Meet The Team

Meet The Team

The work of YGAM is led by a highly competent team made up of a diverse group of colleagues, drawn from the third sector, education sector, commercial sector, parents, students & young people. Most of our colleagues give their time voluntarily. In 2018/19 no employees within YGAM (including the Chief Executive) received a salary greater than £60,000.

YGAM is fortunate to be supported by Peridot Partners, the third sector's leading governance experts and headhunters for Chairs, Chief Executives and senior appointments within the third sector. Most of our appointments to YGAM are undertaken in partnership with Peridot Partners.

You can view the latest YGAM organisational structure by clicking here.

YGAM Patrons

YGAM's team of Patrons are volunteers and receive no payment for their time.

Meet The YGAM Team | Anne & Keith Evans

Anne & Keith Evans

Founder Patrons

Anne has now retired, following a distinguished career within education. Husband Keith, has also retired following his distinguished career working for a multinational window manufacturer in a senior leadership role. Both as parents, have first-hand experience of the potential devastation gambling can bring upon families and bring considerable insight in education and governance.

Meet The YGAM Team | Paul Bellringer

Paul Bellringer OBE

Patron

Paul has been involved in responsible gambling issues for 39 years. In 1990 he founded the UK Forum on Young People and Gambling and then in 1997, following the introduction of the National Lottery, he founded GamCare and subsequently negotiated and worked with the gambling industry to establish voluntary codes of responsible gambling. Paul has also consulted on responsible gambling issues with governments and the gambling industry, and has held a variety of influential roles with organisations dealing with gambling issues. He is author of a number of publications including the book Understanding Problem Gamblers.

YGAM Trustees

YGAM's team of trustees are all volunteers and receive no payment for their time, including the Chair of the Board. YGAM has implemented a fully independent board of trustees and an independent Chair.

Meet The YGAM Team | Mike Wojcik

Mike Wojcik

Chair of the Board

Mike is a well-rounded and seasoned professional with a proven track record in business transformation, governance, shaping and achieving strategic goal within commercial, charitable and higher education sectors. Mike is currently CEO, Queen Mary, University of London Students’ Union, & MD QMSU Services Ltd.

Meet The YGAM Team | Ayub Khan

Ayub Khan

Trustee

Ayub’s most recent role was the Chief Executive of the Further Education Trust for Leadership, a Think Tank for the FE and Skills sector. Prior to this, he was the CEO of a Multi Academy Trust. Ayub is also an experienced Trustee/Non-Executive having served on the Boards of national charities.

Meet The YGAM Team | Gabriella Tamas

Gabriella Tamas

Trustee, Treasurer and Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

Gabriella has spent 25 years in operational and divisional finance director positions in the fast space music industry working for EMI and Universal Music International. Her roles and interests have always stretched beyond finance and compliance work towards change management and business development. Her experience working with overseas teams could also help to reach universities outside of the UK.

Meet The YGAM Team | Bijan White

Bijan White

Trustee

Bijan has expansive experience in Marketing services as a senior Digital Media specialist. His track record includes both client-side Digital transformation on a global scale, and Media Agency experience across Europe for leading worldwide networks WPP and Omnicom. Working with super-brands such as McDonald’s, L’Oreal and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles he has held agency Board positions in the UK and in Denmark. Most recently he has delivered global Marketing strategy, launching a multi-market Mobile app within an in-house client team in the Telecommunications, Media & Technology sector for Veon.

Meet The YGAM Team | Hayley Pegden

Hayley Pegden

Trustee

Hayley Pegden is an experienced senior marketing and communications professional leading on marketing strategy development, campaigns, digital, internal communications, PR and branding. Gained across public and not-for-profit sectors, including local authority, NHS, higher education and the charity sector, Hayley is currently responsible for marketing strategy and student recruitment campaigns for a higher education institution.

Meet The YGAM Team | Will Ridley

Will Ridley

Chair of the Young People & Student Advisory Group

Volunteer

Will works as a Brand Executive for Sky Betting & Gaming and is a Business Management graduate obtained at Teesside University where he took a year out as elected Students' Union President representing 18,000 students and ran various student led campaigns. Last year he was named 'Happiest Future Leader' at the National Happiness Awards.

