#WomenBehind18Keys: Melanie Leach

Melanie Leach is CEO at South Shore, an independent TV production company which creates national shows including The Hairy Bikers Go Local and Two Men In A Tent. She is a trustee of St Martin-in-the-Field’s Trust and a member of the 18 Keys campaign committee.

Can you share a bit about your background?

I’ve worked in TV for my entire career. Before South Shore, which was set up in 2019, I was CEO of the Twofour Group.

Why are you supporting the 18 Keys Project?

I was made aware of the project from my involvement with St Martin-in-the-Field’s Trust. I think it’s really important that we get this place built, because at the moment there is no safe space for women to go. Being in a mixed environment can be frightening and offputting for women. For me it’s been important to solve that problem.

What does having a home mean to you?

I think you can take having a home for granted. I’m so lucky I’ve always had a place to call home. I can’t imagine how frightening it would be to not have a base to feel safe and secure. It’s a basic human right and everyone in society should have it. 

What sort of feelings come to mind when you’ve had a difficult day, when you come home and you can shut the door behind you?

I think about being safe and warm. 

I can't imagine how frightening it would be to not have a base to feel safe and secure

What is your favourite room at home and why?

The kitchen. It’s where all our family come together, spend time, eat together and share stories about our day.

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

I spend a fair amount of time travelling! I split my time between Devon and London because my family lives in Devon. 

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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