Our People

Our Patron and President

HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex

Patron

The Earl of Wessex is delighted to have been asked by The Duke of Edinburgh to become the Royal Patron of London Youth, the Duke’s patronage since 1947.

HRH has long been a champion of youth causes through his charities and patronages and is a leading advocate of the role of non-formal education and learning in young people’s personal development to realise their potential. HRH looks forward to playing a strong role in supporting young Londoners over the coming years.

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Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE

President

At our Annual General Meeting in April 2019, Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE was appointed President of London Youth.

Ken is Founder and Chairman of Restoration Partners, the boutique technology merchant bank and architects of Inogesis formerly known as The Virtual Technology Cluster model. Ken’s technology career spans over 30 years commencing with IBM from whom he won a scholarship while at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge. In 1992, after twelve years as a senior executive at Wang Labs in the US and Europe, Ken founded Interregnum, the technology merchant bank. He was elected as a Fellow of the British Computer Society in 2006. 

He is currently Chairman of Interswitch (Africa’s largest e-payments company). He is a former Director of Thomson Reuters, a former deputy Chair at the Institute of directors  and Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) where he coined the famous epigram “More Soviet than City” to describe the manner of his departure. 

Ken is a Freeman of the City of London, Liveryman and Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, Patron of Thames Reach (for which he received an OBE in 2010), and Chairman of charity Shaw Trust.  He was an original member of the Postal Services Commission (PostComm) and the Independent Parliamentary Standard Authority (IPSA) and is the Founder and Chairman of the Aleto Foundation. He is a past Sunday Times Not for Profit Non-Executive Director of the year and was named Number 1 in the 2016 Powerlist’s roster of the UK’s most influential black people. In 2013 Ken and his wife, Julia, endowed the Olisa Library at his alma mater Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.  In 2015, Her Majesty the Queen appointed Ken as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Greater London and he was knighted in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List for services to business and philanthropy. In September 2018 Ken was appointed as the director on the board of Huawei a Chinese multinational networking, telecommunications equipment and Services Company. 

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Our Board and Trustees

The London Youth Board combines expertise in youth work and education with specialist skills covering finance, risk management, organisational design and human resources.

Our six young advisors represent young people from across our network.

The Board has three committees: finance, assurance, and nominations.

Stephen Moss CBE

Chair of Trustees

Stephen Moss CBE chairs our Trustee Board.

Stephen trained as a lawyer, got an MBA at London Business School and had a spell in corporate finance in the City before specialising in growing businesses for successful sale and leading a number of not-for-profit organisations through periods of major development and change.

His early interests were in the restaurant and wine distribution industries before entering the car park industry and growing BCP into the country’s largest airport parking booking service prior to its sale in 2003. Subsequently, he has developed a portfolio career of Chair and NED roles including Chair of drinks distributor, Bibendum PLB where, over a 3 year period, he worked with the leadership team to grow sales and profits prior to its sale in 2016. His current business roles include Chair of Mr Lees Pure Foods (a fast growing start-up) and senior NED of Safestay PLC (an AIM listed contemporary hostel business).

Stephen has held several Chair roles in the charity sector and founded The Springboard Charity

which has grown from its London roots to become the leading national organisation in the hospitality industry helping thousands of young, disadvantaged and unemployed people change their lives around through training and placements in hotels, restaurants, pubs and other catering organisations. It also engages some 15,000 school students across the UK through its FutureChef programme as well as giving thousands of others valuable careers advice and work experience opportunities. Stephen handed over the Chair of Springboard in May 2019.

Stephen was also the longest serving Trustee of the Hospitality Training Foundation and its successor Sector Skills Council, People 1st, and remains a Vice President of The Restaurant Association. In 1992 he was awarded an MBE for services to the restaurant industry and, in 2002, a CBE for his contribution towards education and training. His current charity roles include Chair of Trustees of cross-communal faith school JCoSS, currently the top ranked comprehensive in London, and of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research which is the only organisation in Europe undertaking demographic and social research specifically to help Jewish community organisations with their policy development.

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Morenike Ajayi

Trustee

Morenike is London Youth’s Treasurer and was appointed at our AGM in April 2021.

Morenike Ajayi (B.sc, M.BA, FCPFA, Prince2) is the Commercial and Finance Director for London Pensions Funding Authority, where she has the responsibility of overseeing a £6bn Pension Fund. In addition, Morenike has taken on several roles notably with Transport for London, PricewaterhouseCooper, and also within the housing and the Local Authority sector.

Morenike is a highly motivated, diligent and enthusiastic financial professional combining 21 years’ experience, 12 of which have been in financial leadership, with a proven track record of improving stakeholder engagement, financial processes and systems. Expertise in business partnering, risk management, financial planning, business process re-engineering, and delivering successful projects on time and in line with budgets. Maximises profitability and cost efficiency through implementing robust systems and financial management processes whilst focusing on exceptional service levels. A qualified CIPFA accountant with excellent knowledge of FRS102, Charity SORP, social housing regulatory framework, Pensions and procurement compliance.

