Meet the Team
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.
Deputy Chair of Trustees
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.
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.
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.
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.
Christina Okorocha, 27, is a successful entrepreneur who founded VAMP, the first agency to solely focus on the representation and development of black digital talent in the UK. Christina also launched TAG, a network for young black professional, creative and entrepreneurial women. She is an ambassador for the ‘Mayor’s Fund for London’.
Anne has over 30 years of education experience as a teacher, principal, local authority officer and senior civil servant. From 2013-2016, Anne was the Founding Principal for the UTC in Media City UK in Manchester, taking it from vision to reality. Anne is now a director of her own company, ACE Limited, an educational solutions company supporting MATs, free schools, universities and school boards. She is also a part-time Department for Education Adviser.
Kwaku Owusu-Ansah is a recent Mechanical Engineering (MEng) graduate From University College London and he is currently working as an analyst in the Structured Finance, Investment Banking Division of Japanese bank, MUFG. Kwaku is a keen gamer and former footballer having played for Millwall FC, Leyton Orient FC and Colchester United FC.
Founder & Chief Executive OfficerConnect on Linkedin
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.
Operations DirectorConnect on Linkedin
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.
Director of Finance
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. After leaving KPMG Helen spent 15 years as Director of Business and Finance for the English Institute of Sport before leaving in 2016 to set up her own business providing financial management and consulting services to organisations in the not-for-profit sector. In her spare time Helen enjoys watching live music, photography and spending time with her two children.
Director of External Affairs
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. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys exploring cultural cities, eating out at restaurants and holds a seasons ticket at Birmingham City Football Club.
Head of Quality Assurance & Programme Compliance
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 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. In her spare time Kathryn enjoys walking, cooking, going to the gym and spending time with her children
Head of National Gambling Education Programme
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.
Head of Delivery: Education - North
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. Outside of work Kyle can be found in the gym, exploring warmer climates and planning his next adventures with friends.
Education Manager - Yorkshire & Humber
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. Amy has been successful in leadership and mentoring roles and has completed a Masters in Education, focusing heavily on Coaching and Leadership.
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!
Education Manager - North East
Claire has over 10 years’ experience of working within the education, employment and charity sector within the North East. Prior to this Claire worked for a Drug and Alcohol intervention team whilst completing her BA (Hons) Criminology degree. 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.
Education Manager - South West
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. More recently her work has taken her into the FE sector where she has been working with Creative Industry students on similar topics. She is passionate about ensuring young people get as much guidance as possible as they move forward in their lives and acts as a champion for those less fortunate. Outside of work she can be found walking the beautiful Dorset coastline with her dog or singing in a local rock choir as well as learning to play guitar!
Education Manager - West Midlands
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, childhood education in Kenya, and raising educational aspirations and achievement potential for young people in London, she also volunteers with the GoodGym helping to combat loneliness in Elderly people. In her free time she can be found running, hiking, being outdoors with her dogs and travelling.
Education Manager - Greater London
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. Over the years, 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.
Education Manager - Wales
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.
National Education Manager
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. In his spare time, he enjoys running, cooking, 70’s music & holds a season ticket at Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.
Data Manager: Education
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. In his spare time he is chairman of Derby Hockey Club and enjoys nothing more than chasing a ball on a chilly November afternoon. When he isn’t on a hockey or a cricket pitch he’ll be found in the local with a dark ale discussing philosophy, art and the state of gambling in sport.
Education Manager - South East & East
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. In her spare time Sacha volunteers through the Scouts as a Duke of Edinburgh Advisor, Trainer, Supervisor and Assessor, which combines both her love of the outdoors and hiking with the opportunity to work with some amazing young people who keep Sacha motivated. She is easy to recognise as her hair never stays the same colour for very long!
External Affairs Team
Marketing & Communications Manager
Jo has over ten years of experience as a journalist and marketing professional. He has written for publications including Time Out and USA Today, and has previously worked on the marketing teams for national arts organisations including Sadler’s Wells and Brighton Festival.
Marketing & Communications Manager
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. In his spare time he enjoys Gaming, Reading, Music & Theatre.
Creative & Design Assistant
‘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. In her spare time, Kelly likes to go for walks in the countryside and enjoys taking occasional life drawing classes. She enjoys music, art and spending time with her family.’
