#011 – The Life Pedagogic: Dame Christine Lenehan

2nd August 2023

The Youth and Education Podcast is delighted to welcome Dame Christine Lenehan to talk through her Life Pedagogic.

Christine began her career as a social worker in 1980, working with children and their families in specialist roles in both residential and community settings. Her experiences of volunteering at a young age in a mental health hospital opened her eyes to some of the profound challenges that others face, and by 18 she was travelling down to London to begin her training to support disabled children and their families.

This passion stayed with Christine throughout her career, and in 2000 she joined the Council for Disabled Children, becoming its Director in 2003. She has worked with ministers, civil servants and statutory agencies to examine and advise on policy and support the development of practical improvements that champion the rights of all disabled children and young people. Christine helped to establish the long-running Every Disabled Child Matters campaign, and in 2009 she was awarded an OBE, followed by a Damehood in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours List in recognition of her outstanding work spanning over 35 years. 

In this conversation Alix and Christine discuss:

  • The government’s short breaks scheme, which gives disabled children a chance to take part in local activities and develop their skills, while providing their families with a break from caring responsibilities.
  • Christine’s experiences of school, and her early social work supporting families.
  • Her work leading the Council for Disabled Children at the National Children’s Bureau.
  • A report Christine co-lead last year for the Child Safeguarding Review Panel, which revealed shocking allegations of abuse and made vital suggestions for improvements in the care of vulnerable young people.

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Music credits:

‘Inspiring Ambience’ by Scott Holmes from http://freemusicarchive.org

Want to contact us?

[email protected] / @AlixHRobertson

[email protected] / @Barristotle