Helen took over as our CEO in September 2022, having been YWF’s Development Director since 2017. She leads the organisation and oversees the strategy and direction, to ensure we are best positioned to support children and young people in Westminster. This includes working closely with strategic partners in local authorities and at Westminster City Council. Helen has worked within the charity sector for the last 15 years supporting local charities and community projects find sustainability in the disability and health sector. Most recently she worked at Healthwatch CWL championing the voice of residents using health and social care services in Westminster.
“I am excited to be the new CEO for YWF to lead the Foundation and our fantastic team forward. We will continue to sustain and celebrate the wonderful offering of projects and services that allow young people to shine.”
Strategy & Communications Director
Matira is our Director of Strategy & Communications, working to grow Young Westminster’s reach and share information with our community through events, social media, press and regular e-newsletters. Matira joined us from the John Lewis Partnership Graduate Scheme, with experience managing a variety of teams and projects across retail and online.
“The YPF network has a vital role to play in co-ordinating cross-sector collaboration to deliver the best opportunities for young Londoners. I hope we can celebrate the historic youth sector in Westminster and urge our wider community to get involved, whilst advocating for the needs of young people and youth organisations.”
Business Development Lead
Zahid is our Business Development Lead, strengthening Young Westminster’s connectivity with our corporate partners, and engaging businesses to become involved with our YWF community. He will be working to strengthen employee engagement in a variety of activities (ranging from mentoring to sports events) which will improve young people’s awareness of employability opportunities whilst facilitating long-term partnerships and funding for our members. Zahid has charity sector experience as a Trustee of a learning disabled charity in Hampshire, Minstead Trust, and joins YWF from HSBC Global Asset Management, where most recently he was Global Head of Broker Management.
“I have seen first hand throughout my career the challenges facing people from minority communities to develop career paths in sectors where traditionally they are not seen. Without stable employment, both the individual and their families find it hard to fit into society and get on with their lives. I want to help young people have access to all the opportunities that they deserve, whatever their background, and as businesses increasingly focus on their social impact, I hope that I can introduce the YPF family and align our activities with many of the ESG criteria.”
Grants & Evaluation Manager
Nora is our Grants and Evaluation Manager. Before joining YWF in March 2019, Nora worked at a membership organisation for Community Foundations in Berlin. Prior to that she held roles at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation in their Education and Learning Team.
“I love working for YWF, as a place based organisation it allows us to get to know, understand and support the Westminster community and all the fantastic work that happens here.”
Hazel is our Operations Manager at YWF. She joined the Foundation in February 2020. She has a background in primary school teaching and has worked in operations roles for the public sector and small charities. Hazel oversees the operations work for the YWF.
‘It’s great to be part of a team that works to sustain the children and young people’s sector and positively shape services for the children and young people in Westminster who most need it.’
Marketing & Engagement Manager
Leah is our Marketing & Engagement Manager, working on the marketing and communications channels of YWF. Leah joined YWF in March 2023, she has previous experience across many industries such as the youth sector, education technology and personal care.
“I’m happy to be a part of a team that shares the same values as myself in enriching and supporting young people and organisations that work with young people’“
Programme Manager (Youth Violence)
Marium is our Youth Violence Programme Manager, working to establish and build on the Serious Youth Violence Community Network within North-West Westminster. The programme will be focused on supporting YWF Members and the local community in building capacity to address serious youth violence in NW Westminster. Marium has a background of youth work, she comes to us from Redthread, doing youth work in health based settings. Marium holds a BA in Youth Work and Community Development from Goldsmiths.
“I am very excited to be joining the YWF team. I hope I will be able to compliment and support with the work already being done around SYV in the borough. It is a great opportunity to have young people and community involved from the very beginning.”
Evaluation & Data Specialist
Laurie is our Evaluation & Data Specialist at YWF. She joined the Foundation in April 2022. Previously, she co-led the evaluation of a school and community-based mental health programme in East London for 10-16 year olds. Before this, she worked within the UCL Unit for Stigma Research and NHS mental health services. Laurie will be working with our Youth Hubs and Centre for Youth Impact to implement a shared measurement framework.
“I am delighted to be working for YWF. I am looking forward to working with youth hubs to build-on data and evaluation capacity to showcase their impactful work with young people.”
Digital & Youth Voice Coordinator
Karolina is our Digital & Youth Voice Coordinator working with Leah to create and manage engaging content for social channels. As well as supporting day to day activities and planning for our youth voice programme and events. Her focus is on awareness of our brand and developing eye-catching material. Karolina joined in March 2022 after studying PR & Advertising at the University of Westminster.
