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Staff & Volunteers

Carla Garnelas – Co-Director

Since graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in Social Anthropology in 2002, Carla has worked in the voluntary sector. She worked for two years in East London with BTCV supporting young people to volunteer in their local communities. In 2006, she received an MSc from Birkbeck College in Race and Ethnic Relations, focusing on issues of gender, ethnicity and identity. She worked for a number of years in the Jewish community as a youth worker and informal educator and spent a year in Nairobi, Kenya with VSO working with street children projects. Carla is a trustee of Gulan, a charity that promotes Kurdish arts and culture.

Carla joined CRAE in October 2005, initially to strengthen our support to young children's rights activists. She supported children’s engagement in the 2008 examination of the UK Government by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. As the senior lead on equality and non-discrimination at CRAE, Carla led campaigning around the Equality Act 2010 and chaired the Young Equals campaign. As Head of Policy and Public Affairs at CRAE Carla coordinated a Europe-wide project on ending violence against children in custody, led a programme of work on the stage of children’s rights in London and managed our advocacy work on strengthening children’s participation rights. Carla has extensive experience in engaging children in campaigning for their rights and influencing decision-makers. She has developed and run training on children’s rights for children and adults, including at the Council of Europe.

Carla lives has two young sons and lives in London.

Louise King – Co-Director

Prior to joining CRAE, Louise worked at Save the Children. Most recently, she led on child rights governance policy and advocacy in the UK. She has also been Vice President of Euronet - the European Children’s Network, and Chair of the Separated Children in Europe Programme.

After graduating in philosophy and theology from the University of Nottingham, Louise volunteered for the British Youth Council before taking up the position of Policy Officer. She then joined the CRAE as Senior Policy Officer before joining Save the Children in 2006, where she first worked on policy issues relating to child victims of trafficking and children seeking asylum.

Louise has also facilitated numerous participatory workshops for children to learn about their rights and supported children to advocate for the realisation of their rights in numerous policy areas, including protection from violence, immigration and reform of the Children’s Commissioner for England.  She has also mentored teenagers at risk of getting in trouble with the law. 

Louise lives in Hove with her partner and has two young sons aged five and three. 

Maria Stephens – Participation Project Manager

Maria joined CRAE in January 2015 as Participation Project Manager. In this role she works with children and young people to support them to have their views and experiences heard by decision makers. Her work has most recently focussed on supporting children and young people to report on children’s rights in England to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Before joining CRAE Maria was Head of Youth and Community work at Toynbee Hall where she was responsible for projects working to support marginalised children and families in Tower Hamlets and the City of London. Maria has extensive experience working directly with children and young people and previously developed informal education projects, participatory workshops, youth-led research and support services. She is also a qualified secondary school teacher and has worked one to one with children and young people who have been removed from education. As a volunteer Maria has supported young refugees and families for the Refugee Council and Metropolitan Housing trust; worked with the activism team at Amnesty International; and been a trustee for IARS and Journey’s (a child bereavement counselling service). She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Sussex and an MSC in Social Policy from the LSE.

Sue Marris – Head of Operations CRAE/JFKL

Sue started at CRAE in 2006 and is responsible for the organisation's finances, office administration and for personnel matters. Her previous jobs include working as an actuarial officer at the Government Actuary's Department and as the statistician at the Arts Council of Great Britain before she moved to work in the charity sector. She then worked as centre manager of a community centre, as tenant liaison officer for a housing association and then as office manager at a drop-in centre for families of children with disabilities. She has a degree in Economics with Econometrics and an MA in Arts Administration.


CRAE's work is supported by volunteers.

All employment and voluntary opportunities will be advertised in Work for Us.