Our Trustees

Victoria Heeley - Chair of Trustees

Victoria was first elected as a Trustee in November 2017 and was then appointed as Secretary on the Board, at the AGM in 2019 the existing Chair retired from Office and Victoria was then appointed as Chair by the Board.

Victoria brings a wealth of voluntary experience with her and has worked in the Charity Sector for over five years, having worked at a National UK Charity for several years and is currently a Senior Manager at another Dorset charity.

Victoria is also a Qualified Counsellor and has been a placement volunteer at the charity for over three years, supporting clients with long-term trauma-informed counselling.

Outside of work Victoria enjoys running and music.

Alex Hancox - Vice Chair of Trustees

After graduating from Bournemouth University in 2017, Alex was elected Vice President of the Students' Union. It was here that he first heard of STARS (Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre as it was then known), and started volunteering at events across Dorset, including Bourne Free and Bestival, promoting the charity's Consent Tent. Alex then started volunteering as a support line listener too, and in 2019 was elected as a Trustee and appointed as the Vice Chair.
Alex is currently a Civil Servant and brings recruitment experience and an interest in policy and good governance to the board. He lives in Bournemouth and in his spare time enjoys travelling and skiing.

Dr Lisa Gould

Lisa became a Trustee September 2020. Lisa has a background in Psychology and a PhD in Clinical Neuroscience. She has a clinical understanding of the impact of trauma on the brain, and has an extensive background in mental health research. She has been associated with STARS since 2015, supporting funding events and following and promoting their social media campaigns. 

Lisa works as a research fellow in Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London. She lives in the New Forest with her two little girls, and a much fussed over cat. She is a single working parent, a strong advocate of women's rights internationally and a leader of Women in Science, Medicine and Engineering in her field. 

Jo Gordon

Jo Gordon was elected as a Trustee for STARS in September 2020. She started as a Supportline volunteer in May 2018 and since completing her training is now a mentor. Jo has manned the STARS stall at Bournemouth University Freshers Week and has also been into Bournemouth School for Girls conducting the 'Consent Sessions'.
Jo is retired from nursing after a long career in hospitals and in General Practice as a Senior Practice Sister. Whilst in the GP surgery she was able to undertake an In-House Counselling course with Dorset Mental Health. This was invaluable in her work with chronic disease management and signposting patients to the correct organisation where they could access the help and advice they needed. She also befriended clients passed from the Counsellor attached to the surgery while she was on vacations.
For relaxation Jo enjoys cycling, long walks, gardening and playing with her grandchildren. 

Our Staff

Helen Stevens - Service Manager

Gerry Jones - Clinical Lead

Gerry Jones is BACP accredited, Tavistock-trained psychotherapist with over 18 years experience working with individuals and organisations in the private, public and charity sector.

Gerry believes that the environment in which we develop profoundly affects the individual: socially, culturally and in our family units. Gerry describes herself as working with a relational stance, specialising particularly in complex trauma and childhood issues.

As a Clinical Supervisor, she is interested in the secondary traumatic stress present in individuals working with those who have been traumatised.

Tracey Parsons - Lead Independent Sexual Violence Advisor

Tracey passed her NNEB qualification in 1985 and worked with children who were from deprived areas that had experienced physical and sexual abuse and neglect.

She then took some time out to bring up her own children before starting work in 2008 with BCHA as a Domestic Abuse support worker covering Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole, She then completed her NVQ3 in Management and went on to Manage the Independent Domestic Violence Advisor Service (IDVA) , 2 Domestic Abuse Outreach services and 2 Mother and Baby units.

She joined STARS Dorset in July 2012 as one of three newly appointed Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) and then 18 months later became the Lead ISVA. Since Tracey's appointment the STARS Dorset ISVA team has grown from three to ten ISVAs in eight years.

Alison Woodward - Clinical Supervisor

Alison is a Supervisor, UKCP accredited Psychotherapist and Certified Transactional Analyst. She trained with Metanoia Institute initially and continues her learning to support her practice, most recently she has started working with EMDR.  She works both in private practice in Bournemouth and for the Sexual Trauma and Recovery Service (STARS) in Dorset. Alison also runs training events for counsellors and other related professional organisations specifically related to working with Trauma.

Alison has developed her experience in working with clients who have symptoms of complex PTSD. She works within a three-phase therapeutic trauma framework with her clients to ensure clinical safety and space to understand and resolve the intrusive symptoms that clients experience.

She is passionate about finding effective ways to work with complex trauma clients, she has seen how recovery can and does happen when clients are given the time and space to work.