Meet our Involving Young People Collective

Esmée's Involving Young People Collective is a group of young people, connected by their drive for social change.

Facilitated by HUDL Youth Development Agency, the Collective work closely with us by:

  • Contributing to our funding process, priorities and potential areas of focus within our strategic priorities.
  • Challenging and encouraging us to have a wider reach and embed a youth perspective in the work we do.
  • Feeding into our thinking and priorities on our funding practice.

You can learn more about the members of the Involving Young People Collective - including what their passionate about and what gives them rage - below.

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Helen Bourne

She/Her

Helen is an environmental campaigner and conservationist. She is currently studying at the London School of Economics. She is particularly interested in the interface between economics, social action and environmental issues. Helen is a Trustee for the charity Action for Conservation and is part of the Youth Leadership Team for a national conservation project, The Penpont Project. She has also initiated and developed several community conservation projects. These include the development of a nature reserve from a brownfield site and leading Eco-Schools projects. Helen is passionate about encouraging the involvement of young people in environmental initiatives and enabling their voices to be heard and their ideas to be developed.

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Kimberly Garande

She/Her

Kimberly is an English Literature and Sociology graduate from Canterbury Christchurch University. She is currently an Outreach Officer at We Belong, campaigning for young migrants' rights. She is a campaigner with expertise in empowering youth voices in the migration sector and is a Trustee at The Sheila McKechnie Foundation. Her other interests lie in the reform of youth mental health provisions. She is a member of the Mind in London Lived Experience Advisory Board.

What gives me passion and what gives me rage?

"I'm passionate about using creativity to influence work that champions young people to advocate for themselves and connecting with people from different backgrounds to seek improvements in diversity in all areas of society. And what gives me rage...? Structural inequality and the reality of limited access to the opportunities and services provided to underrepresented people."

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Phoebe Hanson

She/Her

Phoebe is studying BA Politics at Lancaster University. She is an activist, passionate about creating an informed, kind future generation that can tackle the climate crisis.

With an aim of platforming young voices, in 2020 she co-coordinated Mock COP26, an international youth climate conference engaging over 800 young people from over 140 different countries. In 2021, in order to influence the policy affecting young people, Phoebe worked with Mock COP and the UK Department for Education to co-convene a joint event of education and environment ministers at COP26 to upscale global climate teaching and learning.

What gives me passion and what gives me rage?

"I am inspired by young people that refuse to be victims, who work tirelessly to do the work that they should never have had to do, mitigating and solving the climate emergency. Sitting in classrooms with young people inspired to turn their anxiety into agency will always give me passion. It enrages me, though, that youth have to take on that burden: the decades of inaction that put the weight of the world, quite literally, onto the shoulders of children."

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Amira Ismail

She/Her

Amira is a graduate from the University of Birmingham, with a BA in History and an MA in International Relations. She is an Uprising Leadership programme and Patchwork Foundation alumni, and a current Chatham House ambassador. Through her work with Beatfreeks' Don’t Settle Project, she has been able to create space to platform race and representation in heritage sites and now supports this work through her capacity as the Chair of the Projects Board. She is currently working in the third sector to make social mobility a reality to give young people growing up in disadvantaged circumstances equitable access to education.

What gives me passion and what gives me rage?

"What gives me passion is easy. It’s when I see untold stories being platformed - in any form, when unexplored narratives are valued and uplift the voices of others who have not seen their experience represented in society. What gives me rage is the complacency around dismantling structural racism, classism and sexism in all the forms it manifests, be it in our education system, healthcare system - you name it!"

Betty Mayo

Betty Mayo

She/Her

An alumni of The Advocacy Academy, Betty has always been passionate about social change and has been trained in how to engage in collective action. As a student of Politics and International relations, her interests lie in theories of social change, the persistence of Western imperialism and alternatives to policing and she was the President of the University of Nottingham’s Feminists’ Society. She is channelling these interests through co-producing a documentary on school exclusions, co-writing a television series on young people from Brixton becoming politically empowered and organising with young people from her community on social issues that directly affect them.

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Gemma Moore

She/Her

Gemma is a visual artist based in rural Herefordshire. She very recently graduated from the Hereford College of Arts with a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art and also won the Sidney Nolan Trust Residency Award for her final show installation. Gemma also won the Mike Holland Award upon commencing her Masters in Fine Art at Birmingham City University. Gemma’s art practice engages with ideas of feminist performance photography and challenges issues regarding women’s street safety.

Gemma is passionate about enabling everyone, including those from rural areas, to gain access to the same opportunities.

What gives me passion and what gives me rage?

"I am passionate about art because it is important; it is a key visual language. I love abstract art as it forces the imagination to put pieces together and form narratives. What gives me rage…? Sexism, racism and outdated values and norms; when people are not given the same opportunities as others; little or no cheap or regular public transport in villages; when community businesses fall into the hands of people who run with their own agenda, have skewed motivations which is somewhat counter productive and the reverse effect on society rather than the good it was intended for."

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Thalia Papanicolaou

She/Her

Thalia is an alumni of The Advocacy Academy, the leading social justice training hub in the UK, for which she is also a Trustee. She is a co-founder of The Halo Collective, an anti-racist campaign aiming to end hair discrimination in the United Kingdom, and co-leads the research team which is conducting its own study into experiences of hair discrimination. She is currently finishing her degree in International Studies at Leiden University.

What gives me passion and what gives me rage?

"I am passionate about radical approaches to education and facilitation that can be used to make learning collaborative and approachable. The inaccessibility of the current climate movement brings me rage, but I am passionate about making environmental justice decolonised and more accessible."

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Daniel Seifu

He/Him

Daniel is a graduate from UCL in Human Geography with an emphasis on social science data analysis. He is an alumni from Uprising's Environmental Leadership Programme, and was a project leader for The Environmental Justice Project, working in secondary schools to facilitate engagement in climate activism and environmental justice issues. He previously worked for The Listening Place and now works for think tank and consultancy, NPC.

What gives me passion and what gives me rage?

"I am passionate about inclusive climate activism, mental health advocacy and sustainable development. I am fired up by social and environmental issues such as housing inequality, air pollution and regenerative food systems."

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Samuel Zubair

He/Him

Samuel is a UWE MEng Aerospace Systems Engineer graduate with a passion for diversity within all industries. Sam was also a former UWE African Caribbean Society President, STEM ambassador and part of the Young Collective for the Bristol Museum. He has created a podcast and creative piece in conjunction with the museum to shine a light on the Benin Bronze and the decolonisation of museums which was showcased to the wider community of Bristol and was featured on the BBC. Sam is also a poet and works full time as a Project Engineer. He is originally from Edmonton, London and has strong connections to his Nigerian roots.

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