The Youth Endowment Fund team is passionate about giving young people the best chances in life and brings together a diverse mix of experience, insight and expertise.
Before joining the Youth Endowment Fund, Amy worked on a PhD at Cardiff University. Her research aimed to determine whether an emotion recognition training programme could be used as an early intervention technique to improve the behaviour and wellbeing of children at risk of future criminal behaviour.
Amy also holds a BSc in Psychology from Cardiff University. During her undergraduate degree she spent a year working as a research assistant on a Europe-wide research project examining sex differences in conduct disorder.
Andrea joined the Youth Endowment Fund after spending the previous decade growing and leading an international NGO focused on community protection and rehabilitation for those facing armed group violence in central Africa. She secured more than $25m for the organisation and built its team and systems to deliver impact across four countries. Prior to focusing on finance, operations, and programme management, she began her career in youth mobilisation, working in leadership roles in online and grassroots campaigns that were instrumental in securing landmark policy changes to protect some of the most vulnerable communities in the world.
Anna joined the Youth Endowment Fund having spent 10 years in the education and charity sectors. Anna is a qualified teacher who has specialised in teaching students who have Special Educational Needs. She has also worked for a national youth charity, helping to increase the charity’s inclusiveness and support for young people. Anna is highly dedicated to using evidence of what works to help improve opportunities and outcomes for young people.
Billy previously worked for Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust as a workforce information analyst, where he was responsible for writing reports and conducting analysis relating to the Trust’s four thousand-plus members of staff. During his undergraduate degree, he worked on a project for Kent County Council’s young people’s mental health transformation team, whereby he assisted with delivering a series of statistical analyses to improve the mental health services which children across Kent and Medway were regularly using.
I hold an MSc in Policy Analytics from the University of Exeter and a BA in Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research from the University of Kent.
Since he began youth work at the age of 16, Caleb has had a keen focus on preventing young people from entering the criminal justice system, youth violence and exploitation. He has used young people’s voices to leverage action from key stakeholders (wide and varied) to work together in a public health approach for child centred outcomes. He states that people and organisations in the heart of communities are assets and have to create and deliver long-term solutions to reduce youth violence and exploitation.
He has a degree in Youth and Community Studies, however his personal expertise are shaped through mentoring of high risk individuals involved in gangs and running youth clubs. Caleb has worked with a range of stakeholders including The Home Office, VRUs, Police Forces, Public Health, Safeguarding Hubs, Educational leads, Voluntary Sector Organisations and Community Leads (including grassroots).
In this role at the Youth Endowment Fund, Caleb will utilise his skills in a national role to prevent young people from getting caught up in crime and violence.
Prior to joining Youth Endowment Fund, Chanel completed an MSc in Forensic Psychology at The University of Kent. She focused her research project on examining the relationship between power and sexual aggression. She also worked as a Research Assistant within the Forensic Psychology department, where she worked on a study investigating why individuals disclose information when undergoing polygraph examinations.
Chanel also holds a BSc Psychology degree. During her undergraduate degree, she conducted research investigating the effect of alcohol priming on aggression towards women.
Colin has spent over 20 years working in the youth and community sector. He initially worked as a JNC qualified youth practitioner leading projects with young people from a range of backgrounds in South East London and later worked for nine years with a national charity pioneering and delivering programmes focused on building a more integrated society. Most recently Colin supported the development and growth of a new organisation providing intensive support to children and young people caught in a cycle of repeat offending.
He joins YEF with a passion to ensure young people’s voices are at the heart of our work at all levels from governance, research and project delivery.
Daniel is a developmental psychologist, with an MSc in psychological research methods and a PhD in developmental psychology at the University of Nottingham.
He has extensive experience in the fields of early intervention evaluations and evidence-informed policy making. Previously Daniel worked at the Cabinet Office, where he managed research and evaluation projects in support of the Office for Civil Society and Youth Policy. Before that, he was a research associate at the Centre for Education Research and Practice at AQA Education.
