The Management Executive Team
Neil Wragg MBE – Chief Executive
Neil, an experienced qualified social worker, first came across Youth at Risk in 1992 and joined as the Chief Executive Officer in 1994. He served on the Crime Reduction (2000-01) and Social Work (2006-08) government task forces. An ambassador for Make Justice Work, Neil was also involved in the National Enquiry into Self-Harm and was on the board of the Camelot Foundation. Neil was awarded an MBE in for his services to young people 2008. With Danish Viking family heritage, Neil is married to a Swede and passionate about all things Swedish.
Ellie Garraway – Chief Operating Officer
Ellie started out in the theatrical world before arriving at Youth to Risk in 2000. Originally a practitioner, she quickly turned her hand to creating our work in schools, and has been designing and developing projects ever since. Made Head of Operations in 2008 and Chief Operating Officer in 2013. Ellie has recently gained an MSc in Positive Psychology and runs long distances for fun.
Mark Charley – Training & Curriculum Director
As a Youth Advocate for the Roxbury Court Services in Boston, Massachusetts, Mark recognised the value of transformational work as opposed to incarceration and deterrence (methods typically employed by the justice system). With 29 years of experience, Mark is now the driving force behind the continuous improvement of our curricula and training team. He is an internationally recognised consultant in personal development.
Clare Kanakides – Director of Development
After an assortment of jobs including bar management and human rights research, Clare joined Youth at Risk in 2007. She’s worked her way around most roles in the organisation and has now settled in business development, grappling with word counts in bids, tenders and funding applications to bring in money. Clare also manages HR, evaluation and loves Scandi noir dramas.
Pete Morris – Finance Director
A qualified accountant with over 40 years commercial experience, Pete is an integral part of the Youth at Risk team.
Corporate relationships – Keri Caines.
Keri spends her time developing, maintaining and expanding our network of corporate supporters. Her exceptional relationship management skills have helped us create strong corporate partnerships that have gone on to become long term supporters. Keri’s eclectic background including IT finance and midwifery means that there are very few people she can’t connect with.
Operations team – Amira Asantewa, Kaljit Virdee and Anthony Olanipekun.
With skills from industry, teaching and spoken word poetry, it’s the ops team that makes our programmes happen. The team works up and down the country with young people, volunteers, our training team, project partners and funders. They also offer a wealth of opinion about motorway services and catering on trains.
Support team – Maggie Emson, Ashley Johnston and Andy Harris.
The bedrock of Youth at Risk, the support team carries out all those essential core activities. Maggie and Andy look after our day-to-day finances and Ashley is Personal Assistant to our CEO. They’re all calmed by regular infusions of herbal tea.
Our training team is a highly experienced, diverse and committed group of individuals. Based across the UK and overseas, they have dedicated many years to the organisation. Backgrounds include social work, psychosynthesis, executive coaching, youth work and teaching. All of our trainers spend many nights away from home and have the opportunity to work with varying teams, partnerships and clients. Getting them all together is always a joy. Not only are they an integral part of the family, they are also the noisiest group of people in Youth at Risk.
Head of Curriculum
Cara worked for Newham Social Services before becoming a volunteer for Youth at Risk’s Essex programme in 1999, shortly afterwards she became the Project Manager. She then became a full-time trainer for Youth at Risk in 2003 and has delivered too many training workshops to count to thousands of young people and adults across the UK. Cara is currently Head of Curriculum for Youth at Risk, overseeing the coaching and quality of our UK training team. She has a very loud laugh and once met isn’t easily forgotten.
Tony Morgan – Chairman and Co-founder of Youth at Risk
Our Chairman and Co-founder, Tony was Governor of the BBC (1972-1977) and Chief Executive of the Industrial Society (now the Work Foundation) from 1994-2000. He is currently special advisor to Chief Executive of Octopus plc.
Ben Rose – Co-founder of Youth at Risk and Hickman & Rose Solicitors
A leading human rights and criminal defence practice, Ben specialises in representing businesses, professionals, high profile individuals and victims of miscarriages of justice. He frequently writes and speaks about legal affairs and is a member of the Times Law Panel.
Roy Ackerman – Managing Director of Pulse Film TV
An innovative and highly acclaimed TV producer, Roy specialises in high-profile documentaries and documentary series. Many of these chronicle social deprivation and/or celebrate the remarkable achievements of ‘ordinary’ people when enabled to rise to the challenges in their lives.
Sue Cook – Corporate Director of Children & Young People’s Services with Suffolk County Council
Sue previously worked for Southend-on-Sea Borough Council for 7 years as the Assistant Director for Specialist Services and then as the Director for Children & Learning. Her prior career includes working at Essex County Council, where she held a range of senior posts before becoming Head of Service for Looked After Children. Sue’s a member of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services.
Professor Michael Wolff RDI – A founder of Wolff Olins, among the world’s most iconic design companies
Now, as Michael Wolff and Company, he works with clients around the world both as a designer and creative advisor. He’s a visiting Professor at Central St Martins and at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He’s a Senior Fellow at the RCA, a member of the UK’s faculty of Royal Designers for Industry, and is the ‘Inclusive design champion’ for the UK Government.
Judith Firman – An experienced executive business coach who has worked with senior individuals and teams across the private and public sector
Judith is a UKCP registered psychotherapist and an accredited coaching supervisor of business coaches. She has considerable experience developing and running training organisations both here in the UK and abroad. She is currently senior associate at The Centre for Teams where she works with leadership teams. She also trains public sector performance coaches as an associate at The Performance Coach.
Our Advisory Board
We have the good fortune to be supported by a committed and active advisory board that provides continuing advice on the activities of the charity.
Tony Morgan, former Chief Executive, The Industrial Society
• Lucy Adams, former Director HR at BBC
• Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Adviser, Pearson plc
• John Cox, Theatre and Opera Director
• Jon Coles, Chief Executive, United Learning
• Professor Les Ebdon, Director of the Office of Fair Access
• Sir David Henshaw, Chairman, Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust
• Dr. Tony Kaplan, retired Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
• Tim Larcombe, Vice President Northern Europe, Levi Strauss
• Guy Morton, former Senior Partner, Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer
• Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
• David Orr, Chief Executive, National Housing Federation
• Mike Parton, Chairman, Arqiva and Tele2
• Lord Phillips, former President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
• Lord Ramsbotham, GCB, CBE, former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
• Simon Rogerson, Chief Executive, Octopus plc
• Graham van’t Hoff, Executive Vice President, Shell Chemicals Limited
Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the US
Val Morgan, PA to the Chairman