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NCS Team

NYA Team


Carol Stone

Carol is Vice-Chair (Practice Development) of our NYA Board of Trustees. She started out as a Youth Worker in Sheffield and has since worked in youth and community work aswell as community/adult education in a number of local authorities, gaining many years’ experience in partnership working and management. She has also often been a contributor to the national agenda in terms of young people’s issues. In her role as early intervention service manager for Calderdale Council she was responsible for the youth service where she has had a key role in the development of Connexions and IYSS, and has been an Early Intervention Service Manager for Calderdale Council with responsibility for youth work and CYP voice including advocacy.

Barbara Bradley

Barbara is Chair of our NYA Board of Trustees. Barbara is currently leading senior government sales and relations for Serco Central Government, after returning from a years’ secondment to the Home Office driving the departments’ Transformation agenda. Previous to that, she held the position of Managing Director for the Citizen Services business, spanning DWP, BIS, Defra, DH, FCO and the Cabinet Office and was the Director of Custodial and Occupational Health Services having operational responsibility for transforming primary health services into custodial settings across the country. Barbara joined Serco in 2010 as the Global IT Strategy Director responsible for M&A, technology partnerships and integrated technology across the Serco estate. Prior to joining Serco, Barbara held senior roles at IBM UK where she performed operational, account director and sales management roles for over 12 years.

Natalie Smith

Natalie is one of our Young Trustees. She has a background in Hospitality Business Management and is currently working within the third sector, gaining experience at a grassroots level in an area which suffers from high levels of deprivation.

Cllr Ken Meeson

Ken is a representative on our NYA Board of Trustees from the Local Government Association. He is currently the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skill at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and also Chairs its multi-agency Health and Wellbeing Board. He is a Lay Mental Health Act Manager and has a special interest in emotional wellbeing and mental health issues for children and young people.  He also currently sits on a regional safeguarding body combating child sexual exploitation and is a safeguarding coordinator for the Scout Association. Ken has a long history of leadership roles within youth organisations and is currently chair of our NYA Audit Committee.

Gabriel Buck

Gabriel (Gabby) is a qualified banker with more than 35 years international banking experience.  His work involves advising and executing cross border trade and infrastructure projects, mostly in the developing world, to governments and state-owned enterprises. He regularly advises the government on international trade and how to make UK companies more successful overseas.  He is chair of the British Bankers’ Association’s Export Finance Committee. Along with his role on our Board, Gabby also supports us as a member of our NYA Finance and Resources Committee.

Mark Norris

Mark is a qualified solicitor and a partner in the law firm Sullivan & Worcester. His practice covers English law, finance and commercial matters. He regularly advises on public and administrative law issues. Mark was the first member of his family to attend University and studied at the London School of Economics (LSE). Since graduation, he has continued to support the LSE – in particular their Widening Participation Programme which encourages access to the LSE for students from non-traditional backgrounds. Mark has also previously been a school governor. Mark has lived and practised in the Czech Republic (Prague), England (London), Germany (Düsseldorf and Frankfurt) and Russia (Moscow). Along with his role on our Board, Mark also supports us as Chair of our NYA People Development Committee.

Gill Millar

Gill Millar is Chair of NYA’s Education Training Standards Committee (ETS). Gill is a professionally qualified youth and community worker who has worked as a youth/community worker and manager in both local authorities and the voluntary sector, as well as training youth and community workers in universities and in their communities. Based in the South West, she led the Regional Youth Work Unit for many years and now supports youth sector organisations to demonstrate their impact with young people in challenging environments.

Leigh Middleton – Chief Executive Officer

Leigh joined the NYA in 2017, having worked with young people for over twenty years. During that time he’s been both a detached and open access youth worker, as well as working in schools and community settings. Leigh is a youth sector commissioning specialist and lead the way in developing new models of delivery for youth work in local communities in Surrey. This included exploring social investment models and public sector mutual opportunities.

Leigh is both JNC qualified, holds a PGCE and has nearly finished his Masters in Public Administration. Leigh’s started working with young people when he was 15 and has a huge passion for experiential learning and development of young people – he particularly champions authentic youth voice and participation and quality assurance of youth work practice. Outside of work Leigh enjoys travelling to explore different cultures.

Leigh can be contacted at

Amanda Fearn – Development Director

Amanda has worked in the youth sector for 20 years. Originally a front line worker with a focus on guidance and support, she worked with and for young people with multiple life challenges. She joined the National Youth Agency in 2008 and has led a range of works relating to quality standards, workforce development, health, participation and corporate funded programmes.

