About our organisation

We're a new, dynamic, innovative, independent think tank and delivery unit dedicated exclusively to improving the lives of children, young people, and families in the UK.

WE WANT BRITAIN TO BECOME THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD TO GROW UP AND TO BRING UP CHILDREN.

We launched in February 2024. Our founder and Executive Chair is Anne Longfield CBE, a former Children’s Commissioner for England.

From supporting children in their earliest years to empowering and protecting those young people at risk of lost life chances or harm, our experienced team shines a spotlight and raises the profile of some the biggest challenges facing children.

We campaign for change, and we want to be part of delivering it.  

We believe most children and families in our country are doing well. The pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis have had an impact on many, but most will recover.  

However, there is a sizeable group – in fact millions of children and families - for whom this isn't the case. The impact of entrenched, generational disadvantage and vulnerability is having a devastating impact on many children’s lives, their future opportunities, and our national prosperity.  

Systems that should be there to support children to thrive - and to protect them from harm – have not always received the reform or attention they deserve from government.

We launched the Centre for Young Lives because we do not accept it always has to be this way.

The Centre for Young Lives has grown out of the Commission on Young Lives, an independent commission looking at how to protect and support vulnerable teenagers, and the previous work of Anne Longfield and her team during her six-year tenure as Children’s Commissioner for England.  

The Centre is hosted by Oasis a national charity founded by Steve Chalke. Oasis builds stronger communities through its pioneering models of sustainable, inclusive, and holistic community development. It works with young people and families in over 40 local neighbourhoods and is responsible for over 30,000 students across its 54 academy schools.

The Centre for Young Lives believes that talent is everywhere among our children and young people, and communities - even if opportunity is not.  

We believe that our country needs a reset in its approach to how we support children, young people, and their families – a new social contract - and we will be working with organisations and individuals who share our belief that Britain should be the best place to grow up for every child.  

Around 1 in 6
of all children in England are living in families where there are serious problems with parental mental health, domestic violence, and/or alcohol or drug addiction.
A third
of children are growing up in poverty.
One in six
children have a probable mental health disorder.
Nearly one in five
children leave school without the basic qualifications needed to continue in education or take up an apprenticeship.
Thousands
of children are vulnerable to involvement in serious violence or criminal exploitation.

Meet our people

Anne Longfield CBE

Executive Chair
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We're Hiring!

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Jo Green

Director of Communications and Strategy
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We're Hiring!

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Kelly Pickard

Chief Operating Officer
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We're Hiring!

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Professor Hannah Smithson

Visiting Fellow
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We're Hiring!

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Our Advisory Group

Baroness Louise Casey of Blackstock

Independent Advisor
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Paul Lindley OBE

Entrepreneur, children’s campaigner & author
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Dr Camilla Kingdon

President, RCPCH
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Steve Chalke

Founder, Oasis Trust
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Matthew Taylor

Chief Executive, NHS Confederation
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Jemeillia Murfin

Activist
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Alison Corfield

Head of Social Impact and Sustainability, Jamie Oliver Group
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Cathy Cresswell

Professor, University of Oxford
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Peter Babudu

Executive Director, Impact on Urban Health
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Prof. Charlie Jeffery

Vice-Chancellor and President, University of York
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Anita Okunde

Activist and #iWill Ambassador
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Dr Jo Casebourne

Chief Executive, Foundations
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Harvey Redgrave

Chief Executive, Crest Advisory
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Prof. Leon Feinstein

Professor, University of Oxford
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Tasha Mhakayakora

Trustee, Bite Back
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