“I am very excited to join a foundation which focuses on having a positive impact on youth, as well as bringing people together and creating a strong community. I am looking forward to contributing fresh ideas to the team and meeting new people!”
Marking our fifth anniversary, Cllr Hamza Taouzzale will work with us as our Patron to continue raising the voices of young people and youth workers across our city.
Cllr Hamza Taouzzale
Previous Lord Mayor of Westminster 2022/23
In 2022/23 Hamza was the youngest Lord Mayor of Westminster, and made YWF his Charity of the Year for 2022/23. Having grown up in Church Street, he has been involved with the Foundation since its inception, following serving as the Youth MP for Westminster in 2016 and then undertaking an internship with YWF in 2017 supporting the consultation and research as part of our needs analysis. Hamza has since been a Councillor in Westminster City Council representing Queen’s Park ward, alongside being a Trustee for YWF. Hamza recently completed a Masters at King’s College London, after studying Politics at Goldsmiths where he was also a trustee for the student’s union. Hamza is also a trustee for YWF member Paddington Arts, Paddington Farm Trust and sits on the grants committee for John Lyon’s Charity. He has also worked with several other national charities.
“Over the past five years, I’ve had the honour of seeing first-hand and from the very beginning the vital work that the Young Westminster Foundation carries out. During that time we’ve lived through multiple Covid-19 lockdowns – the effects of which are still only coming to light – and now we are going through a cost-of-living crisis. Young people across Westminster will have benefited in some way from the important work they do, which is why I have made them charity for my mayoralty.”
Our trustees who are all experts in different fields and come from a range of backgrounds. Find out more about them below.
Chair of Trustees
Brian joined the board of YWF in August 2019. Brian qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1976. He joined Shaftesbury when it was formed in 1986, and was Finance Director from its float on the London Stock Exchange in 1987 until he became Chief Executive in 2011 to 2023.
Starting with £10 million of private capital in 1986, Shaftesbury Capital PLC now has a market capitalisation of c. £2.6 billion. It has assembled a portfolio of 15 acres of freeholds in the West End, comprising c.600 buildings, valued at £3.9 billion. Its ownership includes 600 shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs across 1.1 million sq. ft. in Carnaby and West Soho, Chinatown, Seven Dials and Fitzrovia.
Brian is a member of the board of Freehold, the London-based LGBT real estate professionals group. He is also a board member of The Westminster Property Association and previously chaired its Transport and Infrastructure sub-committee. Brian is supporting YWF with our fundraising and strategic development.
Vice Chair of Trustees
Jackie is a Founding Trustee of the YWF. Jackie has an extensive knowledge of the voluntary, community and charitable sector in Westminster, having worked for or served as a trustee for over 20 years.
Jackie Rosenberg has been the CEO of One Westminster since September 2015. Alongside this role she is also employed by another local charity Paddington Development Trust (PDT) where she has worked as Deputy CEO since 2002.
Jackie has managed youth provision at the Stowe Youth Club and the Avenues Youth Project and has contributed to a wide range of policies and procedures within Children and Young People’s services. She has consistently and passionately fought for the rights of young people to receive quality youth services.
Robert is our new treasurer at YWF, working to ensure secure governance and to help the trustees manage the commercial and financial aspects of the charity.
Previously Robert worked as Executive chairman and CEO of Tile Depot for 23 years, before selling the company to Saint Gobain in 2016. Since then he has chaired Backyard Cinema from 2017-2022 when it was sold to the Sony Corporation. Robert is also involved as treasurer in another charity which is a similar size to YWF and is currently executive chairman of Living Space Design.
Carol joins us as a YWF Trustee alongside being Director of Programmes at Avenues Youth Project, one of our Westminster Youth Hubs. Having been in the role since 2008, Carol is responsible for managing the content, planning, staffing and delivery of Avenues Youth Project’s programmes and activities and is actively involved in supporting numerous young people, some into adulthood. She holds a BA Hons in Youth Work and Business Management, and a Level 5 Diploma in Education & Training.
Jamil has been a lifetime resident of Westminster, growing up in the Church Street Ward. He was involved with the first Needs Analysis conducted by Young Westminster Foundation in 2017 and has recently been made a Trustee. Working as a software developer he aspires to create meaningful technologies.
Jayne Vertkin joined the Board of Trustees in October 2021 after retiring from a full-time role in children’s services at Westminster City Council. In this role she worked closely with the YWF from its inception and witnessed first-hand how it has strengthened the youth sector and the difference it has made to the lives of young people.