Edward has held a number of roles in the youth sector in a paid and voluntary capacity. He has been a TV journalist in New Zealand before managing youth and social development programmes for a Maori Iwi (tribe). He is also a trained teacher.
Edward has spent the past decade growing teams and organisations to improve their capabilities and outcomes. Most notably, he worked for a national youth social action charity, encouraging thousands of 16 year olds to participate. Previously, he was managing the daily operations of a film location and software company.
Ellie previously worked at Girl Effect for four years, where she ran, designed and managed research projects across a global network of peer researchers for high profile donor funded projects. She has a track record of working on qualitative and digital research projects across a range of thematic areas, from young people’s education, safety economic empowerment and health. She has a passion for participatory research approaches.
Ellie holds an MSc from the University of Bristol in Contemporary Identities.
Before joining the Youth Endowment Fund, Ema worked on various mental health research projects with both adults and children, including investigating resilience in adolescents and comparing pharmacological agents in depression. She has also been involved in providing direct care to a variety of clients in a range of services, including talking therapies, residential care and school settings.
Ema graduated with a BSc in psychology from the University of Exeter and an MSc from King’s College, in psychiatric research.
Emma has spent 15 years in the youth and community sector, initially focused on fundraising and strategic development before moving into programme design and operations. Most recently Emma designed and developed a new model for youth social action and employability which is now a central part of London’s youth strategy and which operates nationally as a core part of many high-street businesses’ entry-level recruitment strategy. Emma also oversaw work with the Department for Education on T Level policy design, piloting and evaluation.
Emma is a Trustee for the Hilden Charitable Fund, a grant-making trust which supports small, grassroots refugee, homelessness and youth charities.
Franca previously worked at the Young Foundation, where she set up and managed their national network of peer researchers and worked on several commissioned research projects, including an ethnography into the lives of low-income families in Thamesmead.
Franca brings a passion for participatory research, ethnographies and digital methods to the Youth Endowment Fund and where she will be responsible for including the voice of young people in the fund’s evidence and evaluation work.
She holds a BSc in Psychology from University of Witten/Herdecke in Germany and an MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology, from London School of Economics.
Before joining Youth Endowment Fund, Freya worked for three years as a Research Officer at Bangor University, in partnership with Public Health Wales and the National Centre for Population Health and Wellbeing Research. In this role, Freya collaborated on the Home Office police transformation funded programme ‘Early Action Together’, which was dedicated to transforming policing and criminal justice by drawing on adverse childhood experiences and trauma-informed approaches to enable early intervention and prevention to keep vulnerable people from entering the criminal justice system. Freya has also worked on evaluation of trauma-informed practice in youth justice services, which utilised clinical psychology supervision and multi-agency case formulation to support children.
In 2018, Freya completed her PhD in Psychology. Her research focussed on self-identity and psychological needs and their relationship with mental health in high performing athlete populations. Freya holds an MSc in Applied Sport, Health and Exercise Psychology.
A social worker by profession, Gail has over twenty years’ experience of working in the public sector – predominantly in the fields of mental health, young people, policy development and commissioning.
Between 2014-2020, Gail was CEO of Sheffield Futures – a young people’s charity providing specialist support and mentoring for young people in Sheffield and the surrounding region. Whilst there, she led on two Social Impact Bonds and was both an Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations Fellow, and a Fellow of Practice at Oxford University’s Government Outcomes Lab.
An experienced Board member and Chair, Gail is especially interested in collaborative partnership working, in user voice and participation, and in outcomes based delivery programmes.
Georgia joined the Youth Endowment Fund following 10 years of working in the education and charity sectors, with a focus on the personal development of young people through mentoring and coaching interventions.
Previously she designed mentoring programmes for both children and adults, implemented a Randomised Controlled Trial to measure the impact of peer-support for improving self-efficacy, and scaled various local projects nationally. This broad range of experiences means Georgia is well-placed to support grantees and share her lessons learned to achieve the best outcomes for children and young people.
