Meet the Team

People are at the heart of everything we do and YGAM are very lucky to work with such diverse and highly skilled professionals, volunteers, employees, trustees and patrons.

Leadership Team

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Lee Willows

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

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.

Lee Willows

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

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…

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Kev Clelland

Education Director (Interim)

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.

Kev Clelland

Education Director (Interim)

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…

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Sam Calvert-Smith

Administration Manager

Sam has been a PA/administrator for over 25 years with her most recent experience being 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!

Sam Calvert-Smith

Administration Manager

Sam has been a PA/administrator for over 25 years with her most recent experience being in the third sector. Sam started her career at HSBC…

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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.

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 …

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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.

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 …

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Employees

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Pete Woodward

Head of University & Student Engagement

Pete joined YGAM following ten years working in and around Higher Education. He managed teams within Universities and Students’ Unions for seven years before joining the student recruitment team at Teach First working across three different regions prior to joining YGAM. Outside of work Pete holds an eclectic mix of interests including Eurovision, television industries, and football.

Pete Woodward

Head of University & Student Engagement

Pete joined YGAM following ten years working in and around Higher Education. He managed teams within Universities and Students’ Unions for seven years …

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Sarah Gosling

University Engagement Advisor & 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. Sarah has led communications and change projects, finance and marketing teams, and managed suppliers and technicians to achieve great results.

Sarah Gosling

University Engagement Advisor & Secretary to the Boards

Sarah is an experienced charity chief executive, trustee and a governance specialist. Prior to her move to the charity sector …

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Linda Scollins-Smith

Education Manager – North East

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.

Linda Scollins-Smith

Education Manager – North East

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 . . .

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Asma Akbar

Education Manager – North West

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. She 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!

Asma Akbar

Education Manager – North West

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. . . .

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Rebecca Mark

Education Manager – London and South East

After an exciting and fulfilling career in business development for the creative industries, 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. Rebecca 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.

Rebecca Mark

Education Manager – London and South East

After an exciting and fulfilling career in business development for the creative industries, including design, illustration and fine art, Rebecca trained to teach primary aged children . . .

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Nadia Tarik

Chartered Manager Degree Apprentice

Nadia has joined the team as the first YGAM Apprentice, where she will complete a mixture of study and full-time work over the next four years.

Nadia Tarik

Chartered Manager Degree Apprentice

Nadia has joined the team as the first YGAM Apprentice, where she will complete a mixture of study and full-time work over the next four years.

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Mateusz Atamanczuk

Buckinghamshire New 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. He started gaining experience in project management back in Poland where Matt was involved with start-ups and associations. In his spare time, Matt likes reading fantasy books and singing.

Mateusz Atamanczuk

Buckinghamshire New 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 . . .

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Uva Jurcina

Coventry University

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.

Uva Jurcina

Coventry University

Uva is a final year Media and Communications student at Coventry University, with experience in working as a marketing and PR executive . . .

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Jahid Hussain

Queen Mary University of London

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.

Jahid Hussain

Queen Mary University of London

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 . . .

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Patrons

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Anne and Keith Evans

Founder Patrons

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

Anne and Keith Evans

Founder Patrons

Anne has now retired, following a distinguished career within education. Husband Keith, has also retired following his notable career working for a multinational window manufacturer . . .

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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 within organisations dealing with gambling issues. He is the author of a number of publications including the book ‘Understanding Problem Gamblers’.

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 . . .

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Trustees & Volunteers

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Mike Wojcik

Chair of Trustees

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

Mike Wojcik

Chair of Trustees

Mike is a well-rounded and seasoned professional with a proven track record in business transformation, governance, shaping and achieving strategic goals . . .

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Gabriella Tamas

Treasurer & Chair of Finance Audit & Risk Committee

Gabriella has spent 25 years in operational and divisional finance director positions in the fast paced 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. Gabriella’s experience working with overseas teams could also help to reach universities outside of the UK.

Gabriella Tamas

Treasurer & Chair of Finance Audit & Risk Committee

Gabriella has spent 25 years in operational and divisional finance director positions in the fast paced music industry working for EMI and Universal Music International . . .

