all places and spaces should be safe for young people

Our Team

The Tackling Child Exploitation (TCE) Support Programme is a consortium programme led by Research in Practice with the University of Bedfordshire’s International Centre and The Children’s Society. Our staff team is spread across all three organisations.

Dez Holmes

Director – Research in Practice and Research in Practice for Adults

e: dez.holmes@researchinpractice.org.uk

Dez is the Director of Research in Practice and Research in Practice for Adults, and sits on the Tackling Child Exploitation Programme Management Group. Prior to this, Dez was the Programme Manager at C4EO and previously worked in local government establishing and managing integrated early intervention services. Dez’s practice experience is largely within youth offending services and her research experience is focussed on Participative Action Research with vulnerable groups. Dez has spearheaded RiP’s work on Transitional Safeguarding and adolescence, and she is particularly interested in risk, resilience and participatory practice.

Nerys Anthony

Director of National Operations and Major Programmes – The Children’s Society

Speciality area of work: Strategy / Partnerships / Voluntary and Community sector / Systems Change / Developing experts by experience

e: nerys.anthony@childrenssociety.org.uk
t: 07850 500749

Nerys is a senior leader and innovator within The Children’s Society and sits on the Tackling Child Exploitation Programme Management Group. Directing a portfolio that encompasses national operational delivery, organisational-wide safeguarding and quality practice responsibility and the evidence and impact of the organisation. Nerys has direct experience of strategically managing exploitation, mental health and wellbeing, serious youth violence, restorative justice, substance misuse and hidden harm programmes. Collaboration is a key feature of her approach, and she maintains a keen interest in developing and sustaining partnerships to deliver services to meet need, and change systems for positive change. Prior to joining The Children’s Society, Nerys led Department for Education funded innovation programmes nationally, as well as the National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum.

Helen Beckett

Director of the International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation (CSE), violence and trafficking

Speciality area of work: CSE and related adolescent safeguarding issues

e: helen.beckett@beds.ac.uk

Helen is Director of the International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking and sits on the Tackling Child Exploitation Programme Management Group. Helen is also a reader in Child Protection and Children’s Rights at the University of Bedfordshire. She has twenty years’ experience of undertaking and managing applied social research, across academia and the voluntary and statutory sectors. She holds particular specialism in CSE and related adolescent safeguarding issues, and in ethics around engaging vulnerable individuals in sensitive research. Helen has published and presented widely on issues of sexual harm against children and regularly consults on research, policy and practice in this field.

Anna Racher

Partnership Manager – Research in Practice

Speciality area of work: CSE and related adolescent safeguarding issues

e: anna.racher@researchinpractice.org.uk
t: 07590 074 279

Anna is Partnership Manager for the Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme, she sits on the Programme Management Group and holds responsibility for key programme relationships and leads the development and delivery of the TCE microsite. Anna is a qualified Social Worker with an early practice background in youth offending and youth inclusion and support work. As a senior local authority manager Anna developed, established and managed wider early intervention, prevention and targeted support services and systems. She then moved to work for the Department for Education as a national local authority delivery expert, working on child poverty and Early Years policy. Anna has spent the last eight years in the voluntary sector, initially as an improvement consultant working with local authorities on adoption, post adoption support and permanency planning, then as Development Manager for the NSPCC, responsible for developing the NSPCC’s national approach to CSE and emerging forms of abuse. Anna has developed national services in response to CSE, FGM, forced marriage, faith-based abuse and so-called-honour-based-violence. Most recently Anna has worked with local, place-based, partnerships to achieve system-level change designed to prevent sexual abuse.

Ellie Fairgrieve

Head of Delivery – The Children’s Society

Speciality area of work: Voluntary sector / Policy
/ Partnership working

e: ellie.fairgrieve@childrenssociety.org.uk
t: 07710396436

Ellie is Head of Delivery for the Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme and is responsible for delivery of Bespoke Support Programmes nationally. Ellie has worked to develop Child Exploitation and Missing from Home and Care services at an operational and strategic level since 2015 as well as challenging the culture and ensuring children and young people who are being exploited are supported as victims, not offenders. With a background in working in the voluntary sector and CE in 2016 Ellie was the Service Manager who designed and implemented the first regional Child Exploitation service in the Country. Ellie has influenced positive change regionally in the North West and on a national policy level including reforming partnerships procedures around Child Exploitation in Merseyside and Lancashire and consulting with the Home Office and National Crime Agency on policy and campaigns. Passionate about partnership working, Ellie has been shortlisted as finalists with multi-agency colleagues previously for two partnership awards by CYPnow and The Guardian.

