Female Hackney – Who we are

Female Hackney

Female Hackney members

Introducing the Female Hackney members


My name is Monique Smith, I am the founder of Female Hackney an initiative for young women. It’s the definition of female empowerment a sisterhood. It’s a safe space for young women to come together and be themselves, a space where they won’t be judged. It’s a space where they can learn self-love, self-acceptance. I began this project March last year as I felt there was nothing dedicated to the needs of females within Hackney CVS. I am so happy I was able to create this group as I have seen the benefits it has to the girls on the project.

Aku Adjei is the partnership lead for the Change 21 programme, the Black men for change network’s asset-based communities’ model that supports grassroots organisations’ development and growth. Aku’s role oversees a portfolio of peer-to-peer approaches, ensuring young people’s thoughts are front and centre of the movement’s focus. The Black Men for Change (BM4C) network is a network of African & Caribbean heritage men across London who believe in intergenerational ways of working that link young and old, founded on a ‘do for self-philosophy. Aku is the programme manager on the Rise Up East programme a two year initiative in Hackney Wick working to combat the drivers of violence. She is a transitions and performance life coach who guides individuals to shift, reshape, realign and become drivers in their lives.

I’m Shanice Tobiere and I’m a creative, also a member of Female Hackney which I describe to be a beautiful space for women to unapologetically be themselves that also links with what I apply within my other role in being a dance teacher, choreographer. I have been teaching children/young people for the past 5 years and now starting my own brand teaching adults also. Furthermore in the process of starting up another business. Female Hackney is such a beautiful space I feel where you can learn more and more about your talents and abilities.

My name is Yolanda Lear, I’m a 27-year-old author, Public Rep, Hackney Young futures legacy champion, facilitator and speaker. I am also a youth leader at Hackney CVS. I am a mentor within Female Hackney. Female Hackney is a sisterhood of females within Hackney, whose focus is building a strong network for females within the ethnic minorities communities within Hackney that helps to support them with their own traumas and giving females an understanding of how to support others with their own trauma. Improving your own personal well being and increasing and improving healthy friendships between the females within Female Hackney. Gaining skills so we can help support younger females in the best ways possible.

Phoebe Fisher is a youth educator, researcher and a student of Black history. Phoebe is a committed community activist that necessitates the history of colonialism in the struggle for racial justice. As a member of the Sisterhood ‘Female Hackney’ she continues to provide important insight into the social pressures and barriers that Black and mixed women face in society.’

Hey, I’m Abigail Asante and I am a public figure as well as a youth leader & facilitator. I am a part of the amazing sisterhood Female hackney which is based around self-love, female empowerment and aiming to be the best version of yourself. I also teach both primary & secondary schools about healthy and unhealthy relationships & also facilitate tree of life which is a way of exploring yourself as an individual, your roots and why you are the way you are. Blessingly, I am a jack of all trades in the creative field & aim to use all my talents to express different workshops.

My name is Latreece Brisport and I work for a Criminal Justice System going into prisons and holding workshops with males around resettlement, mental health, care and race. I’m also a part of Public Reps and Female Hackney. Female Hackney has been beneficial as it can be hard to open up about certain things around the opposite gender so having this put in place has made it safe and help us feel more comfortable to open up and feel confident as your story as an individual can be an inspiration to others.

My name is Yasmin Tayane and I am part of Female Hackney. This space was created to appreciate and support women across our organisation. The sisterhood space provided safety and non-judgemental behaviour while expressing past traumas. The purpose of Hackney Female is to reach as many young women as we can, not only in hackney but its surroundings. To develop self-love and high self-esteem, understanding other young women, supporting them with their needs.

My name is Chyna-Mae Whyte. I am 20 years old so far whilst being a part of Hackney CVS. I am part of Female Hackney alongside the young people and families team and Account, Female hackney has helped me a lot I feel like it has given a lot more confidence within myself and what it’s like to apart of a true sisterhood we all stick together and it has really helped me overcome situations I have been through as I have never been a part of something so strongly put together Female Hackney is the true definition of a sisterhood.

My name is Angel Olusile, and I’m a new member of Female Hackney. It’s incredible that we can all come together knowing we can be transparent. A safe area for sisters to be themselves without fear of being judged based on our past traumas or experiences. It is to assist and motivate people to go on the journey of overcoming mental illness, which is critical in today’s society. It’s also about realising that you have the ability to not just overcome obstacles, but also to design the life you desire for yourself. In addition to Female Hackney, I am currently pursuing a degree in criminology with the goal of working in the Ministries of justice or the Criminal Defence system. I also work full-time as a Quality Analyst for Public Health England.

