Our staff are available to speak at events or to the media on a range of specialist subjects 

Get in touch to book one of our staff spokespeople for your event or conference. We have an excellent range of speakers who are all experts in their field.

Our spokespeople regularly speak at events, large and small, at a regional and national level. They can cover a range of subjects, including but not limited to: child sexual exploitation, children's mental health, children in care, child poverty, runaways and missing, young carers, substance misuse, impact and evidence, campaigning; policy and public affairs, fundraising, marketing, communications and digital, and third sector management.

Speaker profiles

Lucy Dacey, National Programme Manager, Disrupting Exploitation Programme

Lucy is our National Programme Manager for our Disrupting Exploitation programme.  Multi-disciplinary teams in Greater Manchester, Birmingham and London work to protect children at risk of exploitation, including criminal exploitation (county lines), sexual exploitation and labour exploitation.

 This programme works one-to-one with child victims of exploitation and on changing systems and contexts that put children at risk of exploitation.  

Areas of expertise:

  • Child exploitation
  • Modern Slavery (domestically trafficked young people)
  • Disruption
  • County lines
  • Missing children

 Lucy tweets from @lucyhdacey

Richard Crellin, Policy and Research Manager for Mental Health and Well-being

Richard Crellin is our Policy and Research Manager for mental health and well-being. He is responsible for the organisation’s policy work focussed on the mental health needs of vulnerable young people and its major research programme into children’s subjective well-being. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Cambridge University. Richard is available to speak on a range of issues including the well-being of children in schools, how children’s mental health and well-being is affected by poverty, the mental health needs of young people who have experienced trauma (particularly unaccompanied young people, those who have experienced sexual abuse or exploitation, and children in care) and the wider policy environment for children’s mental health and reform of children and adolescent mental health services.

Areas of expertise:

  • Child mental health and well-being
  • The effects of poverty on children's mental health and well-being
  • Mental health needs of young people who have experienced trauma
  • Policy environment around children's mental health

 Richard tweets from @RichardCrellin

Matt Hussey, Public Affairs Manager

Matt is our Public Affairs Manager working to secure policy change to improve the lives of vulnerable children and young people. Matt is passionate about social mobility and policies which improve children’s transitions into adulthood. He has been instrumental in securing national change ensuring that all care leavers who enter an apprenticeship receive an extra £1,000 to help with their living expenses. He has delivered an influential inquiry report in collaboration with an MP on the impact of cyberbullying on children’s mental health. Matt also has a strong track record of securing opportunities for young people to be heard by Ministers and other decision makers.

Areas of expertise:

  • Social media, online safety and cyberbullying
  • Children in need, children in care and care leavers
  • Children’s services and children’s social care funding
  • Public Affairs in the charity sector

Phil Raws, Senior Researcher

Phil is a Senior Researcher, working on projects to inform our understanding of disadvantaged children and young people’s lives.  He is part of our team – often working in partnership with Universities – to conduct studies to explore diverse issues, from national surveys on young people’s well-being to interview-based research exploring the experiences of young carers.  From 2015 he has led a programme of research on ‘adolescent neglect’ and he regularly contributes to the many projects we undertake which are designed to ensure that young people’s views and voices are at the heart of our influencing work and service provision. 

Areas of expertise:

  • Adolescent neglect
  • Child maltreatment
  • Young runaways
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Young person-centred research
  • Service evaluation

Ilona Pinter, Policy and Research Manager for Resources

Ilona is the Policy and Research Manager leading our policy, research and influencing work on child poverty and inequality including our work on destitution and children's rights as well as oversight of our immigration, asylum and trafficking policy and research portfolio. She is a longstanding co-chair of the Refugee and Migrant Children's Consortium and advises a range of NGOs, funders, government officials and academics on related policy and research areas. 

Areas of expertise:

  • Care and protection needs for separated children
  • Destitution and poverty
  • Undocumented migrant children
  • Access to justice and legal aid
  • Care leavers

Larissa Pople, Senior Researcher

Larissa joined us in 2006 as a researcher on The Good Childhood Inquiry. Since 2010, she has been working on our well-being research programme in partnership with the University of York. This programme is well known for the development of The Good Childhood Index, a series of annual Good Childhood Reports, involvement in the Children’s Worlds international survey, and local well-being surveys with local authorities. She has also been involved in setting up a qualitative longitudinal study of poverty in partnership with the University of Bath, which published a first report Understanding Childhoods: Growing up in Hard Times in 2017.

Areas of expertise:

  • The Good Childhood Reports, and local, national and international perpectives of children's well-being
  • Children's perspectives of child poverty
  • Children and families' experiences of debt 

Iain Porter, Policy Officer

Iain works to develop policy and create change on child poverty issues. He supports our work to highlight the challenges facing children and young people, and influence public policy at a national and local level so that all children have a better chance in life. Iain has worked on major public campaigns including free school meals and Breathing Space and has experience of taking a youth-led approach to policy development. Iain has also worked in the policy unit at a major political party and prior to this spent over a decade in the business sector.

Areas of expertise:

  • Child poverty
  • Debt
  • Welfare 

Tom Davies, Children and Families Policy Advisor for Wales

Tom joined usy in June 2016, focussing on the organisation’s policy work in Wales. Examples of work undertaken in Wales include working with Welsh Government and local authorities to exempt care leavers in their area from paying council tax until the age of 25, and producing ‘The Knowledge Gap’, a report on the safeguarding response in Wales to children and young people who go missing or who are at risk of going missing. Prior to working for us, Tom worked at the National Assembly for Wales as a researcher, focussing on Education.

Areas of expertise:

  • Welsh government
  • Care leavers
  • Children missing from care or home 

Contact information