UKCIS Vulnerable Users Working Group Members
The Working Group is a collective of expert volunteers working together to keep vulnerable users safe online.
The Working Group is a collective of expert volunteers working together to keep vulnerable users safe online.
Adrienne is Director of Youthworks Consulting and leads the annual Cybersurvey exploring young people’s online lives, partnering in 2019 with Internet Matters. With Dr Aiman El Asam from the Department of Psychology, University of Kingston she has focused on vulnerable children’s experiences in a digital world since 2017. She is an accredited online safety trainer, member of AACOSS, author of books and reports on online safety and digital life.
Alison co-directs and leads the research components of Ofcom’s Making Sense of Media programme. The programme aims to help improve the online skills, knowledge and understanding of UK adults and children, through providing robust research and collaboration with relevant stakeholders. She was previously Head of Media Literacy Research at Ofcom.
Bethan is the Information and Advisory Service Manager and part of the Online Excellence Programme at Samaritans. She leads the Online Harms Advisory Service, supporting industries with the best practice management of online self-harm and suicide content. Bethan has previously worked in community support and engagement for an autism research charity and has been an active Samaritan volunteer for over five years now.
Carmel is the Project Lead for Professionals Online Safety Helpline at SW Grid for Learning. She started as a practitioner on the helpline in 2015 and now manages the whole project. Carmel has helped and consulted on nearly 10,000 contacts to the helpline, putting her in a unique position to advise government and work closely with industry.
Cath is a Clinical Doctoral Researcher, Consultant, Public Speaker, Author and Child/Adult Trauma Psychotherapist. She writes about and works with cybertrauma and advocates for children’s rights, privacy and digital explorations online. Cath educates professionals about data protection, privacy and cybersecurity issues relating to their practice and is the mental health advisor for Gamersbeatcancer.
The NSPCC Child Safety Online experts are all ex-practitioners from education, social work and law enforcement. They deliver innovative projects and partner with internal and external groups to help make children safer from abuse online. Their work includes providing advice and information for parents and carers. They also support young people through Childline and support professionals through their Learning website, e-learning courses and consultancy service.
Elizabeth is a Policy Officer leading on digital and online harms, community safety and criminal justice at the Children’s Commissioner’s Office, which promotes and protects the rights of children, especially the most vulnerable, and stands up for their views and interests.
Emma is a Senior Policy Advisor and leads on policy and research affecting children who are victims of domestic abuse, sexual exploitation and abuse, criminal exploitation, serious youth violence and young carers. She has worked on issues impacting vulnerable children and young people for over 15 years, including working for a local authority running in-depth reviews on Children’s Services and as Head of Public Affairs for the Holocaust Educational Trust.
Jackie is the Director of Communication, Advocacy and Activism at Mencap. Mencap’s vision is for the UK to be the best place for people with a learning disability to live happy and healthier lives. It provides direct support, information and advice, and campaigns to make society inclusive and accessible.
Dr Simpson is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Course Leader for MA Advanced Social Work at NTU. Her social work practice background is fostering, which led to her PhD focusing on how children in care use mobile devices and social media to stay in touch with their families. Jennifer has also carried out research spanning social media and social work; child, adult and family social work/services; and higher education CPD for integrated social services workforces.
Jo is the Children, Young People and Families UK-wide Policy lead at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. She is a trained counsellor with a background working in schools, youth work management and safeguarding. Jo has worked with many children and young people vulnerable to online harms and wishes to develop resources for the counselling and psychotherapy workforce to ensure they have helpful conversations with clients.
Joanna is a Professional Officer for the SBNI, which aims to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in Northern Ireland. Joanna is an experienced nurse who has worked across a range of hospital, health care and educational settings. Her specialist areas include sexual abuse and trauma, attachment theory and the impact of adverse childhood experiences and associated trauma on developmental processes and relational safety.
Kate ensures our stakeholders are informed on policy activities and developments, and provides secretariat support for the UKCIS Vulnerable Users Working Group. She has a regulatory and communications background with both statutory and industry bodies and is keen to play her part in helping her nephew, niece and other young people safely enjoy the benefits of the digital world.
