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Personal profile

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7 Last checked 30 September 2020.


My first degree was in English Language and Literature, which I studied at the University of Leeds. After graduation I worked at Leeds Council for Voluntary Service and subsequently for a project providing literacy, numeracy and life and social skills for young people on Manpower Services Commission schemes. I found a love for informal education and studied for the professionally endorsed Postgraduate Diploma in Youth and Community Work at Manchester Polytechnic.

After qualifying, I worked for a couple of years in East Manchester and then became the Warden of the Roseville Centre in Leeds where I remained for eight years. Since 1992 I have worked in higher education, first at the University of Leeds where I gained my MEd, then at the St Martin’s College, Lancaster. I joined the University of Huddersfield in 1996. In 2002 I gained my EdD: my third degree from the University of Leeds.

At both St Martin’s and Huddersfield I have worked mainly on youth and community work courses, offering professional and academic qualifications to both pre-service and in-service students. I  have been Course Leader of the BA Youth and Community Work at the University of Huddersfield since the late 1990s. I led the revalidation of the course by the National Youth Agency in February 2016.

From 2000-2005 I co-ordinated the Pan-Commonwealth Quality Assurance on behalf of the University of Huddersfield for the Commonwealth Youth Programme’s Diploma in Youth in Development. From 2004-7, I was Liaison Tutor between the University and Zambia’s Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development and ensured that two cohorts of students based in Zambia successfully completed the BA Community Education. I attended the graduation of 40 successful students in Lusaka in 2006.

I am Director of Graduate Research within the School of Education and Professional Development. In 2010 I organised the first residential writing retreat for research active colleagues in the School. Evaluation was very positive so I organised further retreats. The tenth and eleventh are scheduled for early 2017.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • The history and development of the Youth Association (research based in archive material)
  • All aspects of National Youth Agency validated youth and community work courses in HE settings
  • The training and education of youth workers and youth and community workers
  • Informal education and working with young people in other countries including developing nations


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