Our research partners

The University of Manchester team has established a National Policy and Practice Network, a group of partners who will work with the research team throughout the project. The members all have expertise in working with young people, marginalised populations, and/or policy development and implementation.

Adam Farricker, Youth Strategy Manager at Manchester City Council

Adam Farricker has a BA(Hons) in Youth and Community Work and is currently the Youth Strategy Manager at Manchester City Council, leading on the development and quality of the City’s Youth and Play offer including the commissioning of Youth and Play services. He had a lead role in supporting the transition of Manchester being a direct deliverer of youth services to a commissioner between 2011-2012. More recently he has worked with the Cabinet Office through its ‘Delivering Differently for Young People’ programme, which aims to explore new innovative models of delivering young people’s services across the country. As a result of this work over the last 18 months Manchester has supported the development and establishment of a new Youth and Play charity (Young Manchester) that will take on the Local Authority’s Youth and Play commissioning from April 2017. It also aims to attract new investment into the City and establish it’s self as a centre of excellence that will champion young people’s needs and contribution. He also chairs a number of city wide multi-agency partnerships and has a close working relationship with local voluntary and community organisations.

Aidan Jolly, Musician and Performer

Aidan Jolly is a musician, songwriter/composer and performance maker, and a core member of Virtual Migrants, a Manchester based Digital Arts Association that explores issues of race, migration and globalisation.taking inspiration from world wide cultural movements, and the history, identity and undocumented stories of particular communities and environments. He is involved in touring, performing, events, community plays, and multimedia production, and has released two well reviewed CDs of original songs, ‘System Fault’ (2006) and ‘State of Hysteria’ (2008) (distributed by Proper music).

Virual Migrants have recently collaborated with the University of Manchester and TiPP on two research projects, on the wellbeing of young migrant men, and the impact of the PREVENT agenda on high schools.

Geoff Thompson MBE FRSA DL, Executive Chair, Youth Charter

Geoff Thompson is one of the leading youth activists and experts in sports development and politics with over 25 years experience in these areas. He is Founder and Executive Chair of the Youth Charter, a UK registered charity and United Nations accredited Non Governmental Organisation established in 1993. Geoff was honoured in 1995 in the Queens New Year’s Honours list with an M.B.E. for his services to sport. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has been awarded with an Honorary Doctorate of Law by Roehampton University, an Honorary Fellowship of the University of Lancashire, an Honorary Doctorate of Education by Manchester Metropolitan University and an Honorary degree, Doctor of Letters by the University of Wolverhampton. Geoff is also a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester.

Liz Cooper, Child and Educational Psychologist, Stockport Council

Liz Cooper is a Senior Practitioner Child and Educational Psychologist at Stockport Educational Psychology Service. She has practiced for 16 years, having previously taught at a primary school in East Manchester. She is the link Psychologist for nine schools and is also part of the Psychology Service Early Years Team carrying out home visits. Her lead area is around Organisational Psychology and she is currently involved in engaging schools in the Inclusion Quality Mark Process in Stockport. Liz has recently published an article around the use of strengths based assessments with head teachers. She has a strong interest in ways of influencing culture and practice within organisations and how this can impact on the wellbeing and development of children, young people and adults.

Katy Safe, Social and Criminal Justice Business Consultant and Company Director, GeoSafe CIC

Katy Safe works locally, regionally and nationally to influence, shape and provide services for people who are aged 16+ across third and public sector provision particularly social inclusion and criminal justice. Katy has held positions that have included management, policy, strategy, commissioning, partnerships management and consultancy and she continues to work across the social and criminal justice sectors with multiple sector stakeholders. Katy’s interest in the PROMISE project is due to both her experience of working with young people at the very sharp end of life and because of GeoSafe’s interest in developing new human and social capital resources for 16+ offender sector services.

Marie McLaughlin, Head of Manchester Youth Justice

Marie McLaughlin has led the development of Youth Justice work in Manchester for six years and has a background of working in the criminal justice system in both custodial and community settings. Her current service is a multi-agency one with workers from Social Work, Probation, Police, Child and Adolescent Health Service, Restorative Justice Charity, and Education, as well as commissioned providers who can support and engage young people to address their complex needs. Managing both risk and vulnerability is a key part of Youth Justice and Marie is a member of both the Manchester Children’s Safeguarding Board and Community Safety Partnership, and also chairs the Greater Manchester Youth Justice Strategic Leads Group. She has recently managed Manchester City Council’s Safeguarding Improvement Unit which quality assures all social work with children in the city. Marie is currently undertaking work with Professor Mansoor Kazi from Albany University, New York State, using Realist Evaluation research to analyse existing data in order to improve understanding of what works and what doesn’t work for young people that are known to the Youth Justice Service.

Mary Hodgson, Director of Research, The Young Foundation

Mary Hodgson leads the research work at The Young Foundation, making sure it is challenging, insightful and innovative in the style of the Institute of Community Studies, which forms part of The Young Foundation today. They work across a range of international, EU focused and national projects to understand more about inequality, change and the use of social innovation to create greater equality through practices and solutions which are social in ends and means. They are a mixed methods team with particular expertise in ethnographic methods and a 360 degree approach to understanding complex social issues. They are particularly interested in community-led change and social innovation and its potential, in the tradition of our founder, Michael Young.

Mary is a trained anthropologist and experienced mixed methods researcher who has specialised in running innovative and impactful research projects in the academic, public and voluntary charity sectors.