Lorna is an Education Manager in the CEOP Education Team, part of the National Crime Agency (NCA). The Team deliver an education programme to help protect children and young people from online sexual abuse. With a degree in Social Work, Lorna has spent her career working with children, young people and their families across education and local authority settings, and leads on producing the programme’s content for parents and carers.
Margaret is an SEN and Inclusion Specialist at the ASCL. She is an experienced education leader, DfE Advisor, SEND advocate and TES columnist. She is committed to inclusive pedagogy, school improvement, innovation and policy change and, with the ASCL specialist team, published guidance on how schools and colleges can support vulnerable children and young people.
Mark leads LGfL’s centres of excellence in safeguarding and cybersecurity. He is passionate about keeping children safe and schools secure and plays an active role nationally advising government and suppliers on safeguarding matters. He works on technology solutions used in schools to keep children safe, as well as the training and policy behind key security and safety areas – online and offline.
Martha is a Director and leads the work of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, supporting its members in all aspects of bullying prevention and response. She also coordinates Anti-Bullying Week each November. She worked at the National Children’s Bureau for over seven years.
Megan is the Head of Partnerships at Parent Zone, overseeing all projects which are delivered in partnership with organisations such as Google and Children in Need. She has a background in teaching and is passionate about helping children and families develop digital resilience.
This independent network is based in Scotland and is for practitioners who work with and for disabled children and their families and/ or have responsibilities or special interest in child protection. It aims to provide practical peer support for members to access advice and be a forum to support local and national practice improvement in safeguarding disabled children and supporting their families.
Dr. Buzzi is Director of the Centre for Safeguarding and Digital Practice and Research as well as an author, researcher and leading authority in safeguarding and well-being with emphasis on restorative and trauma-informed approaches, and safeguarding children and young people and vulnerable adults online and offline. Produced with Claudia Megele, his 10 Cs Risk and Resilience Framework offers an approach to safeguarding young people online that is used by several local authorities.
Phoebe is Acting Education Manager with Childnet and works with schools to deliver expert online safety sessions for pupils, parents, and staff members throughout the UK. She also creates online safety resources for all audiences and leads on SEND activities within the charity which includes overseeing the content delivery of SEND visits and ensuring resources and opportunities are accessible and inclusive for SEND audiences.
Ruth is Head of Children and Family Services England at National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS), with a background in social work and psychology and experience in statutory children’s services, particularly child protection, child sexual exploitation (CSE) and modern slavery. Ruth previously worked on Barnardo’s specialist CSE investigations and trauma recovery, and supported strategic forums, development groups and improvement planning.
Sara is the Strategy & Policy Manager for Ofcom’s Making Sense of Media programme. The programme aims to help improve the online skills, knowledge and understanding of UK adults and children, through providing robust research and collaboration with relevant stakeholders. Sara previously worked in local government on strategy, policy and research with a focus on migration, public health and digital inclusion issues.
Sarah is Senior Children and Young People’s Programmes Manager at Stonewall. Founded in London in 1989, Stonewall now works in each nation of the UK and has established partnerships across the globe. They help create transformative change in the lives of LGBTQ+ people through their campaigns, research and change and empowerment programmes. They fight for a world where LGBTQ+ people everywhere can live their lives to the full.
Dr Simon is an Applied Psychologist and Lecturer in Education interested in how digital technologies reshape everyday social possibilities for action and the implications of our increasingly online world for our mental health. His work explores how young people, particularly those labelled as vulnerable, experience digital inclusion, resilience, participation and equality.
i-vengers is a UK-wide initiative that aims to raise awareness and standards in child online safety. As Founder and Chief i-venger, Traci has an extensive background in safeguarding, training and education. Having worked as a Multi-Agency Team Manager for many years, she now uses her knowledge and experience to help children become safe and confident users of digital technologies.
In addition to the members listed above, the Group’s work is conducted with support from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Education, and the Scottish and Welsh Governments.
The UKCIS Vulnerable Users Working Group is a collaboration of specialists volunteering their time to help reduce the likelihood of children with vulnerabilities experiencing harm online.