Meet The YGAM Team | Caroline Price

Caroline Price

Trustee

Chair of the People & Transformation Committee

Caroline Price is an experienced leader in transforming services & training in the charity sector. With a proven record of leading organisational step change, introducing innovative ways of working and achieving high standards over 10 years in the charity sector. Caroline is currently a Director of Services for a UK health charity.

Meet The YGAM Team | Hayley Conboy

Hayley Conboy

Trustee

Hayley Conboy is a leader in fundraising, with experience of developing winning strategies and managing large teams to secure philanthropic income. With experience in both the not-for-profit and private sectors, Hayley has particular expertise in corporate partnerships and business development and is currently Head of Corporate, Events and Community Fundraising at King’s College London.

Meet The YGAM Team | Paddy Griffiths

Paddy Griffiths

Trustee

Paddy Griffiths is an experienced fundraising leader, with a background in corporate partnerships, community, philanthropy and major gifts. He has worked for some of the UK’s leading charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support, Sue Ryder and Mencap. Paddy is currently Head of High Value Relationships for national disability charity Sense.

Meet The YGAM Team | Valerie Bozzetto

Valerie Bozzetto

Trustee

Valerie Bozzetto co-founded IRM in 2004, a leading digital innovation agency. In the past 15 years she has managed digital, gaming and social strategies for over 20 global brands (including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Agatha Christie, Dancing with the Stars and Paris Fashion Week) and generated revenues in excess of $400 million. With 10 industry awards under her belt for her pioneering work, Valerie has attracted clients and partners that include; TF1, EA, Endemol, Apple, BBC Worldwide, Universal, Media Participation and Google. Her career started at L’Oreal and LVMH.

Gameplan

Gameplan is the trading name of YGAM Innovation Ltd. which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM). Our team of Non-Executive Directors are all volunteers and receive no payment for their time, including the Chair.

Meet The YGAM Team | Ayub Khan

Ayub Khan

Chair & Non-Executive Director

Ayub’s most recent role was the Chief Executive of the Further Education Trust for Leadership, a Think Tank for the FE and Skills sector. Prior to this, he was the CEO of a Multi Academy Trust. Ayub is also an experienced Trustee/Non-Executive having served on the Boards of national charities.

Meet The YGAM Team | Gill White

Gill White

Non-Executive Director

Gill White runs the commercial arm of the Professional body and charity the CIPD overseeing designing the content that supports the professionalisation agenda from apprenticeships to development programmes. Gill joined CIPD in July 2012 as Head of CIPD Training, was appointed a Director of Careers & CPD in September 2013 and is now Business & Markets Development Director covering Commercial Enterprises, Business Development, and the International areas. Prior to working joining CIPD, Gill held of Head of L&D roles at Vodafone, Xchanging and SSP.

Meet The YGAM Team | Jake McClure

Jake McClure

Non-Executive Director

Jake McClure is Executive Director of Strategy for City & Guilds, ILM and Digital Me, on secondment from the Cabinet Office where he was Head of Apprenticeship Strategy and Delivery. He has extensive experience of leadership in criminal justice policy and implementation, inspection and regulation and further and higher education. Prior to the Civil Service, Jake was in the British Council for seven years as a teacher, trainer, consultant and project manager in Europe, South East Asia and Central Asia.

Meet The YGAM Team | Gabriella Tamas

Gabriella Tamas

Treasurer

Non-Executive Director

Gabriella has spent 25 years in operational and divisional finance director positions in the fast space music industry working for EMI and Universal Music International. Her roles and interests have always stretched beyond finance and compliance work towards change management and business development. Her experience working with overseas teams could also help to reach universities outside of the UK.

Meet The YGAM Team | Dimitris Samouris

Dimitris Samouris

Non-Executive Director

Dimitris Samouris is a strategy consultant for EY-Parthenon, specialising in commercial due diligence for private equity investors and new market entry for corporate clients. His work has been primarily for clients in the education, software and data services, and consumer goods sectors. Prior to that, he worked briefly in corporate finance. He has a passion for sports and competitive debate, having spent many years speaking for university and country before coaching the next generation of orators.

Meet The YGAM Team | Shane Stafford

Shane Stafford

Non-Executive Director

Shane Stafford has over fifteen years’ experience delivering brand engagement across television, mobile, web and gaming platforms for a number of companies, including Paddy Power and BetVictor, Shane has an extensive knowledge of marketing strategies, having played key roles in a number of nationwide marketing campaigns and sponsorship agreements.

