Our Speakers

Luke Rodgers

The Care Leaders

Awarded the British Empire Medal for services to youth, Luke Rodgers brings a dynamic approach to youth participation. With his unique blend of lived experience and professional expertise, Luke champions the voice of young people in social care, ensuring their stories and perspectives are at the heart of our training.

KArylle Phillips

Trauma-informed practitioner and Social Worker

Karylle has extensive experience working for over a decade within children's social care and in education settings, promoting children's rights, spreading awareness of youth participation strategies, and raising the educational attainment, expectations and creating diversionary pathways for children in care and care experienced young people.

Dez Holmes

Research in Practice

Dez Holmes, renowned for her leadership at Research in Practice, brings a wealth of knowledge in linking research with real-world practice in children’s services. Her dedication to evidence-based practice ensures her training is grounded in the latest insights and methodologies.

Scott King

Founder and Director
Section 31 Training

With a personal journey through the care system, Scott King offers an authentic and powerful perspective. His role as a lived experience facilitator helps bridge the gap between theory and real-life, enriching our training with real-world insights and empathy.

Mary-Anne Hodd

Vital Voice Training

Mary-Anne Hodd, a PGCE teacher with a specialism in Psychology, brings a unique blend of educational expertise and a passion for changing the narrative of 'kids in care'. Her sessions leverage her experiences to foster positive change and understanding in children's social care.

Jerome Harvey-Agyei

Topé Project

Jerome Harvey-Agyei, a care leaver from East London, embodies a spirit of love and communication. As a Co-Founder of 'The Tope Project', Senior Children & Youth Participation Officer at the Greater London Authority, and a radio host, Jerome’s sessions are infused with creativity and a deep commitment to youth participation.

Dr. Janet Rose

Norland College

Dr. Janet Rose, Principal of Norland and an accomplished academic in early years education, brings a wealth of knowledge to our training. With experience in both education and children's services, her sessions provide valuable insights into early childhood development and education.

Prof. Maggie Atkinson

Trustee at UN & former Children's Commissioner for England

Prof. Maggie Atkinson, former Children's Commissioner for England, brings an extensive background in education and public service administration to our team. Her expertise in children's services is invaluable in shaping training that addresses the complex needs of children and youth.

Andy Smith


Andy and Matt Smith, Directors of Smash Life and brothers with lived experiences in the care system, bring a powerful narrative of resilience and advocacy. Their journey, marked by challenges post-care, informs their approach to supporting others who have faced similar experiences.

Rebekah Pierre

Author, Journalist
Social Worker

Rebekah is an author, journalist and social worker with a second language, communication is at her core. She is passionate about campaigning on social justice issues, the universal right to information & engaging with diverse audiences.

Lucy Barnes


Lucy is a 27-year-old future pupil barrister and scholar of Middle Temple Inn.

She is a passionate advocate for care-experienced young people and enjoys speaking to them in schools to help them discover the strengths they may not yet see in themselves.

Laura Beveridge

Promise Delivery Partner
Promise Scotland

Promise Delivery Partner at The Promise Scotland, Laura is an experienced campaigner, manager and recognised strategic leader who has worked with children, young people and families both directly and strategically for almost 20 years. Laura is passionate about children's rights, inclusion and enabling voice continues to be the golden thread throughout her work.