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Dai Durbridge, Partner, Browne Jacobson LLP
Dai is an expert education lawyer at Browne Jacobson and heads up the North West team. Dai advises schools, academies and MATs on frontline education matters, including school admissions and exclusions, parental complaints, GDPR and all safeguarding issues. As well as supporting schools with everyday safeguarding issues – positive DBS disclosures, overseas checks, parental consent, school-wide compliance and safeguarding culture – Dai also manages complex safeguarding issues for schools, such as serious allegations against staff and pupil fatalities, and also supports schools with the press interest that flows from those issues and implementing post incident action plans to learn from those experiences. Dai also carries Optimus’ MAT safeguarding audits to support Trusts with improving safeguarding practices at each academy and developing consistent approaches and structures that support best practice trust-wide safeguarding.
Lauren Ashton, Project Worker, Disrupting Exploitation Programme, The Children's Society
Lauren Ashton is a Project Worker within Disrupting Exploitation Team at The Children’s Society. In this role, Lauren works with young people who are at risk of exploitation and on systems change work which amplifies the voice of young people to improve systems young people are in. Lauren completed a Psychology Degree at University of Liverpool, and then a Family and Child Psychology MSc. Lauren has worked within exploitation services, mental health, and residential care across England and Wales. Lauren has developed strong partnerships with Social care, Violence Reduction Units and education (including Pupil Referral Units and Alternative provisions).
Ann Marie Christian, International Safeguarding Consultant and Trainer
Ann Marie Christian worked in child protection for 30 years, including as a qualified social worker for 25 years. She was a school based social worker in 1999 and managed social workers in schools for a local authority afterwards. Ann Marie delivered multi agency training for the LSCB. She has worked as a LADO, safeguarding advisor and social work manager, along with leading school improvement work. An independent safeguarding consultant since 2010, Ann Marie does associate work with the NSPCC, Premier League, Local Authorities, International & Boarding Schools, Education, Faith, Arts, Early Years and Charity settings.
Gabrielle Ernest, Service Manager, Safe Zones, The Children's Society
Gabrielle Ernest is a Service Manager at The Children’s Society for Safe Zones. This service is part of the Crisis Care Pathway for young people in Greater Manchester, which offers therapeutic one-to-one support to children from the age of ten years old that are struggling with their mental health. Gabrielle has worked for The Children’s Society for 5 years across a variety of services such as Refugee and Migrant, Missing and Exploitation, VAWG and Children’s Rights. Gabrielle is a Qualified teacher with a specialist in SEND, this builds up on her post graduate background in Law.
Dr Dawn Harper, NHS GP, Speaker, Presenter and Author
Dr Dawn Harper is a practising NHS GP and has worked in the NHS for over 30 years. A member of the Royal College of Physicians, she is a popular speaker at events including corporate health and well-being days, Royal Television Society debates and live events such as Countryfile Live, This Morning Live and the Women’s Institute AGM. For the last 12 years Dawn has worked extensively in the media. Probably best known as one of the presenters of Channel 4’s BAFTA award winning Embarrassing Bodies, which has now been shown in 120 countries across the world, she has presented several other shows such as the Channel 4 series ‘Born Naughty’. She has authored 12 books, is a keen supporter of children’s and health charities and is regularly asked to comment on medical headlines on live television and radio.
Carla Hoof, Service Manager, Disrupting Exploitation Programme, The Children's Society
Carla Hoof is a Service Manager within the Children’s Society’s innovative Disrupting Exploitation Programme, funded by the National Lottery. The programme combines intensive 1:1 support for victims of child exploitation and their parents with systems change work that innovates and redesigns systems that miss opportunities to disrupt exploitation and end the harm young people are experiencing. Carla has over 20 years' experience in an array of roles, ranging from supporting victims of sexual violence, mental health, safeguarding , supporting those not in education or employment, homelessness, prison family lead, youth justice, domestic abuse, care, youth work and worked alongside police colleagues with missing persons. Carla has more recently obtained the Diploma in Counselling Children and Adolescents, the Professional Certificate in Effective Practice in Youth Justice and is a qualified independent Return Interviewer for Missing Children, to build upon her academic background in Law and Psychology. Alongside her career, Carla also has lived experience of neurodiversity, having received adult diagnoses of both Autism and ADHD.
Craig Pinkney, CEO and Founder, SOLVE: The Centre for Youth Violence and Conflict
Craig Pinkney is a Criminologist, Urban Youth Specialist and CEO for Solve: The Centre for Youth Violence and Conflict CIC (UK). Craig has over 17 years of experience as an outreach worker, transformational speaker, international gang exit strategist, mediator, mentor, and filmmaker. He is well known for working with some of the country's most challenging young people, potentially high-risk offenders, victims of gang violence and youth who are deemed most hard to reach. Craig is also the UK lead for the EU Gangs Project, an advisor for the National Youth Agency, Norfolk County Council (Children’s Services), Violence Reduction Unit (Nottingham), the Ministry of Justice in Jamaica, and a visiting lecturer, specialising in Urban Street Gangs, Youth Violence, Social Media, Race and Crime, Racism and Anti-Racist Practice.
Ella Savell-Boss, Safeguarding Consultant and Trainer
Ella is an NSPCC accredited Safeguarding and Child Protection Trainer, providing training and consultancy for over 15 years to schools and organisations. Ella works locally, nationally and internationally, including Singapore, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. Ella prides herself on her approach to bespoke training content, working across the vast spectrum of safeguarding topics. As the former Director of Safeguarding for the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, Ella has managed safeguarding cases and teams in one of the most deprived areas in the UK. Ella’s specialist safeguarding subjects include: being a Home Office approved anti-radicalisation and extremism trainer; forced marriage; child sexual exploitation; designated safeguarding lead trainer; and emotional health and wellbeing. Ella can also help organisations look at the support they provide to their staff for emotional health and wellbeing and work on team building, how to manage difficult conversations, and responding to disclosures. As a trained person-centred and Gestalt therapist, Ella is also able to provide supervision sessions for those holding a responsibility in safeguarding and needing advice and guidance as well as emotional support for themselves.
Joanna Nicolas, Safeguarding consultant and trainer
Joanna has worked in child protection and safeguarding for 27 years, 13 of those as a child protection social worker. For the last 12 Joanna has worked as an independent safeguarding consultant and trainer. As a safeguarding consultant Joanna advises a range of organisations. The work includes reviewing their safeguarding arrangements and helping them to develop a safeguarding framework, implementing policies and procedures and delivering training. Joanna does a lot of work in the arts, including overseeing the welfare of children in productions. Joanna is a board member of Cafcass, the body that represents the voice of the child in the family Court and she also leads on statutory reviews in cases of child abuse. Joanna has been a core trainer for her Local Safeguarding Children Partnership for 13 years. She also undertakes suitability assessments of those working in a position of trust with children. Joanna is a published author, writing on the subjects of safeguarding and child protection. She is also a national commentator on safeguarding, regularly appearing in the media. Joanna also does work around organisational culture, helping organisations develop a healthy culture.