Today we are excited to announce our new cohort of 14 people who will be taking part in our spokesperson programme for grassroots leaders with lived experience of social injustice and social inequality.
The programme sets out to build their skills, confidence, networks and platforms to enable them to become more media confident and public spokespeople, offering their expertise and insight to the big issues facing us today. Covid-19 compounded with the cost of living crisis has shown that this work is as important as ever with social inequalities becoming even more stark in society.
The Sounddelivery Media team conducted the interviews alongside two members of our network alumni. We spent days shortlisting and hours having conversations about the applications. It was a really difficult decision, with each one of the applications showing a real need to address systems that had failed them by speaking publicly about their experiences.
Our 14 new members will join our alumni from our pilot and 2021 programmes, all united in using their lived experience to create a positive change in and for their communities.
And now to introduce you to our new network:
Alan Stuart is founder of The Calzy Foundation – to campaign for increased and accessible peer-to-peer support for young adults suffering trauma or crisis in their mental health; to de-stigmatise the conversation in young people around mental health and to work towards reducing the suicide rates in young people
Anna Wardley is an endurance swimmer, motivational speaker, and CEO of the Luna Foundation, a social enterprise dedicated to transforming the support for children after suicide.
Emma Pears is founder and CEO of SELFA Children’s Charity, based in Skipton. Emma campaigns on children and young people’s mental health in rural communities.
Gemma Holtam is the founder of The Long Game, an employment charity that provides peer-led support for autistic higher education students and graduates. She works to tackle the employment gap they face & challenge harmful stereotypes.
Jamie Gratton is founder of StayWell Derby, supporting people living with mental health issues, addiction, trauma and neurodiversity. He campaigns on tackling the stigma attached to these issues.
Jill Cunliffe is co-founder of the campaign group JENGbA (Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association), now campaigning for acquittals for the wrongly convicted and achieving further legal reform.
Maggie Gordon-Walker is founder of Mothers Uncovered, set up for her registered charity Livestock in 2008. The Brighton-based creative support courses are facilitated by past participants, celebrating the woman behind the mother, while allowing feelings to be explored honestly, without judgement.
Rosie Hodson is executive assistant (marketing and communications) at National Ugly Mugs a charity which aims to end all forms of violence against sex workers through providing safety tools, victim support and resources to support broader health, wellbeing, and provide sex workers with greater autonomy over their lives.
Sabrina Jones is founder and CEO of not-for-profit Say It With Your Chest, existing to empower young people who are at risk of school exclusion or need support with their personal development to overcome obstacles and cultivate, happy, positive and fulfilling futures.
Samantha Billingham is founder of SODA, domestic abuse awareness Ambassador, educating and empowering others to enhance their knowledge and understanding of domestic abuse.
Shaffia Khatun is co-founder and director of SKY Positive Minds, an award-winning charity that works to empower vulnerable women, girls and children from the local community who have experienced domestic abuse, sexual abuse or have been affected by mental health or other challenges.
Sharon McPherson is co-founder of Families In Harmony, a representative voice in campaigning for racial equity in kinship care.
Zain Hafeez is community organiser at Citizens UK, a complex needs team leader at CRMC, a board of trustee at ASAP and an ambassador of voices network at Red Cross.
We really look forward to working with this group alongside our network alumni and amplifying their work. We also want to say a huge thank you to our funders who’ve supported this programme; Lankelly Chase, The Tudor Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Trust for London.
Find out more about all of our 2022 cohort here.