What We Do

    What is it? The Advocacy Academy is a transformational Social Justice Fellowship for young people who are passionate about making a difference in the world. Across six intense months, we support young leaders from marginalised communities to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to tackle some of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.


    How does it work? On the Fellowship participants attend three fantastic residential retreats and fortnightly gatherings. They work with top campaigners, creatives, academics and coaches to help them develop the skills to lead a grassroots campaign in their community, deliver a speech to their Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, and so much more. Read our 2017-18 Speech Anthology.


    When is it? Our 2018-19 Fellowship will kick off in August. Check back for more information about next year's programme from 1st January 2018, when applications open.


    Who is it for? The Advocacy Academy is perfect for anyone who is passionate about changing things in their community, society or world. Applicants must be going into Year 12 or 13 and living or going to school in South London (anyone with a SW or SE home or school postcode).


    Where will it be? Our programme is delivered out of community spaces across London. We’re proud of where we come from, and so are our participants.


    How do you apply? It’s easy! Applicants have up to 300 words to tell us what makes them angry via a nifty online form, followed by an informal interview.


    Will it be accessible? Yes - we ensure all our events are accessible to everyone. We're especially looking for applications from women, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, disabled and LGBTQ people. We are committed to ensuring all voices are equal. We do not require our Advocates to have any particular grades or experience to apply.


    Who is involved? Expert campaigners, academics, politicians and creatives from across the UK come to pass on what they know to our Advocates. We also have youth workers who provide pastoral support to our participants across the retreat and throughout our programme.

    What We Believe

    The Advocates' Charter

    A better world is possible. There is nothing inevitable about injustice and inequality.


    It is our right and our responsibility to build that world.


    We strive to continually improve ourselves, our communities, and our society.


    The lives of ordinary people matter.


    We are one family. We love and support one another and stand in solidarity with each other.


    It is our right to define ourselves, and have our identities celebrated.


    We actively work to uncover, acknowledge, and overcome our biases.


    We value experience, and do not do for others what they can do for themselves. Nothing about us without us!


    We prize conviction, and support each other to live our values in our everyday lives.


    We value critical thinking and challenge. We approach discomfort, disagreement and difficult conversations with an open and curious mind.


    We practice the powerful combination of education and action.


    We work to create inclusive and supportive spaces where we can each be our best selves.

  • 88% of young people feel that their voices are completely unheard in society.

    - “Stand Up and Be Counted” Sky News Survation Poll, 2014

    60% of young people don't understand how decisions are made about local or national issues.

    - The Youth Citizenship Commission, 2009

    Young people from poorer families are 30% less likely to participate in our democracy than their more affluent peers.

    - "Young People's Participation in Social Action" Ipsos Mori, 2014


    For Students


    We see the dangerous impact that feeling disaffected can have on the confidence and aspirations of young people. Feeling unrepresented and powerless can lead them down a path of apathy and alienation.


    Advocating for social change instills in a young person a sense of self-worth, giving them the power to change their own lives through improving the lives of others. They take the future of the world into their own hands and are no longer voiceless.


    Knowledge & Insight: We broaden young people's knowledge of the world and the role they want to play in it, helping to extend their learning beyond the classroom. Our team of experts address real-world issues and the tactics that successfully effect change.


    Skills: We know that many students leave education unprepared to lead in the real world. Academic qualifications do not always teach the skills they need to succeed. That’s why we focus on developing

    three skills every leader and employer needs: Collaboration, communication & critical thinking.


    Character: To make a difference, young people need healthy attitudes towards themselves and the world. They need to believe that change is possible and that they are capable of creating it. That’s why every element of our programme focuses on developing 6 key strengths: confidence, leadership, compassion, Grit, self-awarenes & hope.


    Networks & Access: We know that young people from disadvantaged communities lack access to people with power and influence. We introduce them to powerful campaigners, grassroots organisers, politicians and Chief Executives (we could go on...) who expand their networks, deliberately choosing young role models to demonstrate that power isn’t always connected to age. And our participants join a small cohort who experience the year together, becoming a close-knit network of their own.


