Introducing the British Youth Council's Board of Trustees...

The British Youth Council's Board of Trustees is a group of 13 young people aged 25 and under who are elected by our members at the Annual Council Meeting each year. As the British Youth Council’s lead representatives they are responsible for guiding the strategic direction of the charity.

Anna Rose Barker


Anna is a young, enthusiastic and thoughtful person determined to make an impact on society through the positive engagement of young people and leadership opportunities. Anna has previously been a Member of UK Youth Parliament, Chair of Dorset Youth Council, Leader of AIESEC (the largest youth-led organisation in the world) and National Programmes Executive at The Prince's Trust helping disadvantaged young people back into education, training or volunteering. Most recently Anna has been living in Zimbabwe working with young people and the local community, and on her return she has started working for a leading Education Technology company called Unifrog. Last year she was the Vice Chair of Participation and is very excited and honoured to be leading this year as Chair of the British Youth Council.

Jake Pitt

Vice Chair, Campaigns and Communications

Jake is 20 years old and comes from Somerset, in the South West, where he joined his local youth council and became a Member of Youth Parliament for four years. In addition to this, Jake has also served on the National Scrutiny Group, been an advisor to the Children’s Commissioner for England and written for several newspapers. At the moment he is also on the board of a community-interest company, Learn to Lead, and is active in his students union, serving as president of his college at the University of Kent. Jake’s passionate about campaigning and empowering young people to achieve change, having fought against cuts to youth services in Somerset in addition to working on political campaigns over the last couple of years.

Ife Grillo

Vice Chair, Participation and Development

Ife got elected to the board as Vice Chair, Participation and Development in September 2016. Ife was previously elected Vice Chair Campaigns and Communications in Septepmber 2014 and relelected in 2015, though he's been involved with the British Youth Council for a lot longer. In July 2014 he started an organisation called Complaint2Campaign which aims to teach young people about how they can take things that irritate them and turn them into sucessful campaigns. Debating forms a massive part of his life and he currently mentors for Debate Mate at a primary school. He served as vice-chair and chair of Hackney Youth Parliament before getting elected to be the MYP for Hackney in April 2013. He represented London as it's Debate Lead in the UK Youth Parliament House of Commons Sitting in 2014. Ife has been heavily involved in the Votes at 16 campaign both as a campaigner and organiser and is a strong supporter of the Vote Without Limits Campaign which looks into the restrictions there are for blind people who want to vote. He spends alot of his time campaigning with different organisations such as: Plan UK, Everyday Sexism, NAT, Oxfam, Unicef, Young Hackney and the NHS. His favourite quote is "'The Philosophy of the School Room in one generation will be the Philosophy of Government in the next."

Luke Thornton

Vice Chair, Finance

Luke, is a 22 year old student studying Engineering with business at The University of Warwick having completed a year long placement as an auditor in Aberdeen with a global accountancy firm. Luke is a proud member of The Scout Association and has previously led their delegation to the British Youth Council. Luke has previously been a trustee with Cheshire Scouts and led on their youth participation strategy. Luke has also spent the summer of 2013 researching participation and involvement in Uganda.

Robert Cashman


Robert was elected to the Board of Trustees at the 2015 Annual Council Meeting. He has been a member of the Scout Association, one of the British Youth Council’s national member organisations, for over ten years. Since 2011 he has volunteered as an adult member of the Association, both as a leader and as a member of a UK-wide working group developing and delivering a community impact strategy. He was appointed as a member of the Association’s British Youth Council delegation in November 2014 and was one of its voting representatives at the 2015 Annual Council Meeting. Robert graduated in 2015 with a degree in theology, and then spent a year as a full-time students’ union officer at the University of Cambridge. He now works in higher education. Outside of his work with the British Youth Council, Robert is also a trustee of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and of Chelmsford and District Scout Council.

Mariam Inayat Waseem


Mariam joined Oldham Youth Council in 2011 and soon after was elected a member of UK Youth Parliament. Her experience in youth voice locally, regionally and nationally, lead to her participation in a variety of international conferences. Mariam has now represented the UK at 13 conferences in 8 different countries. She has been invited to represent young peoples views on various issues at European Parliament (EYE 2014 and 2016) and the Council of Europe (29th & 30th Session of Congress). Some issues she is passionate about include youth participation, holocaust education, human rights education, promoting the UNCRC, women’s rights and minority rights. In March 2016, she worked with the Council of Europe on a toolkit to foster inter-religious dialogue in local communities across Europe. She represented the views of young Muslims by speaking on the Governments Prevent agenda and radicalisation at a local level. Currently, Mariam is at Newcastle University studying Government and European Union Studies with Spanish.

Lewis Addlington-Lee


Lewis is 21 and originally comes from a village near Clacton-On-Sea in Essex. He is now going into his third year studying Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham. In 2014 Lewis joined the Scouts delegation to BYC and soon after was appointed as their lead delegate. Within Scouting he is a member of the UK Community Impact Group which drives the movement’s social action project ‘A Million Hands’: this project aims to give 500,000 young people across the UK the tools and support they need to make a change on issues they care about. Last year he was the Community Action Officer at his Student’s Union where he spent most of his time working with MPs and students in Birmingham to try and save Maintenance Grants. As a campaigner and activist, Lewis’ main areas of interest are the LGBTQ Community and mental health.

Lawrence Thompson


Lawrence was elected to the British Youth Council Trustee Board in September 2016 after having previously sat on the Student Minds Steering Committee and Leeds University Union Activities Exec. Lawrence is a University of Leeds alumni, achieving a BA in Philosophy and Politics in 2015. Also starting in September 2016, Lawrence enrolled on the Civil Service's Fast Stream programme, specialising in Project Delivery. His first year will be spent at the Department of Transport. His previous work includes working for the thinktank Reform, working as a Junior Consultant in a Ugandan SME working in the renewable energy sector and has held various roles within the National Citizen Service powered by The Challenge. Lawrence is particularly interested in Mental Health and accessibility in addition to organisational management.

David Crone


David, aged 19, is from Sunderland - known mostly for its struggling premiership football team. David is currently studying History and Politics at Oxford University. He first got involved with youth advocacy eight years ago, and has been working for social justice and championing children's rights since. David tends to focus on gender equality, health, education and citizenship and international development. When not campaigning or learning, I'm often found eating (literally anything), talking (lots) and laughing (loudly).

Sarah Staples


Sarah was elected to the board in September 2016.