Our non-executive board set our overall strategic direction and contribute expert skills and knowledge to Youth Futures Foundation.

Our Founding Chair is Joe Montgomery. Joe has extensive experience in the public and community sectors, with a focus on ensuring services benefit the most disadvantaged people.

We are in the process of appointing one more board member.

Joe Montgomery

Joe brings extensive experience from the public and community sectors, with a focus on ensuring services benefit the most disadvantaged. He has served as the government's Director General for Places and Communities and previously led the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit under the same title. He holds several other non-executive roles and has been a Civil Service Commissioner since June 2017. As Chair, Joe leads our non-executive board and is responsible for setting the strategy and governing of YFF's social purpose.

Jenny North

Non-executive Director
Jenny North is currently the Deputy CEO at Dartington Service Design Lab. Previously Director of Policy and Strategy at Impetus, she has also held positions at Relate, the Maternity Alliance, New Policy Insititute and the Home Office.

Julia Cleverdon

Non-executive Director
Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO CBE is a lifetime campaigner who has worked tirelessly to promote opportunities for disadvantaged young people. As  Co-founder of the #iwill campaign, Vice Patron of Teach First and Vice President of Business in the Community, she encourages collaboration among senior leaders from business, government, education and the most disadvantaged communities to build a more robust and sustainable civil society.

Laura-Jane Rawlings

Non-executive Director
Laura-Jane Rawlings is the CEO of Youth Employment UK, the leading voice and expert on youth employment issues in the UK. Laura-Jane is recognised as a champion for youth employment and ensuring the voices of young people are heard, providing insight and expertise to many groups such as the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Employment, she sits on two ESF National Sub-Committees; Employment, Skills and Social Inclusion and Equality and Diversity and has led a number of inquiries and research projects on the subject.

Simon Woolley

Non-executive Director
Lord Simon Woolley is a political and equalities activist. He is the Founder and Director of Operation Black Vote, the Chair of the Advisory Group to the Race Disparity Audit and is a former Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Simon was knighted in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours list for services to race equality. He was made a life peer in October 2019.

Tony Hawkhead

Non-executive Director
Sir Tony Hawkhead is currently Lay Vice-Chair of the new NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and a former Non-executive Director at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). He has held several high-profile charity positions including CEO at Groundwork UK and Action for Children. He is soon to take up his position as Chair of trustees at Cruse Bereavement Care.

Joel Davis

Non-executive Director
Joel Davis is the CEO of Tutors United; a social enterprise that hires, trains and pays university students and provides affordable tutoring to primary school pupils who need it the most. Since starting Tutors United, Joel has scaled its operations across four cities and employed over 300 university students to tutor over 1,000 primary school pupils to make outstanding academic progress. Joel is a trustee of the multi-national charity School for Social Entrepreneurs and has been a key advisor in helping UK wide funders develop their offer to engage and support young people in social entrepreneurship.

Alex Morawski

Non-executive Director
Alex is a graduate from the University of Warwick where he studied Politics and International Studies. He became passionate about issues of social mobility and inequality after seeing the underrepresentation of working class and state educated people at university. Alex volunteers as a tutor with the Refugee Council in Barnsley to provide English classes to help refugees integrate into the local community.


Anna Smee

Anna began her career in asset management and financial services, before joining the Young Foundation as Director of Ventures. Her recent work at UK Youth has seen her emerge as one of the leading voices for youth opportunities and employment in the UK. She is a powerful advocate both in Whitehall and with employers and has developed an extensive knowledge of youth provision across the country

Felix Adenaike

Head of Finance and Operations
Felix has worked in a variety of roles in the further education sector. He has been responsible for financial management, planning, audit and the wider corporate services. Felix has been involved in new business start-ups in the education and commercial sectors. He is passionate about lifelong learning.

Victoria Burnip

Interim Director of Communications
Winner of the UK’s Charity and Social Enterprise Leader award in November 2019, Victoria Burnip is passionate about improving the lives of others and making a difference in local communities. Victoria is an ambitious and values-driven social leader and entrepreneur with over ten years’ experience providing strategic and operational support to charities.

Jane Colechin

Head of Evidence and Evaluation
Dr Jane Colechin is a social researcher with a decade of experience working on high profile labour market, education and welfare reform evaluations and studies. Jane began her career in academia, where she researched the growth of evidence-based policy making in early years education and care policy.  Wanting to have more impact on policy, she moved to the charity sector, working for a national parenting charity on parental working rights and lobbying for shared parental leave. Jane joins us from the Learning and Work institute, where for the last six years she has led a number of large scale impact evaluations of employment, in work progression and welfare reform programmes for national and local governments.  Jane has particular expertise in theory-led evaluations and ensuring co-design is part of evaluation and programme delivery and will seek to ensure that rigorous and youth-informed principles are used in all of YFF’s evaluation and evidence processes. Out of work, Jane is a parent of twin pre-schoolers and is on the committee for her local twins trust club.  When she gets any spare time, she loves to go for long cycle rides or go for country walks via a decent pub or two!