    Civic Participation: In developing all of the above, our Advocates will embark on a path of life-long democratic participation. They take part in campaigns, vote in elections, advocate on behalf of causes, dream big for themselves and their communities, self-educate, and generally "become the change" they want to see.

    For Schools

    • Promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of pupils and of society
    • Prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life
    • Supports the school’s provision of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE)
    • Actively promotes fundamental British values
    • Curriculum links to many subjects, including Citizenship, RE, Geography, English and History
    • Teaches leadership skills that Fellows can use to improve their school community
    • A valuable use of Pupil Premium funding
    • Encourages a greater sense of citizenship within schools
    • Enhances written and oral communication through speech writing and delivery, debates and discussion
    • We want all our participants to achieve academically, and so we pair every one of our students with a coach to help them increase their attainment.

    For Society

    For the Community: We are developing a new generation of community leaders who work together to make their local areas better places to grow up and live. We believe that we must increase active citizenship and strengthen local networks in order to assure the future vibrancy of British democracy. Our Advocates generate a ripple effect, impacting their families, friends, schools and wider communities.


    For Society: Civil society is dominated by the privileged few. Valuable voices are missing from the debate, leading to policies and provisions that fail to reflect the diverse experiences and interests of all our communities. Good policy needs everyone's input.


    Our Advocates are these voices.

  • The Journey

    A Tale of Four Camps & Six Evening Gatherings

    ~ All content is co-created with our Advocates ~


    Issues & Identity [Aug]

    (The School of Social Justice)

    Ten days to introduce our four pillars: lobbying, campaigning, grassroots organising & direct action. Half our time is spent exploring "basic rights" like housing, homelessness & mental health. The other half looks at issues of identity - race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, class & disability rights. On the final day, our Fellows launches their own campaigns in Parliament!


    Leadership & Movement Building [Oct]

    Four days of intensive leadership development and mass movement theory, preparing the Advocates to design and deliver their own social justice workshops as pro-trainers.


    Strategy & Tactics [Dec]

    Three days of clever campaign planning and creative activism. Equal part theory and practice, Fellows learn what it takes to win change, and experience "action" as a community - from "establishment" methods like lobbying and e-campagining to the more "radical" fly-postering, stunts and street performances!


    Fortnightly Gatherings

    Once a fortnight, we meet in the community to tackle stand-alone issue. From exploring Brixton with Linton Kwesi Johnson to developing our cultural capital with new writing at The Bunker theatre, these evenings cover key themes important to our Advocates that don't fit in our four residential camps.


    Want to Help? We salute you!


    1. We're always on the look-out for donors who are awesome enough to support The Academy financially.  


    2. Are you a policy wonk, campaigner, public affairs guru, Parliamentary Researcher, civil servant, or working in the social change world? We’d love to have you share your expertise by leading a workshop for our Fellows!


    3. Are you the world's best teacher, youth worker or educator? Can you spare some time to help us make our sessions as interactive and engaging as possible? 


    4. Are you a social impact guru? Do you know the ins-and-outs of monitoring and evaluation? Would you help us develop an impact measurement system that kicks-ass?


    5. Do you have any besties who work in restaurants, venues or businesses in South London who might give us a cheeky discount for our residentials?


    6. Are you a comms genius? Do you develop websites? Do social media? How about write copy (better than this!)? Would you give up a few hours a week to help us craft our message?


    7. Are you in touch with (or are you yourself) any slam poets, rappers or other cool creatives who might consider inspiring our participants through the arts?


    8. Do you know about the £? Are you a savvy fundraiser, a grant writing guru or just another social entrepreneur who's been through it? We would love your wisdom.


    9. Do you have a spare pair of hands? We'd love your help running our ambitious events - there's always much to do.


    10. Have something to offer that we don’t realise we need? GREAT! Please tell us so.


    Support a new generation of change-makers


    We're on the hunt for some head honchos! We're especially excited about applications from people of colour, women, disabled, working class & LGBTQ people.