Amanda is currently the Development Director for the NYA and works tirelessly to drive the growth and evolution of the organisation. When not in the office she is most likely to be found driving the growth and evolution of her family, or walking the dog!

Amanda can be contacted on

Lisa Putnam – Assistant Director for Development

Lisa is Assistant Director for Development at the NYA, with responsibility for developing solutions and establishing new partnerships in response to current and emerging trends that affect young people and youth workers. Lisa is an experienced Project Manager and played a pivotal role on the Barclays Money Skills Champions programme and Employability Support programme.

Prior to joining NYA, Lisa worked in marketing and buying, gaining a broad portfolio of skills that add value to teams and projects.  Lisa thrives on challenges, particularly those that expand the NYA’s reach and ability to improve outcomes for young people.

Outside of work Lisa loves to travel, read and walking her dog.

Lisa can be contacted on

Katy Fielding – Assistant Director of Operations

Katy has been working for the National Youth Agency in different capacities since 2002.  Her original background was administration but over the years she has developed her skills and work areas and also graduated as a youth worker.  Katy has had a variety of roles from Finance Administrator to Head of Operations.

Katy is currently the Assistant Director of Operations and is responsible for all of NYA’s programmes partnership including O2, Our Bright Future, Money Advise Service, Royal Astronomical Society.  This role plays to her strengths of being able to deliver at a strategic level whilst focusing on operational outcomes, maintaining high quality standards and managing efficient and effective programmes.

Outside of work Katy loves to do practical projects at home such as decorating, landscaping and building flat pack.  She loves all animals, particularly cats, and owns 2, ‘Denzel’ and ‘Donavon’.

Katy can be contacted on

Jaede Todner – Executive Assistant and Office Manager

Jaede has been an integral part of the NYA since she joined as an apprentice in 2009. She works tirelessly to support the Chief Executive Officer, Board of Trustees and Senior Management Team across the organisation. On top of this she mentors our newest apprentice Shannon, has become an IT guru and Youth Work expert!

She’s perhaps best known for keeping the organisation in gingerbread, and being one of the only people in England to drink their tea without milk!

Jaede can be contacted on

Priya Patel – Programmes Operation Manager

Priya is the Programmes Operations Manager which involves being the gatekeeper for quality and governance within the NYA Programmes Team, as well as supporting the transition from contract award to programme set up. Priya draws upon her wealth of experience in planning, reporting, quality assurance, risk management and project communications to provide a flexible, pragmatic, efficient and proactive project support service. 

Priya enjoys spending her spare time with family and friends and has a big love for elephants.

Priya can be contacted on

Jodie Lees – Programme Delivery Manager

Jodie Lees is our Programme Delivery Manager and joined NYA in April 2017. Jodie manages the delivery of a number of our programmes including My Money Now and Future Proof Parks. Jodie has over 10 years of experience managing young people led programmes and has a huge passion for participation and co-production. In her spare time you can usually find Jodie getting stuck into a good book or critiquing the latest films.

Please do contact if you have any questions or queries regarding programmes and how to get involved.

Lydia Allen – Partnerships and Sustainability Coordinator

Lydia is the Partnerships and Sustainability Coordinator for The Environment Now.

With an environmental academic background, Lydia has always wanted to work in roles that aim to help and protect our Natural World, and from working on The Environment Now Lydia has learnt so much from young people and have been inspired by their innovative digital solutions to environmental issues.

Lydia holds a strong belief that the current and next generation are fundamental in solving current pressing issues to both people and planet.

In her spare time, Lydia likes to go for long walks in the glorious British countryside and she will happily join in a local litter pick especially when the reward includes a good pub lunch with friends.

Lydia can be contacted on

Heather Wildsmith – Young Person’s Coordinator

Heather Wildsmith is the young person’s coordinator working on The Environment Now programme.

The Environment Now programme is currently supporting 50 young people on their journey into entrepreneurship, Heather works with these young people to ensure they are on track with their projects.

Heather graduated from the University of Derby in 2015 where she completed her degree in Youth and Community work.

In her spare time Heather often travels back to her home city of Derby where she enjoys spending time with friends and family, and she can often be found in the peak district with a bag of duck food.

You can contact Heather on

Alex Winterton – Digital Marketing Coordinator

Alex joined the NYA in 2016 as an Employee Engagement Coordinator on the Barclays programme, and has since worked supporting the Business Development and Communications managers before moving into Digital Marketing.

Alex maintains NYA’s digital platforms day to day, and coordinates strategic content to populate them, as well as managing and engaging in various social campaigns.

From his academic background in Philosophy, Alex has attained a passion for social justice and works to champion young people wherever possible.