Hashim is a Research Officer with an MSc in Social Research Methods from City University, London.
He has extensive experience in mixed methods research in a variety of policy areas, from education and skills development to health and wellbeing. Previously Hashim has worked at NatCen Social Research, Ecorys UK and M&C Saatchi World Services. With experience managing and conducting fieldwork throughout the UK as well as in Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Uganda, Hashim is very much a global researcher.
Helen has spent the last two decades supporting work which enables communities to rethink their identity and what it means to connect and belong in an increasingly fragmented world. She comes to the Youth Endowment Fund from More in Common, which she helped set up in order to understand the forces driving us apart and to help bring people together to tackle our shared challenges.
Iesha leads on building relationships across the education sector to learn and share what works in reducing youth violence so we can create lasting change.
She has 15 years’ experience in the education sector including time as an assistant headteacher and a school governor. After teaching, she led on research projects for corporate, charity, and government clients at the Centre for Education and Youth think tank. Topics included youth homelessness, and teacher recruitment and retention. She is passionate about using storytelling alongside research to create positive change.
Before joining the Youth Endowment Fund, Iesha was Head of Policy and Strategy at national youth charity, YHA.
Jackie is a specialist in complex, mixed methods evaluation and has held senior evaluation positions across the public, private and third sectors.
Prior to joining the Youth Endowment Fund, Jackie oversaw the evaluation and learning approach for Impact for Urban Health’s place based programmes, that take an early intervention approach to tackling the deprivation gap in the most serious health issues affecting urban areas. She has led complex, multi-year UK-wide evaluation programmes for national charities such as UK Youth, Macmillan, and Heritage Lottery Fund and national learning programmes for central government departments. Jackie started her career as local evaluation lead for the central government funded New Deal for Communities programme, that took a ten-year, community-led approach to improving a range of outcomes in the most deprived neighbourhoods across England.
Jon Yates has two decades of experience in the youth and community sector. He started his career as a community worker in Newham before joining McKinsey and Company where he advised charities, companies and government on strategy and organisational development. He left McKinsey in 2004 to work in social enterprise, first in Kenya, supporting small businesses to scale up. When he returned to the UK, he co-founded the youth charity The Challenge, and supported the founding of the community organisation More In Common.
He is also an experienced policy maker, working as the Chief Policy Adviser to the Secretary of State for Education between 2018 and 2019, where he oversaw the Department for Education’s policy and strategy on schools, colleges, children’s services, nurseries, universities and apprenticeships.
Lara is a qualified social worker (MSW), with an MSc in evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation from the University of Oxford.
Having previously worked directly with children at risk of offending, as well as individuals following imprisonment or alternative sentencing, Lara is passionate about developing the evidence base for ‘what works’ to prevent youth offending.
Before joining the Youth Endowment Fund, Lara worked at Lumos, an international NGO working to end the institutionalisation of children. She led on developing Lumos’ approach to measuring child outcomes and systems change, primarily focusing on their work in Africa and Latin America. Prior to this Lara worked at the Early Intervention Foundation, working across the breadth of the organisation’s research portfolio, including interparental relationships, child development and mental health, and programme evaluation.
Laura joined the Youth Endowment fund from the lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity Stonewall, where she was responsible for the planning, development and delivery of campaigns, research projects and policy interventions. She previously led the policy and public affairs team at reproductive rights charity FPA and worked in corporate communications.
She’s also a trustee of Brook, a national charity empowering young people to make informed decisions about their sexual health and wellbeing.
Before joining the Youth Endowment Fund, Lottie completed an MSc in Social Research Methods at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research specialised in quantitative analysis, particularly data science and using social media data to explore public perception of social issues. She also holds a BA in Criminology with Quantitative Research from the University of Kent where she focused her degree on youth justice and penal reform. During this degree, she completed a work placement at Gingerbread, the charity for single parents, leading quantitative projects and developing a statistical framework for future work.