Meet The YGAM Team | Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson

Non-Executive Director

Meet The YGAM Team | Lee Willows

Lee Willows

Managing Director

Lee has spent 25 years in the education and third sectors, progressing from a front line post-16 teacher and youth worker, to holding senior leadership positions with Kingswood Learning & Leisure Group, Princess Trust, Newcastle College Group and Trailblazers. Lee's personal struggles with gambling was the catalyst to establish YGAM.

Meet The YGAM Team | Rob Davies

Rob Davies

Director of Employer-Led Apprenticeships

Rob is an experienced People Development professional specialising in Apprenticeships and the Apprenticeship Levy. Rob has worked within the vocational education sector since 2001 and holds Assessor, Trainer, Leading Quality Assurance and Learning and Development Consultancy qualifications. Rob brings his consultancy experience gained in the Public Sector and Corporate world to lead our Apprenticeship programmes forward.

Meet The YGAM Team | Graham Weir

Graham Weir

Non-Executive Director

An experienced former gambling industry executive, who for many years has been a significant and influential advocate of responsible gambling. Working collaboratively with many organisations to develop player protection initiatives, he also established the first ever retail tracking system to spot problem behaviour whilst Responsible Gambling Director at Ladbrokes Coral. In 2018, he established his own consultancy business, Safer Gambling Solutions Ltd aiming to help reduce gambling-related harm.

Employees and Consultants

YGAM’s educational strategy is executed by our employees and consultants, none of which receive a salary greater than £60,000 (including the Chief Executive). All our employees and consultants are independent of the gambling industry.

Meet The YGAM Team | Lee Willows

Lee Willows

Founder & Chief Executive

Lee has spent 25 years in the education and third sectors, progressing from a front line post-16 teacher and youth worker, to holding senior leadership positions with Kingswood Learning & Leisure Group, Princess Trust, Newcastle College Group and Trailblazers. Lee's personal struggles with gambling was the catalyst to establish YGAM.

Meet The YGAM Team | Patrick Thamotheram

Patrick Thamotheram

Head of Finance

Patrick is an accountant who has worked in the field for many years. After qualifying, he has worked solely in the charity sector with organisations as diverse as Sure-Start, Volunteering England, and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. He is also finalising a three-year training course in TCM acupuncture at London South Bank.

Meet The YGAM Team | Adrian Sladdin

Adrian Sladdin

Education Advisor

Adrian has almost 30 years' experience within education; progressing from a front line Maths and English teacher to holding senior leadership roles within education and within Ofqual approved, International Awarding and Qualification Bodies.

Meet The YGAM Team | Jackie Joy

Jackie Joy

Quality-Assurance Advisor

Jackie has a distinguished career in education and quality-assurance. Jackie holds various vocational Trainer / Assessor qualifications and is a qualified teacher in post-16 and further education. Previously working as a college Lecturer and more recently for the Ofqual approved awarding body ASDAN, Jackie brings hands on and practical experience of leading quality-improvement in complex, national organisations.

Meet The YGAM Team | Charles Sladdin

Charles Sladdin

Data Protection Officer & Design Lead

Nominated Data Protection Officer

Charles is studying History, Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway University with the long term goal of going into teaching and has just taken a year off to work at a school in Salisbury as a residential assistant. Aside from YGAM, Charles is also a freelance photographer and IT specialist. Charles is YGAM’s registered Data Protection Officer.

Meet The YGAM Team | Kev Clelland

Kev Clelland

Head of Delivery - Education

Kev has 10 years’ experience as a primary teacher, both in Scotland and England, holding subject leadership roles in ICT and Physical Activity, PE and School Sports and working across a diverse range of schools. Prior to becoming a teacher, Kev worked for eight years as a sports writer in Scotland, covering football, rugby and cricket throughout the country. In his spare time, he enjoys coaching his local football team and running marathons, completing nine to date, including London, New York and Berlin, raising over £8000 in the process.

Meet The YGAM Team | Samantha Calvert-Smith

Samantha Calvert-Smith

Administration Manager

Sam has been a PA/administrator for over 25 years with most recent experience in the third sector. Sam started her career at HSBC and has since run her own business and studied Graphic Design. In her spare time, Sam volunteers at her local Mind shop and enjoys walking her small, cute dog!

