MEET THE Co-Producers_

Young Changemakers is led by a Youth Advisory Group (Co-Producers) to ensure that every element of the programme is designed by young people for young people.

Image of the Co-Producers
Image of The Co-Producers

Meet the Co-Producers_

Our group of Co-Producers, aged 16-25, have lived experience and/or a passion for supporting mental health within racialised communities. They are involved in the development of training for youth organisations and schools to help further antiracist work and improve health and wellbeing for young people across the nation. They also support design content for various projects and support the new Changemakers in the programme, alongside receiving pastoral care and upskilling opportunities.




Aged: 21

Corinne is an advocate for social mobility, inclusion, and equity. She has recently begun her career in policy as a graduate management trainee in local government and is currently on her first placement as an Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Policy Officer. 

Corinne has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology, alongside an array of experience in supporting young people from marginalised communities. She has fostered safe spaces for underrepresented Caribbean students at university, mentored secondary school students from disadvantaged backgrounds and supported prospective university students from asylum seeker backgrounds. 

As her career evolves, she hopes to continue to engage with marginalised communities to ensure their voices are represented in policy spaces – this aspiration has inspired her to become a Co-Producer.

Corinne is particularly passionate about addressing the disillusionment towards mental health services amongst Black communities, and reshaping such attitudes by improving service provision to ensure that all young Black people have access to mental health support.



Aged: 22

Crown is a returning Co-Producer on the Changemakers Programme. Crown is someone who’s passionate about raising mental health awareness in Black communities having seen the effects of ignorance first-hand. 

Previously Crown became Young Changemaker on the Programme to help provide herself with the means to make that change and it’s been a bigger help than she had hoped for. She chose the changing public attitudes and behaviours strand, and her team’s project was called ‘Change: Black Mental Health’. Their main goals was to create a safe space for Black youths to talk about mental health issues, to tackle the stigmas surrounding mental health and to improve communication and conversations on mental health within the Black community.



Aged: 19

Denise Candengue, a dedicated advocate for mental health and racial equality, is currently pursuing a first-class BA in Politics and Sociology at the University of Warwick. Her work, deeply rooted in social justice, focuses on improving mental health support for young people of Black and Black mixed-race heritage. 

As a Young Inspector with Merton Council, Denise was instrumental in creating a Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub, offering students crucial access to licensed professionals. Her engagement with the Collective Futures Project and Partnership for Young London highlights her commitment to empowering youth through education and advocacy. In her role as Welfare Officer for Prosper Warwick, Denise focuses on the wellbeing of young Black students navigating the corporate world, striving to reduce mental health stigma and promote understanding of intersectionality. 

As a Co-Producer, Denise is excited to leverage her lived experience and passion to co-create resources and advocate for anti-racist practices in mental health services. She hopes to enhance participation, engagement, and support for young people of Black and Black mixed-race heritage, embodying the essence of a Young Co-Producer and exemplifying the power of youth-driven change.

Picture coming soon

Chika Akas

Chika is a youth enthusiast who constantly seeks to help improve the lives of young people and incite positive change. She has a range of occupations including youth mentoring, radio presenting and YouTube content creation; all which aim to empower young people. Chika also works as an Occupational Therapist within mental health, helping young people to overcome a range of barriers. Chika has great aspirations and knows some day she will be able to combine her passion for media and young people to make immense and purposeful change.



Aged: 24

I am a health policy researcher in my early career with a background in strategic planning, risk management, quantitative & qualitative data analysis and policy formulation. My work primarily involves developing innovative solutions that meet the needs of marginalised communities. 

Specifically, as a young researcher and volunteer, I have primarily centred my work around improving community mental health, mental health policy and intergenerational health transmission outcomes.

Through this role, I would like to continue working on developing long-lasting solutions that meet the mental health and well-being needs of those most vulnerable.



AGED: 22

I’m a Biotechnology and Microbiology graduate with a passion for medicine, mental health advocacy and youth empowerment. Whilst I was a Planning Co-ordinator, Ambassador and Podcast host for the Black Access programme at the Uni of York - which endeavours to support the progression of Black-heritage students into higher education - I strived to challenge systemic biases and amplify underrepresented voices.

Additionally, my advocacy for co-production underscores my belief in the transformative power of youth involvement. I am eager to work to uplift other young Black women in STEM and be an example of what it means to persevere and effect profound change in our localities despite the odds we may face.

As a Co-Producer, I aspire to leave a meaningful and lasting mark on the lives of other young people who are driving positive change. I see this role as a unique opportunity to elevate the voices of others, offering them the support and recognition they rightfully deserve.

Picture coming soon

Ivie Edibiri

Ivie has a great passion for understanding the complexities of national and international societal issues and the impact policy and the justice system can have on people. This heavily influenced her choice to study a bachelors in Sociology, a master's in international public policy and to be a part of a social organisation in The Netherlands called Black Ladies of Groningen. As a result, her aim is to work within the charity, policy, and justice fields so that she can be involved in positive influence in society. It's this drive that inspired her to be a part of UK Youth.

