Children's Commissioner hires Turin Olympics PRO

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England (OCCE) has appointed Lisa White as its first director of comms and participation as it step up efforts to promote children’s interests.

White joins from the Torino Winter Olympic Committee, where she managed the press centre. Before that she was a national strategic
media consultant for the Learning & Skills Council.

With a budget of £3m a year, OCCE is an independent body created by the Children's Act 2004. Set up to promote awareness of the views and interests of the 11.8 million children in England, it aims to expose problems, influence and scrutinise policy, and hold government to account.

Topics include the treatment of children going through asylum processes, bullying, the portrayal of children in society and the media, and the use of antisocial behaviour orders.

White reports to the first children's commissioner for England, professor Al Aynsley-Green, who was appointed in July 2005. His arrival brought England into line with fellow EU countries Denmark and Sweden, which have had a children's commissioner for some time.

White will be recruiting for eight press and public affairs officers over the next three months. Recruitment will see candidates being judged by a youth panel, something which White went through in her own
interview.

'There are many children and young people whose lives are blighted by the circumstances in which they find themselves. One of our jobs is to expose those issues,' said White.

The OCCE has used Geronimo Communications for interim press office support since July 2005. This week it took on independent brand communications consultancy The Team to design a 'corporate identity'.

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