Board of Directors

We believe we are not only breaking new ground in terms of our innovative delivery model, but our ethos and working practice. The organisation is led by young people under 30 with the same lived experiences as our targeted groups (such as histories of complex mental ill-health, care, disabilities, chronic illness and LGBT identities) with specialisms in informal education, illustration and community development.  From being young people who struggled with suicidal ideation and self-injury, we know first-hand the gaps in provision for young people who turned to statutory services and found the lacking in the not so distant past.


Rhiannon Griffiths

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I am a Social Entrepreneur and Consultant with experience in marketing, fundraising, youth engagement, training and development, project management and strategic planning.

As a young person who struggled with their mental health due to coming to terms with a life limiting illness, I found it extremely difficult to form relationships as an adolescent and shied away from statutory support services.  Reading, making and creating comics became a lifeline and means of self-therapy for me as I found atypical youth work services extremely daunting. I Co-founded Comics Youth in 2015 as a direct response and means of plugging service provision gaps for marginalised young people who fall through the cracks (care leavers, LGBT, LAC’s, SEND YP) between tier 1 (universal services) and tier 4 services (CAMHS). During the past 10 years I have honed my social enterprise and research skills in a range of roles within the third sector be it fundraising, evaluation and monitoring, service design or business development. My greatest achievements to date include securing over £6 million pounds of grant funding for a mix of charities and social enterprises within the Liverpool City Region, becoming a part of the Rank Foundation’s ‘Rank Net’ Steering Group and being invited to sit on the Knowsley Learning, Cultural and Educational Partnership Steering Group, Arts and Education and young people’s All Parliamentary Group. I am also a current student within the School of Social Entrepreneur’s Scale-Up programme, based in London

My professional qualifications include the following: Law degree, Master’s Degree in Public Health Research, HND in Health Informatics, Level 4 Counselling Skills, Level 3 Youth Work Qualification, Prince 2, Social Return on Investment Practitioner and a Diploma in Fundraising.


Jhelisa taylor-brown

I am graduate of English and French, with a passionate interest in youth empowerment, improving literacy levels in excluded groups and promoting multi-modal literacy through graphic novels. I am a School of Social Entrepreneurs Fellow,  hold a PGCE in Informal Education and qualifications in Mental Health First Aid, CBT and Mindfulness.  I co-founded Comics Youth because I wanted to see more young people with backgrounds like mine accessing the same opportunities that helped me to work through the trauma I faced as a young person. Comics Youth is about shining a light on diversity and celebrating those differences by enabling young people to speak truth to power and have their voices heard through publishing zines and comics.

As a young person, I struggled with my mental health and battled with anxiety, depression and feelings of low self-worth. Over the past 10 years I used comics as a way to ground myself and learned all I could about comic therapy, literacy development and mental health focused techniques to develop the core service model of Comics Youth.  I have chosen to use my story to inspire and motivate young people to turn their lives around no matter what their life experiences. It doesn’t matter where you started in life, what matters is where you are heading to. This is only the start for us and we are really excited to bring my passion and lived experiences to Comics Youth to help young people that come from backgrounds like mine to feel supported and not fall through the cracks.

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Joel Milner

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I am an administration officer for the NHS England, working in the North West. My professional qualifications include a BA in Criminology and Sociology from the University of Liverpool and accounting. I have experience in delivering and managing youth led-projects within the Liverpool City Region funded by Comic Relief, Merseyside Waste Authority and Sport England. I additionally have experience in managing a Social Enterprise, applying for trust and grant funding and coordinating large scale events.


MARK GRIFFITHS

I am a Physics teacher with around a decade of experience of 11-19 teaching in the North West. Throughout my life I have always been socially awkward, finding conversation intimidating and often overwhelming. The medium of comics played a crucial role in helping me develop my linguistic skills and self-confidence, allowing me to gradually break through my own self-imposed obstacles. Comics introduce young people to the depths and challenges of the human condition through a range of literary and artistic techniques, allowing the mind to grasp new concepts readily and clearly through relatable characters in fantastical situations. I feel that the opportunity to flip this around and allow the young people to express themselves and their inner complexity through the medium of comics is uniquely powerful.

As a strong believer in the need to empower young minds I was instantly inspired by the ideals and motivations behind the formation of Comics Youth. My experience in the education sector has allowed me to support staff with a range of skills such as objective-based session planning, effective inclusion and behaviour management techniques as well as leading staff training on their duties in safeguarding young people.

My professional qualifications include a BSc. (Hons) in Physics from the University of Liverpool and a PGCE in Secondary Science from Liverpool Hope University.

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Steven Matthews

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I have been at the forefront of innovation in young person led autobiographical comics since Comics Youth’s Inception. I have worked with mixed media and pioneered text as an integral part of illustration, and collaborated with artists across different fields and specialize in comic book editorials and publishing. I am a passionate advocate for visual literacy and the importance of quality picture books and comics for children. Whilst at University I was diagnosed with Dyslexia and had used comics as a way to improve my reading and writing skills since childhood, thereby truly understanding the power of Comic Youth’s mission.  My love for comics stems from being gifted a box of comics by my father at a young age, and I’ve been an avid comics reader since.

As an individual I am deeply passionate about encouraging creativity in children and young people. I hold a BA in Illustration from John Moores University, and prior to joining the Board I was Freelance Illustrator with experience in designing, curating and publishing Comic books.  As a Comic Artist I have gained a thorough understanding of the needs and preferences of young people. I have developed excellent community engagement skills and expertise in diversity and artistic development, and have been one of the main driving forces behind Comics Youth’s growth in the past 2 years. I have organized and led numerous galleries and exhibitions within Comics Youth and have led our two young person led exhibitions at Tate Liverpool in addition to planning our upcoming exhibition in Tate Modern. I am a qualified Mental Health First Aid Specialist, Suicide Prevention practitioner, experienced in Visual Minutes, Adobe Creative Suites and Youth Work.


Siobhan Mealey

I am a passionate social advocate with a strong history of educational and third sector development. At present, I co-manage a third sector health outreach programme for The Brain Charity based at The Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery. The role requires me to take on complex case management, assisting and advocating for patients with neurological conditions in relation to their treatment, finances, legal status and in seeking out information about diagnosis. I manage a team of volunteers who provide peer support to hospital inpatients and administrative support when I am out of office. I have presented at national and local conferences, contributed to Neuro-Rehab research, written funding proposals, written copy for our bi-monthly newsletter, completed small design tasks for promotional materials, co-managed the corporate Instagram account, and been largely responsible for structured relationship building with core health professionals to aid the progression of the charity. I have recently been tasked with acting as the representative for the organisation in local Welfare and Wellbeing Organisation Network (WWON) meetings with LCVS.

I have also honed my skills during my time as Project Co-ordinator for the Reader Organisation. Within this role, I designed and delivered reading for pleasure sessions to 130 disadvantaged children and young people across Liverpool in one year- my responsibilities included: Working with families facing poverty, social isolation, educational difficulties, domestic violence or who were receiving intervention from social services; managing, creating and delivering volunteer training; managing caseloads of 20+ volunteers and staff and HR functions within the org. Additionally, I have been responsible for designing and developing a vibrant provision of events and weekly shared reading groups.  As Reader in Residence, I was further charged in creating a programme of weekly groups and events for the Centre for Reading and Well-being in Calderstones Park by creating a whole population approach.

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