Research and Development Team
NUM's Research and Development Team comprises seven experts-by-experience with diverse knowledge of sex work within the UK and internationally. Their goals within NUM are to:
- Create a supportive network for sex industry worker activists to have opportunities for leadership and action on issues that impact their lives and the well-being of their communities
- Ensure the fundamental recognition of human rights for sex workers, including their right to dignity, safety, equality and empowerment
- Support and promote sex worker leadership within NUM with respect to the development of essential services for active sex workers through advocacy, media and public awareness
- Support and advocate for enhanced protection, education, health and healing for diverse contingents in and from the sex industry
Dr Raven Bowen, CEO
Raven joined NUM as its CEO in September 2018. Although being originally from the UK, Raven has spent much of her career in Canada in the third sector working with sex workers, survival sex workers and marginalized populations on systemic advocacy, policy change and social justice. Raven has built an extended network of sex workers, scholars and other stakeholders in the UK and around the world in her near 25 years’ contributing to advancing rights, social protections and other entitlements for sex working communities in roles across public and third sectors. She worked several years in the frontline services in Canada during periods of heightened social stigma, criminalization, situational violence, abduction and murder of sex workers. Raven is an award-winning published scholar, whose past research and PhD work contributes to nuanced understandings around stigma and victimization, transitioning to and from sex work, and ‘duality’—concurrent participation in sex industry work and square work. Raven balances accountability and responsibility by holding parties accountable to policy decisions and outcomes. She is convicted about significant and meaningful sex worker leadership in crafting interventions and in service delivery to their communities. She has trusted reputation as a manager and an alliance-builder across disparate political ideologies and communities of interest.
In her spare time she is immersed in a good TV series, off on an adventure or teaching herself to play guitar.
Kerri Swindells, Chief Operations Officer
Kerri is the longest serving member of staff for the charity and was an integral part of what was the UK Network of Sex Work Projects before NUM was formed. She was part of a two-person team which set-up NUM and then ran the successful nine-month pilot funded by the Home Office. In that time her role has grown and she is currently Chief Operations Officers using her knowledge and experience gained over the years at NUM to develop services that directly meet the needs of sex workers as victims of crime both within and outside of the criminal justice system. Kerri is a qualified Independent Sexual Violence Advisor and uses this experience and skill set to improve police responses and service provision to sex workers throughout the UK. Essentially, she's the behind the scenes glue that holds NUM together and is at her most comfortable when advocating for sex workers and informing practice.
Hannah Wilcock, Victim Support Case Worker
Hannah joined NUM in march 2019, she has worked with victims of crime for many years now, specialising in supporting victims of sexual violence. She is a qualified independent sexual violence advisor (ISVA) and uses this in her role to support sex workers both emotionally and practically. Hannah has previous experience of working for the police which gives her a great working knowledge of the criminal justice system, policing processes and the law. She is undeterred and will strive to improve practice ensuring sex workers receive the best level of service when reporting crime.
In her spare time Hannah has a real passion for travel and is often found hunting for her next bargain holiday. She loves to cook and uses her travel experiences to influence this. If she isn’t in the kitchen she’s usually out walking and hiking.
Carolyn Henham, Victim Support Case Worker
Carolyn joined NUM in March 2019 as a Victim Support Case Worker providing a pan London casework and referral service to sex workers who have been victims of crime. Carolyn worked with sex workers in Bradford in the 1990s and in Leeds in 2014-2016 providing local drop in and outreach services. During this time in Leeds Carolyn initiated and secured funding for the first national pilot of Housing First for sex workers. After completing MA Social Research in Leeds 2014, Carolyn has worked on various national sex work research studies. In 2016 she was awarded a Winston Churchill Trust Travel Fellowship to: Explore Best Practice of Managed Areas of Sex Work in a European Context.
In her spare time Carolyn can be found gardening or partying in Ibiza. Her motto is “you are never too old to dance”.