When out of work, Alex enjoys discovering new music, films, authors, and can often be found out in the woods trying to take decent photos.

You can contact Alex on

Charlotte Little – Programme Coordinator

Charlotte Little is a Peer Facilitator for the My Money Now project, delivering sessions across the UK to young people around financial capability. Charlotte is relatively new to the youth sector, but enjoys the variety and challenges of being a trainer. The My Money Now project is great because it allows her to meet a variety of young people, whilst equipping them with vital money skills for adult life.

Charlotte is passionate about wellbeing and enjoys yoga, cycling and running in her spare time – however, you can also find her travelling to new cities, her favourites being Prague and Paris!

Charlotte can be contacted on

Charlotte Tidbury – Programme Coordinator

Charlotte is a Programme Coordinator, supporting all NYA programmes with administration and delivery. She is a JNC qualified Youth and Community Worker with experience working in schools, hostels and youth and community centres both in the UK and abroad. Her previous role was as a Peer Facilitator on the NYA’s My Money Now programme, which involved delivering financial capability training to young people across England.

Charlotte has a keen interest in improving the lives of young people, and ensuring that youth work is inclusive and accessible to all young people. Contact Charlotte on for more information on any NYA programmes.

Adam Peel – Research Officer

Adam is NYA’s Research Officer and works to help us back up all the work we do with relevant evidence, and to also contribute to our continually evolving understanding of the sector. Coming to us from Citizens Advice, Adam has a welath of relevant experience, and with a Masters Degree that focused on social theory he also brings a passion for some of the more abstract elements of our work.

Outside of the workplace Adam is most happy on a cricket pitch, but also enjoys time in the kitchen or in nature; as a side he is attempting to play acoustic guitar well enough to mask his terrible singing!

Adam can be contacted on

Liz Rickaby – Head of Fundraising

Liz has worked in the Third Sector for over 20 years, applying commercial expertise gained in pharmaceutical marketing, to optimise income generation through commercial and fundraising activity. Prior to joining NYA in 2018 as Head of Fundraising, Liz worked for RBLI generating income for its work in support of veterans who were finding it difficult to secure and sustain work following a career in the Armed Forces. Liz has a real interest in continuous improvement and securing funding for services and projects which ensure everyone gets effective support to understand and achieve their potential, making the right choices in order to be the best version of themselves that they can be.

Outside of work, Liz enjoys spending time with her three daughters, especially when that involves food or travel!

Liz can be contacted on


Abbee McLatchie – Practice Development Manager

Abbee joined the NYA in 2018 as the Practice Development Manager.  She is JNC qualified and also holds a post graduate diploma in teaching. Abbee has worked within youth work and youth work training for 20 years, including writing and delivering JNC programmes from level 2 to degree level and CPD programmes.

Abbee is an experienced manager who strives for quality and professionalism in the young people’s workforce, applying this passion to her role at the NYA and alongside the ETS committee. She has experience in a range of settings and sectors from alternative education to social care, and passionately believes in the power of informal education to change lives and communities. You can contact Abbee at

Outside of work Abbee enjoys cooking, listening to podcasts and spending time with her family – although not always all at the same time!

Denise Halpern – Head of NCSNE Operations

Dave Reay – Conversion Manager

Jonny Marshall – Marketing Executive

Darren Crawley – Senior Recruitment Co-ordinator

Steven Waters – Conversion Team Leader

Simon Holloway – Residential Compliance Co-ordinator

Tom Goundry – Recruitment Co-ordinator

Rob Austin – Customer Service Advisor

Hayley Phillipson – Recruitment Co-ordinator

Kimberley Stephenson – Customer Service Advisor

Geoff Pinkerton – Customer Service Advisor

Ian Burns – Data, Technical and Conversion Manager

Chris Ord – Partnership Manager

Rachel Saunder – Head of Performance

Sarah Usher – Data Analyst

Toby Ducker

Toby believes that all young people should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential – whatever their background.

Working as an Insurance Executive, Toby helps companies with strategy, operations and transformational change.

Toby lives near London with his wife, children and a growing menagerie of animals.

Toby is Chair of our Finance and Governance Committee.

Lynne Stevens

Lynne is Chair of our NYA Growth Committee and is currently the Finance Director for Serco’s UK Defence business having been with Serco since 2008.  During her time at Serco she has worked in various finance and commercial positions across the Group, working across a wide range Government departments including Cabinet Office, DWP, MoD and NHS.

Lynne is married with two sons and lives in Andover.  In addition to spending time with her family, her interests are renovating her new home and travelling