Our People

Our People

Meet the people who ensure the day to day smooth running of our charity

Senior Leadership

Our Leadership Team at Manchester Young Lives leads staff so that we meet our goals; efficiently and cost effectively. They all play an essential role to ensure our strategic vision is put into practice and meets the needs of the young people that we support

  • Paul Fletcher
    Paul Fletcher
    Chief Executive
  • Suzanne Cere
    Suzanne Cere
    Deputy Chief Executive
  • Jackie Henderson
    Jackie Henderson
    Deputy Principal (MYL School)
  • Sam Maunder
    Sam Maunder
    Employability Manager
  • Cheryl Hunt
    Cheryl Hunt
    Curriculum Lead (MYL School)
  • Tim Spencer
    Tim Spencer
    Business Support Team
  • Elaine Young
    Elaine Young
    Play & Youth Manager (Citywide)

Trustees

Our Trustees work together to develop a clear strategy for the future of Manchester Young Lives and ensure that the work we do and goals of the organisation are in line with our vision. We have a very supportive Board who passionately believe in the services we provide to young people, they each play a key role, providing professionalism and expertise to Manchester Young Lives.

  • Chris Duncan
    Chris Duncan
    Chair of Trustees
  • Shaun Wilcock
    Shaun Wilcock
    Trustee
  • Jeff Mills
    Jeff Mills
    Trustee
  • Hollie Walsh
    Hollie Walsh
    Trustee
  • Rosemary Knox
    Rosemary Knox
    Trustee
  • Chris Zastawny
    Chris Zastawny
    Trustee
  • Nick Harney
    Nick Harney
    Trustee
  • Hojol Uddin
    Hojol Uddin
    Trustee
Paul Fletcher
Chief Executive

Paul began his career in 1980 as a frontline youth worker with Manchester Youth Service. He has 20 years frontline experience in youth services, youth justice and youth training.

Moving into management in 2000 Paul joined Rathbone as Director for Youth Engagement, before becoming Director for Policy and Development in 2004, a position he held for 10 years leading high profile initiatives: Millennium Awards Grants Programme, YJB Through the Gate Resettlement Project, National ASBO Mentoring Project and Vodafone Youth Engagement Programme. In 2007 Paul was closely involved in the Nuffield Engaging Youth Enquiry into youth unemployment presenting findings at national events. From 2008-2014 he led a cross community youth engagement programme in Belfast presenting its evaluation at Stormont 2014.

Paul has been an active member of two National Advisory Groups: Access to Training and Employment for Young People Leaving Custody (2000–2004) and Youth Justice Board Learning and Skills Reference Group (2004-2012). Paul joined Manchester Young Lives as Chief Executive in July 2014.

Suzanne Cere
Deputy Chief Executive

Suzanne has substantial experience of financial and HR management gained over 30 years working in the private and charitable sectors. Beginning her career in 1984 for a multi-site independent hotel and restaurant chain Suzanne has held a range of financial and management positions including lead responsibility for financial, HR, payroll and compliance. Her roles in senior management have required close working with company directors, liaison with international companies, coordination of logistics, stock management and quality assurance.

In 2000 Suzanne joined Manchester Young Lives to lead the charity’s financial, HR and development strategy. This has included managing multi funded projects via local, national and European funding for capital and revenue projects; working with the charity’s Trustees to steer the steady and consistent expansion of the organisation; Suzanne held lead responsibility for the successful Independent School application and registration in 2010 and continues to lead on Ofsted compliance for school inspections. Suzanne has also led on a number of successful compliance inspections with HMRC and the Charity Commission and has also provided capacity building support for a number of smaller organisations within the voluntary sector.

In 2014 Suzanne became Deputy CEO, a role which sees her continue to support the organisation’s strategic growth and development of services for young people.

Jackie Henderson
Deputy Principal (MYL School)

In 1990 Jackie left school and joined the Army beginning training in the Royal Logistic Corps, as a driver (Jackie says she can drive anything). In her army career Jackie saw active service around the world as well as completing a 6 month operational tour of duty in Bosnia, this is where Jackie found an interest in working with children and young people from seeing some of the tragedy’s that can happen to young people and wanted to work with them in order to secure better futures.

