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 identifying and appointing more board members.

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.

Dame 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 leading youth employment expert, providing insight and expertise to many groups such as the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Employment and Education, Education and Skills Sub Committee, and sits on two ESF National Sub-Committees; Employment, Skills and Social Inclusion and Equality and Diversity.
Simon Wooley

Simon Woolley

Non-executive Director
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.

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 aNon-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.


We have an initial team of interims and secondees supporting our Chair, Joe Montgomery.

James Endean

Interim COO
James is leading the establishment of Youth Futures Foundation and will stay in role until our permanent CEO has been appointed. Working closely with our Chair, Joe Montgomery, James is developing the governance, operational systems and policies in preparation for us taking on the £90m of dormant assets funds we have been awarded. James will also lead our work on business engagement. James has a background in company and business unit start-ups, building on his general management and finance experience in Unilever.

Eleanor Stringer

Head of Strategy & Policy
Eleanor leads the strategy and policy work of Youth Futures Foundation and is making sure that the approach we take has the greatest possible impact on the lives of young people. Eleanor joins us as a secondee from Education Endowment Foundation and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience of using evidence to improve outcomes for disadvantaged young people. At Education Endowment Foundation, she was most recently Head of Programmes, which included managing large grants that were robustly evaluated to assess their impact on children’s learning, and wrote evidence-based guidance reports for schools. Before that she worked at Social Finance and New Philanthropy Capital.

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.

Anna Darnell

Policy and Partnerships Manager
As Policy & Partnerships Manager, Anna is helping to shape and deliver our organisational strategy by leading our stakeholder management and ensuring that YFF has strong relationships with relevant youth/youth employment organisations, as well as public bodies and Government departments. She is also driving forward the vital role of Youth Voice within YFF. Anna joins us as a secondee from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), where she was a Policy Advisor in the Youth and Social Action Team, leading on a number of different youth funding streams, supporting youth services policy development and was closely involved in the early policy work that supported YFF’s creation. Prior to this, Anna worked in the charity sector in a mixture of policy, research and frontline information services at Relate and Gingerbread.

Sonia Archer

Youth Voice Manager
Sonia leads our work on Youth Involvement, working on embedding processes that enable young people’s input into the full range of activities and decision making across the organisation.  Sonia has previously headed up a wide range of youth-led training and employability programmes and initiatives and brings a wealth of experience working to support disadvantaged young people into meaningful opportunities.   Most recently Sonia was Head of Employability at London Youth, which included the successful delivery of their youth-led Talent Match London programme and setting up the pre-employability Future Talent programme.  Prior to this, Sonia worked as Head of Membership at Only Connect, supporting young people at risk of crime using arts based programmes and also St Giles Trust who work to support ex-offenders into training and employment.



The Youth Futures foundation is seeking a strategic partner to deliver end to end grant-making administrative services for our first grant-making round.


Youth Futures team have been hosting and facilitating conversations in Manchester, Bolton, Blackpool and Liverpool around understanding the local provision of services available to young people who face overcoming barriers to finding a job.


Coco reflects on her experience of taking part in one of our Youth consultations and why emphasises why feeling listened to is so empowering.