    Sign up for The Advocate (our ballin' quarterly newsletter)

  • Kate Hoey

    MP for Vauxhall

    "I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the participants of The Advocacy Academy this summer. Their speeches exceeded my expectations, persuasively raising important issues ranging from foreign aid, to women's rights, to reinstating the EMA. They gave some of the best Parliamentarians a run for their money in tackling many of the biggest problems facing our society today. I was impressed with their depth of knowledge and commitment, and inspired by their personal stories and fearlessness in holding their representatives to account. The Advocacy Academy is both a transformative and much needed programme, and these young men and women are already well on their way to helping change the world. I very much look forward to meeting next year's Advocates."

    Siana Bangura

    No Fly on the Wall

    "I can't say enough how amazed and impressed I am by the young people I met at The Advocacy Academy! I facilitated the final workshop on Intersectionality and I feel like I learn a lot from them! These young people were having advanced, intense conversations about privilege and injustice - the types of conversations I am only seriously having now in my twenties and many people much older than them are still struggling to engage in.


    Every single young person in that room was thoughtful, intelligent, and really passionate about making the world a better place. They all come from different backgrounds and different walks of life and each was very aware of their own privilege and how these interact with the things that make them and their friends marginalised in society. I was really inspired by them and filled with hope for the next generation."


    Hannah Retallack & Camilla Stanger

    UCL Institute of Education

    "We can honestly say that The Advocacy Academy is one of the most dynamic, innovative, thoughtful and important youth projects we've ever come across. Having just delivered a workshop called 'Playing in the Waves: Moving with Feminist Theory', we were completely overwhelmed and inspired by the energy in the room, as well as by the extraordinary mix of young people all brought together on a Saturday afternoon to learn about gender and privilege and to advocate for social change. As the Advocacy Academy's mission statement points out, 'there is nothing inevitable about inequality and injustice' and it takes projects like this one to empower young people and to support them in changing the world."



    Andre Anderson

    Freedom & Balance Academy

    Working with the young people at The Advocacy Academy was a refreshing experience. The young people there are super switch-on, sharp, and ready to make a change in their worlds. After a few minutes of being with them I already felt at home. I feel that if there are any young people who will make a change in our culture, it's probably these guys. I'll definitely work with The Advocacy Academy if invited again!


    Yuan Yang

    Rethinking Economics

    "Facilitating an economics workshop for the Advocacy Academy was a brilliant experience. It made me more optimistic for the future of our country to see such switched-on students grappling with real and deep issues of privilege and power. I'm sure they will go far, armed with the skills the Academy has brought them."


    Senior Assistant Head Teacher Jon Wilson

    Lilian Baylis Technology School

    “I just wanted to say thank you for taking Alex in and working with him over the past four days on your project. He has had a great time and I can tell already that he is already thinking differently. His speech in parliament yesterday was absolutely fantastic, as were the other students. Well done to you!”


    Tom Ross-Williams

    The Great Men Initiative

    "Co-facilitating a workshop on gender inequality for the Advocacy Academy was thrilling. So rarely do you get to work with a group of young people so engaged, so up for debate and thirsty for knowledge. What's most inspiring about the advocates is that, when exploring a really complex idea such as hegemony, they access it from a deeply personal place. Being in a room with these young people is enough to renew your optimism for a year. You believe in change like never before."

    Steph Cutler

    Making Lemonade


    “Delivering a workshop on disability rights was a huge privilege. I was so impressed with the work of The Advocacy Academy and especially with the young people. I have no doubt the support these savvy young social change makers received will have a positive, long-lasting effect on them and their communities.”


    Linda Bellos

    Black Feminist Activist

    "I was heartily impressed with the young people I meet, I found them thoughtful, articulate, aware and powerful. It was a pleasure to be with them."

    Hanna Naima McCloskey

    Founder & CEO, Fearless Futures


    "What The Advocacy Academy is doing is truly special and so needed. To support young people develop their consciousness in order to effect deep and powerful change - grounded in a strong sense of their power, privilege and social location - is so important. I'm so excited to know these young people are in the world, leading and learning courageously. We can sleep much more easily."


