The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS), a leading children’s rights charity, is proud to announce the appointment of Joshua Williams as its new Head of Policy and Communications.

The appointment marks a significant milestone for NYAS, as Joshua brings not only a wealth of policy and campaigning experience across the third sector and higher education but also the invaluable perspective of being care-experienced. Joshua will build on the work of predecessor Ben Twomey, working in partnership with NYAS’ nationwide network of advocates, legal specialists and the young people NYAS supports to promote children’s rights in the UK.

As a care-experienced individual, Joshua’s journey and lived experiences makes him uniquely positioned to understand the challenges faced by children and young people in care. Having previously worked with NYAS as a Campaigns Advisor – a group of care-experienced 18–25-year-olds who help to shape NYAS’ policy and campaigning activity – Joshua’s appointment serves as a powerful testament to resilience and determination, igniting hope for others navigating similar paths.

Prior to joining NYAS, Joshua worked in a global financial services firm and has served in key positions across various organisations, notably as President of the Guild of Students at the University of Birmingham and Vice Chair of the trustee board of Birmingham LGBT. His deep understanding of campaigning, policy development and strategic communications across multiple sectors makes Joshua the ideal choice to lead NYAS’ efforts to amplify the voices of care-experienced children and young people, ensuring their thoughts, wishes and feelings are heard by key decision-makers in government and the justice system.

Commenting on Joshua’s appointment, Rita Waters, NYAS Group Chief Executive, said, “I am delighted to welcome Joshua once again to continue his excellent work in policy and communications. Joshua has a wealth of knowledge, both of NYAS and more importantly the impact and importance of our work from his own experience of the care system.  I am really excited for the future of our campaigning work, through Joshua and his team, and the difference it will make to the lives of the young people we support.”

In his new role, Joshua will leverage his unique insights and experiences to build strong partnerships with a network of influential peer charities and organisations on behalf of NYAS, while lobbing decision-makers on a local, regional and national basis. He said, “It is a privilege to be joining NYAS, an organisation that has consistently been at the forefront of advancing the rights of children and young people across the country for over 30 years.”

“Their unwavering commitment to amplifying the voices of care-experienced children and young people, empowering them to demand change, really resonates with my own values and lived experiences and I am honoured to be joining the team”.

Alongside our lobbying and campaign work, NYAS provides a range of services to young people in care and care leavers, including a national advocacy helpline, advocacy for children in care and those in the child protection system, participation programmes, the provision of independent visitors for children in care and representation of children in private family law.