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Ciaran Thapar joins the YEF as Director of Public Affairs and Communications

The Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) is delighted to welcome Ciaran Thapar as its new Director of Public Affairs and Communications.

The YEF’s mission is to find out what works to prevent children becoming involved in violence and build a movement to put this knowledge into practice. In this new role, Ciaran will play a key role in building a movement of youth workers, teachers, police and policy makers all determined to do what works to keep children safe from violence.

Ciaran is an experienced youth worker, educator and writer. His time spent mentoring and working with young people in youth centres, schools and prisons over the last decade inspired his critically acclaimed book ‘Cut Short. Within its pages, he chronicles the lives of characters he has worked with and met as they navigate a world in South London marred by systemic injustice. Through following their heroic journeys and speaking to experts from different layers of British society, he diagnoses the social problems that lead to violence and points towards solutions.

Driven by his passion for using the arts to tackle social exclusion, Ciaran has collaborated with many grassroots and national organisations, from Nurture UK to Centre for Education and Youth, to support young people to express themselves through storytelling workshops. During the pandemic, he designed and delivered several programmes to respond to the unique challenges young people were facing.

Ciaran is a regular contributor to the Guardian, British GQ and others, for whom he has written extensively about London music culture, social justice and city life. He writes a Substack newsletter called All City with regular updates about his work, interviews and research. His ability to articulate complex social issues with clarity and compassion has seen him appear on ITV London, BBC Radio 4 and Channel Four News.

In addition, Ciaran teaches the Writing for Social Impact monthly course at City University.

Ciaran Thapar, newly appointed Director of Public Affairs and Communications at the YEF, said: “This is the perfect next step in my journey of partnering frontline experience with calls for change at the top level. YEF’s emphasis on finding the evidence presents an exciting, meaningful opportunity to communicate what works to prevent violence across British society. I’ll be looking to develop ways of raising public awareness, make compelling arguments where it counts, and champion the voices of young people at every stage. I feel proud to step into this role as YEF approaches its fifth birthday and enters a bold new era.”

Jon Yates, Executive Director at the YEF, said: “We’re thrilled to have Ciaran on board. He brings with him creativity, compassion and – as his youth work and writing attests – a real drive to make a difference. A key part of our mission at the YEF is to put evidence of what works to prevent violence into practice. Ciaran’s frontline experience and expertise in storytelling will help to sharpen our focus, as we push for changes in the way children and young people are supported.”