Amy Shaw, Brief Intervention Caseworker
Amy joined the NUM casework team in January 2020 as a Brief Intervention Caseworker, working with NUM's reporting and alerting features to ensure that sex workers have access to safety warnings and support. She completed an MA in Social Anthropology in 2018 with a focus on capitalism and social change. Her work background is in investigative casework and community work with LGBTQ people and addiction services.
In her spare time she is studying Russian and likes to cook and write postcards.
Nicola Kenzitt, Finance and Fund Development Coordinator
Nicola joined National Ugly Mugs in 2014, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience of the fundraising sector. Responsible for the development of our fundraising activities, including Corporate Partners and Trust & Foundations.
If you would like to get involved with NUM, send Nicola an email and she will be there to give you all the help you need.
When not crunching the numbers you will find Nicola running through the countryside with her dog, eating cake or both.
J Lythgoe, Membership Administrator
J joined NUM in October 2017 and is responsible for administrating membership to the scheme, as well as providing additonal operational support. They were formerly a researcher at the University of York, and worked for over six years in the university and public libraries. During this time they helped to establish and run Fetsoc, the student fetish and BDSM society, aimed at reducing the stigma and taboo associated with sex, sexuality and kink. They were responsible for providing education and information on sexual health, safety and consent, as well as being involved with sex and sex worker-positive advocacy and activism.
J endeavours to spend as much of their spare time as possible dancing; on any poles, podiums, stages, or odd bits of architecture that happen to be at hand.
Rosie Hodsdon, Executive Administrative Assistant
Rosie joined NUM in September 2019 as an Executive Administrative Assistant, supporting the day-to-day running of the organisation. At the same time, she is working on her PhD at Northumbria University, exploring the impact of legal regulation on workers in the UK pornography industry. It is during this that she became involved in the sex workers’ rights movement, working alongside groups on campaigns related to sexuality, safety and society, as well as with organisations promoting sexual freedom and education. Furthermore, she is an Assistant Tutor in Social Sciences at Sunderland University, in which she draws upon her research and advocacy experience.
Outside all of this, she enjoys both film-making and film-watching, theatre-making and theatre-watching, the Eurovision Song Contest, and vintage fashion.
Charlotte Blake, Digital Research Co-ordinator
Charlotte joined NUM in late 2019 and brings with her over a decade worth of experience from the field of research. Her specialisms include but are not limited to:
- user led
- social justice
- mix method
- creative methodologies
Beginning her work for a young people’s sexual health organisation charlotte has continued to work within the youth and sexual health sectors. During her undergraduate years Charlotte founded and chaired the UCLan SU Burlesque Society where she could be found teaching workshops as well as performing in and producing strip tease show cases. The society won a number of awards and in 2012 Charlotte was given a Community Hero Award for her continued volunteer work around body confidence and sex positivity. Charlotte is currently working towards her PhD at the University of Huddersfield, researching young people’s experience of digital education in UK secondary schools. It is envisioned that part of Charlottes contribution to knowledge will be her creative, collaborative approach to research and analysis.
In her spare time Charlotte can be found exploring art galleries and museums with her little boy, getting crafty cross stitching, painting, upcycling, paper making, in the studio coming up with new burlesque routines, sat reading and writing poetry or binge watching the latest Netflix shows.
Jade O’Neil, Digital Product Co-ordinator
Jade joined NUM in 2019 as Digital Product Co-ordinator. Her professional background is in computing and web development but she also has a wealth of experience in campaigning for various causes with multiple organisations. She has long fought for the rights and safety of sex workers, including writing policy documents in favour of decriminalisation.
As digital lead at NUM, Jade is responsible for transforming our internal tech as well as over-seeing the build of our new platform. Her priorities in this endeavour are to react to feedback from our users, to improve accessibility, and to create an awesome space for the sex work community!
In her spare time, Jade enjoys playing board games and role playing games (like Dungeons & Dragons!), reading books, and watching all sorts of nerdy TV. Most of all, she loves spending quality time with her toddler.