Andy has been the Chief Executive of the Youth Association since 1999. After an early career in accountancy and commercial management, he decided to follow his heart and re-train as a youth worker. For the past 25 years, he has been a passionate defender of the craft of youth work and a strong advocate for its transformative role in the lives of young people and in the design of public services. Andy has served as a director of Connexions West Yorkshire and a public governor of his local hospital trust. He studied politics at the University of York and has a distinction MBA from Hull University. An astute strategist and financial manager, he has long committed his skills to developing management techniques in the voluntary sector. Andy lives in Rotherham, is married to a teacher and has two grown-up children. His hobbies include watching Rotherham Titans and long-distance trail walking.
Jan is an experienced leader, having worked in corporates and the public sector, and now in her niche as CEO of Two Ridings Community Foundation where she brings every facet of her skills, knowledge, expertise and Yorkshire grit to the role to inspire giving to support the #SmallButVital charitable organisations in North & East Yorkshire through funds generously donated by individuals, businesses, government and other charitable trusts and foundations. She returned to Yorkshire in 2014 after 30 years working in the North East of England where she acquired many skills, friends and happy memories. Having decided to up sticks back to Yorkshire she fell on her feet when joined the VCSE in Yorkshire. As the CEO at Two Ridings, she ensures that all the charity’s funds, people, knowledge and partnerships are maximised, so we deliver our charitable objects and support the local charitable organisations helping to improve lives across North & East Yorkshire. As the proud parent of two grown up children and step mum to three others, all of whom live and work in Yorkshire, her other motivation is to ensure that people aren’t left behind because of poverty, disadvantage, disability or simple lack of connections to get on and fulfil their potential. She is also a board Member of UKCF, VCSE representative on Hull Place Board, Chair of the HEY100 Steering Group, Fellow of RSA and Langwith College, University of York.
Tom has been Chief Officer of St Nicks, York's centre for nature and green living since 2012. A charity whose vision is for York to be a city where people value wildlife, the environment and each other equally to sustain a rich and healthy life for all. Having worked for St Nicks for 14 years, Tom is motivated by the big picture of environmental and social impact, choosing to focusing on the opportunities to strengthen community and create sustainable change. With the declaration of climate emergency, Tom seeks creative and collaborative ways to build sector capacity for positive and real growth and change.
Liz has over 25 years’ experience in public service during which time she has undertaken a number of senior leadership roles within the education, skills and employment sectors, working both in national and local government and in public and private sector agencies. Now working on a freelance basis as a consultant and project manager, Liz previously worked for North Yorkshire County Council leading on the strategy and planning of opportunities for young people aged 14-19. Prior to the local authority she held the post of Area Director for the Learning and Skills Council, with responsibility for leading post 16 planning and funding in York and North Yorkshire. The role involved working with key stakeholders in the sector including FE colleges, schools and apprenticeship providers, and also with local authorities, funding bodies, voluntary organisations and economic development and skills partnerships to ensure local education and training opportunities met the needs of employers, young people and adults. Her earlier career included roles with the Training and Enterprise Council, Manpower Services Commission and the Department of Employment. Liz’s current consultancy work is in the education, training and skills sectors – particularly related to strategic review, planning and implementation, change management, team leadership and mentoring and coaching. Her clients include local authorities and Further Education colleges with recent work including reviews of provision for children with a range of Special Educational Needs, drafting a 14-19 strategy and planning for High Needs Funding Reform. Alongside work, Liz volunteers with the Youth Justice Service and as a Trustee for a local dementia day care centre.
Leon is Strategic Director at Orb Community Enterprise Knaresborough and Pioneer Projects (Celebratory Arts) Ltd Bentham, two forward thinking creative community arts and well-being charities in North Yorkshire. Both promote better mental health and improved life opportunities for the most vulnerable and seek to create more capable, inclusive and vibrant communities. Working in partnership with the local authority, clinical commissioning groups, NHS trusts and a range of other statutory and VCS organisations, his focus is on developing creative, high quality, sustainable solutions that work at a local level but are scale-able across the broader region. Leon is a committed believer in the power of local communities and the strength that comes through collaborative approaches to shared problems. He is also Chair of Trustees at Chain Lane Community Hub in Knaresborough.
A Purple Patch is a time in a person’s life when things come together for them and they experience a period of good fortune or creativity. Having completed a masters degree in Mathematics and then a BA in Graphic Arts and Design, alongside writing, recording and performing on the local folk music scene, Fran found her own Purple Patch through working at Purple Patch Arts, a not-for-profit social enterprise, where she is now the CEO. The company’s mission is to improve the lives and life chances of people with learning disabilities by providing innovative, inclusive, creative learning experiences for them and the professionals that support them. She is passionate about the impact that creative learning can have on participants, teachers and support networks, and believes that good relationships are at the heart of success. She lives in Leeds with her husband and a cat called Mouse.