The Directors

Meet the Directors of New Leaf Support

Hasmita Reardon

Hasmita (Hasy) Reardon


Hasy volunteered for another domestic abuse charity where she not only supported clients for 7 years but was also a vital member of their board of Trustees.

The valuable experience and knowledge that she gained throughout this time opened her eyes to a sector of women and children that were falling through the loopholes, by not meeting the criteria for the standard refuge accommodation. Thus, causing them to remain in an abusive relationship.

Being a successful woman in the world of property investment, Hasy decided to provide a property that fulfilled this need and has since gone on to provide vital respite accommodation for many individuals and families in Swale.

This innovative idea was the first of its kind in the UK and is just part of what makes the New Leaf Support Team unique.

Hasy now has as an amazing team that is expanding and growing with the charities needs and challenges. The team consists of Volunteers, Staff and a Board of Trustees.

Their immense experience in the field of Domestic Abuse and qualifications also include:

  • Legal qualifications, family law and civil orders
  • Housing legislation
  • Benefit and Finances
  • FGM and Immigration processes and laws
  • Systematic Family Therapist
  • Phoenix Programme trainers and facilitators
  • And a vast array of practical skills to offer clients.

All of these are underpinned by a highly motivated and qualified support team, who obtain vital funding and donations to make our services possible.

Together we work as a team to offer the clients the highest quality of support and advice to break the chain of abuse, without judgement, or discrimination.

Assisting each client to turn over a New Leaf in their life.


Nicola Cardwell

Director of Strategy & Planning

Nicola is an organisational development consultant specialising in Leadership, Inclusion and Culture with 20+ years’ consulting experience. She is skilled at helping clients to clarify their strategic objectives and co-designing impactful development interventions and processes to bring them to life.  She does this with robust empathy, seeking to build commitment and capability for all involved in the change process.  Nicola has significant experience working within complex organisations including professional services, FS, Technology, FMCG, Engineering and Public Health sectors.

Nicola holds a Masters in Organisational Development in Leading and Facilitating Transformative Change, is an AoEC Accredited Professional Executive Coach and Systemic Team Coach and a Member of the CIPD.


John Biggs

Chair of the Board

In 1984, he joined a company called Spectrastrip Ltd, a small UK electromechanical manufacturer who had just been acquired by Amphenol. Here he headed up the commercial activities and was part of the project team set up to integrate it into the parent company. He eventually moved to Amphenol’s UK headquarters in Kent and headed up the Commercial and Export functions.

In 1992, John moved to HUBER+SUHNER, a Swiss multinational company, as commercial manager and there then followed 22 years of career progression and success in a number of UK and International roles including a 2 year assignment in China where he headed up the establishment of a wholly owned subsidiary, and on his return to Europe, 3 years responsible for the corporations global distributors.

His final role was as Managing Director for Northern Europe, which he held for 9 years and where he successfully managed and implemented a new regional corporate structure.

John has achieved considerable success in turning companies around, implementing change and leading successful boards.

In 2008 he, along with 2 other industry peers, established the Interconnect Technology Suppliers Association (ITSA) which is a unique association representing the interests of interconnect companies in the UK, he is currently the Chairman of ITSA and has a mission to make it the recognised voice of the industry in the UK.

Since retiring in 2014 John has also undertaken a number of roles including 2 years as a Non-Executive Director of the Institute of Occupational Safety and 2 ½ years as Chair of the Hospice Lottery Partnership.

John moved to the Kent coast in early 2023 and joined New Leaf Support in the November as Director responsible for HR, policies, and general governance support.

Thelma from New Leaf support

Thelma North

Director, Safeguarding and Health & Safety

With a career spanning over 30 years in primary education, she dedicated her professional life to empowering students, supporting families, and advocating for the well-being of children. Serving as a Head teacher for 14 years, I combined leadership and a deep commitment to inclusive education.Throughout her tenure as Head teacher, working closely with parents from diverse social and economic backgrounds, fostering strong partnerships to create a supportive and collaborative school community. A passion for child protection led to actively participate in initiatives such as the Kent Interagency Committee, where she played a vital role in safeguarding children and supporting vulnerable families.

As the Kent Head teacher representative on the Kent County Council Education Committee, she contributed valuable insights and expertise to shape educational policies and practices at the local level. Additionally, served as a member of the National Basic Skills Agency Committee, attending meetings regularly to collaborate with representatives from across the UK and the Director of the Basic Skills Agency. As a trained Head teacher Appraiser and Threshold Assessor, conducted evaluations and assessments for schools across Kent and Essex. Serving as the Medway School Improvement Manager, overseeing 22 schools and working closely with teachers, head teachers, and pupils to drive improvement and enhance educational outcomes. Passionate about professional development, I have provided training for School Governors and have been involved in numerous educational conferences and events, including the National Conference at Commonwealth House in London on Children’s Literacy.

In addition to her extensive contributions to education, she has shown unwavering support for teachers, women, and families experiencing domestic abuse situation, believing in the importance of providing a safe and supportive environment for all individuals, and my dedication to this cause shines through in my work. Bring a wealth of experience, expertise, and compassion to New Leaf, where she continues to make a positive impact on the lives of those affected by domestic abuse.


Thelma North

Director, Safeguarding and Health & Safety

Janet is a retired teacher and educator in teacher training. She has 40 years experience of teaching in all key stages but mostly in primary education. Her main role was the support of student teachers on their school experience and also Literacy.

She also worked for many years in adult basic education based at Sittingbourne College which involved daytime classes in literacy and numeracy. She was also involved in in-house literacy classes at the Lucas engineering factory in Gillingham.

For 10 years she was a Link tutor at Canterbury Christ Church University mentoring and examining students while on school placement.

She qualified in 1972 with a Certificate of Education.

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