Experts in participation, children’s rights, social innovation and resilience from across the UK have joined the Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ) Associates scheme.
The CYCJ Associates scheme is an innovative talent scheme, created to broaden and transform Scotland’s youth justice knowledge base.
Associates are exceptional and passionate people who act as ‘champions’ for CYCJ. Although not direct members of the team, Associates contribute to the Centre’s practice, research and knowledge exchange activities, in accordance with their skillset and areas of expertise.
Associates can be anyone working or teaching in the field of youth justice, including those who are using their own experience of the justice and related systems to make change happens for others.
Shumela Ahmed is Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Resilience Learning Partnership, and a teacher and educator by trade and an activist at heart. As a real-life example of the transformation education can bring to someone’s life, she has dedicated her academic and professional career to helping others realise this too. Shumela has experienced first-hand the power that education holds in providing the tools for those from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in life.
Shumela feels passionately that the key to achieving this ambition lies within the learning and development of staff and adopting a new approach that has lived experience expertise at the heart of it. She is also a passionate advocate of the renumeration of those with lived experience involved in public policy design and the recognition that this expertise brings a dynamic to learning and development work not currently utilised in the sector.
Dr Sean Creaney is a Criminologist and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Law and Criminology at Edge Hill University. His research interests include service user involvement, the tension and interplay between risk and participation in youth justice, young people’s experiences of supervision and Bourdieu’s theory of practice/analytical tools. Dr Creaney’s PhD thesis was a Bourdieusian analysis of children’s participation in decision-making and assessment in youth justice. He is a member of the Safer Communities editorial advisory board, and was awarded Outstanding Paper in the 2015 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence.
Dr Claire Paterson-Young is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Innovation and Impact (ISII). A key feature of her research is the development of social impact measurement frameworks that aid organisations to identify the positive and negative, intended and unintended outcomes of interventions and activities.
She has over 15 years practice and management experience in safeguarding, child sexual exploitation, trafficking, sexual violence, youth and restorative justice.
Nadine Smith is Manager at Leaders Unlocked, which enables young people and underrepresented groups to have a stronger voice on the issues that aﬀect their lives.
With almost ten years’ experience in youth work, participation and engagement across voluntary and paid roles, Nadine has gained experience in engaging, empathising and working with young people. Working with young people and disengaged people is her passion, as well as creating change within the Justice System by uplifting young adults voices into policy practice at local and national levels.
Remaining as Associates for another year are Aamer Anwar (human rights lawyer), Professor Clare Allely (University of Salford) Irina Beaton (expert in child law), Dr Anthony Charles (University of Swansea) and Dr Johanne Miller (University of the West of Scotland). CYCJ thanks Stuart Allardyce, Tim Bateman and Rania McGoran for their contributions as they leave the scheme.
Fiona Dyer, Director of CYCJ, says:
“It is always our pleasure to welcome new Associates to CYCJ. This scheme has led to mutually beneficial and lasting relationships, through expanding influence and widening expertise, developing and maintaining strong partnerships and improving our knowledge of both the Scottish and UK youth and criminal justice systems.
“Over the years, our Associates have made valuable contributions to what we do at CYCJ, presenting at seminars and conferences, writing blogs and case studies, collaborating on research and generating new ways of thinking. We are grateful for their work and look forward to working with them together to bring about change in how we do justice with children and young people.”
Dr Anthony Charles, who joined CYCJ as an Associate in 2020, says:
“Being an Associate with CYCJ is an absolute privilege. CYCJ is a premiere youth justice and children’s rights NGO which is highly regarded, undertakes insightful and challenging research and champions the case for a Scotland which treats its young citizens in accordance with the UNCRC. Collaborating with CYCJ colleagues has resulted in thought provoking and positive discussion.
“Additionally, as someone operating within another area of the UK which has Devolved Government, sharing experiences with colleagues has been fruitful, comparing ‘devolved journeys’ invaluable and simply being able to engage with those leading research and other activities to better the state of youth justice, refreshing.
“I wholeheartedly recommend anyone who is invited to become an Associate of the CYCJ to grasp the opportunity.”