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Caroline Price

Trustee, Chair of People & Transformation Committee

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

Caroline Price

Trustee, Chair of People & Transformation Committee

Caroline is an experienced leader in transforming services & training within the charity sector. She brings a proven record of leading organisational step change . . .

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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 Bijan has delivered a global marketing strategy, launching a multi-market mobile app within an in-house client team in the Telecommunications, Media & Technology sector for Veon.

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 …

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Hayley Conboy

Trustee

Hayley is a leader in fundraising, with experience of developing successful 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.

Hayley Conboy

Trustee

Hayley is a leader in fundraising, with experience of developing successful strategies and managing large teams to secure philanthropic income …

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Valerie Bozzello

Trustee

Valerie 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.

Valerie Bozzello

Trustee

Valerie 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 . . .

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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.

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 …

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Hayley Pegden

Trustee

Hayley is an experienced senior marketing and communications professional leading on marketing strategy development, campaigns, digital, internal communications, PR and branding. With experience 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.

Hayley Pegden

Trustee

Hayley is an experienced senior marketing and communications professional leading on marketing strategy development, campaigns, digital, internal communications . . .

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Paddy Griffiths

Trustee

Paddy 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 Corporate Partnerships at Barnado’s.

Paddy Griffiths

Trustee

Paddy is an experienced fundraising leader, with a background in corporate partnerships, community, philanthropy and major gifts . . .

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Will Ridley

Chair of Young People’s Advisory Group

Will works as a Brand Executive for Sky Betting & Gaming and graduated from Teeside University with a degree in Business Management, where he took a year out as the elected Students’ Union President representing 18,000 students and running various student led campaigns. Last year he was named ‘Happiest Future Leader’ at the National Happiness Awards.

Will Ridley

Chair of Young People’s Advisory Group

Will works as a Brand Executive for Sky Betting & Gaming and graduated from Teeside University with a degree in Business Management . . .

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YGAM Innovation

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

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…

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Gill White

Chair & Non-Executive Director

Gill runs the commercial arm of the Professional Body and charity the CIPD, overseeing designing 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 & CIPD in September 2013 and is now Business & Markets Development Director covering commercial enterprises, business development, and the international areas. Prior to joining CIPD, Gill held the Head of L&D roles at Vodafone, Xchanging and SSP.

Gill White

Chair & Non-Executive Director

Gill runs the commercial arm of the Professional Body and charity the CIPD, overseeing designing content that supports the professionalisation agenda from apprenticeships . . .

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Gabriella Tamas

Treasurer & Chair of Finance Audit & Risk Committee

Gabriella has spent 25 years in operational and divisional finance director positions in the fast paced 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. Gabriella’s experience working with overseas teams could also help to reach universities outside of the UK.

Gabriella Tamas

Treasurer & Chair of Finance Audit & Risk Committee

Gabriella has spent 25 years in operational and divisional finance director positions in the fast paced music industry working for EMI and Universal Music International . . .

Find out more
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Jake McClure

Non-Executive Director

Jake 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.

Jake McClure

Non-Executive Director

Jake 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 . . .

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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, Graham also established the first ever retail tracking system to spot problem behaviour whilst working at Ladbrokes Coral as their Responsible Gambling Director. In 2018, he established his own consultancy business, Safer Gambling Solutions Ltd aiming to help reduce gambling-related harm.

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 . . .

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Dimitris Samouris

Non-Executive Director

Dimitris 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. Dimitris has a passion for sports and competitive debate, having spent many years speaking for his university and country before coaching the next generation of orators.

Dimitris Samouris

Non-Executive Director

Dimitris is a strategy consultant for EY-Parthenon, specialising in commercial due diligence for private equity investors and new market entry for corporate clients.

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Shane Stafford

Non-Executive Director

Shane 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.

Shane Stafford

Non-Executive Director

Shane 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 . . .

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Jackie Joy

Quality Assurance Advisor & Corporate Trainer

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.

Jackie Joy

Quality Assurance Advisor & Corporate Trainer

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 . . .

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