Bez Martin: Head of Participation
I’m the Head of Participation, my role is to manage the participation team, supporting them with their work with young and parent/carer champions and our paid Participation Programme Assistants, I am also responsible for creating a strategy for participation that will say how participation is delivered by all staff across the centre. I am a qualified youth worker and worked in various voluntary and statutory settings since 2000, I recently worked as the Rights and Participation Manager for Leicester City Council supporting the voices of children in care to be heard. I am passionate about all thing’s participation and the rights of children, young people and parents/carers when accessing services.
Myrvete Gashi: Participation Lead
I am the Participation Lead, my role is to work with our participation officers to ensure the views of young people, parents/carers help us shape the services that are effective and accessible. I also manage parent/carer Participation Programme Assistants and I work closely with Head of Participation to shape our participation work. I am a qualified Community Development and Leadership Worker, so I believe in social justice and creating an equal society in which each individual matters. Prior to this role, I have worked in education and other voluntary organisations supporting parent/carers and young people through building on existing knowledge and skills, identifying further training needs and creating exciting new opportunities for parents/carers and young people to participate.
George Cowan: Participation Officer
I’m George, and I am one of the Participation Officers at the Anna Freud Centre. I have spent my career working in the student voice sector, before moving into facilitation of Children in Care Councils, Young Champion programmes and youth councils. I look forward to bringing my creative skillset to new groups of young people at the Anna Freud Centre, helping them to amplify their voices and unlock some of the big issues facing society today! I love music, gardening and good food, and you are likely to find me looking at one (or all) in my spare time!
Joe Lloyd: Participation Officer
Hi, I’m Joe, and I'm a Participation Officer at the Centre.
I have 7 years experience of working within the mental health sector, wearing various hats during this time, which have included community engagement support and mental health resources and article creation for young people and adults, to co-production workshop facilitation, training delivery and supporting mental health research.
I’m incredibly passionate about creating the right, person centred conditions for meaningful participation and co-production to thrive at the Anna Freud Centre, underpinned by young people and parent/ carers rights. A key focus for myself, when working alongside people, is in ensuring that opportunities to participate with the centre have consideration of inclusivity, respect, accessibility, and creativity and I am committed to ensuring that diverse lived experience voices are valued and acted upon within decision-making processes.
Gráinne Farrell: Participation Officer
Before joining Anna Freud I’ve worked in a few different roles mostly in refugee work. My background is in advocating for the protection of article 31 of the UNCRC for refugee children and researching how play is used as a tool to process complex trauma in refugee children. I am a trainee play therapist and I have previously worked on implementing the Lundy Model of participation into refugee camps in Northern France. I am really interested in looking at how we can improve participation and co-production, focusing on providing spaces for people with lived experience to share their stories and to be voices in the room in every step of the projects. I believe that positive co-production and participation requires us to shift power dynamics and to see people with lived experience as more than that experience, rather to see them as individuals with all the tools and knowledge to positively create change.
Krishna Joshi: Participation Officer
My name is Krish, and I am one of the Participation Officers here at Anna Freud. Prior to joining Anna Freud I’ve worked in both adult and youth services. I have a Masters in Postcolonial Studies and my research examined what it means to engage in solidarity politics in the face of racism in the UK. Through my research, my lived-experience, and the youth work I have done over the years I strive to incorporate anti-oppressive practices into my work!
It is my biggest pleasure to work with children and young people, and I am invested in shifting power dynamics to ensure that children and young people are centred in the work that affects their daily lives.
In my free time, I can be found listening to vinyl, cooking extravagant dinners, and reading!
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