Panel: Youth activism and lived experience leadership

Denise Brown (she/her)

Denise Brown is the Founder of 4YoungMinds, providing mentoring and mental health awareness workshops for young people aged 11-25. The ‘Mind over Matter’ series focuses on breaking down the stigma around mental health and empowering young people. 4YoungMinds is also passionate about supporting parents and teachers in understanding the issues that the younger generation face in today’s society and helping them to feel more equipped in supporting the wellbeing of children and young people.

Denise says she found her calling as a Youth Worker at the Prince’s Trust in her role as a Fairbridge Programme Executive where she supported some of the hardest to reach and most vulnerable young people aged 16-25 through 1:1 mentoring and group personal and social development and life skills workshops.

Through being transparent about her own experiences with anxiety, alongside her Level 3 Award in Education and Training, she creates a safe and supportive learning environment to encourage discussion throughout her workshops.

Liv Wynter (they/them)

Liv Wynter is a live artist, writer, and activist from South East London. Liv has been performing internationally since 2015, making live art that centres around radical action, community, rage, and power. With successful residencies at Project Indigo, Wysing, FACT (and a less successful one at Tate), as well as working with Free Word, the Hayward Gallery, Art Night, Hackney Museum, and even supporting Kate Nash a couple of times, Liv has gone on to cause chaos through both their personal practice and their commitment to antifascist, antisexist, and anticapitalist organising.

Their work HOUSEFIRE, which told the story of how communities respond to domestic violence survivors, exhibited at WORM Rotterdam, Wysing Arts Centre and Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain Occitanie. Their anarchist musical theatre debut, ‘And So The Choir Gathers, Before It is Too Late’ (ACE Funded), which focussed on the history of two tone and skinhead culture sold out over 5 nights at The Bunker Theatre Nov 2019. The work had a cast of untrained performers, a punk band, and a lot of whiskey.

Liv is a peer support coordinator at Hearts & Minds, and spent COVID19 and the most of 2020 doing support work at The Outside Project, and LGBTIQ+ homeless shelter. Liv was selected for the Royal Court Scriptwriting course, and was the host for Queer House Party, an ongoing online queer dance party that has won a Time Out award and had over 10,000 people in attendance. Liv stands in solidarity with all groups organising against oppression. Quit your job, join a band, start a gang.

Ogechi Obioha (she/her)

Oge Obioha is one of the co-founders of Minds of POC, a consultancy service focused on improving mental health services for people of colour.

She was elected as the Wellbeing Officer at her University in the year 2018/19, where her manifesto had a specific focus on supporting Black students and their mental health, fighting for a culturally competent wellbeing service. During that year, she hosted an event about Black students’ mental health, which tackled racial trauma and the effects on students and their studies. Oge was then elected as President for the year 2019/20, where she led an entire team of officers of colour, collated a ‘how to support Black students’ guide and continued work with decolonisation across the institution.

She now sits on the core team for the Free Black University, an initiative formed by Black radical thinkers that intends to create an anti-colonial, queer space in education.

Rosie Tressler (she/her)

Rosie is the CEO of Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity. Student Minds develops innovative approaches to support healthy university communities, collaborates on research, and empowers students, university professionals and connected communities to create change.

Rosie has been working on the issue of student wellbeing for several years. She became the charity’s Chief Executive Officer in 2015, following a number of different roles at Student Minds managing volunteering, campaigns and university relationships, and she has been undertaking a Churchill Fellowship to explore preventative approaches to student mental health in Canada and Australia. Rosie is currently overseeing the Student Space programme, designed to provide additional support for students during the coronavirus pandemic.


Amy Wells (she/her)

Originally from Grimsby, Amy graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in Zoology and is still based in West Yorkshire.

Amy’s lived experience of mental distress and trauma led to her time working and volunteering in roles relating to peer support and mental health, including coordinating the Leeds branch of Nightline, a through the night listening service for and by students, working in the Advice team in the Student Union, and training as a Rights Advocate with Youth Access’ “Our Minds Our Future” campaign.

She was elected as the Welfare Officer 2019/20 on Leeds University Union‘s Student Executive team, becoming a director and trustee of the charity alongside Unipol Student Homes. She worked on health and wellbeing campaigning and advocacy, particularly around mental health, class equality, drug harm reduction, LGBTQ+ and sexual health, and period poverty. She is a current member of Student Minds’ Advisory Committee.

Wednesday 25th November, 2.00-3.00pm

This panel is part of a programme of partnership work between NSUN and Mind, including our project on mapping what is known as “Lived Experience Leadership”.