Meet our two new Heads of services

Children North East are excited to share the appointment of two new roles leading services across the charity. The Head of Families and Parenting and Head of Youth Services and Poverty Proofing have been created to help take our 2021 strategy forward.

In collaboration with the Operations Direction and Senior Leadership Team, our new Heads will sustain, grow and develop our work across the North East.

With their support and direction, our staff, sessional workers, students and volunteers will grow our portfolio of interventions and increase the reach of our services supporting babies, children, young people and their families.

Meet Ricky Murray, our new Head of Families and Parenting

Under the direction of Ricky Murray, Families and Parenting will continue to deliver support for babies, children and their families, and develop new ways of providing help to those who need it. These include:

  • Therapeutic infant-parent support, such as the specialist NEWPIP
  • Interventions for families promoting safeguarding, child safety and providing support in times of crisis.
  • Domestic abuse support programmes.
  • Activities run out of our Cowgate Centre; which recently was announced as a Newcastle Council Community Hub.

Ricky will bring over a decade of experience leading and delivering programmes for young people to the role, including three years managing our Young People Services (YPS). During his tenure with YPS, he grew a reputation for pursuing innovative new ways of working alongside young people, including recently securing funding for the Tech For Good Minecraft counselling programme. This year he was named as part of the UK Acumen Fellowship of Young Leaders

Ricky comments: “I am really happy to be working with such a passionate and dedicated team and I have arrived at a really exciting time, with a number of new projects ready to take off. The families that access our services have always received high-quality support and this won’t change.

“I hope to bring a fresh perspective, concentrating on the improvement of administrative processes to better evidence the work that we do. I will also be looking to use our vast network of organisations to bring our top-quality services to more families and more areas in the North East.”

Meet Luke Bramhall, our new Head of Youth Services and Poverty Proofing

Our new Head of Youth Services and Poverty Proofing, Luke Bramhall will oversee diverse projects working with young people on a local, regional and national scale, focused on the four strategic areas: Youth Services, Youth Counselling, Poverty Proofing© and Participation. These include:

  • Mental health support for young people, including providing counselling on behalf of the NHS and partners.
  • Poverty Proofing© programmes, working with schools and other organisations to help remove inequality for those facing financial hardship.
  • Leading and delivering community participation and advocacy projects, such as the VOICES Project.
  • Youth work activities run out of our WEYES Youth Service Centre.

Over his eight years with Children North East, Luke has spearheaded the growth of our Poverty Proofing© initiative, helping grow Poverty Proofing© the School Day into a nationally recognised intervention that has been delivered in over 300 schools in the UK. Luke is a vocal advocate about issues impacting children living in poverty and a consistent champion of their voices. He is leading on the delivery of the North of Tyne Poverty Truth Commission and is Inequalities Advisor to the North East and North Cumbria Child Health and Wellbeing Network.

Luke comments: “I am delighted to be appointed as Head of Youth Services and Poverty Proofing and am relishing the opportunity to work with a brilliant group of practitioners from such a wide range of backgrounds. The coming years are looking really bright for the Youth Services and Poverty Proofing work and I am excited at how this service can contribute to the overall strategy of CNE by building on its outstanding work, and being a beacon of hope for babies, children, young people and families across the region and beyond.”

A new chapter

Children North East faces a new landscape of need, in which 37% of children in the North East live in poverty and one in six report a diagnosable mental health condition.

Michele Deans, Operations Director comments: “Children North East, like all charities, has had a challenging time through the COVID pandemic, but one thing is clear, families now more than ever need access to our services. Created through our restructure of our operational services, these key strategic roles will work with myself, and their teams to ensure our services are able to be sustained, grown and available to a wider reach of people across the North East”

With the leadership of Ricky and Luke, our hope is that we grow our impact towards our purpose of ensuring all babies, children and young people are given a chance to grow up happy and healthy regardless of background or family circumstances.