Morenike previously sat on the Board of Trustees for NUS UK and Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre – a Health and Social Care charity. At NUS UK, Morenike was the Chair of the Finance committee and at Hopscotch, she was the Treasurer.

She is passionate about the youth and works closely with a few other like-minded individuals to ensure that the next generation are adequately equipped for career excellence and progression.

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Mario Washington-Ihieme

Young Trustee

Mario Washington-Ihieme is a Research Assistant at think tank Centre for London. Whilst working there, she has co-authored research on London’s creative and cultural industries, and the barriers facing young creatives from under-represented backgrounds in entering and progressing in the workforce, as well as work on the future of London’s chefs. Prior to her role, Mario completed  an MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology at the London School of Economics. Her research focused on the porosity of borders in urban cities, with a socio-psychological approach to understanding how inner London neighbourhoods impact both the community and the individual resilience of young people. Mario enjoys photography in her spare time, and  enjoys conducting participatory action research projects with young people.

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Adem Holness

Trustee

Adem Holness is a musician and programme/events producer from North London, who spends his time working as a music relationship manager at Arts Council England, creating immersive live music events across the UK & supporting the development of emerging music artists.

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Kevin Holian

Trustee

Kevin’s 35 year career has been primarily in the IT industry where he has worked for several international companies across media, retail and manufacturing industries, delivering major IT systems. Kevin is an independent consultant providing companies with advice as how to use IT to improve and grow their business, as well mentoring people to help develop their skills. During his career, Kevin has played an active role in various company charities, one of these roles was as the charity liaison into London Youth where he helped to create new activities at the Woodrow House centre.

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Sharaf Mahmood

Trustee

Sharaf is a Programmes Manager and is a previously elected councillor for the London Borough of Newham. At the time of his election, Sharaf was one of the youngest elected councillors in the UK. Sharaf has been working with a number of organisations to help young people back into employment, education and training within East London. He has received awards for his work with young people including Best Support Worker in 2015, Business Development 2016 and has most recently received The Outstanding Service User Feedback Award from Catch 22 in 2019. Sharaf has worked on numerous programmes including the government Work Programme, New Deal project, Youth contract and the Talent Match London programme. Sharaf has also developed projects in digital competency and empowering young people. Sharaf is now working on developing his passion for his work with youth and communities by developing a new business in East London called Y Training.

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David Miller

Trustee

David Miller is London Youth’s Deputy Chair as of March 2018. He works as the Director of Legal and Secretary for the City & Guilds Group. He also serves as the Data Protection Officer. His previously worked in law – specialising in technology and intellectual property. He did his Common Professional Examination and Law Society Finals at London Guildhall University; Diploma in IT Telecoms Law at Queen Mary University of London.

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Stu Thomson

Trustee

Stu worked for many years as a Youth Service Director at Knights Youth Centre, a London Youth member club. Stu is now Head of Youth Services at Oasis Waterloo. Stu brings considerable expertise in youth work and the challenges young people are facing. He also brings extensive experience of the challenges facing youth workers and what is needed to run a successful youth work facility.

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Simon Turek

Trustee

Simon is our Chair of Nominations Committee. Simon is also a Member of Poplar HARCA’s Board. He is a qualified lawyer with experience working for regulatory bodies and regulated entities in the financial services industry in both the UK and New Zealand.

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Sue Asprey-Price

Trustee

Sue is Head of Corporate Solutions and a UK Board member at James Lang Lascelles. She was previously an Executive director at Source8, and the Head of Consulting for EMEA and sat on the UK Board of CBRE.  She has over 20 years of Strategic Consulting experience in the Corporate Real Estate Sector. Sue also played rugby for Canada.  

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Charline King

Trustee

Charline has worked in youth work for 20 years, previously for the local authority and now in the voluntary sector at Rathbone Society, one of London Youth’s members. Rathbone runs an integrated offer for its members. Charline is an expert in this area and brings a wealth of valuable experience relating to the changing structure of youth services and the impact this has on youth workers. 

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Louise Rodgers

Trustee

Louise Rodgers has been a trustee of London Youth since 2014. Louise enjoyed a 25-year career in public relations, including in the voluntary and public sector and as a founding partner of her own agency, before retraining as an executive and business coach. She now works with established and emergent leaders and designs and delivers leadership development programmes for groups and teams. Louise is also a coach tutor for PR apprentices and a non-executive director of a social housing CIC and she sits on two other charitable boards one of which she chairs (Springboard Youth Academy).

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Guy Davison

Trustee

Since 2001 Guy Davison has been Chair of Crown and Manor Club, one of our member clubs. Over the last thirty years he has taken a major role in all the issues facing the Club. He was responsible for a major property redevelopment, leading to the establishment of a new state of the art facility. He has also been actively involved in the creation of the educational programme. He has also been heavily involved with London Youth. Guy leads our new Development Board aimed at diversifying funding. Guy was a partner at the European Equity firm Cinven. He  is passionate about preparing young people for entering the job market.

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Young Advisors

Amina

Young Advisor

Amina is part of our Youth Board and this is her first year as a Young Advisor on our Board of Trustees.