Paul Fletcher, Chief Executive, Manchester Young Lives

Paul Fletcher began his career as a youth worker in 1980 working with disadvantaged young people in inner-city Manchester. Since then he has gone on to lead a number of high profile initiatives focused on reconnecting young people with mainstream learning programmes and has engaged with advisory groups on alternative education and access to training for young people with offending backgrounds. Paul was Director for Youth Policy at Rathbone from 2000 to 2014 before taking up the post of Chief Executive at Manchester Young Lives in July 2014. Manchester Young Lives is a 50 year old youth charity providing after school clubs, playschemes, evening and weekend youth provision. The charity runs an Independent Special Day School for 60 young people excluded from mainstream education and delivers targeted youth engagement work for young offenders using a street based model. The charity operates from 8 bases across the city and last year worked with 3,400 young people.

Paul O’Neill Director of Programmes at Right to Succeed

Paul O’Neill has managed various programmes and interventions in education and the third sector, leading large multi-site teams through transformational change initiatives. Paul joined Right to Succeed from The Children’s Society where he has experienced working directly with and managing services for children and young people ‘at-risk’ of offending, missing from home, victims of CSE and those within the social care system. Right to Succeed is a charity with a mission to develop, pilot and scale solutions to educational inequality. Paul leads on the strategic and operational delivery of programmes, being responsible for quality assurance and overseeing relationships with schools, delivery partners, external organisations and local authorities.

Richard Barnes, Director, RP Barnes Associates

Richard Barnes is currently acting as an independent consultant and working to create new employment and social inclusion opportunities for prisoners and people with convictions in the community. Richard has extensive experience of working in the fields of criminal and social justice, including in the public and commercial sectors, and as a senior leader of strategy, business development and operations. For most of his career, Richard was a practitioner and manager with Greater Manchester probation service, including five years in youth justice. He was the Greater Manchester Partnership lead on the ‘Local Justice Reinvestment Pilot – Transforming Justice,’ and led the development of integrated service models that reduced demand and cost in the Justice system. As a Director of Justice services at Shaw Trust, Richard designed and implemented three high quality rehabilitation contracts in London, the East of England and the South West of England. These contracts increased the social inclusion and employability of the hardest to reach in the justice system, in and out of prison, and included 16-25 year olds.

Sandra Penaloza-Rice, Migrants Supporting Migrants (MSM)

Migrants Supporting Migrants (MSM) is a non-profit organisation established in April 2009 in Manchester. MSM supports all migrants including asylum seekers, refugees and migrant workers. The aim of the organisation is provide and develop mutual support encouraging social integration.

Tyler Moore, Regional Manager (Yorkshire), Centrepoint

Tyler Moore has been working in and around the field of young peoples’ support and care for over 20 years, working for a range of statutory, private and charity sector organisations in a variety of roles. Centrepoint is a National Youth Homelessness Charity, Housing Provider (including Supported Housing), Education and Training Provider, Policy Shaper, Campaigner and a Provider of Health related programmes across the UK. They are also heavily involved in National Policy campaigns focusing on ending youth homelessness, rough sleeping and unemployment.

Centrepoint work with over 1000 young people every day who have experienced homelessness. Many of these young people have multiple complex needs, which may include having a history of drug and alcohol use, coming from impoverished and none caring backgrounds and/or have a history of repeat offending.

Vicki Coppock, Professor in Social Sciences: Childhood Studies and Mental Health, Edge Hill University

Vicki Coppock is Professor of Social Science: Childhood Studies & Mental Health and is also a qualified and experienced psychiatric social worker. During an academic career spanning 25 years, Vicki has built a national and international reputation for research and publications that focus predominantly on critical social scientific analysis of theory, state policy and professional practice in childhood and youth, with a particular emphasis on asserting a positive human rights agenda for children and young people in distress or ‘trouble’. Her work on the medicalisation of children’s behaviour exposes the limitations of medical discourse for understanding and responding to children and young people’s distress. She identifies arbitrary and inconsistent conceptual framings of children’s emotions and behaviour amongst practitioners, which can result in inconsistent institutional responses and pathways to ‘service provision’ that can have negative impacts and consequences for children and young people’s rights. Her research practice is underpinned by a commitment to qualitative methodologies and participatory methods. She is currently researching the impact of counter-radicalisation strategies on Muslim children and young people in the UK.

Yusuf Tai, North Regional Manager- Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND)

Yusuf Tai graduated with a BA Hons in Politics and Social Policy. He is the former Regional Director of Forward Thinking. Yusuf has a strong community-focused approach and is passionate about social change. In a variety of roles, Yusuf has first-hand experience of working with a diverse range of frontline, grass roots and faith communities across England. His expertise has enabled him to provide communities with opportunities to gain access to government and other statutory institutions while supporting organisations in internal development and capacity-building.

More about MEND

Zahra Alijah, Lecturer in Education, The University of Manchester

Zahra Alijah is a lecturer in education at The University of Manchester, teaching on initial teacher training programmes. Her research interest is safeguarding in educational settings and she is currently researching ‘Prevent’ and CSE safeguarding policies relating to children and young people. She has published on Forced Marriage policy and practice in schools.
Zahra sits on the advisory group of the Sex Education Forum, working for quality sex and relationship education in schools. Zahra is also a community activist, local councillor, chair of Hideaway Youth Project, Moss Side, and a member of the board of Commonword, a writing project that develops writers from minority backgrounds.