Meet the Team

LEADERSHIP TEAM

Lee Willows

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Lee Willows

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, Prince’s Trust, Newcastle College Group and Trailblazers. Lee’s personal struggles with gambling were the catalyst to establish YGAM.
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Kev Clelland

Strategic Alliance Director

Kev Clelland

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.
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Helen Martin

Director of Finance

Helen Martin

Helen is a chartered accountant with over 20 years of experience in senior finance and governance roles, primarily in the not-for-profit sector. Helen qualified at KPMG where she specialised in business planning and grant funding.

Daniel Bliss

Director of External Affairs

Daniel Bliss

Daniel previously worked for the Gambling Commission for 3 years in several roles within their communications team. He has also held roles in politics and regional press. Daniel has valuable expertise in communications, marketing, public affairs and stakeholder engagement.

Caroline Gallagher

Head of Quality Assurance & Programme Compliance

Caroline Gallagher

Caroline has 9 years experience working in quality assurance and assessment for a national awarding organisation. Previous experience includes working in the drug and alcohol and disability sectors. Caroline brings a wealth of experience working with vulnerable people of all ages, along with her quality assurance expertise.

Kathryn Hemmings

People Director

Kathryn Hemmings

Kathryn has 9 years HR experience gained primarily at BT Group. Here she worked in a number of HR Business Partner roles across a variety of functions from sales to service and project management. She has also led on a number of large projects and has a particular interest in Diversity and Inclusion.

Linda Scollins-Smith

Operations Director

Linda Scollins-Smith

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 and improving opportunities for hard to reach young people. Linda has been successful in management roles demonstrating excellent stakeholder management, establishing local networks and partners.

EDUCATION TEAM

Kyle Riding

Head of Delivery: Education - North

Kyle Riding

Kyle has 3 years’ experience as a client relations manager focusing on the digital safeguarding of young people and prior to this had 7 years’ experience as a teacher and member of middle management within school; holding subject leadership roles in Speaking and Listening and Modern Foreign Languages.

Amy Evans

Education Manager - Yorkshire & Humber

Amy Evans

Amy is a qualified secondary teacher and has 7 years’ experience working with children and young people within inner city secondary schools. Her experience includes leading outreach projects alongside Bradford Council, as well as organising and leading on continuous professional development.

Asma Akbar

Education Manager – North West

Asma Akbar

Asma recently graduated from the University of Manchester with a Masters in Humanitarianism and Conflict Response. During her academic life and career she nurtured a passion to work with young people. Asma strived to combine young people and youth work with her international development work.

Claire Patel

Education Manager - North East

Claire Patel

Claire has over 10 years’ experience of working within the education, employment and charity sector within the North East. Claire is passionate about supporting and empowering young people to make informed choices and is experienced in networking, recruitment and delivering a wide range of workshops.

Katherine Sawyer

Education Manager - South West

Kathryn Sawyer

Katherine has worked in the not-for-profit sector for almost 10 years, within a variety of organisations, to promote the importance of Employability Skills to young people. As part of this work she has been involved in projects aimed to raise aspirations and engagement with students.

Lucy Gardner

Education Manager - West Midlands

Lucy Gardner

Lucy grew up in Kenya before coming back to the UK to study Psychology at Bangor University where she developed her love of the mountains and outdoors. She has since worked with a number of charity organisations both in the UK and abroad, working on building sustainable Shea Butter businesses with widows in Burkina Faso.

Sandy Thompson

Education Manager - Greater London

Sandy Thompson

After a rewarding career in retail management, Sandy re-trained as a project manager and now has fifteen years’ experience planning and delivering high profile, public facing and commercial projects. She has volunteered with a number of organisations that educate and mentor young people and is passionate about using her skill-set to continue this work in the charity sector.

Sam Robinson

Education Manager - Wales

Sam Robinson

Sam has almost 6 years of direct delivery experience supporting young people in Wales for The Prince’s Trust Cymru, creating and delivering their employability and engagement activities in South West Wales as an Operations Executive. Out of work Sam loves to travel and is a keen Cardiff Devil’s Ice Hockey and Welsh Rugby supporter.

Sam Starsmore

National Education Manager

Sam Starsmore

Sam has spent 12 years working within the Insurance industry in several roles including Relationship Management, Training Delivery & Customer Service. His passion for joining YGAM and safeguarding young people stems from his personal struggles with gambling.

Jimmy Parkin

Education Manager: Yorkshire and Humber

Jimmy Parkin

Jimmy has over 9 years’ experience in the Further Education sector, holding various roles from managing the cross-college PSHE and enrichment programme to delivering an extensive number of subjects including Enterprise, Gambling Awareness and GCSE English.

