Dr Carlene Firmin

Dr Carlene Firmin MBE is a Principal Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire, where she leads their Contextual Safeguarding and peer-on-peer abuse research programmes. Carlene has spent the past 10 years researching young people’s experiences of community and group-based violence and advocated for comprehensive approaches that keep young people safe in public places, schools […]

Dr Lauren Wroe

Dr Lauren Wroe is a Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire within the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking. As a member of the Contextual Safeguarding team, she works on two research projects; a contextual safeguarding evaluation of the MOPAC funded pan-London project ‘Rescue and Response: Improving the identification and response […]

Jo Sharpen


Jo Sharpen is a qualified youth worker with person centred counselling training, a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a MA in Women and Child Abuse. She also holds a certificate and diploma in online counselling. She has worked for AVA – Against Violence and Abuse ( for 10 years, managing the children and young people’s […]

Dr Mary Tilki

Dr Mary Tilki is a nurse by background and latterly a university lecturer teaching and researching health and social care. Mary has a particular interest in ethnic health inequalities, especially those affecting older people and has researched and published several articles over the last 20 years.  She has been active in the Irish voluntary sector […]

Martin Lennon

Senior Policy and Public Affairs Analyst, Office of the Children’s Commissioner

Martin Lennon is the project lead on Growing Up North report and the north/south divide  

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