Hourglass Conference 2024

Hourglass Conference 2024

In a world with an increasingly ageing population, the visibility of older people in discussions about tackling violence and abuse remains disproportionately low. Hourglass is committed to changing this.


This year's conference, focusing on how the UK heads Towards a Safer Ageing Society, will feature top level launches, policy announcements and expert keynote speakers from the four nations of the UK including:




Laura Farris, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Victims and Safeguarding

Laura Farris is a British Conservative politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Newbury since the 2019 general election. Prior to her parliamentary career, she worked as a journalist and later as a barrister. She has been Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Victims and Safeguarding since November 2023. She has been a member of the Justice Select Committee since June 2021 and the Privileges Committee and the Standards Committee since March 2022. Farris was a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee from March 2020 to March 2022.

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Colin Smyth MSP

Colin Smyth is a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the South Scotland region since 2016. A member of Scottish Labour, he served as its general secretary from 2008 to 2012. Colin is also spokesperson for Constitution, Europe and External Affairs. He is currently promoting a private members bill in the Scottish Parliament seeking to establish a Scottish Commissioner for Older People.

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Lindsay-Fisher-HourglassDetective Superintendent Lindsay Fisher

Lindsay is an officer in the Police Service of Northern Ireland. She has 20 years’ experience as an officer and most recently played a vital role in the development of the PSNI’s Violence Against Women and Girls Action Plan and was the operation lead for the new Domestic Abuse Legislation in Northern Ireland.

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Katie-Bourne-HourglassKaty Bourne OBE, Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex Police

Katy is the Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Sussex, England. Sussex was the first PCC to partner with Hourglass to ensure there were specialist older people’s Independent Domestic Violence Advisors. Katy will explain how Sussex has led the way in supporting older victim-survivors, showing what is possible in every UK community.

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Heléna Herklots CBE

Heléna is the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.  Prior to this appointment she was Chief Executive of Carers UK, the national membership charity for the UK’s 6.5 million carers. She has had over 30 years’ experience of supporting and working with older people. The Commissioner role was created by the Welsh Government in 2008 to be the independent voice and champion for older people aged 60 and over across Wales.

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With a General Election looming in 2024, there is an urgency for all political parties to adopt policies that support safer ageing. Therefore, both government and opposition ministers will deliver keynotes as the charity unveils its own manifesto for change, articulating critical policy requests specific to each of the four nations within the UK.



Alex-Davies-Jones-HourglassAlex Davies-Jones, Shadow Domestic Abuse and Safeguarding Minister

Hourglass are delighted to welcome Alex Davies-Jones MP as one of our keynote speakers. Alex Davies-Jones was appointed Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding in November 2023. Previously, she has been Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland, Shadow Minister for Tech and Digital Economy, Parliamentary Private Secretary to Jim McMahon, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, and to Nia Griffith, Shadow Wales Secretary. She is the first female MP to represent Pontypridd.

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Dr-Anastasia-Fadeeva-HourglassDr Anastasia Fadeeva

Anastasia is a Research Fellow at the Violence and Society Centre, City University of London. She has been exploring how violence is presented within health data with a particular focus on Public Health Wales dataset. She will speaking on behalf of the VISION Consortium. a major new research consortium, funded by the  UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) for five years from 2021 to 2026. VISION brings together a Consortium of public bodies, universities and third sector organisations and aims to reduce the harms to health caused by violence by improving the data that underpins theory, policy and professional practice.

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Naomi-Hawthorn-HourglassNaomi Hawthorne

Naomi is the Women’s Sector Manager for Surviving Economic Abuse UK and is based in Belfast. She manages their work with frontline women services as well as the Compass Project, which is developing a model for economic advocacy support to help economic abuse victim-survivors establish their economic control and rebuild their lives after abuse. Surviving Economic Abuse aim is to awareness of economic abuse and influence changes to professional practice, systems, policy, legislation and regulation so they recognise economic abuse and better support victim-survivors.

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Farah Nazeer, CEO of Women’s Aid England

Farah Nazeer started as chief executive of Women’s Aid on 1st March 2021. A charity executive with over 20 years of director-level experience, Farah is passionate about women’s rights. She has worked on women’s rights and gender issues for most of her career and is committed to feminist principles of leadership including courage, sharing of power and accountable collaboration.

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Mark Brooks OBE, Chair of Mankind Initiative

Mark is a sector leader, thought leader, commentator, spokesperson and, policy and communications adviser in the fields of men’s health, inclusion and domestic abuse. He received an OBE in 2019 and an Honorary Doctorate (University of West London) in 2023 for his work in these fields. He has played a key role in creating a men’s health and wellbeing, and, male domestic abuse sectors. This includes the government’s commitment to improving men’s health which was underpinned by his reports on this issue and on male suicide.

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Joanna Elson CBE, CEO Independent Age

Joanna is a director of the financial services trade association UK Finance, representing vulnerable consumers, Chair of the Advisory Board at Birmingham University’s Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management, and a member of the Government’s Financial Inclusion Policy Forum. She is also Vice Chair of the Friends Provident Foundation, a Chartered Director and a Director of Fair 4 All Finance, which is using dormant assets to increase financial inclusion.

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Hourglass will also introduce its Safer Ageing Index for England. This follows the successful publication of similar indexes for Northern Ireland, Wales, and Greater London. These indexes serve as vital tools, assessing the safety of various local areas for the ageing population and pinpointing regions where investment and support is most needed.


Along with innovative panels, round tables and speeches, the conference will also commemorate the 30th anniversary of Hourglass' founding. This milestone presents a significant opportunity to reflect on the charity's journey and the broader societal progress made since its inception. While honouring its past, Hourglass is equally focused on the future, striving tirelessly towards a society where safer ageing is a reality for all.