    Molly Ackhurst

    Hollaback London

    "Engaging with the Advocacy Academy’s young adults was an incredible experience. Their courage in sharing stories and experiences of sexual harassment and public invasions of space was so powerful, and not only did they share but they really engaged with the topic both eloquently and thoughtfully. They give me hope for a world where honesty and bravery are omnipresent, and co-exist alongside a true respect for the bodies of women, girls and non-binary people."



    Mayeni Jones

    BBC News

    "I totally enjoyed running a workshop for the Advocacy Academy. The conversations I had with the students, although tense at times, were insightful and thought-provoking. I'm inspired by how hungry for debate they are and I hope to keep working with the organisation again in future."

    Padraic X. Scanlan

    The London School of Economics

    "Talking to the young activists at the Advocacy Academy about the history of slavery, race, and capitalism was a moving and inspiring experience. It was inspiring to meet a group of such smart, motivated and curious young people on fire for change. Identifying and confronting power and privilege takes insight, courage and tenacity, and the people I met at the Advocacy Academy have all three qualities in spades."

    Marta Owczarek

    The Brixton Pound

    "It was hugely inspiring to see the Advocates making sense of the links between money and local communities, and really energising to hear their insightful ideas during our workshop. I wish every student had the opportunity to go through a programme like The Advocacy Academy!"




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    Amelia Viney

    Chief Advocate

    Amelia has a background in youth leadership, and cut her teeth in politics as a Parliamentary Researcher in Westminster and a civil rights lobbyist in Washington, DC. She is hugely passionate about bringing these two worlds together to help empower young leaders to improve their own lives, and the lives of others.



    Saba Shafi

    Development Director

    Saba has an MBA from Wharton and eight years of management consultancy experience. She kicked-off her career leading healthcare initiatives in refugee camps and diversity and inclusion programmes in graduate schools in the US. Saba is passionate about growing The Advocacy Academy. She would also like to go into space, if anyone has a spare ticket.





    Helen Hayes MP




    Dominique Airey | CEO | Khulisa


    Dominique is the CEO of Khulisa UK and is committed to deepening and expanding their work rehabilitating offenders and supporting those at-risk of crime, violence and victimisation. She believes strongly in the importance of collaboration between sectors to drive meaningful and sustainable social impact.

    Prior to joining Khulisa, she was Head of Partnership Development at a global NGO, Youth Business International (YBI), supporting unemployed young people to start businesses in over 50 countries. Dominique started her career at P&G, completing the Graduate Management Programme and latterly working as a Market Strategy and Planning lead. She studied at the University of Manchester and University of Cambridge with a focus on International Management, Economics and Sustainability. Dominique was recognised as one of Management Today's 35 Women under 35 in 2016.


    Duncan Piper | Founder | The Unreasonables & Blue Chip Leaders


    Duncan Piper graduated in 2009 from the University of York with First Class Honours in English Literature. He then took up his offer from Procter & Gamble to join their Graduate Leadership Programme in business development where he ran a multimillion-pound business operation.


    In 2012, Duncan resigned from P&G to go back into education. He founded The Young Leaders’ Consultancy, The Unreasonables and, most recently, Blue Chip Leaders. All have been committed to creating transformational leadership and educational experiences for young people, to allow them to lead fulfilled and impactful lives.


    He is a graduate of Common Purpose’s Frontrunner leadership programme and former Business Advisor to Young Enterprise. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a business coach and mentor, a recently retired Governor of The Skinners’ Academy (Hackney), a member of the Serpentine Running Club (he ran the London Marathon in April 2014 for the Royal National Children’s Foundation) and a poor (though aspiring) Modern Jive dancer.


    Reuben Saxon | CEO | The Social Innovation Partnership


    Reuben in the CEO of The Social Innovation Partnership (TSIP), an advisor to public, private and social sector organisations seeking to maximise their social impact. Reuben joined TSIP from Youth Business International, a global network of independent non-profit initiatives operating in over 45 countries across five continents. As Head of Strategic Partnerships, he developed a global portfolio of partnerships with organisations that included the United Nations, European Commission, J.P. Morgan and Citi Bank, while also leading on aspects of YBI’s strategy.


