Restitute was founded by Cath Pickles, a mum and herself a 3rd party victim of crime.
My daughter was sexually abused between the age of 9 and 12 and it wasn’t until many years later, with serious mental health issues and some significant behaviour challenges that she finally felt able to disclose. We knew by that time that something was seriously wrong and by the age of 14 that it involved sexual abuse. It wasn’t until she was 15 that we knew the full horror of what had happened.
The abuse happened outside of our family but even so, it left us all damaged, distrusting, exhausted and struggling to know how to manage her significant trauma. Whilst our priority was our daughter, the rest of our family’s psychological damage was virtually ignored, not only by professionals but also by us. I had to stop work which significantly affected our finances and looking back, our son’s childhood passed us by in a blur of trying to keep our daughter alive.
We struggled to understand her behaviour and how to support her, fought for services that we did not know existed and battled the mutli-agency involvement that often left us feeling that no-one knew what anyone else was offering, let alone what they were actually doing.
I decided to start Restitute to share the hard-fought information and experience we’d gained and to offer real, practical solution-based services to people, just like us, who need to know that there are other people ‘just like them’ who can help. And that people caring in the most complex and traumatic circumstances are deserving of respect, a voice and care. It’s a terribly lonely and stigmatising role caring for someone who you would have done anything to be able to protect – the guilt, shame and trauma make it almost impossible to ask for help or even to recognise that help is needed. Restitute will change that.
Professionally, Cath has worked as a teacher, a senior manager for a county council and served for 4 years as a district councillor. As well as leading Restitute, she is an expert public speaker, trainer and project manager.
Sarah Sharlott is a highly respected figure, locally and nationally who has led social care services for adults and 3rd sector organisations supporting for disabled children and their families.
At Suffolk County Council, Sarah led an award winning team delivering Advice, Guidance, Learning, Skills and vocational training to people who are at a distance from the labour market, as well as managing multi-million pound external contracts with the Skills Funding Agency and the Department for Work and Pensions. With a background working with disadvantaged people, she was Chief Executive Officer of Realise Futures, an award winning Social Enterprise that supported people into employment who would otherwise be missing from the labour market. She is also an expert in the preventing vulnerable children and young adults being drawn towards gangs and radicalisation.
More recently, Sarah worked as an Assistant Director for Contact-for-Families that supports families with disabled children and with Catch 22 that brought together Health, Social Care and 3rd sector organisations to create an integrated wellbeing service for young people aged 16-24.
Sarah is a non-executive director and leads on safeguarding for Restitute.
David Jermy is a retired business professional with decades of experience chairing and leading organisations.
David is a retired business professional who founded and managed a successful company which specialised in activity holidays in the UK and Europe. He spent several years serving as a councillor on Waveney District Council (now East Suffolk Council) including serving on its Cabinet. He also served as leader of the opposition group.
David is a non-executive director and leads on business governance for Restitute.
Alex Mayer is a former MEP for the East of England.
With 20 years of campaign, policy, media and organising experience, including as MEP for the East of England (2016-19), Alex has a huge network of political, business and third sector contacts. As a Member of the European Parliament for 3 years, Alex lead on foreign affairs and the economy and represented six million people from our region. Alex was awarded a Parliamentarian award for her work into cruelty-free cosmetics. Alex’s work ethic is legendary as is her dediciation to any task she undertakes. She is currently working for Daniel Zeichner MP.
Alex is a non-executive director of Restitute and leads on policy and legislation.
Chris Halliday is an IT, business continuity and process management specialist.
Chris is a business manager and IT professional with over thirty years of experience in both the UK and the USA. In the UK he has worked in fields as diverse as local government, higher education, chartered surveying, and architecture. In the US he managed a Boston law firm specialising in social justice and employment litigation. Today he is a manager at the West of England Combined Authority.
In his spare time, Chris is an author, game designer, and mental health first aider.
Chris is a non-executive director of Restitute and leads on IT and data security.
Jane Pearman FRSM
Jane is a retired Police Officer who served for 23 years with the Metropolitan Police. She specialised in sexual offences for over ten years. She has indepth knowledge of 3rd party vicitms of crime through her work as a Family Liaison Officer. Nowadays she is the founder and managing director of HypoHounds which trains diabetic alert dogs. Jane advises Restitute on Police matters.
Until 2015, Mark was a member of the senior leadership team at Bungay High School for 15 years, leading on Special Education Needs and Disability and Inclusion. Nowdays, he is involved in training the next generation of teachers at Buckingham University as well as managing his own film and photography business. Mark advises Restitute on Education matters