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Our Staff

Meet the staff at Youth Access who are supporting young people to lead change.

Make Our Rights Reality is a project coordinated by Youth Access. We have a really small staff team and an even smaller team working on Make Our Rights Reality and the Our Minds Our Future campaign.

Youth Access staff support the Our Minds Our Future Steering Group and Rights Advocates to develop and deliver an impactful campaign strategy that has a big national voice and also has a real impact on young people’s access to local mental health services.

They also develop and deliver training to young people about their rights and how to make sure they’re met, as well as provide support to keep young people safe during campaigning.

The staff you would come across through Make Our Rights Reality would be:

Safiyyah, Campaigns and Engagement Assistant

Safiyyah supports our network of young people involved in Our Minds Our Future.

Passionate about working within the community to empower young people, she is also Partnerships and Outreach Coordinator at RevolYOUtion London –  a social enterprise that provides a platform for young people to engage in socio-political conversations.

Ruby, Campaigns and Engagements Officer

Ruby’s an Oxford grad dedicated to improving the rights and treatment of society’s most vulnerable members.

Her desire to effect change is inspired by her own experience of being injured in a fire in 2011, in which she sustained extensive injuries and burns scarring. Since then, she has worked for an organisation for survivors of acid attacks, a journalistic project fighting NHS privatisation, as Parliamentary Assistant to two Labour members of the European Parliament and as Head of Communications, Campaigns and Youth policy at the European Federation of Public Service Unions.

She is passionate about putting the voice of young people at the heart of decision-making processes – both at Youth Access and in society as a whole. She likes seeing live music and comedy, yoga and cooking. Her special talent is remembering song lyrics and singing them, badly.

Kahra, Senior Policy Officer

Kahra leads on policy and public affairs activities at Youth Access, ensuring that the needs, rights and experiences of young people are central to our influencing work.

With a background spanning youth work, digital campaigning and policy, Kahra is passionate about bringing her skills together to support young people to lead their own change.

Outside of progressive politics and youth-led change, Kahra is passionate about cooking, dining and all things food! Her favourite time each month is a regular supper club for young women of colour to come together, share food and nourish the soul.

Pamela, Development Officer – Pamela has had a long career in community development working directly with children, young people and adults in both the voluntary and statutory sectors.

Pamela’s work at Youth Access spans youth advice services development, quality, youth participation and engagement, financial capability, public legal education and training.

Pamela currently leads on aspects of our Make Our Rights Reality programme and the RIGHTS training programme.

She is committed to ensuring that all young people get fair and equal access to justice and enthusiastically supports the development of a vibrant and powerful youth movement.

Then, the rest of the team at Youth Access are:

James, Chief Executive

James took over from Barbara Rayment as our Chief Executive in September 2017. James was previously Youth Access’ Head of Policy & Development. James has a background in the advice sector. He is an expert in young people’s legal advice needs and advice-seeking behaviour, authoring numerous reports and articles on the subject.

James founded JustRights (the campaign for fair access to advice, advocacy and legal representation for children and young people) and remains a trustee of the Advice Services Alliance.

James has been advocating for YIACS across the youth, advice and mental health sectors for the past decade. He is committed to driving continuous improvement through challenging services to be more accountable directly to young people, whilst his long-standing interest in the links between social welfare and mental health issues has helped drive our current focus on spreading an integrated, rights-based approach to youth mental health provision.

Karen, Programmes Manager

Karen supports our CEO in planning a programme of work that delivers our strategic vision. She is responsible for the management of our projects, leads on our engagement with young people and keeps our communications strategy up-to-date. She has recently managed the re-brand of the organisation including the creation of a new website.

With over 8 years experience of working with young people from a range of backgrounds, Karen is committed to developing a youth-led movement that empowers young people to lead their own change. She currently manages the Make Our Rights Reality national campaign network, which includes the Our Minds, Our Future mental health campaign. Karen is also a director of Knit Aid, a global movement made up of thousands of ‘craftivists’ who are fighting for the empowerment of displaced people in Europe and the Middle East.

Martha, Office Manager – Martha Atito is our Office Manager and is responsible for office management, membership administration and providing additional project support. She joined Youth Access in July 2017 after several years spent working in volunteer recruitment at a national charity. Martha comes from a social care background where she analysed safeguarding legislation, passionate about young people’s rights she is committed to campaigning for improved access to services.