Her amazing work on behalf of abused women has won Jenny Moody an MBE and a private visit from Princess Diana, but the fearless and passionate charity worker is now stepping down from Luton Women’s Aid; the charity which she started.
Jenny started her organisation almost 40 years ago and stepped down from the charity in November. It is only now, months on, that she feels able to talk about her tough decision to leave.
Jenny said, “New managers made it very hard for me to maintain the way I felt Luton Womens Aid should be run. In the end I felt I had to leave, as did my long-standing colleague Rosemary Jackson.
“Modern day thinking regarding charities is that they must be business-like.
“Sometimes this can get in the way, particularly when people do not see the difference between being business-like and being a business.”
Jenny admits that she often put the needs of violated women before her own long-suffering family.
“My husband and children knew if there was a desperate call in the middle of the night, I had to respond,” she said.
Her approach has won her admiration and the lifelong gratitude of the women she helped.
Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins is one of her admirers: “My wife Pat was on Luton Women’s Aid committee and I personally helped move furniture into the first refuge Jenny opened. We’ve been firm friends ever since.
“She’s an inspiration, a wonderful person who has rightly been honoured for her work.”
Kuljit Lally, leading human rights lawyer said that Jenny is “truly selfless.”
She said: “Since starting work with Adams Moore Family Law as a specialist domestic abuse solicitor, I have worked very closely with Jenny.
“She is one of the most inspirational women I have met, often acting above and beyond the call of duty.”
Project director of Luton community charity Stepping Stones, Karen Godfrey, concurred: “For me, Luton Women’s Aid is Jenny Moody.
“Unfortunately we don’t meet many Jenny Moodys today. But she will always be well respected professionally and she leaves a massive legacy within the field.
“She’s an inspiration, a passionate voice for the abused women to whom she dedicated her life.”
Operations manager for Luton Women’s Aid, Gabby Mcauley, said: “I have always held Jenny in high esteem.
“We envisaged she would remain as ambassador and spokeswoman. But she decided against it – which was a great sadness and loss for Luton Women’s Aid.”