Image of Soji (SJ) Akinjomo

Soji (SJ) Akinjomo

SJ is part of U.K. Youth Changemakers. He is very happy and proud to be a part of the Changemakers (and now a Co-Producer). Being a part of the Changemakers has changed his life because now he gets to work on a social action project(s) that can help the youth who suffer with mental health issues. Apart from youth work he also loves to do photography, write poetry and creative writing.



AGED: 20

Iola is a returning Co-Producer on the Changemakers Programme. Being a mental health activist and current University student studying Infection and Immunity, Iola is passionate about challenging stigma around mental illnesses within racialised communities. She is also a keen advocate for services to be more culturally aware when working with individuals from these communities.

Iola hopes to go on to help develop and create resources educating service providers on working alongside individuals from racialised communities by giving insight into various factors specific to their identity and/or heritage that may impact their mental health.

Iola is also passionate about challenging mental health inequalities and draws on her experience as both a service user and as a carer for her dad with mental health illnesses. In future she hopes to combine her passion for science with her passion for social justice. Specifically, she wants to ensure education around infection and health is made more accessible especially in marginalised communities.



AGED: 21

Kaslinne Barnes is a finalist studying Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. She was born in Italy and moved to England in 2018 with her parents.

Kaslinne is passionate about advocating for Black Women’s mental health and creating safe spaces for Black women to thrive. In her third year of university she founded ForMySis a community catered to young women at university to form and build relationships to counter the loneliness epidemic experienced after graduation.

She currently works as a Student Inclusion officer at the University of Warwick working on widening participation and inclusion projects to enhance students experience and personal development at the university. In her free time she loves reading, cooking and hosting her loved ones.



AGED: 23

I'm Louise Lyons-Appiah, a fervent advocate for social change. My passion for social change, especially in mental health and racial justice, is driven by my own struggles and a commitment to support young people of black and mixed-race heritage.

Catalysed by the global response to George Floyd's death in 2020, I co-initiated discussions and a podcast addressing social issues in black communities, enhancing my community engagement skills.

Co-founding BreatheUni marked a pivotal step in my journey, impacting over 1,000 students with resources for personal and mental well-being. My role has since evolved into public speaking, consulting, and facilitating on Mental Health, Personal Development, and Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion across universities, schools, corporates, and charities.

Joining the Young Changemakers Programme as a Co-Producer is a continuation of my dedication to effecting change. This role allows me to leverage my experiences and expertise to advocate for systemic improvements in mental health support and racial justice for UK youth.



AGED: 20

My name is Mariama. I became a Co-Producer after witnessing the issues faced by the Black community in accessing mental health services. Through this role, I actively strive to amplify the voices of young Black individuals, whose perspectives often remain unheard in today's discourse.

I had the privilege of being a Young Changemaker on the Programme in Bristol, where I not only contributed but also led a cohort focused on empowering young people. Together, we successfully organised an event celebrating Black Mental Health. My involvement with the Changemakers Programme led me to serve as a youth worker at Integrate UK. Additionally, I collaborate with other young people in Bristol and our local NHS Quality and Improvement team to address the barriers encountered by ethnic minorities in accessing mental health services. Our findings were presented to the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

I aspire for my work as a Co-Producer to foster sustainable change both locally and nationally.



AGED: 22

Naomi (Pleasant) is a returning Co-Producer on the Changemakers Programme. Naomi is a mental health advocate and an aspiring family and systemic therapist. She currently works as a youth intensive psychological practitioner and has been volunteering with multiple charities in raising awareness about mental health difficulties. This has allowed her to create meaning conversation with other like minded young people and gain new skills.

Naomi is passionate about research and uses her psychology Instagram blog as medium to document her journey. In short, she hopes a role model for other Black girls to peruse a career in this field.



AGED: 20

Olivia Agbe is a History & Politics undergrad who is passionate about all things politics, young people and wellbeing. Through her advisory work, she amplifies youth voice, liaises with stakeholders and champions youth political engagement. She has also explored her interests in exhibition management, curation and making heritage sites more accessible to young, marginalised people.

As a Co-Producer, Olivia hopes to use her personal experience as reference as she advocates for more efficient mental health services and the breakdown of the stigmas that still persist within certain communities.



AGED: 21

Olivia Opara is passionate about championing the voices and experiences of young people and a creative who has explored various topics including mental health through poetry and spoken word. 

Olvia has been heavily involved in youth and community work since the age of 13 and is currently a member of the London Violence Reduction Unit Young People’s Action Group (YPAG). She previously held her position as a Director of Haringey Youth Advisory Board and has recently completed her community reporter role and Level 5 Diploma in Journalism as part of NCTJ’s community reporter scheme.

As a Co-Producer Olvia hopes to further her involvement in youth focussed social action concerning mental health and wellbeing.