BACKGROUND:  I have a background in community development work where I worked in one of Plymouth’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods to support the community to be more active, engage in learning and provide community activities. I then moved into Local Authority Commissioning where, in the last 3 years, I facilitated partnership working to put in place an equitable emotional health and wellbeing project in all Plymouth secondary and special schools, and developed the early help and targeted-support commissioning strategy for vulnerable children and young people.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO WORK WITH THE NSPCC?

The NSPCC appealed to me as it’s a nationally-recognised organisation which can affect real positive change for children at the highest level.  I’m excited to work as part of the Together for Childhood Plymouth partnership, working with the local community and partner agencies to make Ernesettle safer for children. This will allow me the chance to make a difference on the ground, bringing together my community development roots and knowledge of system working to truly prevent harm to children.

WHAT ARE THE KEY ISSUES YOUR ORGANISATION IS TACKLING?

Between 2016-2021, NSPCC aims to make a discernible impact in five key areas:

  1. Prevent child abuse in families facing adversity
  2. Prevent child sexual abuse
  3. Help children speak out and adults take action about abuse
  4. Help abused children get back on track
  5. Make children safe from abuse online

WHAT ACHIEVEMENTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

I’m most proud of my two amazing children, and how smiley, kind and happy they are. It makes me feel very sad that all children don’t have that, and that’s a key drive for me in my professional life.

WHAT ARE YOUR AMBITIONS FOR THE COMING YEAR?

To build on our work with local community members, to help them to plan and make changes in their community which will protect children from sexual abuse.  In particular, I’m excited about the work funded by the Samworth Foundation — piloting a holistic approach to preventing peer-to-peer abuse through supporting young people to establish and communicate for themselves what healthy relationships should look like.

GIVEN THE SAMWORTH FOUNDATION’S FOCUS ON SEXUAL EXPLOITATION, WHAT, IN YOUR VIEW, ARE THE KEY CHALLENGES OR OPPORTUNITIES FACING YOUNG PEOPLE ACROSS THE UK?

A key challenge can be the messages young people receive around relationships, such as through pornographic material.  A key opportunity, therefore, is to work with young people to explore their understanding of healthy relationships. We believe that young people should be supported and empowered to define what healthy relationships should look like for themselves, and then communicate and establish norms in the places that matter to them, like their communities and schools.