Lucy is a mixed-methods researcher with a background in social work practice. She previously worked at the Social Care Institute for Excellence, where she led research relating to social care, health and youth participation. Prior to that, she worked at the Early Intervention Foundation, where she focused on evaluation methodology. This included assessing the evidence underpinning school-based and parenting programmes to inform commissioners’ decision making. Lucy has an MSc in evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation from the University of Oxford.
Matt has over ten years’ professional communications experience, working in both the private and charity sectors. Prior to joining the Youth Endowment Fund, he headed up the marketing and communications for Sport for Social Change charity, Sported.
Matt has 15 years’ experience in the charity sector focused on using research and evidence to improve outcomes for children and young people. Prior to joining the Youth Endowment Fund in November 2020, Matt worked for eight years at the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), a What Works Centre dedicated to improving educational outcomes for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
His role at EEF focused on managing large-scale research trials and developing guidance for schools. In particular, he led EEF’s work on early years education, social and emotional skills, and parental engagement. Prior to that, Matt worked for charity consultancy and think tank, NPC, where he published research on children’s mental health, youth justice, and early intervention.
He is currently completing a PhD at UCL Institute of Education, focused on longitudinal analysis of children’s social and emotional development, using the Millennium Cohort Study and National Pupil Database.
Nayyara is leading the commissioning of new systematic reviews and expansion of the Youth Endowment Fund’s Evidence and Gaps Map that maps evidence on what works to keep children safe from involvement in violence, and a range of research projects and accessible resources that are central to YEF’s mission.
Nayyara has experience working in academia and the charity sector using evidence to improve outcomes for people from disadvantaged groups. Prior to joining the YEF in August 2021, Nayyara worked in two EU-funded Horizon 2020 projects on mentoring programmes. She led research in Mencap on early intervention programmes for children with learning disabilities. She also worked in developing evidence-based policy and practice at the Centre for Ageing Better, a What Works Centre. She has an MPhil from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of Milan, Italy.
Nicola joins the Youth Endowment Fund after spending 11 years working for Surrey Police as an intelligence analyst and manager, supporting operations and investigations into local crime, homicide, serious and organised crime and sexual offences. Over the past three years she has focused on serious violence and knife crime, completing extensive research and strategic analysis on the subject. Nicola has more recently managed a police-led early intervention project within the Sussex PCC’s office delivering youth coaching, sports diversion and family workshops.
Nicola has an undergraduate degree in education and is a qualified teacher, and currently training to become a volunteer youth worker.
Paul joined the Youth Endowment Fund in July 2020 as Director of Change.
He and his team focus on building a movement to put the knowledge of what works in preventing children becoming involved in violence into practice across England and Wales. He leads the charity’s public affairs and communications strategies and its partnerships with police, schools, youth and community groups, local authorities, healthcare trusts and businesses who’ll work together to improve the support children and young people at risk receive in their communities.
Paul joined the Youth Endowment Fund from the lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, Stonewall, where he was Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research for four years and from August 2019 – June 2020, interim Chief Executive. During his time at Stonewall he helped secure key improvements in LGBT+ equality including LGBT inclusive relationships and sex education in all schools and questions in 2021 census on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as leading campaigns for LGBT inclusion in sport and healthcare, reducing discrimination against trans people and working with partners to support campaigns for LGBT inclusion across the world.
He has 15 years’ experience in the voluntary sector, having also worked in communications and campaigning roles in CLIC Sargent, the youth cancer charity, and the Royal Voluntary Service. Prior to that he worked in local government.
Peter has over a decade of experience in evidence and evaluation, with a particular emphasis on ensuring that evidence is practical and widely used.
Previously, Peter worked at Prime Advocates, where he led their impact and evidence practice, and was a Director at the Social Innovation Partnership.
Peter has also worked with a range of foundations to create effective evidence systems across their funds, including Nesta on their Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund and UnLtd’s Big Venture Challenge.
Peter is leading the development of the Youth Endowment Fund’s Toolkit, an accessible summary of the best available research on preventing young people getting involved in violence and crime.
