#WomenBehind18Keys: Kim Evans OBE

Kim is a Bafta-winning documentary maker, and former Head of Music and Arts at the BBC. She was a Deputy Chair at the National Portrait Gallery and a former trustee of the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

She now works with charities supporting social justice and creating opportunities for everyone to engage in the arts. She is a member of the 18 Keys campaign committee.

Can you share a bit about your background?

I began my career in television, making arts programmes and then moved into senior management at the BBC and then Arts Council England.

 Perhaps the most life-changing role for me was chairing the women’s theatre company, Clean Break, which works with women in prison and at risk in the community. 

It was there I really learned about the challenges that women face when they are vulnerable and what a huge positive difference a stable home can make.

Why are you supporting the 18 Keys Project? Why do you think it is important?

Women face very particular challenges when they are homeless, and they are bearing the brunt of the housing crisis in the UK. Being the victim of domestic violence or struggling with addiction are among the issues that lead to homelessness. 

It is shocking that today the average life expectancy for a woman living on the streets is 41 – the same as it was in the time of Queen Victoria. 

There are very few women-only hostels offering therapeutic services and the length of stay that is required for a woman to rebuild her life and develop a move-on plan that will allow her to get her life back on track.  What the 18 Keys Project is offering will change lives.

Home is a safe space where I can relax, be happy and feel safe. It is also a space to think. It is also a door to which I have my own key.

What does having a home mean to you?

Home is a safe space where I can relax, be happy and feel safe.  It is also a space to think.  It is also a door to which I have my own key.

What is your favourite room at home?

My small garden (my outdoor room). Stepping out in the early morning – winter or summer – gives me a sense of hope.

What do you like to do for fun, when you’re not at home?

I like to go off the beaten track and see places and meet people who give me a new perspective on life.

The 18 Keys project will come to life in a redeveloped property owned and managed by The Connection at St Martin’s. 

Our goal is to raise £2.3m. Your support will help pay for the redevelopment, which will include one-to-one therapy rooms, studio apartments, emergency bed spaces and a new communal area.

You can make a one-off donation, or set up a regular donation. Donate here.

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