Youth Access appoints new Chief Executive

Youth Access is delighted to announce the appointment of James Kenrick as its new CEO, effective September 2017

Youth Access, the national advice and counselling network, has appointed James Kenrick as its new Chief Executive. He will take over from Barbara Rayment on her retirement in September. Currently Head of Policy and Development at the charity, James will lead Youth Access through an exciting phase, drawing on his experience and expertise working across the advice, mental health and youth sectors. 

Youth Access, which has a growing membership of local services, is renowned for championing the vital role that advice and counselling services play in supporting young people's mental health and for its leadership in the advice and rights field. Youth Access champions the YIACS (Youth Information, Advice and Counselling Services) model of provision which is now at the heart of Government mental health policy. The charity is also laying the building blocks for a youth rights movement through its Make Our Rights Reality project and works closely with the NHS system to support young people to exert an increasingly powerful influence on the shape of young person-centred health services. 

James Kenrick says:

"I am immensely proud to be appointed Youth Access' new Chief Executive. Youth Access exists to secure young people's access to high quality services that will support their emotional and mental wellbeing and defend their rights. With young people's mental health high on the political agenda and strong backing for our Make Our Rights Reality programme, there are significant opportunities to work with members, partners and Government to secure the improvements in services young people are calling for." 

Jonathan Hopkins, Chair of Youth Access, says:

"James was the stand-out candidate from a strong field of applicants. We are delighted that James will lead the charity on Barbara's retirement and her outstanding contribution over many years. Rights-based support for young people is essential in the significant challenges they face in everyday lives and their sometimes complex needs. Our research, evidence base and work with local providers and national Government demonstrates the importance of local services providing young people with somewhere to turn to and someone to talk to when they need advice and support."

Barbara Rayment will be retiring in September after over twenty years leading Youth Access. Barbara Rayment says:

"I have been privileged to work with many great staff, members and young people across the Youth Access network. James has been a hugely important colleague and with his leadership I know Youth Access will continue to be a strong advocate for young people and the services they need."


  1. Youth Access

Youth Access is the advice and counselling network. 

We believe that every young person has a right to access free, high quality advice and counselling. Working with our 180 members, we promote the YIACS model as part of local services for young people everywhere.

We do this by:

  • Providing YIACS with the tools they need to deliver high quality services to young people
  • Building the evidence to shape policy and services that meet young people's needs
  • Promoting young people's right to be heard

2. Further information

Please contact:

Karen Whitelaw - 020 8772 9900 ext. 23 / 07791 010 859;