As an independent child rights consultant with over 13 years of experience in the children/young people’s charity sector, I am extremely proud to be a Trustee at Herts Young Homeless. For me, it’s an organisation whose staff, services, mission and values are inspirational and just brimming with expertise and dedication.
I’ve been involved in social justice for children and young people for over 15 years. It all started when, as a law student in California, I facilitated legal classes for children at risk of entering the criminal justice system or who were in detention, helped to represent children with multiple disabilities in education cases and worked in a children’s court in Los Angeles for children in care. After that, I worked for a leading children’s charity in London for over 13 years, focusing on child protection, safeguarding and children’s rights in many different countries across the world, especially in Central Europe, Central, South and East Asia.
When I started looking for trustee positions, I wanted to give back within my community (I grew up in Cambridgeshire but I’ve lived in Hertfordshire since 2012) and was looking for a good fit in terms of the area of work, ethos and somewhere I had something to offer to!
In what turned out to be my last in-person meeting prior to the Covid19 pandemic, I visited Gracemead House and spoke to hyh’s Chair, Vice-Chair and CEO in a meeting room full of testimonials, posters, art work and other signs of an amazing team and service user community. I left feeling impressed, inspired and determined that even if I wasn’t offered a Trustee Role, I’d volunteer my time, fundraise and do anything else I could to help this fantastic organisation. I was lucky enough to be offered a Trustee Role in February 2020 and I am really enjoying it. Despite all the Covid-related challenges of the past year, I have enjoyed being part of a talented board, but, most of all, I have felt privileged to watch the team’s amazing work, and to hear so many stories of help and hope from our service users. One of the most important aspects of my role is to act as Lead Trustee contact – through this I have got to know my designated teams and their work – but I have also had the opportunity to participate in reflection sessions and other discussions with team members. While many hyh services continue in person, the pandemic has meant my involvement has always been done remotely - when Covid allows, I am looking forward to following up in person!