Jayne has worked in Westminster for over 41 years, both in the NHS and Local Authority and she feels a real connection with the local communities. Her career has focused on developing integrated early intervention services; a passion, which started when she worked at Paddington Green Children’s Hospital and realised that so many admissions were preventable. She believes that collectively we can achieve so much for children and young people by joining up resources, whether from the private, charitable or public sector, and using them in new ways to achieve lasting outcomes for children.
“It feels like a natural step to use my skills in a new role with the Foundation and I am excited by this opportunity”.
Cllr Karen Scarborough
Cllr Karen Scarborough is Chair of the Business and Children & Young People’s Policy and Scrutiny Committee and is also Lead Member for Air Quality at Westminster City Council, having previously served as the Deputy Cabinet Member for Children Families & Young People. Karen has a legal and business background and has helped to fund raise for various charities including Crisis, the Homeless Charity, St John Ambulance, Acorns Hospice for children and young people with life limiting health issues. Karen is also a Governor of two Westminster primary schools. Since becoming a Trustee, she now focusses on fund raising for the YWF by raising awareness with landowners/businesses in Westminster together with liaising with the Council to promote the values and the work of the foundation.
“The Young Westminster Foundation has come a long way in a short time to help support children and young people in Westminster to fulfil their hopes and dreams for a great future. I am very excited to continue to make my contribution to this aim”
Rashma Rahman is a History teacher at Ark King Solomon Academy, her former secondary school, having graduated from the University of Oxford. She has grown up and studied in Westminster, and feels passionate about celebrating and giving back to her local community. She first joined YWF as a Young Ambassador, through which she conducted research for the first YWF Needs Analysis in 2017. She then joined as an Intern for the ‘Forever Young: 150 years of Youth Clubs’ exhibition in summer 2019. She is involved in projects and organisations for young people to ensure success of life-changing opportunities both in and out of her teaching career, including speaking at social mobility events and advising young people’s organisations.
We have two advisors who provide specialist knowledge and insight into thematic areas of priority for Young Westminster Foundation.
Arinola has worked in the public sector for over 30 years, with over 20 of those being in further and adult education. She is currently the Principal and Head of Service of Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES), a Local Authority, Adult Community Education Service in London. She has held this position for the last four years, having been the Deputy Principal at WAES for the previous five years.
Prior to joining Westminster, Arinola worked at two General Further Education Colleges and in both organisations led extensive employer facing and community partnership work, including the delivery of successful ESF and externally funded projects.
Having moved into Adult and Community Education at Westminster, Arinola really values the difference and challenge that working as a leader within the local authority brings to the education and skills landscape, as the ability to leverage other services in meeting the wider needs of young people and adults holistically can make a huge difference and impact on lives.
As a returnee migrant with dual nationality, Arinola is passionate about leading work that enables individuals and communities to benefit from the transformational power of education. Her own journey has made her very keen to help individuals to create their own stories and amplify their voices, with a desire to inspire people from the unexpected walks of life to “dance to the beat of their own drum!
Chris has been a serving police officer for over 22 years, all of this time working within the Metropolitan Police Service. He started his career at Merton Borough as a Police Constable ‘pounding the beat’ as a front line response officer. He then moved onto policing Central Westminster as a Sergeant in approx. 2005 and continued as a uniformed supervisor on this borough and later moved to Sutton Borough. This was firstly working in response policing and then moved into the Neighbourhood policing strand. This then became Chris’s ‘passion’ as he realised that this is where he could really make long term differences to the lives of Londoners and he has remained in this area of policing ever since. Chris was promoted to the rank of Inspector 2015 and returned to Westminster Borough.
His current role as an Inspector under the Neighbourhood Policing strand allows him to shape how Local Policing is delivered across the City of Westminster borough footprint and this role has enabled him to develop part of my expertise on policing our Young People across the boroughs of Westminster, Fulham & Hammersmith and The Royal borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
In February 2019, Chris led the MPS on setting up the first Youth Engagement Team on then our new Tri-borough area policing footprint which encompassed enhancing already successful Schools Policing teams across these same boroughs. In this role he has had to work closely with Westminster Youth organizations including the YWF and additionally WCC Local Authority Youth partners. He has enjoyed thoroughly developing close working relationships with these partners to bring benefits to the way we support young people within and to a greater extent outside of the Criminal Justice system.
Chris is a father of three and this only adds to my passion of trying to help support young people through policing the Met.