Gilly is Head of UK Grants at Comic Relief which she joined as a grants officer 20 years ago and where she is responsible for the development, implementation and review of the UK grants strategy. She has always ensured that the needs and rights of marginalised people are reflected in the organisation’s work.
She originally trained as a social worker, and worked in a north London social services department in child protection before moving to the voluntary sector in the early 80s. She worked with young people in a variety of voluntary organisations, and settings including youth offending and homelessness agencies.
Her early housing and homelessness work included establishing the first supported housing for young lesbians. She has previously chaired domestic abuse and housing organisations and was a co-founder of the Ellen Gee Foundation which aimed to provide evidence based research to inform the funding strategies of charitable funders to ensure they met the needs of LGBT people. She was awarded an OBE for services to domestic violence in 2007. Her combined work and volunteer experience stretches nearly 40 years.
Gilly has a strong interest in the delivery, quality and dignity of care for older people, informed most recently by both parents moving to a care home.