Modelled on other professional graduate schemes, Advocacy Year aims to improve the lives of under-supported children and young people, while equipping our trainee Youth Advocates with skills and experience that will be invaluable in their future careers.

Advocacy Year is an excellent opportunity for graduates interested in social justice and a possible career in law. Working directly with young people to tackle their multiple, complex issues, trainee Youth Advocates gain advocacy and client care skills, legal knowledge, and first-hand understanding of the difficulties and challenges many young people in our society face.

What does Advocacy Year offer?

This highly competitive programme provides Trainee Youth Advocates with:

  • One month intensive training, covering advocacy style, child safeguarding and basic legal knowledge in the areas that most affect the young people we work with: social welfare, education, youth justice and immigration.
  • Community-based advocacy work supervised by Just for Kids Law’s experienced and talented in-house advocacy and legal teams:
    • Taking a client-led approach to support young people in difficulty;
    • Formally advocating for young people in proceedings such as Looked After Child reviews, Social Services assessments, school reintegration meetings, governor body meetings and school exclusion hearings;
    • Working alongside our Youth Opportunities team to ensure young people can explore education, training and employment opportunities.
  • A Leadership Development Programme.
  • A Graduate Alumnae Network.

Our 2017/18 trainees

Grace Annesley

While studying Politics and Modern History at the University of Manchester (2016), Grace was awarded the prize for the best overall student paper and oral presentation on her dissertation on the Al-Khanssaa Brigade (ISIL’s all female battalion). She has been a senior mentor with the National Citizen Service Programme, providing organisation, pastoral care and curriculum delivery for a group of 15-17 year olds, and spent three months with Y-Care International in Liberia completing a research project about collecting young peoples voices relating to employment and enterprise. Grace has also worked with young people through the Political Studies Association, which seeks to promote the study of politics for all.

Zafar Ansari

Zafar studied Politics, Psychology and Sociology at the University of Cambridge, graduating in 2013. He completed an MA in History at Royal Holloway, University of London, focusing on the history of black self defence in the U.S. and the Deacons for Defense and Justice – prominent exponents of black self defence during the U.S. civil rights era. Alongside his studying, Zafar played professional cricket for Surrey and England between 2010 and 2017. During that time, he became closely involved with the Surrey Cricket Foundation and Lord’s Taverners, organisations dedicated to providing disadvantaged children with better sporting opportunities.

Madey Doku

Madey graduated in 2015 from the University of Nottingham with a degree in History, and this year she went on to complete a GDL with City, University of London. Prior to joining Just for Kids Law, Madey volunteered as an Adviser at Bexley Citizens Advice Bureau for three years, and more recently trained as a Social Security Representative with the Free Representation Unit. She has worked as a Youth Mentor with HeadStart and as a SEN teaching assistant. In 2015, she spent three months in South Africa working with a youth development organisation providing holistic support to young orphan children.

Albinia Stanley

Albinia graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2016, where she was active in feminist politics and organising. Since then, she has worked as the assistant to the Headteacher of Kingsford Community School and supported refugees as an intern at Breaking Barriers. Prior to working for Just for Kids Law she was living and teaching in France. Previously, she spent a summer as a community organiser in Togo.

Our first trainees

Augusta Itua, Trainee Youth Advocate, 2016/17

Having studied law at the University of Kent, Augusta was attracted to this opportunity as she cares passionately about social justice and is thinking about a career in immigration law. Advocacy Year is a stepping stone which has given her the skills and experience to advance her career aspirations.

“Being part of Advocacy Year has provided me with the unique opportunity to make a difference to the lives of many young people in difficulty. I have been helping young people with issues as diverse as immigration, housing and social welfare, while also developing my legal knowledge. I am learning new skills daily, which I will be able to apply in my future career.”

Frankie Shama, Trainee Youth Advocate, 2016/17

Having studied English Language and Literature at Oxford, Frankie is hoping to carry the knowledge and skills he has gained through Advocacy Year into a future family law practice.

“My experience at Just for Kids as a youth advocate has been one I will carry with me for a long time to come. I have done everything from providing emotional support and a voice during meetings with social workers, to giving oral submissions on behalf of an excluded pupil in front of an Independent Review Panel, and arguing at housing services about a young person’s right to accommodation. My knowledge of young people’s legal rights and entitlements has greatly improved as a result.”


For enquiries, please contact Simon Cousins:

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