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Our Name

The Quetzal is native Central and South American bird which was caught for its beautiful head and tail feathers and caged. Legend has it that it dies when caged. The support Quetzal has to offer helps to break down the bars of psychological cages for women who are recovering from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse.

Our History

Quetzal was the brainchild of Jennifer Anthony Black, beginning in 1989 as a self-help group and then developing into a more formal range of professional support services.  Sadly, Jennifer passed away in March 2009, but her vision remains.

In 2019, Quetzal celebrated its 30 years and the start of a new journey as it strives to develop its services further. Quetzal remains the only long-term counselling services supporting women recovering from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. Through its outreach work, Quetzal also aspires to become a driving force in using a community-based approach to empower communities with the knowledge and capacity to support further women affected by non-recent abuse.

Our Vision

A world where every survivors can live free from the trauma of abuse and exploitation.


To provide free, and inclusive, counselling, support services and outreach to empower female survivors’s recovery from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse



We welcome all, challenge our own bias and appoint staff, volunteers and trustees who reflect the diverse communities we work among 


We offer a confidential environment where female survivors can build trusting relationships with their counsellors, and a protective and nurturing environment for our staff 


We are honest and transparent, and seek feedback from those we support 


Our support provides female survivors with the space for action and to reflect on their abuse and enables them to take agency over how they cope, recover, respond and transform. 

Our Aims

  • Give female survivors a voice to be heard and enable agency and control  
  • Work with local communities to challenge the shame and taboo narratives and raise awareness of childhood sexual abuse
  • Work in a trauma-informed way that doesn’t re-traumatise female survivors, staff, volunteers or others.
  • Keep the voice of those with lived experience central to how we work and shape what we do 

Our Objectives

  • Provide high quality tailored support to survivors of childhood sexual abuse that meets their individual needs 
  • Ensure support is accessible and available when needed 
  • Work in collaboration with other local organisations to ensure the best possible standard of service delivery 
  • Raise awareness of the effects of childhood sexual abuse and of trauma-informed care.

Our Approach

Quetzal uses a trauma-informed approach in its work, culture and organisation and as such:

  • Understands the widespread impact of trauma and potential paths for recovery
  • Recognises the signs and symptoms of trauma in female survivors, families, staff and others involved in the system
  • Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures and practices; and
  • Seeks to actively prevent re-traumatisation.

Our Team

Deborah Knight

Chief Executive Officer

Shabnum Popat

Clinical Lead

Aisha Kadiri


Mary Allen

Clinical Receptionist

Sandra Mason

Clinical Assistant

Batul Miyajiwala

Communications Officer

Our Trustees

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Liz Ryley


Fazeela Patel


Nicola Hurley


Shirley Munden

Trustee and Clinical Sub group Chair

Sophie Wesson


Priya Luharia


Naomi Howard

Safeguarding Advisor

Bushra Ali


Our team is made up of 6 part-time, 1 full-time staff, 35 volunteer counsellors and 5 volunteer connectors supporting women recovering from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. Quetzal’s board of trustees is made up of 9 individuals who ensure that the needs of the beneficiaries are met and that our values are upheld.

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