Youth Access appoints Cassandra Harrison as new CEO

Youth Access, the national network for youth advice and counselling services, has announced the appointment of Cassandra Harrison as its new permanent Chief Executive. She is due to take up the post on 16 November.

Cassandra brings to Youth Access a wealth of experience of improving the lives of children and young people through influencing policy and practice. A former Director of the Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse (CSA), she has also held senior roles at Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association.

Cassandra Harrison, incoming Chief Executive of Youth Access, said:

“I am excited and proud to be joining Youth Access, an organisation at the heart of supporting and promoting the information, advice and counselling services that provide such vital help to young people.

“Whilst this year has presented our sector with unprecedented challenges, it has also reminded us of the importance of Youth Access’s vision for a society where all young people – regardless of their background or circumstances – have somewhere to turn to, and someone to talk to, wherever and whenever, they are in need.

“I look forward to working alongside staff, trustees, members, partners and young people to build on their success so far in making that vision a reality.”

David Clark, Chair of the Youth Access Board of Trustees, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Cassandra as the New CEO for Youth Access. Cassandra has the experience, skills and qualities required to guide Youth Access through our next chapter. Along with the rest of the board, I am very excited to work with her in developing and delivering our strategy for the next three years and beyond.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Youth Access is the UK’s advice and counselling network. Working with our members and young people, we promote the Youth Access YIACS (Youth Information, Advice and Counselling) model as part of local services for young people everywhere.
  2. Youth Access has appointed Cassandra Harrison as CEO following the departure of James Kenrick, who left the organisation in May 2020 after more than 20 years and had been CEO since September 2017.
  3. Since James’s departure, Barry Williams, Director of Strategy at Brook, has served as Interim CEO. Barry will continue in post until 30 November to ensure a smooth handover.
  4. Cassandra was appointed after a competitive recruitment process, with search and advertising overseen by charity recruitment specialists Prospectus.

Press contact: Jonathan Karstadt (, 07873 222 677)