Lucie Russell

I am passionate about playing my part in achieving social justice, and its been my life’s work. My career began as a youth worker and then a social worker specialising in working with young people in a therapeutic community. I then became one of the co-founders of The Big Issue, and was a key part in its development from a new venture into an international publishing success story, providing a hand up to many thousands of homeless people. I then launched The Big Issue’s charity, The Big Issue Foundation, developing a range of support services to homeless people across the country.

After leaving The Big Issue I created SmartJustice, a national campaign based at the Prison Reform Trust which promoted community solutions to crime, and the vital role prevention, early intervention and crisis support plays in stemming the tide of offending. As part of this work I also developed a national network of ex-offenders campaigning for more effective alternatives to prisons. I then went on to become Director of Campaigns and Media at YoungMinds, I led all YoungMinds profile raising, campaigns, research and partnerships, and ran two national youth engagement programmes. My most recent role was Director of Fair By Design, based at the Barrow Cadbury Trust, where I created and led a new campaign to design out the poverty premium – the extra costs of being poor. I am also a Trustee of Redthread Youth.

I am absolutely thrilled to be leading StreetDoctors in the next phase of its journey. It is a fantastic example of youth social action working with a volunteer movement of young medics; junior Drs, nurses and paramedics who teach life saving skills to young people and start conversations about youth violence and its consequences. We start with where young people are: this is no ‘just say no to carrying a knife’ intervention, it is acknowledging that for many of the young people we work with violence is sadly normalised. We help young people look at their willingness to act too, a potentially life saving action in a crisis situation that can often mean life or death. As a result of our work StreetDoctors now occupies a pivotal place in the solutions to youth violence jigsaw, and we are committed to further growth and becoming even more effective.