Peter works with practitioners, academics and policy makers to ensure that research is useful and has a positive impact on young people. Previously he worked for seven years at the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), the What Works Centre dedicated to improving educational outcomes and equity. Peter led the EEF’s work in special educational needs, literacy and mathematics.
Richard has joined the Youth Endowment Fund as a Programme Manager, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and experience from a career history that spans over 15 years. From his time of working within various teams across children’s services, youth justice and the voluntary sector, Richard is highly dedicated to finding new, exciting and innovative ways to implement change, which brings about positive outcomes for children, young people and their families.
Ronke is a seasoned chartered accountant that has spent most of her career working in the educational sector, especially with young people. She was formerly Finance Director at City YMCA at the Barbican, Director of Corporate Services at Crossways Sixth Form and Financial Controller at Leigh Academy Trust. Ronke is passionate about helping young people, especially from deprived backgrounds, get good education to reduce poverty, crime and improve social mobility. She has initiated projects to help children in Africa access good education.
Sarah has spent 15 years working across arrange of domestic and international social policies from education, health, employment and crime and violence. She has spent the last eight years focusing on improving the outcomes and life chances of children and young people, with a particular focus on leading evaluations and managing projects designed to build our understanding of what works. Improving the life chances of children and young people is something she is particularly passionate about.
Sarah’s previous role at Ipsos MORI provided her with the opportunity to lead on youth crime and violence where she was involved in the Violence Reduction Unit Evaluations and a number of Youth Endowment Fund evaluations. Sarah has a PhD focusing on the health and behaviours of shift-workers and their families and has a postgraduate certificate in education in further, higher and adult education.
Schenell joins the Youth Endowment Fund following 11 years’ experience in the youth charity and public sector.
After studying fashion and marketing at university, Schenell decided that she wanted to use her creative learning and skills to work with young people in the community. She began her career as a youth worker in a youth club in South-East London working with young people and project managing creative arts programs.
Schenell’s experience includes working in grant making at the Jack Petchey Foundation managing grants for schools and youth clubs in North East London. As well as working in the London Fire Brigade, where part of her focus was about ensuring best practice was adopted to create an equal, diverse and inclusive workforce for all.
Before Joining the Youth Endowment Fund, Serena completed her MPhil degree in criminology at the University of Cambridge. Her research focused on how the police identify child victims of county lines exploitation and explored the boundaries between victims and offenders. Following her research, Serena provided participant police forces with recommendations on how they could better identify child victims of county lines.
Serena also holds an undergraduate degree in human geography from the University of Durham.
Prior to joining the Youth Endowment Fund, Susan previously worked at Opinium for four years. During her time there she designed, ran, and managed a wide variety of social research projects. Utilising both quantitative and qualitative research methods, Susan explored socio-economic trends that helped inform client strategy and communication. She also has strong experience conducting research amongst Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic audiences.
Susan holds a BA in Politics and International Relations and an MA in Cultural Studies.
William leads on quantitative research for the Youth Endowment Fund, focused on data gathering, analysis and reporting.
Previously, he held the position of senior economist at Early Intervention Foundation, working on UK early years education, cost/benefit analysis and the organisation’s approach to late intervention spending. Before that, Will was at the Department for Education, where he worked on a diverse array of policy and analytical areas, from demographic projections and capacity planning through to school choice and access.
Before joining the Youth Endowment Fund, Yasmin spent five years working in a Young Offender’s Institution directly with young people who had often been involved in serious youth violence.
She started off by delivering an effective thinking skills programme to young people who had been involved in incidents within custody, and moved on to become an engagement and resettlement worker. This involved having her own caseload of young people, monitoring their time in custody and then preparing them for either release into the community or transition to the adult estate. Her experience has led to a passion in wanting to see ‘what works’ in preventing young people becoming involved in violence and the outcome of custodial sentences.
She holds a BA degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from the University of Leeds.