Anna Darnell

Head of Strategy
Anna shapes and delivers our organisational strategy by leading our stakeholder management and connecting insights to find solutions to drive systemic change. Key to this is developing our relationships with youth and youth employment organisations, public bodies, Government departments and employers. Anna is also driving forward Youth Voice, ensuring young people are at the heart of everything we do. Anna has a wealth of experience in this area having led youth services policy development for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). her work in policy, research and frontline information service at Relate and Gingerbread and her involvement in community youth and social engagement activities.  Outside of work, Anna is a trainee Counsellor for Childline and volunteers for the Young Women’s Trust. She is also a huge Liverpool fan so is currently very smug!
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Deuvaunn Darroux

Office Assistant & Executive Assistant to the CEO (Interim)
Deuvaunn started his career in the Montserrat Legislative Assembly, where he helped facilitate programs to support and empower young people entering secondary school. Hearing their thoughts on employment opportunities sparked his passion for ensuring that young people have access to meaningful employment regardless of their circumstances. After moving to the UK in 2018, Deuvaunn volunteered as an Ambassador for Youth Employment UK. He was appointed policy officer to their Ambassador Board in January 2019.  He is responsible for ensuring that ambassadors around the country are supported in sharing their views and experiences so that Youth Employment UK makes policy recommendations with strong youth voice representation. Before working for Youth Futures Foundation in a full-time role, he worked as a consultant helping to develop their youth voice strategy. Youth advocacy is Deuvaunn’s entire being! In addition to his work on employment, he is keen to ensure young people, particularly those that might be overlooked, have a voice on other issues that affect them.  He is a member of Lambeth Youth Council and leads on their youth engagement and helps coordinate their equality and diversity and awareness campaigns. He also served as the London Youth Assembly Member for Lambeth and in this capacity sat on various statutory boards which allowed him to ensure that young people were considered in the implementation of decisions across the Borough.

James Endean

Interim COO

James is leading the creation of Youth Futures Foundation’s governance, operational systems and policies required to take on the £90m of dormant assets funds we have been awarded and to become a fully operational  organisation. As Interim COO, James was one of the initial team working with our Chair, Joe Montgomery, creating the organisation and is now responsible for Finance, IT, Legal, HR and Comms functions. James has a background in company and business unit start-ups, building on his general management and finance experience in Unilever.

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Laura Gibbon

Interim Head of People
Laura has many years of senior management and leadership experience in the youth and education sector. As Interim Head of People, she is supporting us to build our team as we enter a period of rapid growth.
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Sharon Jones

Interim Head of Grants
With over 18 years’ experience in grant making, Sharon is a passionate advocate for investing in young people’s potential and addressing inequalities across communities. As former Head of Funding at The National Lottery Community Fund she developed innovative funding initiatives across England, worked on the Talent Match programme addressing barriers to work for young people and led the regional team in the NW. Outside of work Sharon continues to build her expertise in funding as Vice Chair of the Co-op Foundation and a trustee of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity.
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Daniel Lewis

Grants Programme Coordinator
Daniel is currently on secondment at YFF providing support to the grants team on a variety of projects. He is a trainee solicitor and will qualify in the Charities and Social Economy department of a national law firm in September. Prior to completing his law conversion, Daniel worked as the Programme Manager in the London office a German NGO. He has also held various voluntary positions in the charitable sector and is a trustee of a small charity that provides legal advice to appeal rights exhaused asylum seekers.
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Harminder Matharu

Interim Director of Partnerships
Harminder is leading on Youth Futures Foundation’s regional and national partnerships to develop and champion effective strategic approaches for tackling rising youth unemployment and facilitate the much-needed support for disadvantaged groups.  Harminder has experience of working with a range of private and public sector organisations with over twelve years expertise in post-16 education and skills policy and government funded provision.  She has recently worked on regional skills devolution with mayoral cities and training provider networks across England and is a passionate advocate for apprenticeships, life-long learning and social mobility.

Caroline O’Dwyer

Communications and content consultant
Caroline has over 20 years’ experience working on communications and campaigns. She has worked in senior roles in the private, public and charity sector. As co-director of communications and campaigns for a youth legal charity she worked on many high profile campaigns which influenced national policy, including success at the Supreme Court. She has corporate communications management experience as well as working on grassroots campaigns. She has extensive experience of both proactive and reactive media relations. She has many years’ experience of press management; branding; writing, commissioning and editing content. As head of communications for a national public body with over 1,200 staff, Caroline was responsible for all press, PR, publications, website, and public information content. As the first person in her family to go to university, she is passionate about education and social mobility.

Gina Osbourne

Interim Grant Programmes & Finance Support
Gina started her career working in financial services in Programme Management Office for capital projects in construction, demolition, refurbishment, rebranding, finance and governance.  With her passion for the community Gina has supported BAME non profit organisations in fundraising, capacity building and has previously been a committee member for Black Fundraisers UK and Trustee for Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal.
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Jayne Phenton

Interim Head of Marketing and Communications
Jayne has worked in PR and communications in the charity sector for almost 20 years, putting good causes in the news and writing on a diverse range of subjects including education, public realm, dementia and mental health. Out of hours she edits her own publication, Her Edit. 

Matthew Poole

Interim Director of Programmes
Matthew is leading the development and delivery of programmes for the Youth Futures Foundation, ensuring grantmaking excellence to all our partners to enable young people to build successful futures. Matthew joins us as a secondee from the National Lottery Community Fund, where he most recently established and led the regional grant-making team across the Midlands, and previously was responsible for Talent Match a significant investment aimed at support young people find work. His career has been built on working with people and communities to transform systems and services to help people and communities become less dependent, more self-reliant and ultimately vibrant. Outside of the office, he’s committed to supporting and coaching young people and is heavily involved with local youth work in the West Midlands.
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Tom Richmond

Senior Policy Advisor
Tom has spent over 15 years in the world of education and skills. This has included six years as a teacher, working in three different think tanks in Westminster, spending three years in the private sector and being appointed as an advisor to ministers at the Department for Education. Last year he launched the ‘EDSK’ think tank that aims to design new and better ways for policymakers and educators to help every learner succeed – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.Tom R



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