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Curtis

Young Advisor

Curtis is part of our Youth Board and this is his first year as a Young Advisor on our Board of Trustees.

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Veronica

Young Advisor

Veronica is part of our Youth Board and this is her first year as a Young Advisor on our Board of Trustees.

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Kalliyah

Young Advisor

Kalliyah  is part of our Youth Board and this is her first year as a Young Advisor on our Board of Trustees.

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Elena

Young Advisor

Elena is part of our Youth Board and this is her second year as a Young Advisor on our Board of Trustees.

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Jo-Ash

Young Advisor

Jo-Ash is part of our Youth Board and this is his second year as a Young Advisor on our Board of Trustees.

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Our Senior Team

Rosemary Watt-Wyness

Chief Executive

Rosemary Watt-Wyness is Chief Executive at London Youth. She is an experienced and successful voluntary sector leader, joining the charity from the MS Society where she was previously Director of Services and Support. Prior to this she was Chief Executive of mental health charity PACE and Deputy Director of a homeless prevention charity. She also worked for 8 years at The Prince’s Trust, first as Director for London where she led the successful merger of the London and South East Region, and then later as Director of Strategy and Policy for the Trust.

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Glen Fendley

Director of Fundraising

Glen is responsible for London Youth’s fundraising and philanthropic activity. Prior to becoming the Director of Fundraising, Glen established a 25-year track record of successful major income generation across many areas of the not-for-profit sector. He is proud to have represented the NSPCC, The Children’s Society, WWF, Maggie’s Cancer Caring and the Girls’ Day School Trust.

A passionate interest in helping and volunteering to address issues affecting children, young people and fostering community networks, Glen is an active mentor to the next generation of professional fundraisers, and is also a regular contributor to industry best-practice publications.

Glen is currently a trustee at Astrea Academy Trust and London Warriors American Football Club and is a governor at Godolphin and Latymer School.

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Pauline Daniyan

Interim Director of Programmes

Pauline is a highly experienced programmes lead, having worked in a number of interim roles, including as interim Director of Programmes at Safer London where she mobilised the set-up of the London Gang Exit service. She has a background in commissioning having held permanent roles at the Greater London Authority as Head of Youth and Academies and led the commissioning of European Social Fund youth programmes.

Pauline is a trustee of the Edge Foundation, an education charity working to transform young people’s experience of learning so everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential and thrive.

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Zoe Mellis

Director of Programmes

Our newly appointed Programmes Director, Zoe, initially joined London Youth in 2003 to support young people to take up volunteering opportunities in their local community as part of the government’s initiative, Millennium Volunteers. She then became Head of Volunteering before leaving London Youth to spend six months at Sport England as London Regional Manager. The wealth of knowledge gained from a stint at Sport England put Zoe in a strong position to lead our Sports Development team when she returned to London Youth in 2009 and since then she has played an integral role in the organisation’s strategic direction.

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Danyanne Quemper

Director of Finance and Resources

Danyanne has extensive senior leadership experience across the public and voluntary sectors and her major career focus has been to support the delivery of effective programmes to children and young people; helping them to make positive change in the communities in which they live. Danyanne is a Certified Public Accountant and an Associate of the Chartered Governance Institute (formerly ICSA) and holds an MA in Corporate Governance, specialising in charity governance. 

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Gill Goodby

Interim Director of Engagement

Gill is responsible for London Youth’s communications and policy, membership development, digital and learning.

Gill has worked in marketing communications for 20 years in both creative agency and charity roles, leading integrated creative and media marketing strategies, influencing public policy and campaigning to build brand profile, generate income and drive engagement. She is currently a trustee of Haringey Giving.

She was London Youth’s Head of Policy and Communications for three years, and prior to that was Head of Communications for the social justice charity INQUEST.

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Martin Curtis

Director of Residential Centres

Martin is the Director of Residential Centres for London Youth, a role he took up in February 2016 having joined as Head of Centre for Woodrow High House in February 2012.

He has a passion for outdoor experiences that began with trips with his family and the Scouts and ultimately led to him trekking in places like Patagonia, New Zealand, Iceland and Japan. Before joining London Youth Martin worked for the charity, LawWorks, which helps find free legal advice from pro bono volunteers for individuals and community groups.  While he was there he completed an MBA at Cranfield School of Management thanks to a voluntary sector scholarship.  At the same time he set up a new Scout Troop in Islington along with his wife, Caroline. Martin is a qualified solicitor and before switching to the voluntary sector worked for several years at law firm offices located in London, Tokyo and Manchester.

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Youth Board

Dare London members

Our youth board is a collective of young people aged 16-25, who together support the work of London Youth as either Ambassadors or Advisors. They represent young people from different backgrounds, living in boroughs across the capital. Each of them belongs to a youth organisation within our network so they know firsthand the positive effect youth work has.

They are passionate about representing youth people’s views, pushing for change and better opportunities for their fellow Londoners. They represent London Youth at speaking and parliamentary events, in the media, as well as being actively involved in the running of London Youth, sitting on recruitment panels, helping with funding bids and working with our Trustees.