    Reuben also brings on board entrepreneurial and start-up experience in the fund management, property and technology sectors, in addition to a track record in advocacy and public speaking at forums such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance UK and the European Micro Finance Network. He began his career as a strategy consultant with Accenture. Reuben has an undergraduate degree in PPE from the University of Oxford and a Masters in Applied Economics from the London School of Economics.


    Sam Grant | Campaigns and Programme Officer | René Cassin


    Sam was a founding trustee of The Advocacy Academy. He works as the campaigns manager for René Cassin, a Jewish human rights NGO that mobilises the UK Jewish community on issues including modern day slavery, indefinite immigration detention and discrimination of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community.


    Sam was previously a youth worker and community developer for Liberal Judaism, specialising in informal education and game theory. Sam received his Masters in human rights from the London School of Economics, blogs for the website Rights Info and volunteers for the Refugee Cricket Project.


    Zoe Tyndall | CEO | OxFizz


    Zoe has recently taken on the challenge of leading OxFizz, an educational social enterprise which has raised over half a million pounds for UK charities, and helped more than 1000 students from all backgrounds to reach their academic potential.


    Prior to this, she was an Investment Manage at the Charities Aid Foundation, specialising in social investment. Zoe has experience working in international development in Haiti, where she held the role of Head of Portfolio and Monitoring and Evaluation for Yunus Social Business, managing investments worth $3m. Before moving to Haiti, Zoe spent three years at London-based research and strategy consultancy, BritainThinks, working for a wide range of private, public and third sector clients on consumer insight, stakeholder relations and communications. Zoe holds a BA in Modern History from Oxford University.


    Changemakers [Youth Directors]

    Josh Pugh

    Tom Ross Williams

    Zahra Dalila

    Saaqib Afzal

    Vanessa Faloye

    Gabriella Brent

    Ilhan Yonis

    Patrick Olajide

    Elizabeth Alvarado

    Zhané Ehiwarior

    Vanessa Castro

    Sarah Adesikun

    Costa Christou


    Advisory Board [Education]

    Carole Kenrick | Inventor in Residence | Lab_13

    Debbie Danon | Director of Education | The Unreasonables

    Lily Eastwood | Director of Learning | Hackney Pirates

    Jess Town | Head of Faculty | St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College

    Michal Ish-Horowicz | Theatre Maker & Educator

    Shelly Maters | Teacher

    Karis Barnes | Teacher

    Madeleine Fresko-Brown | Teacher | London Academy


    Advisory Board [Advocacy]

    Jem Stein | Founder | The Bike Project

    Andy Kempster | Policy Advisor | Cabinet Office

    Martha Mackenzie | Deputy Head of Government Relations | Save the Children

    Olivia O'Sullivan | Innovation and Results Analyst | Department for International Development

