Nicola Boyce is social pedagogy trainer for St Christopher’s Fellowship, a charity which provides fostering, residential and support services for children and young people. Her background is in residential child care where she became involved with developing social pedagogy at Essex County Council, doing participatory action research with children and staff to explore their experiences of social pedagogy in practice. She joined St Christopher’s in 2012 to open a new children’s home based on social pedagogic principles and in her current role provides training to staff and leads on strategic organisational development work to embed social pedagogy systemically.
Nicola has a keen interest in the relationship between theory and the complex, messy realities of relational practice with adolescents and their families, particularly those labelled most “challenging” or “hard to reach”. She has particular expertise in social pedagogy in practice with young people who have experienced abuse, trauma, mental health issues and sexual exploitation and is a passionate advocate for ethical, empowerment-based practice.