanya Tracey – Former Co-Chair and Clean Break trustee of 9 years

This event will be hosted on Zoom and will include automated captions. If there are other ways we can support your attendance at this event, please contact us at

Lived Experience in Governance: Lessons learnt at Clean Break

6 February 2024 – 6 February 2024

Who is this event for? 

  • Women trustees and aspiring trustees with lived experience* who want to thrive on a Board
  • Charities who want to strengthen their lived experience representation on their Board
  • Boards who are considering Co-Chairing as a way to centre lived experience on Boards
  • All those who are committed to anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice at every level of their organisations.

What will the event cover? 

  • How can organisations best support lived experience Board members to show up and know that their contributions have value?
  • How can anti-racism be practiced in the Board room?
  • How can co-chairing enable lived experience to be front and centre on Boards?
  • What is the culture needed to support a diverse Board to thrive?

Why are we hosting this event? 

Lived experience expertise is often undervalued and underrepresented on Boards. Having been founded by two women who met in prison, Clean Break’s roots are in lived experience of the criminal justice system. However, pressures of funding and charitable status have meant that over the years, learned experience has been prioritised.

We are committed to bringing lived experience back into the heart of our decision making, and being truly inclusive in the Boardroom is one way in which we strive to achieve this. We know women with lived experience of the criminal justice system enrich decision making, and bring different perspectives, experiences and understanding to shape us moving forward.

So far, our journey to Board-equity has included shadowing/training schemes for women with lived experience, establishing a Members’ advisory group, and piloting a Co-Chairing model, through which we aim to develop collaborative leadership, deeper listening and inbuilt accountability. Alongside this, our anti-racism action plan has been a catalyst for interrogating power and privilege in the organisation.  

We now have meaningful engagement with trustees with lived experience at Board level and have recently had a successful Co-Chairing structure with lived experience representation, which we intend to carry forward. We are hosting this event to share our learning openly and explore the strategies we have deployed on our journey.


*we define lived experience as experience gained directly through personal life events and circumstances, rather than learned or professional experience. In the context of Clean Break’s work, this refers to lived experience of the criminal justice system, as well as experiences which put women at risk of criminalisation, such as homelessness, addiction or mental ill health. 

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