    Pete Jefferys | Senior Policy Officer | Shelter UK

    Rebecca Viney | Policy Advisor | Department for Culture, Media & Sport


    Workshop Leaders | Inspirers | Wonderful Humans

    Abi Symons | Writer & Activist

    Adam Francies | Educator

    Adam Tyler | Videographer

    Afrida Nahian | The Orchid Project

    Alex Holland | Brew

    Amy Baron | Educator

    Andre Anderson | Author & Creative Facilitator

    Andy Ryan | Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

    Andy Soar | The Children's Society

    Cllr Andy Wilson | Lambeth Council

    Angela Awuah | Mental Health; The Arts

    Cllr Anna Birley | Lambeth Council

    Ben Jewkes | Drum

    Ben Kirk | Henderson Global Investors

    Camilla Stanger | Educator

    Ciaran Thapar | The Access Project & Hero's Journey

    Charlotte Fischer | Citizens UK

    Charley Fone | The Changing Face Collective

    Christopher Moore | The Clink

    Chloe Hamilton | The Independent

    Daniel Costen | MWW

    Daniel Grabiner | Cloverhawk

    Daniel Reisel | NHS Ethics Centre

    Danny Rothberg | Foreign & Commonwealth Office

    David Brook | Theatre Maker

    David Gilbert | The Changing Face Collective

    Ed Bracey | Medical Research Council

    Ettie Bailey King | School Consent Project

    Fredi Lorie | Women in Prison

    Gabriella Brent | Family Drug and Alcohol Court

    Gemma Maddock | Voice Coach

    Hannah Green | Bank of England

    Hanna Retallack | UCL Institute of Education

    Hibo Wardere | FGM Survivor & Activist

    India Thorogood | Greenpeace

    Cllr Jack Hopkins | Lambeth Council

    Jacob Hajjar | Voice Coach

    Jake Felix Goldhill | Photographer

    James Asfa | Citizens UK

    Jamie Kelsey-Fry | Activist

    Jason Grant | The Forgiveness Project

    Jen Tyler | Theatre Maker

    Joel Trill | Voice Coach

    Jonathan Smith | Social Value Group

    Josh Pugh | Educator

    Kajal Odedra | Change.org

    Karis Barnes | Educator

    Lauren Davidson | The Telegraph

    Cllr Lib Peck | Leader of Lambeth Council

    Ligia Teixeira | Crisis UK

    Lucy Curtis | The Changing Face Collective

    Luke Waterfield | Save The Children

    Luke Forsythe | Videographer

    Madeline Crowther | Waging Peace

    Madeline Fresko-Brown | Educator

    Cllr Malcolm Clark | Lambeth Council

    Mairi Hayes | Central School of Speech and Drama

    Cllr Mary Atkins | Lambeth Council

    Matt Cole | Drum

    Melanie Pope | Scope

    Michael Goode | Allied Bakeries

    Cllr Mo Seedat | Lambeth Council

    Nathan Pierce | Greater London Authority

    Nick Arnold | Black Jeans Pictures

    Peter Bray | Voice Coach

    Peter Dawson | Prison Reform Trust

    Poppy Terry | Shelter

    Rachel Ellis | Soul Focus Yoga

    Rachel Griffiths | Theatre Maker


    Cllr Rachel Heywood | Lambeth Council

    Rachel Pierce | Shelter

    Ralph Scott | Demos

    Rebecca Falcon | Save the Children

    Rebecca Livesey | Barrister

    Sarah Wayman | The Children's Society

    Sarian Kamara | FGM Survivor & Activist

    Scott Leonard | The Champion Agency

    Simon Bishop | Special Advisor to Justine Greening

    Simon Gentry | MWW

    Shadi Brazell | Helen Hayes MP

    Shelley Masters | Educator

    Cllr Tim Briggs | Lambeth Council

    Tim Hughes | Berry Palmer & Lyle

    Tom Brookes | Team Up

    Tom Ross-Williams | Theatre Maker

    Tom Silverton | OMD

    Tracy Frazuel | Greenpeace

    Verna Rhodes | Central School of Speech and Drama

    Will Heaven | Speechwriter to Michael Gove MP

    Yas Necati | Activist


    Partners Extraordinaire

    Regent's University London

    The Central School of Speech and Drama

    Citizens UK

    The Brixton Bugle


    Coaches (2016-17)

    Katie Booth (Brittney)

    Lucy Rimmington (Betty)

    Adama Kamara (Ariana)

    Alex Manning (Darren)

    Amy Price (Celine)

    Freya Godfrey (Elizabeth)

    Hazel Morgan (Ashleigh)

    Gaia Manners-Armstrong (Malika)

    Indie Shergill (Samantha)

    Joe Cox (Perreira)

    Melanie Pope (Thalia)

    Rachael Deacon-Smith (Kaitlin)

    Rebecca Falcon (Sarah)

    Vanessa Lefton (Zhané)

    Katie Youens (Azal)

    Sarah Pickin (Michelle)

    Sophie Parsons (Erica)

    Simon Kaye (Sam)

    Tabetha Bhatti (Amal)







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