On leaving the army Jackie gained employment as an assessor at YMCA in Salford while continuing to study part time for her teaching qualifications. She secured a series of tutor positions in work based training before gaining a deputy manager position in 2011 with Manchester Young Lives. Jackie was promoted to Head of Behaviour and Pastoral Support in 2014 and to Deputy Principal in 2017. Jackie has developed extensive networking and cross referral systems with key agencies in youth justice, social services and schools; she has a high level of safeguarding knowledge and expertise and is the Designated Safeguarding Officer for the school.

Sam Maunder
Employability Manager

At 16 Sam joined the Royal Air Force and trained as a Chef. At 19 Sam returned to civi Street moving to Plymouth where she secured the position of Head Chef at a leading restaurant. 4 years on and Sam decided it was time for a change of direction and location moving to Manchester where she retrained in childcare, achieving an NVQ L3 Nursery work and Diploma L3 in Management in Children and Young People. By 2014 Sam was working as a Nursery Manager with responsibility of a team of nursery workers.

In 2016 Sam moved to Manchester Young Live to lead on the development of a new area of work for the charity – Employability Skills. In this role Sam has been able to develop her passion for supporting young people and steering their progression to training and employment. Sam is continuing to develop her management qualifications and completed her L5 in Leadership and Management of Children and Young People in February 2019.

Cheryl Hunt
Curriculum Lead (MYL School)

Cheryl Hunt is a qualified teacher with over eight years of teaching experience. She started her education career at Rathbone Training, teaching multiple subjects from English and Maths to vocational subjects working with 16-19 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds across Greater Manchester. In 2014 Cheryl moved to teaching 14-16 year olds as lead tutor working with 6 schools in Trafford providing alternative education for students at-risk of exclusion. In 2015 Cheryl was a finalist for UK-wide most Inspirational Teacher Award.

Cheryl moved to Manchester Young Lives March 2015 to take a new post of Curriculum Lead working at their Independent Special School where she has consolidated her skills and experience playing a lead role in the Ofsted Inspection in 2018 and consistently securing the highest pass rates in the school’s history for GCSEs.

Tim Spencer
Business Support Team

Tim attended the University of Nottingham from 2008 to 2012, achieving a 2:1 in his undergraduate degree and continuing to earn a first class Masters Degree in History. Tim began his career in the private sector working in a wholesale setting where he progressed through a series of fast paced sales positions before deciding to move to the charitable sector.

At Manchester Young Lives Tim has developed his skills working across financial, HR and data administration functions, securing a lead role in the Business Support Team in 2018. Tim’s current role sees him managing the core Business Support Team, internships and student placements. Tim also has lead responsibility for IT, organising the charity’s Annual Awards Event, production of the Annual Report as well as website and social media content.

Elaine Young
Play & Youth Manager (Citywide)

Elaine began her career with a Hons Degree in Criminology and Social Policy from the University Manchester in 2000. Since graduating she has gone on to gain substantial experience leading and managing play and youth work over 20 years.

She joined Manchester Youth Offending Service in 2001 where she worked in Restorative Justice supervising young people on Referral Orders. Elaine moved to Catch 22 in 2007 to manage the North Manchester Youth Inclusion Project where she led the introduction of Parenting Orders to support young offenders and parents work together with intensive support packages.

In 2012 Elaine joined Manchester Young Lives to head up MYL’s rapidly expanding city-wide play and youth provision. In this role Elaine has overseen the recruitment, training and development of 8 new play locations in the City, introduced a quality framework for play, managed a series of successful Ofsted inspections and secured further investment in playground structures.

Elaine leads Manchester’s Play Network offering support and guidance to play and youth providers across the City; she manages the charity’s Youth Work Apprenticeship programme and is leading Manchester’s bid for Play Recognition to require the Local Authority to provide Play as a statutory responsibility.

Chris Duncan
Chair of Trustees

Chris Duncan became involved in play work in Manchester as a student volunteer at the University Settlement in 1961. Active in Moss Side and Hulme as part of a late 1960s/early 70s campaign that successfully “humanised” the City Council’s slum clearance programme, he became involved from 1970 onwards in the creation of the city’s first community-managed adventure playgrounds – Moss Side then South Hulme. As a playleader at Turkey Lane Adventure Playground between 1975 and 1981, he helped consolidate MAPA and establish TLM Community Centre and the Water Adventure Centre.