Hiya! My name is Shakira Robertson and I’m an advocate/ youth leader for Female Hackney. I’m proud to be a part of such a supportive, talented & loving group of young women who represent sisterhood within the borough. Being a part of this group has helped me cross barriers with my issues with having female friends, family members & strangers in the past which weren’t so pleasant. Being focused in this group has helped me overcome so much and helped me gain so much, such as confidence, understanding, growth & working together as a collective in schools and to the public sectors. I hope that one day we can inspire so many women including the younger generations to come to understand the true meaning of sisterhood.


Fellow female members of Hackney CVS

My name is Kim- Lien Ong, For as long as I can remember I had been ashamed of my Chinese ancestry and only acknowledge my Vietnamese side when asked, over the last few years especially since the pandemic I have learnt to embrace this side of me and champion my community in everything I do. I am proud of the surname given to me from my Chinese ancestors!

My name is Caroline Hickey, a trusted community leader, a community development and regeneration professional. A Hackney resident focussed locally but with a global viewpoint, a mother, friend, ally and activist. Working hard to change the life chances and outcomes for working class women, through building self-esteem, creating opportunities and rewriting our own narratives. Interested in communities collaborating, building consortia and addressing health inequalities and equity. Currently managing various programmes whilst working at Hackney CVS; Hackney Refugee and Migrant Forum and a Neighbourhood Development Manager an advocate and strong supporter of women within the VAWG field of work.

Vicky Scott, Head of Operations – I love sorting out problems and making things work better, which is just as well because that is what my job at Hackney CVS mostly consists of. My areas of responsibility are HR, operations, the building, IT, governance and programme monitoring. I may look to others like an organised, calm & together person, but this wasn’t always the case. Over many years I have learned how to overcome personal and professional challenges and I am enthused about sharing that knowledge and supporting people to thrive and develop at work. My ‘first career’ before having children was in arts marketing and whilst taking time out of work to look after my son and daughter I co-founded a community group and fulfilled a long-standing ambition to study fine art. Outside of Hackney CVS (yes there is life outside!) I love to get outside and walk long-distance paths with my husband, I am a painter of large abstract oil paintings, and I am currently trying to get in shape at the gym.

My name is Shamima Aktar, and I work as the Network Coordinator for the Health and Social Care Forum at Hackney CVS. I have worked with Hackney CVS since 2011. My first job with Hackney CVS was as a receptionist which helped me develop admin skills and led me to apply for a coordination role. I am a mother of 2 children and I work full time. In my spare time, I love to spend time either doing leisure activities or going on holidays with my family and friends…..

I’m Susan Masters – one of Hackney CVS’s two female Directors of Health Transformation. Our role is to make sure the changes in North East London’s Health Systems work for all our local communities in a way that will reduce the inequalities we see day-to-day. This is the latest stop in a life journey that has taken me from the media and music business into local politics and then into being a poverty response coordinator and managing a food bank at the height of the pandemic.
I love living in East London. It’s an area that has historically produced amazing women who speak their minds and aren’t afraid of graft when it comes to helping their communities. Long may this continue!

Hello, my name is Jessica Lubin and I am Director of Health Transformation, Partnerships and Networks at Hackney CVS. My main interests are in people and understanding why they do what they do – it’s never predictable. I care most about people feeling part of the community they chose to belong to and feel comfortable in. People caring for each other is in their community how the world goes round and can help solve so many problems. It’s why I do my job. I have studied psychology and global health which I enjoyed and has been important to my understanding of the world and the complicated people and systems that make it.
I found being inside and isolated for lockdowns very difficult and am very glad to be able to be out and about again properly and look forward to creating fun with people. I love being outside and playing football, and getting around by bike. I am also always happy chatting – it’s my favourite activity.

I’m Jahada Abdul. As part of my role I take a lead on improving safeguarding awareness amongst charities adults and children from all types of abuse. I also campaign for women’s rights and create awareness in our local communities to protect women from various types of harm. This includes empowering women with knowledge and tools and facilitating access to appropriate support services. In addition to helping local women, I also regularly participate in promoting campaigns for women’s basic rights around the globe. This year, in recognition of International Women’s Day, I am taking part in a charity trek to raise awareness and funds for women’s basic rights to toilet facilities and sanitation in developing countries.

Read more about International Women’s Day and Female Hackney