Over the past fourteen years I have been working extensively within the voluntary sector and local, regional and national government in the UK to promote participatory approaches to decision-making and the engagement of children and young people. During this time I have developed and managed participation strategies for the:
- Children’s Commissioner for England,
- Mayor of London, Greater London Authority
- Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM – now known as the Department for Communities and Local Government) and;
- National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS).
I really enjoy thinking strategically and working within fast moving policy environments yet it has been the responsibility for participation that has really made these roles special. It has meant that I have always worked directly with children and young people and policy makers. These young people have kept me inspired, grounded, creative and on my toes!
Fortunately I have had the opportunity to work across a wide range of policy areas; from health; policing; transport; regeneration and of course children’s and youth services. I have developed a particular interest in the role of the built environment in shaping our identity, behaviour and emotional responses. In 2010, I completed an MSC in Environmental Psychology and my own research in the relationship between housing type, stereotypes and identity amongst young people in an inner London neighbourhood.
Currently I split my time between my work as a freelance trainer, consultant and researcher and my role as manager of the Right Here Newham at NCY trust (funded by the Paul Hamlyn Trust and the Mental Health Foundation). Right Here Newham aims to support Black, Asian and ethnic minority young people to improve mental health services within their community. I am also a Trustee of Fitzrovia Youth in Action.
I am based in South London.