Sacha Kent

Education Manager - South East & East

Sacha Kent

Sacha has spent the past six years working in a safeguarding background, the majority through an online child abuse team within the police as a civilian, and more recently with the official charity of a premier league football club. She received her masters in Criminology from Portsmouth in 2019, continuing her passion for safeguarding young people through academic studies.

Colin Bland

Education Manager: North West

Colin Bland

Colin had a 17-year career as a police officer, serving in both Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire. Colin later moved on and led a project raising awareness and providing training about gambling-related harms to frontline staff all across Yorkshire, Humberside and North Lincolnshire.

EXTERNAL AFFAIRS TEAM

James Matthewson

Marketing & Communications Manager

James Matthewson

James joined YGAM from his previous role working in the House of Commons. He has worked in Political Communications in Westminster and has extensive experience handling National Press & Broadcast Media. James is also a Freelance Writer, having written for publications including; The Huff Post, The Daily Mirror and The Times.

Kelly Delgado

Creative & Design Assistant

Kelly Delgado

‘Kelly has worked within the gambling industry for a number of years during which she has gained a vast amount of knowledge within compliance and safer gambling. She has a degree in Design and Illustration and has been looking to further her skill set by taking additional courses within Web and UX design.

MINDFUL RESILIENCE PROGRAMME

Paul Thomas

Mindful Resilience Project Lead

Paul Thomas

Paul has 18 years’ experience engaging with stakeholders throughout the health care system, working within pharmaceuticals and delivering patient-centred services to the industry. He brings a deep knowledge of cross-functional working and collaboration, focused on adding value to healthcare professionals caring for people in need of help and support..

James Morris

Mindful Resilience Trainer

James Morris

James has worked within the Health & Social Care sector for over 10 years, and has been providing training for 6 years, working to deliver training internally for organisations, and nationally for a Peer Support Project. With a background is Psychology, James has supported adults and young people living with a variety of challenges, including problematic substance use.

Phil Tran

Mindful Resilience Trainer

Phil Tran

Phil has worked in the private sector for 11 years prior to deciding to move into the charity sector. Having had lived experience with depression and addiction, along with his background in Learning & Development, YGAM was a perfect organisation to join to help make a difference. Outside of work, Phil loves watching anime, supporting his beloved Ulster and Ireland rugby teams and playing video games.

PARENTS PROGRAMME

Amanda Atkinson

Head of Parental Engagement

Amanda Atkinson

Amanda has over 17 years’ experience in a training capacity. Amanda has developed resources for children and young people, parents and teachers and has established excellent relationships within schools, local authorities and organisations and national networks.

SAFER GAMBLING PROGRAMME

Ian Shanahan

Head of Safer Gambling Partnerships

Ian Shanahan

Ian has over 30 years in the gambling industry working in land based casinos both in the UK and abroad. He has worked through the various customer facing roles up to management and progressed into compliance and responsible gambling training which he managed for over 8 years at the Rank Group.

Nadia Tarik

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Nadia Tarik

ADMIN TEAM

Rachel Richards

People & Administration Manager

Rachel Richards

Rachel has over 20 years administration experience gained in the public and charitable sectors. She has worked in a variety of roles including office manager, personal assistant and project coordinator. She is also an experienced school governor, with a particular interest in the wellbeing of children, students and staff.

Hayley Caiels

Administrative Support Officer

Hayley Caiels

The majority of Hayley’s working career has been spent in the private sector, in probate administration. Hayley has previously worked for a tour operator specialising in long-haul sales and has previous experience of working in the charity sector. Hayley enjoys country walks, reading, cake decorating and spending time with her family.

Naomi Higham

Finance Assistant

Naomi Higham

Naomi is an AAT Qualified Bookkeeper. Naomi started her career as a paediatric staff nurse and worked for the NHS for 16 years on a supra-regional cardiology unit. She has since taken on the role of Clerical Assistant in a busy school office. In her spare time, Naomi enjoys baking and going camping with her husband and three children, and is an active member of the school PTA.

QUALITY ASSURANCE

Sam Low

Data Manager: QA

Sam Low

Sam has 9 years’ experience working within the charity sector, and brings a wealth of expertise in data, digital systems, and databases. Outside of work, Sam spends most of his spare time Whitewater Kayaking and volunteering at his local canoe club!

Daniel Carlin

Data Manager: Education

Daniel Carlin

For the past 4 years Dan has been an NHS employee At the Royal Derby hospital, within Histology as a Medical Science Associate. Having studied physics at the University of Hull he previously worked as a research and development test engineer in the private sector.
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