Today we are excited to announce our new 2023 cohort 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. 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 new members will join our alumni from our pilot and 2021 and 2022 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:
Ben McCay is an advocate for people with learning disabilities and works as a consultant for the charity My Life My Choice. Ben works to amplify the voices of people with learning disabilities, for them to be seen as valuable, not vulnerable.
Debbie Iromlou is the Co-Founder of the Adult Adoptee Movement and Founder of TAAN the Transracial adult adoptee network. They are striving to change narratives on adoption. Debbie spent her life searching for birth relatives and cultural connections and aims to educate all on intercountry and transracial adoption.
Ellie Hatto is the Founder of Beside Yourself CIC, a social enterprise tackling stigma and unjust treatment around suicide. By using real-life insights, their mission is to tackle stigma and unjust treatment to promote awareness, understanding and change.
Johanna Bernard is the Co-Director of Families in Harmony, who are on a mission to end racial disparity in kinship care fosters. She is a family support practitioner, and trauma informed practitioner with lived experience of caring for her grandchildren as a kinship carer.
Kellie Ziemba is CEO at Kairos Women Working Together (Kairos), in Coventry who support, advocate for, and empower women to increase their safety, stability, self-belief, and self-reliance to build fulfilled lives, free from violence, abuse, and exploitation.
Kevin Osei is Founder of Bridging Barriers, a charity focused on helping young people to achieve career success through mentoring. Their objective is to build confidence and resilience in candidates by giving them access to role models, resources and the mindset to succeed.
Palma Black is the Founder of Soul Purpose 360 CIC,a coaching, mentoring and training social enterprise for Black women, blending community development with personal development. She is a Personal Performance Coach with experience in community development, urban regeneration and more.
Samantha Southern is Suicide Prevention Bereavement Coordinator at Empowerment Charity Blackpool, After losing her husband to suicide, Samantha is committed to raising awareness, breaking the stigma, and assisting those affected by suicide.
Shanayd Warren is Co-chair of The Kinship Care Alliance, with shared aims on the issues faced within kinship care and developing a joint approach across the sector, led in hand with kinship carers.
Shanine Fasasi is the Founder of Diversify Education and Communities, promoting cultural diversity and inclusion in schools, businesses and the community. She founded the CIC to make a change after facing discrimination as Black trainee teacher.
Siobhan Down is the Founder and CEO of Yellow Brick Road Projects, Siobhan has used her lived experience of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) as the foundation for the charity to support young people in learning life skills.
Sue Beere works at APPEAL as a Survivor Advocate, supporting Bound by Injustice, a group made up of the families of clients and former prisoners. After her husband was wrongfully convicted in 2011, Sue uses her voice to highlight miscarriage of justice in the media.
Yasin Bojang is the co-founder of Home Girls Unite, who support daughters from immigrant homes. She knows first-hand, the gender inequality that many eldest daughters face and to create a space for eldest daughters to feel safe and work through issues, free from shame and guilt.
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 and our work; Lankelly Chase, The Tudor Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Trust for London and John Ellerman Foundation.
Find out more about all of our 2023 cohort here.