How NYAS Began
In the 1970s a local solicitor in Birkenhead, Wirral was working at the Vauxhall Law Centre. He approached Judith Timms OBE, an independent social worker, and asked if she could represent five siblings in a care court proceeding.
The solicitor was unsure as to how he could reliably represent the wishes of each child, so he wanted to find someone who was fully independent of the legal system and local authority. He hoped that this person would be able to work with the children to understand their wishes and feelings before helping them to share those during decisions that were made about their lives.
Judith accepted the challenge, and this initial push to ensure that children had independent advocacy during care related proceedings was the first stage in the independent representation of children and young people. And so, in 1981, our charity as we now know it was born with Judith Timms OBE at the helm.
NYAS has definitely grown since Judith Timms OBE's first case. From just Judith in 1981, to over 200 staff, over 600 volunteers and over 300 self employed contractors.
Today, NYAS offers a variety of services. We have extended our advocacy offer, and offer a range of support beyond independent advocacy too, including:
- A national advocacy helpline
- Advocacy for children in care and those in need – including children subject to child protection plans, care leavers, children and young people with disabilities and Mental Health Advocacy for vulnerable adults
- The provision and training of Independent Visitors for children in care
- Legal representation of children in private family law
- Contact Centre facilities for children and their families
Every additional service that we have added since the 1980s is in line with our NYAS mission. Each service that we offer supports young people, their families or the professionals who work with them. We want to support, safeguard and empower children, young people and vulnerable adults, and ensure that their rights are understood and upheld.