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.
Student Journalism Manager
Katie is currently studying an MA in Investigative Journalism at City University of London, frequently covering discrimination, education and mental health. Katie has been writing for three years (previously with the University of Warwick’s student newspaper, The Boar) and hopes to use her time at YGAM to investigate how universities can better support students with problem gaming and gambling through their mental health services. Alongside her studies, she volunteers for a local domestic abuse charity helping to raise awareness among young people about coercive control. On the weekends, she enjoys keeping active, whether that be by running, swimming or weightlifting!
Community Development Manager - Royal Holloway University of London
Mollie is currently a third-year Psychology, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience student at Royal Holloway University of London. On top of her studies, Mollie is a Research Assistant for Dr Scott Glover in the Imagery of Action Lab at Royal Holloway, Social Secretary of Fitness Society, and the Vice-President of Mentality, Royal Holloway’s newly reestablished Mental Health Network. Outside of uni, Mollie is a keen gamer, and especially loves open-world RPGs. Mollie has been an equestrian for most of her life, a hobby she continues to pursue throughout her time at university!
Student User Experience Manager
Noah is a second year student studying Politics and Sociology at Leeds University. He grew up in Australia moving to the UK last year. Noah says “I’m very excited about my new role with YGAM. It’s great to know we’re having a real impact on our local communities”.
Student Research Manager
Jon has recently completed his four year degree in Psychology at Leeds University and has now returned to study for a taught MSc in Psychology. During his studies Jon worked with the Specialist Addiction Services in Leeds and part time as a mental health support worker in inpatient settings. Jon is passionate about understanding the impact and harms of gambling and gaming on young people.
Community Development Manager - Queen Mary University of London
Jahid is currently studying BSc Psychology at Queen Mary University of London with the aspiration of working with young people. To help reach his goals, 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 spending time with his family and friends, and loves to experience the tastes of different foods and cuisines – but nothing beats mum’s curry!
Mindful Resilience Programme
Programme Manager & Clinical Lead
Ali has worked as a Clinical Psychologist in health settings for many years. She has held positions within the military, NHS and private sector and has experience working with young people and adults who experience psychological difficulty. She has a specialist interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and a passion for working with the whole system (individuals, families, and public and private organisations) to help improve people’s quality of life and wellbeing. Ali is committed to YGAM’s vision: to raise awareness and reduce the harm that can result from gaming and gambling.
Outside of work, Ali loves chilling out with her family and friends. She enjoys walking the South Downs with her dog, and running after her unruly, deaf spaniel certainly adds an interesting dimension to their adventures! She likes to undertake fitness challenges, but unfortunately not as much as she enjoys baking and sampling new cuisine…
Programme Manager & Clinical Lead
Ali has worked as a Clinical Psychologist in health settings for many years. She has held positions within the military, NHS and private sector and has experience working with young people and adults who experience psychological difficulty.
Mindful Resilience Trainer
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.
James is passionate about wider social change; creating a more inclusive and accepting society that works to support each other when it comes to holistic wellbeing. James is excited to bring about further understanding and awareness around problematic gaming and gambling issues, empowering others to provide the support needed to overcome these challenges.
In his free time James loves to travel, getting out into nature and cooking great food. James is in his element when listening to music while drinking coffee with friends.
Mindful Resilience Trainer
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. He is also trying to convince himself that he enjoys running, with limited but consistent progress.
Head of Parental Engagement
Amanda has over 17 years’ experience in a training capacity, including work within the work based learning and non for profit sector. Amanda has developed resources for children and young people, parents and teachers on subjects including crime prevention, personal growth, building resilience, life changes and on-line safety and has established excellent relationships within schools, local authorities and organisations and national networks.
Safer Gambling Programme
Head of Safer Gambling Partnerships
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. He also has project and product development background working collaboratively with various clients within the gambling industry to bring new an innovative products to the market. He loves travel and being outdoors with walking, cycling and golf being some of his passions.
People & Administration Manager
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, In her spare time, Rachel runs long-distance trails and enjoys renovating her home her with her husband.
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.
Data Manager: QA
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!
Anne and Keith Evans
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.
Paul Bellringer OBE
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’.
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