For the past couple of months, we have been recruiting for new board members to help expand the expertise on our current SCYJ board. We identified gaps in our board in terms of grassroots and community-based frontline work, communications expertise, and experience in strengthening our work to address racial and ethnic disparities in the youth justice system.
We were also particularly keen to incorporate younger voices onto the board and so actively advertised for the young board members – those between 18 and 25 years old, with an interest in and/or experience of the youth justice system.
We were amazed at the number of fantastic applications we received, and we now have the pleasure of welcoming 7 new SCYJ board members! Read on to find out more about our new additions...
Shadae Cazeau has several years’ experience in providing leadership and policy advice on discrimination, advancing equality and the youth justice system (YJS), including four years at the Independent Office for Police Conduct. Shadae is a qualified Barrister with a focus on crime and is well versed with the issues that face young people in the criminal justice system. Shadae is currently the Head of Policy for EQUAL, which has a particular focus on addressing the poorer outcomes experienced by BAME communities and Muslims, using policy and influence to do so.
Gavin McKenna has a passion and interest in supporting young people within the youth justice system and fighting social issues that impact and affect young people. Gavin has founded and established his own company, Reach Every Generation, to support marginalized young people involved in or at risk of criminal exploitation, serious violence, and crime, with the belief that it is paramount to not only offer hope and opportunity to the young people directly but also empower and equip professionals that work with such young people daily.
Young people have often described Ebinehita Iyere as the bridge between them and the systems and services they access or cannot access, and she works to ensure that young people and grassroots organisations feel heard and supported. Through working with and for young people she has been able to co-create and embed participation in the way she works and encouraging young people to also be part of the social justice issues that affect them. Ebinehita set up her own safe space for young women called Milk & Honey that allows young women and girls to feel empowered and heal from past experiences through 1:1 sessions and creative group projects. She is also the Youth Project Lead for London-based charity Juvenis.
Hannah Couchman is a barrister with a background in social justice and a career spanning legal, policy and campaigning work. Hannah left the Bar to pursue policy and campaigning roles in human rights and is currently leading a campaign stream at Liberty. Hannah will soon move on from this role and take up the position of Senior Legal Officer at Rights of Women, specialising in criminal law. Hannah has worked with the SCYJ in previous roles, including as a Policy Officer specialising in youth court matters at the Magistrates’ Association, and she knows first-hand the value of collaborative working across the sector, bringing together the expertise required for complex and multidisciplinary insight.
Anne-Marie Day has many years’ experience within youth justice as a practitioner, policy adviser and researcher/ lecturer. Anne-Marie has advised senior ministers and civil servants on key issues within youth justice, including preventing violent extremism, anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, and children in care. She has been an associate member of the SCYJ for several years during which she has engaged with various issues facing children and young people in the youth justice system; including contributing to written submissions on children in custody, and children in care. All of Anne-Marie’s research to date has been focused on the voices and perspectives of the children themselves, which has formed the basis of key recommendations to reform the youth justice system.
Ahmed passionately believes in effective and proactive youth representation and at present he sits on the national youth panel of the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) as the London panellist, advising the Director and policing chiefs on the issue of ‘improving trust and confidence in the criminal justice system for young people’. This work has enabled Ahmed to engage with over 800 young people across England and Wales, in finding solutions that work and sharing these with the most senior politicians including the Shadow Home Secretary and senior policing staff. Working with the IOPC has given Ahmed the platform to diversify the conversation in policing especially ensuring the voices of those that are often marginalised, specifically from the BAME community, are heard in tackling the issues of the criminal justice system.
Nadine Smith has a strong passion for criminal justice reform and has worked on projects both regionally and nationally that call for change and accountability in the justice system and local policing. Nadine has worked with HMPPS, Police and Crime Commissioners, MPs and an abundance of decision/policymakers across a wide range of projects, all with elevated youth voice being the main objective, from those that don’t usually have the opportunity to be heard.