Meet The YGAM Team | Jahid Hussain

Jahid Hussain

Community Development Manager

Jahid is currently studying BSc Psychology at Queen Mary University of London with the long-term goal of becoming a qualified counsellor. With an interest in working with young people, Jahid has been involved in youth groups, namely the ‘Legacy Youth Voice’ to provide a valuable contribution in the regeneration of East London. Aside from YGAM and his studies, Jahid enjoys playing sports such as football and badminton and occasionally volunteering for the ‘Penny Appeal’ charity based in East London.

Meet The YGAM Team | Mateusz Atamańczuk

Mateusz Atamańczuk

Community Development Manager - Bucks University

Matt is a second year student at Buckinghamshire New University, studying Music & Live Events. Matt’s long-term goal is to set up his own company. Matt started gaining experience in project management back in Poland where he was involved with start-ups and associations. In his spare time, Matt likes reading fantasy books and singing.

Meet The YGAM Team | Lesley Blackband

Lesley Blackband

Corporate Development Manager

Lesley’s bedrock of experience comes from her unblemished service in law enforcement, specialising in child protection. Upon moving to the corporate arena, she managed training and development of teams of self employed people, making their businesses grow and be successful. Lesley joins YGAM from her most recent experience as a charity Region Manager.

Meet The YGAM Team | Asma Akbar

Asma Akbar

Education Manager – Midlands

Asma recently graduated from the University of Manchester with a Masters in Humanitarianism and Conflict Response. During her academic life and career she had a passion to work with young people and whilst doing international development work, Asma strived to add young people and youth work into that factor. Asma has recently been conducting workshops for young people to build on their leadership, enterprise and community development skills. During Asma’s free time she is either travelling or planning her next trip!

Meet The YGAM Team | Sarah Gosling

Sarah Gosling

Secretary to the Boards

Sarah is an experienced charity chief executive, trustee and a governance specialist. Prior to her move to the charity sector, Sarah worked in banking, mainly in IT. She is neither a banker nor techy instead, having a passion for people, she led communications and change projects, finance and marketing teams, and managed suppliers and technicians to achieve great results.

Meet The YGAM Team | Linda Scollins Smith

Linda Scollins Smith

Education Manager – North

Linda is a qualified teacher and has 14 years’ experience working with children and young people within Education and not-for-profit organisations, specialising in SEND; improving opportunities for hard to reach young people. Linda has been successful in management roles demonstrating excellent stakeholder management, establishing local networks and partners.

Meet The YGAM Team | Rebecca Mark

Rebecca Mark

Education Manager – London & SE

After an exciting and fulfilling career in business development for the creative industry, including design, illustration and fine art, Rebecca trained to teach primary aged children. She taught with great passion and enthusiasm in a culturally mixed, inner-London school for seven years and supported many young people and families. She then decided to use her experience and skills in the charity sector where she can continue to make a real difference to young people’s lives.

Meet The YGAM Team | Carly Boyt

Carly Boyt

Head of Marketing & Communications

Carly has worked in senior marketing and communications roles for over ten years, starting off in travel and tourism then fashion and retail and most recently the third sector, where she led the communications for national charity Look Good Feel Better. Her vast experience has seen her work across the whole marketing mix on everything from award winning advertising campaigns, generating media coverage for a baby Gorilla, playing with LEGO and helping boost the confidence of people living with cancer. In her spare time she loves nothing more than long walks and pub lunches with her dog.

Meet The YGAM Team | Uva Jurcina

Uva Jurcina

Community Development Manager, Coventry

Uva is a final year Media and Communications student at Coventry University, with experience in working as a marketing and PR executive. Uva is a student ambassador and someone who enjoys spending time and working with people. Uva’s interests include volunteering, singing and playing instruments.

Meet The YGAM Team | Mario Pérez

Mario Pérez

Community Development Manager, Brighton

Mario is a Spanish student in MSc Social Marketing at the University of Brighton. Before starting this postgraduate course, Mario was working at bet365 as customer service advisor and as responsible gambling agent. During this experience, Mario became aware of gambling risks and that is why he decided to join YGAM´s project.