Chris joined the City Council Chief Executives Department in 1985 as a development officer, finding himself by the late 1980s back in Monsall and Alexander Park engaging residents in the remodelling of their estates. Becoming Social Programme Manager of the Moss Side and Hulme Partnership, he created a youth strategy that included the development of voluntary sector alternative education projects and the Moss Side Millennium Powerhouse as part of a “Youth College” multi-agency partnership. Prior to retiring in December 2003, establishing with Jeff Mills, the Connexions Service-led Positive Action for Young People Programme. Chris re-joined MAPA as Chair in 1990, overseeing its development as an alternative education, youth engagement and employability training provider as well as an open-access play-and-youth agency and initiating its name-change to Manchester Young Lives.

Shaun Wilcock
Trustee

Shaun is currently Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Orbis Protect Ltd, having previously held a number of senior IT roles including Chief Executive of TeleData, a Manchester based managed hosting, cloud services, and colocation provider.

Shaun has a breadth of corporate experience with commercial strategy, marketing, risk management, compliance and coporate social responsibility (CSR).

Shaun has been a MYL Trustee since May 2016 and has lead responsibility for Information Technology and Information Security Governance.

Jeff Mills
Trustee

Jeff is a retired senior Connexions manager with 18 years’ experience leading and managing front line careers advisors. Jeff’s previous roles have included 10 years at Save the Children as a programme manager and before this as a youth work practitioner.

Jeff has extensive skills and experience managing reengagement programmes, particularly with young people 16 -18 who are NEET, he also has advanced skills in budget and HR management, quality assurance and H&S compliance processes. He is lead MYL Trustee with responsibility for Buildings and Resources.

Jeff has a range of young people skills including Basic Skills tutor and mentoring supervisor for staff. Jeff led a successful Connexions Matrix application in 2014 and has been a MYL Trustee for 16 years.

Hollie Walsh
Trustee

Hollie Louise Walsh has a 1st Class Hons Degree in Law with Politics from the University of Manchester and is currently completing her Masters, focusing on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). Hollie recently began a new role as a Service Manager for a charity which supports the homeless and has operational and strategic responsibility for social enterprise and volunteering.

Hollie previously qualified as a Further Education teacher and has experience of leading education programmes for children at risk of exclusion. Hollie has been a MYL Trustee since December 2017 and has a lead role for Safeguarding and Behaviour management. Hollie joined MYL because she believes every child and young person has the right to feel hopeful about their future and be confident in the skin that they are in.

Rosemary Knox
Trustee

Rosemary Knox is a retired Deputy Head of Youth Service, Manchester City Council, with 30 years’ experience managing play & youth work, community education and adult education programmes in Manchester. She was committed to, and has contributed to the development and management of projects, in partnership with other organisations, both in statutory and voluntary sector, that offer opportunities for disadvantaged and disengaged young people including those not engaged in full time education.

Rosemary’s previous career encompasses social work in rural Co Down N.Ireland, community development officer N. Ireland community Relations Commissions in the early 70’s, Belfast lecturer and senior lecturer Youth and Community Course Manchester Polytechnic ( now MMU).
Since her retirement from Manchester Youth Service she has served as chair of N.W. Children in Need, as an advisor to Stockport CAB and volunteers with Oxfam. Rosemary has been a MYL Trustee for 16 years.

Chris Zastawny
Trustee

Chris Zastawny is an educational consultant with over 30 years’ experience in working with families in schools and community settings, mainly in Manchester. She has extensive skills and expertise in managing risk, particularly related to safeguarding, CSE and student welfare.

She has a lead role for MYL School for Safeguarding and Curriculum development. Chris has a wide range of educational networks and partnership skills which she engages with to support MYL. She has been a Trustee for MYL for 30 years.

Nick Harney
Trustee

Nick Harney is a retired Employment law solicitor and Notary Public with 45 years’ experience. Nick has provided support to a range of charities in Manchester for many years including supporting MYL on a pro-bono basis for 10 years before his retirement in 2015.

In 2016 Nick joined the MYL Board where he holds lead Trustee responsibility for Financial Management and chairing the Remuneration Sub-Committee.

Hojol Uddin
Trustee

Hojol Uddin has been an MYL Trustee since April 2017. Hojol is a practicing Solicitor and Partner at one of the largest firms in the North West. Hojol has an established reputation around England and Wales for Crime and Regulatory matters involving individuals and companies.

Hojol was Co-Founder and previous Director of an innovative and successful Motor Prosecution Defence (MPD) product, which is currently distributed by some of the biggest insurance companies in the UK.

X