Isabelle Brodie

Acting Head of Evidence – University of Bedfordshire

Speciality area of work: Research and the application of evidence in policy and practice

e: isabelle.brodie@beds.ac.uk
t: 07522 477703

Isabelle is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire and current Acting Head of Evidence for the Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme. Isabelle has worked as a researcher in higher education and the voluntary sector for 25 years. Her work has covered a range of issues relating to children and young people, including residential and foster care, school exclusion and disaffection, young people’s participation in services, and child sexual exploitation. Isabelle’s research has involved projects of different scale and for a variety of commissioners, and has utilised a variety of research methods. All her work has involved partnership with frontline professionals and/or service users, and she is also an experienced teacher and trainer.

Amy Hurst

Implementation Lead – Research in Practice

Speciality area of work: Partnership working / Commissioning / Policing and Community Safety

e: amy.hurst@researchinpractice.org.uk
t: 07712 323318

Amy is Implementation Lead for the Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme. She works with local areas and a range of delivery partners as part of Bespoke Support Projects that seek to develop effective strategic responses to child exploitation and extra-familial harm. Amy has a background in the development and commissioning of support services for victims, offenders and communities as well as experience in partnership coordination and management within the community safety sector.

Kelly Lewington

Implementation Lead – The Children’s Society

Speciality area of work: Youth Offending/ Partnership working / Intensive Family Support

e: kelly.lewington@childrenssociety.org.uk
t: 07710396431

Kelly is Implementation Lead for the Tackling Child Kelly is Implementation Lead for the Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme. She supports the delivery of Bespoke Support Projects alongside small teams of delivery partners, supporting local areas to develop effective strategic responses to child exploitation and extra-familial harm. Kelly has over fifteen years’ experience of working with children, adolescents and their families in the education, voluntary and statutory sectors. She is a qualified Child and Adolescent Counsellor and is passionate about understanding the impact that trauma has on young people who are exploited and how this can influence the ways services respond to exploitation.

Victoria Collinge

Research Assistant – University of Bedfordshire

Speciality area of work: Education / research

e: vicki.collinge@beds.ac.uk

Vicki joined the University of Bedfordshire International Centre in September 2019 as a research assistant, and is currently working on the Tackling Child Exploitation Support programme. She supports the team in a wide variety of ways and is also developing her knowledge on issues of evidence-informed practice, contextual safeguarding and other areas associated with child exploitation. Before joining the International Centre Vicki was a Masters student at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, where she studied Religion, Conflict and Globalisation. Her thesis looked at modern slavery in the UK, with a particular focus on how churches and police-forces created and maintained partnerships to work in this area. Prior to this Vicki was a secondary school teacher, teaching KS3, GCSE and A level Religious Studies. She is passionate about using research to bring about social change, and is keen to bring her skills and knowledge to the partnership.

Brian Bean

Programme Co-ordinator – Research in Practice

Speciality area of work: Project and finance management, business analysis

MS Teams or brian.bean@researchinpractice.org.uk

Brian joined Research in Practice in 2018 working in the programme team to deliver a portfolio of national programmes. Prior to this Brian was the Operations Manager at a not-for-profile coalition delivering integrated care management in a NY State Department of Health programme. Brian’s skills and contribution to the Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme is in business analysis, project and financial management.

Andrew Willis

Programme Administrator – Research in Practice

Speciality area of work: Project and Finance Administration

MS Teams or andrew.willis@researchinpractice.org.uk

Andrew joined Research in Practice in July 2018 and was seconded to the TCE Administrator role in April 2020. Previously he worked as the Team Administrator for the South West Peninsula Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) project, working with families in care proceedings. Andrew’s skills and contribution to the programme is in project and finance administration support.

Call for Knowledge & Practice

Help us to develop our thinking and grow our evidence base by letting us know about tools, resources and learning that you have either created or used to develop your approach to tackling child exploitation.

Share your learning