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Meet Hekate Papadaki, Good Vibrations’ new CEO

January 2022


I’m delighted to be joining Good Vibrations as the new CEO and am looking forward to getting to know the charity and the people involved.

Good Vibrations is fascinating. What first attracted me to the organisation was our use of music to unlock the potential of people in prison. I have used art before to enable survivors of modern slavery – some robbed of their voice for decades – to communicate. I believe in the transformational power of the arts and was very intrigued at the potential presented by the gamelan. When I looked at the evidence, I was impressed with the strength and quality of research documenting the positive impact on participants. The first piece of music I listened to was “This is the day the music made.” It was profoundly moving, and I knew I had to be part of the Good Vibrations journey.

With the exception of a few years working as a biologist, all my previous work has been in the third sector. I have worked with some of the most marginalised groups in the country, including refugees and asylum seekers, survivors of sexual violence, and survivors of modern slavery. I’ve worked in leadership positions for a very wide range of third sector organisations, from large national charities such as Barnardo’s and the Trussell Trust, to local grassroots groups, as well as having worked as a funder for Rosa Fund, and have a very broad perspective of the sector.

I am particularly interested in work that has the potential to drive long-term change, reduce inequalities and promote inclusion. Working for Hestia, the largest support provider for adult victims of modern slavery in the country, I conducted research on criminal exploitation and other forms of modern slavery. Findings led me to lodge the first police super-complaint on modern slavery that led to nationwide recommendations by HMICFRS and the Independent Office for Police Conduct to address poor practice in policing this crime and protecting victims. At Barnardo’s, I helped set up the national FGM Centre, a partnership with the Local Government Association set up to drive innovation in children’s social care on FGM and harmful traditional practices. Working with survivors of FGM and grass-roots organisations at Rosa Fund, I helped influence changes to the Serious Crime Act to better protect girls at risk in the UK.

As a lot of my work has had connections to criminal justice, it feels like a natural step to join Good Vibrations. I’m looking forward to talking to participants and partners, listening to their experiences and the music they create with us. I want to understand how we can work together to make the biggest difference and reach the most people, to tap into their potential and effect change by advocating for them.

Good Vibrations has huge potential. I will be making sure we deliver on our strategy, and focusing on development and fundraising, to ensure we meet that potential. I’m also keen to strengthen our research around mental wellbeing, and better understand the impact we can achieve through our work. I would also like to explore ways of connecting with other organisations, such as those that work with survivors of modern slavery, so that we can be even more effective at reaching the people who can most benefit from our work.

If you would like to get in touch, I’d be very happy to hear from you: hekate@good-vibrations.org.uk


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