North Devon Against Domestic Abuse is celebrating the achievements of some of North Devon’s most remarkable women.

North Devon Against Domestic Abuse (NDADA) has selected eight special women to launch its first ever Inspiring Women 2016.

The charity, which continues to run the only women’s refuge in Devon despite having its funding withdrawn in 2014, revealed its inspirational eight at a special event at the Boston Tea Party in Barnstaple on Thursday night.

An artist; school head teacher; surfer; school counsellor; family solicitor; probation officer; DJ; and online businesswoman have been recognised by the charity.

They all feature in the third edition of the NDADA magazine re:story, published by Barnstaple-based Salt Media.

Photographers Guy Harrop and Mikey Corker photographed the women holding portraits of the women who have in turn inspired them.

NDADA chief executive Susan Wallis said: “We aim to make it an annual campaign that’ll allow us to shine the spotlight on inspiring women in North Devon who are making exciting things happen.”

Domestic abuse remains the highest level of reported crime in North Devon, eclipsing figures for burglary and drug and alcohol offences.

Last year the charity helped 439 women and their children.

You can pick up a copy of the latest edition of re:story magazine at the charity’s shops, Restore and Restore Junior, in Boutport Street.

Meet the inspirational eight:

When Kelly Smith’s partner Scott died before the birth of their daughter Freya, Kelly wanted to learn more about the impact it would have on a baby to lose a parent while in the womb. An Open University child development course eventually led to a degree in psychology for Kelly, who now works as a counsellor at Bideford College. Kelly’s female inspiration: Her daughters Freya and Luna.

Louise Arscott juggles a busy career as a frontline probation officer with being a mum-of-four. She supports high risk offenders and challenges them to avoid causing further harm. Louise’s female inspiration: Her grandmother Ann Tucker.

Louise Miller-Marshall, principal of Pilton Community College, worked in challenging schools in London and Hertfordshire before heading to Devon. A modern languages graduate, the post at the specialist language school in Barnstaple was the perfect fit for Louise. Louise’s female inspiration: Louise’s grandmother.

Peony Knight, 17, is a UK Pro Surf junior and women’s champion. The Georgeham teenager enjoyed an incredible 2015, with wins at Boardmasters and the British Nationals, as well as top 10 placings in a number of European Pro Junior events. Peony’s female inspiration: Hawaiian surfer Carissa Moore.

Family solicitor Rosie Bracher has been running her own family law practice in Barnstaple for 10 years, specialising in domestic abuse cases. She now works on complex cases where children are at risk. Rosie’s female inspiration: Baroness Helena Kennedy.

The work of international ceramicist Sandy Brown is at the centre of British sculpture. Sandy works from a studio overlooking the sea in Appledore and her latest work recently featured alongside works from leading artists such as Damien Hirst at the Beyond Limits sculpture show at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. Sandy’s female inspiration: Michelle Obama.

Wendy Harrison is the owner of Barnstaple-based online success story Letterfest. What started as a kitchen table business eight years ago has now grown to become one of’s biggest partners. Wendy’s team of 15 creates a large range of personalised gifts from its North Devon studio, with a percentage of the profits going to North Devon Hospice. Wendy’s female inspiration: Mandy Sutcliffe of

Wendy May began DJing in the 1980s and went on to join a punk ska band before starting her own club night at the iconic Town and Country Club in Kentish Town. In 1987, Wendy co-presented the last series of Channel 4’s The Tube with Jools Holland and Paula Yates. You’ll still find Wendy behind the decks at London’s 100 Club, as well as at the Palladium Club in Bideford. Wendy’s female inspiration: Her mum.