Meet the Trustees

Youth Work Unit Trustee Board

All YWU Board Trustees are drawn from the broad youth work and young people’s services field.

Our current Directors/ Trustees are:

Sofia Mahmood MBE (Chair of the Board of Trustees)

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Sofia was born in Lancashire but raised and educated in Bradford specializing in (BA Hons) Applied Criminal Justice Studies and has over 16 years’ experience working across the public, private, faith, voluntary, education and health sectors. Sofia has been a catalyst in raising awareness, campaigning and developing innovative approaches and strategies around the themes of Education, Social cohesion, integration, safeguarding, young people, women and the Prevent Strategy locally and nationally.

Over the years Sofia has been called upon to speak at public conferences local and national institutes. She has been a voice for communities across the country- addressing and challenges around Racism, Identify and Cohesion, Gender violence and the ideologies and misconceptions attached to these. Her drive and passion shines bright as she works intensively to make a difference locally and nationally. She has been at the forefront of devising models of engagement for faith base institutes, schools, community groups, statuary sector and private sector.

She has also held the role of Secretary for the Shanaz Network, a national Prevent engagement initiative aimed at women and has designed engagement program for a broad range of audiences. Sofia is an experienced professional and spe0cializes in Community engagement, safer communities, citizenship and identity, child sexual exploitation, engagement with young men/women, Prevent, communities, families, practitioners. She has delivered tailor made training courses for Prevent Engagement Officers for various Police Forces on how to engage with women and Muslim communities, Anti-racism strategy’s and policy development. Sofia has worked closely with a number of services such as National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), where she has developed resource tools for practitioners around preventing violent extremism, community engagement and tackling radicalizations.

Recently, Sofia has engaged in several media interviews across the UK to highlight key messages on Gender Violence, Safeguarding, Hate Crime, islamophobia, women engagement in tackling Prevent through grass root level engagement.

Interviews have included the Security Minister, MP’s, senior Police Officers, representatives from BBC departments, Radio 5, BBC Asian Network as well as Directors from a range of services. Sofia has been a key speaker at local and national events empowering men and women to challenge and eradicate key issues from communities e.g. CSE, all forms of extremism and racism.

Sofia is passionate about Safeguarding and Education, creating opportunities and making a difference. providing a platform for young women to enhance and develop their education further a specialist career. Engage, Educate and Inspire young females to know their worth and value. She is enthusiastic about alternative education as well as main stream education young females require to be mentored by women who will support them through their journey of life and education.

David Sharp (Company Secretary)

David Sharp

David is the CEO of North Yorkshire Youth, a voluntary youth organisation working across north Yorkshire running a variety of provision as well as supporting training and development of smaller projects and clubs in less accessible areas of NY. He also runs Carlton Lodge Outdoor centre.

Carol Stone


Carol is the former Head of Service at Calderdale Young People’s Service and also serves on the board of the NYA.

Graham Griffiths

Graham a qualified youth worker who has worked in both the Local Authority and the Voluntary Sector and was course leader for the Youth & Community work courses at Bradford College. He also is a member of the NYA ETS committee is active in the union and In Defence of Youth Work and Choose Youth Campaigns

Gillian Shepherd (Treasurer)


Debbie Burton

Debbie is Young People’s Engagement Manager with Doncaster Council

Christine Smith

Earl of Scarbrough, YWU Patron

Richard Scarbrough

Richard has been the YWU’s patron for many years doing whatever he can to support and promote the unit’s work in supporting Y&H’s young people.