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Chris Charles

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Emily Collinsbeare - Adviser

Chris is based in the North West of the UK and is a skilled and dedicated artist, project manager, workshop developer/facilitator and trainer/ public speaker. He specialises in and is passionate about creating person and community centred projects that give expression to individuals and groups that normally struggle to be heard.  All of the work he delivers has “detached work” at its heart. The support he was shown as a young man on the streets of Manchester, where he grew up, is present in every piece of work he produces. The trust, support and love he was shown started him on his creative journey and he brings this energy, lived experience and compassion into every space he creates and shares.

Emily started helping out at a youth club around the corner from her home as a teenager and didn’t even know being a youth worker could be a profession. She went on to study a Youth and Community Studies degree at the University of Exeter at the College of St Mark and St John campus in Plymouth.  Plymouth was the first place that Emily got paid for working as a detached youth worker and was (almost immediately) convinced it was a great way to engage young people in their ‘safe spaces’.  Emily now manages a Youth Engagement service in South London with specialist strands around Detached and Outreach, Voice and Participation and 14-19 NEET prevention.

Emily first became involved in the Federation for Detached Youth Work by attending conferences in Newquay while a student.  She has been an Executive member for 10 years and was chair for 3.  She feels strongly that detached youth work is one of the best ways to create lasting and impactful relationships with young people in communities.

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David Whewell

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Kevin Jones

David qualified at Leicester Polytechnic in 1980 and was a practicing youth worker/youth officer until his semi-retirement in 2010. He has been both a detached youth worker, working with black and minority ethnic young people in Buckinghamshire and a manager of a detached youth work team in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Moving to Wiltshire he became an Area Manager in Swindon and continued to directly manage street based youth workers. He was the Head of Young People’s Services with Wiltshire Council prior to his retirement. He is Chair of Governors of the John of Gaunt School, a large Academy of over 1200 pupils and is currently a Trustee and the Treasurer of the Federation for Detached Youth Work. He has substantial experience of finance, personnel and strategic management and was previously an Ofsted Inspector of Connexions and Youth Services. He is a strong believer in the need to develop and sustain social capital and ensure that young people and communities are supported and engaged in their own learning.

Kevin has over 25 years of experience in Detached Youth Work in both the statutory and voluntary sectors. He is an experienced trainer who never tires of pointing out he has trained detached teams "from Shetland to Penzance". After qualifying from St Martins College, Lancaster, he moved to London where he worked in, and managed, detached teams. He spent his last eight years in London working for a number of Registered Social Landlords both as an employee and a consultant in youth and community work, but always informed by the principles of democratic engagement he gained through his background in streetwork. In 2007 he moved back to the north where he has worked as Development Director for Young Advisors Charity, specialising in young people's participation in communities, and ventured back into social housing as Youth Lead for Trafford Housing Trust. He has a keen interest in Youth Work Training, which he has put to use as a lecturer on the Youth Work course at Bolton University, and in the governance and structure of youth services which has led him to being a trustee for 42nd Street, Manchester and a Director of Trafford Youth Trust. He has been involved with the Fed for 12 years, performing 2 stints as Chair, and consistently impresses us with his forensic organisational skills and attention to detail.

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Ruth has a long career in Youth and Community Work starting out in the voluntary sector in Bristol in 1983.She has worked with a wide variety of communities in different settings and parts of the country. She has a keen interest in getting out and meeting young people “where they are” (physically and metaphorically) so for the last 15 years she has been a Detached Youth Worker for Calderdale MBC in Halifax West Yorkshire. She has been an active Executive Committee Member of the Federation for Detached Youth Work for the last 8 years.

Ruth Ware

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​Graeme is an Independent Education Consultant.  Having been a detached youth worker for many years, Graeme became an independent education consultant in 2000.  He is a trainer, lecturer and researcher and supports project development (work as diverse as creating a European Master’s degree in Street Work and pioneering the methodology of Community Philosophy).  These activities take him throughout the UK and often to other European countries.  Graeme is an Associate Research Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University, an External Advisor to the Welsh Government’s Youth Work Reference Group, and continues to pursue PhD studies in democratic education at University College London, where his focus is on ‘uncertainties’ in education. Graeme is the author of Reconnecting Detached Youth Work: Standards and Guidelines for Excellence (2007), Detached Youth Work and Democratic Education (2008), a chapter in Critical Issues in Youth Work Management (Ord, J. (ed.), 2011), and Policy making for good practice, a chapter in the recently published Responding Meaningfully to Youth Learning: A form of community?

Graeme Tiffany - Adviser

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Miriam has been a youth worker for 35 years spending most of her youth work years working with young women and as a detached youth worker.  She worked in Blackpool, Hull and managed the Borough detached project in Camden, London. Now she works as a part time detached youth worker in a Shrewsbury. Miriam has been involved in the Federation from its inception .Taking a break when working as a rural youth worker on Shropshire. To return 3 years ago to support her colleagues to put on a conference.

Miriam Turner

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Mike has been involved in detached youth work, both as a young person and now as a qualified youth worker. He has now been a professionally qualified youth worker for 22 years . He managed a detached project and youth centre in the city of Bradford for eight years, in a local community scarred by the riots, as a detached team they chose not to respond to the issues that local councillors declared, but listened, observed and spoke to young people. They ran detached sessions that brought different ethnic groups together, barbeques, sports activities and art sessions that expressed their hopes and fears in their community. This eventually led to a community garden that adults and young people raised money for and played a part in the design.

Now he manages a detached youth work project in the West Midlands. The focus has changed a lot in fourteen years, from Youth service, Positive Activities to Targeted youth work. They are now more responsive to CSE and CE as their main line of work.

And yet after 22 years of doing youth work he still enjoys the skill of connecting with young people in a detached context, the excitement of that first contact, observing young people trying to work you out, starting with their agenda not his.

Mike Collyer


Steve has a broad range of youth and community development experience and has been an advocate of detached youth work and street based youth work throughout his career as face to face worker to senior manager.  Undertaking his qualificatory degree course at St. Martins College, Lancaster, he has experience across the UK and in Europe using detached youth work as a vehicle to enable community cohesion and generational understanding.  At present, a Lecturer at the University of Cumbria on the Youth Work and Community Development programme enabling future professionals working towards their JNC qualification.  A passionate activist towards social justice aims his belief in youth work and informal education as the empowering tools that can support young people to meet their aspirations, goals and futures.

Steve Walker


Bill Cox MBE has supported the Federation for Detached Youth Work (FDYW) for many years as an original member, treasurer and, more recently as the FDYW's President. Bill has worked in the voluntary sector for 50 years, including 10 years as a part time youth worker, 4 years as a youth club leader, 6 years as a full time detached youth worker and 24 years as a full time youth work manager with responsibility for training and development.

Bill retired in September 2004. Since then he has actively supported a variety of young people's provision in Liverpool. In 2014 Bill was awarded an MBE for his invaluable contribution to youth work.

Bill Cox