Children's Legal Centre hires first comms chief

A charity set up more than 25 years ago to promote children's rights has appointed its first head of comms.

The Children's Legal Centre has hired Wendy Bailey, previously acting PR manager for ActionAid. She is tasked with raising the profile of the national charity, which recently defended the right of Muslim schoolgirl Shabina Begum to wear the jilbab at school.

It is the first time the charity has set up a specialist media function. Before Bailey's arrival, it had a team of three working on outward communications such as publications, research and helplines.

Bailey, who started in the role last week, said: ‘There is a phenomenal amount of work going on here and there is an ever-increasing demand for our services. We are inundated with media requests.'

She added: ‘We want to make the centre the first port of call for people who need advice, information or have experienced something where they think "hang on, this isn't right".'

The Children's Legal Centre was founded in 1981 and specialises in law and policy affecting children and young people. Bailey's role will include a lobbying aspect and she may look for agency help on projects in future.

Professor Carolyn Hamilton, director of the Children's Legal Centre, said: ‘We have achieved so much over the years fighting to protect children's rights. We need to ensure people know about the work we do and, more importantly, what work still needs to be done to protect children's rights in the UK.'

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