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 woman can live free from the trauma of abuse and exploitation.

Mission

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

Values

Inclusive

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

Safe

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

Integrity 

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

Resilient

Our support provides women 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 women 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 women, or staff and volunteers 
  • 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 clients, 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

Dr Marie Lefebvre

Development Officer – Project Facilitator

Aisha Kadiri

Administrator

Kirsty Beecroft

Receptionist

Our Trustees

Click on icon for more information

Richard Fresia-Farrelly

Chair

Liz Riley

Vice Chair

Manjora Bisla

Treasurer

Fern Kenney

Secretary

Shirley Munden

Trustee and Clinical Sub group Chair

Meena Kumari

Trustee

Fazeela Patel

Trustee

Jan Sibley

Trustee

Our team is made up of 5 part-time, 1 full-time staff, 17 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 8 individuals who ensure that the needs of the beneficiaries are met and that our values are upheld.