OUTSPOKEN ADVISORY BOARD
The Outspoken team is thrilled and proud to be able to access a wealth of (social) business acumen, anatomical knowledge and no small dose of wit with its stellar Advisory Board
Founder of Media Matters For Women
Sharon Bylenga is the founder and former Executive Board Chair of the charity Media Matters For Women (MMW), which she was inspired to set up after working for an international NGO which builds public service radio stations in post-conflict and crisis zones.
She founded MMW to demonstrate that, used together, mobile phones and solar rechargers are highly effective and significantly less costly than radio in meeting the information needs of Africa’s rural women and girls.
Sharon earned her master’s degree in agricultural economics and has extensive experience combining economic analysis and project development in Rwanda, Turkey, Macedonia, West Bank and Gaza, Bosnia, Zambia, Timor, Sierra Leone and Liberia. She served as a volunteer in the Bijagos Archipelago of Guinea Bissau after university and with the US Foreign Agricultural Service for 10 years after graduate school
Comedian, writer and actor
Sara Pascoe is an acclaimed comedian, writer and actor. She was a regular on Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Mock The Week. In addition to writing and performing the BBC Radio 4 series Modern Monkey and Sara Pascoe Vs Monogamy (BBC2) she did a BBC solo stand-up primetime special, LadsLadsLads.
In 2020 BBC2 ran her comedy series Out Of Her Mind – on “heartbreak, family and how to survive them” – and the 3-part Last Woman On Earth With Sara Pascoe.
Sara’s first non-fiction book, Animal: The Autobiography Of A Female Body, combines feminism, memoir and evolutionary biology. With Sex Power Money and her related podcast, she grapples with topics like modern masculinity, sex trafficking, race and porn. Sara has also written for the Guardian, the Independent and Standard Issue Magazine and adapted Pride And Prejudice.
All of her creative output is underpinned by bemused cultural commentary and candid personal experiences
Head of Facilitation at Beyond Equality
Ben Hurst is Head of Facilitation at Beyond Equality and an activist, model, photographer and campaigner against toxic masculinity.
Ben’s work focuses on exploring positive masculinities. At Beyond Equality he coordinates school and university workshops. As founding director of SPACE for PSHE (personal, social, health & economic education) Ben facilitates conversations with young people on gender equality, relationships, sex, power and race. With Fearless Futures, an anti-oppression organisation, he runs diversity and inclusion workshops in corporate spaces.
Not only is he co-founder of D/ecology (delivering critical whiteness and anti-racism training) and one-third of DJ collective Scotch Bonnet, but he also co-hosts the TedxLondon podcast Climate Curious.
Ben gave the compelling 2018 TEDx talk “Boys won’t be boys. Boys will be what we teach them to be”
Dr Naomi Sutton
Consultant physician (NHS) and doctor on E4’s The Sex Clinic
Dr Naomi Sutton works as a consultant physician at the Integrated Sexual Health Service at the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust. Her passion is in education and raising awareness of sexual health, myth-busting along the way. Her claim to fame is being the doctor on E4’s The Sex Clinic, and she has appeared on Steph’s Packed Lunch, talking frankly about vulvas and sex in older age and once performing a live cervical screening test on Steph herself.
As Training Programme Director for Contraception in Rotherham, Naomi trains healthcare professionals in coil and implant insertion and delivers educational events.
She is proud to be an ambassador for the charity Saving Lives UK – which reduces stigma around HIV and STI testing – and a campaign ambassador for the Eve Appeal, a charity that raises awareness of gynaecological cancers.
Naomi co-hosts the podcast Sex Unwrapped and the short You Before Two sexual-health videos The Fundamentals
Journalist and entrepreneur
Eleanor Mills is a media commentator, writer and broadcaster who, after 23 years as an award-winning Sunday Times editor, editorial director and columnist, went on to found and Noon.co.uk, a new platform for women in midlife.
Having chaired Women In Journalism for seven years, she was proud to resign from the Society of Editors board in 2021 over its failure to confront racism in the media.
On Woman’s Hour, in schools and in her writing, Eleanor has addressed pressing sex and relationships issues such as sexual harassment in schools, teenagers and sex, and the effects of porn on children and young people.
She has a teenage and young-adult daughter
Niah Salmon, aged 17, developed a passion for sex education because the lack of relationships and sex education (RSE) she got in school made her realise how large this gap is for many young people.
Having worked with Childnet as a Youth Ambassador for Project deSHAME and a Digital Champion, she believes the internet is a great tool for engaging young people with sex education. She was also 1 of 4 young judges on the Sex Education Forum’s 2021 RSE Awards panel.
It is important to Niah that RSE is comprehensive and offered to both young people and parents to help create a space without awkwardness or out-of-date knowledge.
Mostly she wants to help remove the stigma and shame we are often taught to feel around these topics and to help upcoming generations to have a healthier future.
