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Graduate Changemakers


Graduate Changemakers

Guest Speakers



 Dr Carlene Firmin MBE – Principal Research Fellow and Founder of the                   Contextual Safeguarding Network

Carlene 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 groupbased violence and advocated for comprehensive approaches that keep young people safe in public places, schools and peer groups. Her theory of Contextual Safeguarding has informed policy and research agendas for advancing the protection of adolescents, and she has worked with practitioners across the UK to co-create contextual interventions and develop contextual safeguarding systems within children’s social care. In 2011 Carlene became the youngest black woman to receive an MBE for her seminal work on gang-affected young women in the UK.


Debbie James & Jayde Sarrington - Co-founders of ASPIRE to INSPIRE (Community Interest Company)

We are a female only organisation set up to offer support, guidance and education services to young women excluded from school in Luton.  This business idea has developed as a result of our 10 years’ experience in a variety of roles supporting children, young people and families. These roles include statutory and voluntary services, education facilities and health organisations.  We have qualifications and experience in Teaching, Training, Advice & Guidance, Safeguarding & Child Protection, Youth & Community Work, Sexual Health, Child Sexual Exploitation and Child & Adolescent Studies.  We have studied in these areas for a number of years to continue our own professional development.

Sian Miljokvic – National Student Social Worker of the Year 

Following 13 years as a social work assistant and having had my 3 children I decided to pursue my dream of qualifying as a social worker. I was employed by CBC in June 2015 as a family partner within the Early Help service. I then began the BSc Social Work (TIER) route which I have completed while remaining employed full time by CBC and have worked hard to balance study, full time work, 3 children and being the main carer for my grandparents ever since. To be nominated for the award was humbling and made me exceptionally proud. To win the award was beyond my imagination!

Map University of Bedfordshire Luton Campus G101, Vicarage Street, Luton, United Kingdom
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