What do you do at Become?
I’m Director of our Services team, which includes our Training offer to professionals working with children in care and young care leavers. I lead a team of skilled and passionate colleagues to deliver a range of services that positively impact the lives of children in care and young care leavers, and to deliver high quality training so that professionals working with young people with experience of care can better support them.
I build relationships with other organisations so that we reach more young people and professionals, and to explore opportunities for new services that support young people’s needs.
I make sure the services and training we deliver are shaped by young people’s voices and experiences.
Can you say a bit about your past experience and qualifications?
I studied Communications & Sociology at Goldsmiths University, a Graduate Law Conversion, and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Bristol, with my research into young people’s participation in developing local child poverty strategies later published.
But I’ve learned most from the children, young people and colleagues I’ve been lucky enough to work with over my twenty years in the children and young people’s sector. I’ve delivered and managed education, employability and youth social action programmes with The Prince’s Trust, Save the Children, and Bristol’s Extended Schools team, and later led teams of Youth Advocates, Youth Workers, Participation Workers and Therapists supporting young Londoners at The Children’s Society, and as Director of Programmes & Participation at Just for Kids Law.
My focus has always been on high quality services for children and young people facing the biggest barriers and discrimination in our society – those in the care system, excluded from school, and in the criminal justice system – and whose voices are too often side lined by those who hold power. And on youth participation: young people shaping the services and policies impacting their lives, and learning and connecting with others in the process.
What do you like about working at Become?
Being part of an organisation making a difference to the lives of care experienced children and young people in complementary ways: delivering direct support through a Care Advice Line, workshops, coaching, a brilliant Propel website and more; improving the support young people receive from other professionals through our training; campaigning to improve the care system altogether; and creating a positive media and public image of people who’ve experienced care.
I also love the optimism that drives our brilliant teams – optimism for young people achieving their ambitions, and for the part we can play in positive change.
What drives you?
A passion for challenging injustice. A sense of responsibility to elevate young people’s voices and make sure they have influence. An ambition that all young people believe in their unique talents.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I love vegetarian food, and enjoying it with my favourite people, music festivals, team sports and staying active, but especially my mums football team which I found during the pandemic. Friendship, laughs and exercise – it’s a winning combination!