Niah is in college studying drama, English Literature and Spanish in Brighton
Sophie Hextall, aged 20, became aware at an early age of the risks that come with technological access and the failures of the education system, and society, to educate and protect young people. This led her to become a Childnet Youth Ambassador, representing England in Project deSHAME – a campaign against online sexual harassment.
Sophie works to improve sexual education in schools, particularly around healthy relationships. She says: “I want to be a voice for young women and girls and to tell them: you don’t have to shave your legs or neglect yourself for male attention, and so much of what you’ve been taught is wrapped in double standards, arbitrary and unfair. I want parents to understand how to talk to their daughters and sons about the pressures to conform/change, as this is not just an issue of education but of mental health, violence against women, body standards, gender equality etc.”
Sophie is studying social-political sciences at the University of York
Relationships & sex education consultant
A senior adviser on the Early Intervention And Prevention team at Norfolk County Council, Josie Rayner-Wells was formerly an independent national RSHE adviser supporting sex education strategically and practically. Working with local authorities, public health, charities and schools, she delivers effective, evidence-based sex education that transforms safeguarding, health and wellbeing outcomes.
Josie’s extensive experience in both policy and practice includes authoring nationally sold RSE resources and designing and delivering programmes in some of the most challenging environments, including teaching male sex offenders and children who have experienced abuse.
As a mother of two daughters aged 19 and 12, Josie is keen to focus on equipping all children and young people with the information, values and skills to keep themselves safe, happy and healthy in the modern world. She is working on a not-for profit organisation to address toxic masculinity
Dr Emily Setty
Lecturer in crimonology
Emily Setty is a lecturer in criminology at the University of Surrey. Her research focuses on young people’s perspectives on and experiences of risk and harm online, in particular related to sex and relationships. She is the author of Risk And Harm In Youth Sexting: Young People’s Perspectives.
Emily collaborates on projects that take a holistic and youth-centred approach to young people’s digital lives and that investigate their expressed needs as well as needs that relate to broader sociocultural contexts around risk and harm.
Using qualitative methods such as focus groups, Emily explores how young people construct and navigate harmful and abusive online experiences. Her work is instrumental in terms of both the policy and practice of preventative education.
She talked to Outspoken about kids, consent and sexting here
Isla van Tricht
Speaker and playwright
Isla van Tricht is a freelance schools speaker and playwright. She gives presentations to hundreds of UK students, staff and parents each year on topics including pornography, consent and healthy relationships. She also has experience as a youth worker and mentor for young people.
In her work as a playwright she has had her plays (and a musical) produced across the UK and internationally, including off-Broadway. Isla’s plays often confront and explore social issues.
Isla is passionate about equipping parents and teachers with the tools to have inclusive, informative and healthy conversations about sex and relationships, as well as ensuring that young people have the information and tools they need to navigate relationships, sexual encounters and their relationship to their own bodies safely and positively.
In Our Own Words, Isla’s new verbatim-theatre project, will feature testimonies from thousands of UK young people about their lived experiences around sex and relationships
Member of Camden Council
Tom Simon is a writer and a member of Camden Council. He grew up in London and studied history at Newcastle University before completing an MA in Japanese Studies at SOAS. He taught English in a school in Japan for a year, then returned to the UK. Tom gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Law and was called to the Bar but did not pursue a legal career.
In 2007 Tom helped found the Boxing Academy, an award-winning alternative provision school, serving as vice-chair of its governing body until 2016.
As a member of Camden Council from 2009-14 and again since 2018, Tom has taken a keen interest in education, serving on the governing body of two primary schools.
He lives with his wife and young son and is working on his first novel
Bertie Ford is 25. Having observed students at university battle sexual insecurity and emotionally dysfunctional relationships, he became interested in investigating the conditions behind these increasing trends and in discovering solutions.
While working as a student reporter, Bertie often conducted interviews targeting the sexual myths and misinformation perpetuated by social media and wrote pieces providing accurate and healthy advice.
Volunteering at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Kent and supporting university pastoral assistants led to Bertie’s keen interest in the disparities of sexual-health education across a wide demographic.
Bertie works as a trainee lawyer at a City of London law firm
Dr Claudine Domoney
Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Claudine Domoney is a consultant at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where she is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist with special interest in pelvic and postnatal issues and hormonal and sexual health.
Believing that empowerment is holistic and comes through understanding and education, she has spent over a quarter of a century talking about and working with vulvas and vaginas, with a particular interest in how changes over a lifetime can affect women’s physical, mental and sexual health.
Claudine was formerly the Chair of the Institute of Psychosexual Medicine (IPM) and trustee/advisory board member of the National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome and the British Menopause Society.
Claudine is also a medical adviser to the Vagina Museum, which opened in London in 2019