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Rachel Brett, Voice of Communities workstream lead

The lead for our Voice of Communities workstream is Rachel Brett, CEO of Essex Council for Voluntary Youth Services (ECVYS).

ECVYS is the only independent voice of the voluntary youth sector in Essex and aims to support, network and resource the voluntary youth sector whilst building links and possibilities with statutory services that wish to engage with the sector.

Rachel says: “We believe the voluntary youth sector has an important role to play in the life and education of our young people and we seek to enable these services to be the very best that they can be. Our members are amazing and support more than 240,000 children & young people from more than 6,000 youth groups/ clubs in Essex – with more than 25,000 volunteers!”


Kirsty Gibbons, Fearless Futures knife crime project lead

Kirsty is the Deputy Head of Service, North Essex Probation and has worked in probation for more than 13 years. Kirsty was previously on secondment to the V&V unit between September 2019 to September 2021.

Kirsty says: “I strongly believe that we need to understand the key issues and triggers to serious violence. We need to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to make positive change, reducing their risk of serious harm, ensuring public protection and allowing young people to reach their full potential through evidence-based interventions and effective partnership working.


Alex Bridge, Workforce Development project lead

Alex is a Service Manager in Children’s Services in Southend and has been working in the borough in various roles with adolescents for over 18 years.

Alex says: “We live in a fast moving industry where the recruitment and grooming of children and young people changes rapidly. With the increased understanding of the various risks faced by our young people in the community, it is vitally important that we equip our workforces with the ability to recognise those involved in some form exploitation and provide them with the skills to respond to it appropriately.”