Nick Darvill

Nick Darvill

With an impressive 40 years of experience within the criminal justice system, Nick brings an unparalleled wealth of knowledge in working with young offenders, victims of crime, and families impacted by violent acts. His recent collaboration with The Rob Knox Foundation highlights his commitment to raising awareness about the far-reaching consequences of knife crime.

Nick’s services are dedicated to providing essential guidance and support to young individuals, empowering them to reduce their vulnerability and develop confidence and resilience. Notably, he spent six years leading and expanding the crime reduction program at the esteemed Charlton Athletic Community Trust. This groundbreaking role was the first of its kind in The Premier and Football Leagues, pioneering innovative approaches to engage with hard-to-reach young people within the realm of professional football clubs. Nick has successfully managed and led intervention programs funded by The Football Foundation and Premier League Charitable Fund, demonstrating his expertise in designing effective initiatives. His services have also been sought by The Premier League Kicks management board and MOPAC (Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime).

As a member of the award-winning Kickz Management Team, a collaboration between The Football Foundation and Metropolitan Police Service, Nick’s specialised skills in working with at-risk youth were instrumental in enhancing the delivery of this football-based diversionary project. His qualifications include holding the UEFA ‘A’ Football Coaching Licence and being an active member of the FA Coaches Association. With an extensive coaching background at West Ham United and Charlton Athletic Youth, Nick brings a comprehensive skill set to his endeavors.

Overall, Nick’s vast experience, unique partnerships, and commitment to making a difference position him as an invaluable asset in tackling youth-related challenges and promoting positive change within the community.

Brian Lewis

Brian Lewis (ACMA, MBA)
Chief Financial Officer

Brian Lewis is a vital member of the senior management team at Youth Unity. With a distinguished career in financial management, Brian brings strategic insight and expertise to the organisation’s financial operations. His commitment to excellence and passion for the organisation’s mission drive his efforts to optimise financial resources and support the organisation’s objectives.


James Hensman

James serves as our Chief Operating Officer at Youth Unity CIC with over 20 years experience and is the driving force behind strategic planning and operations, James significantly contributes to the success and growth of Youth Unity.  

James’s focus is on ensuring a Community wide focus on the core mission to deliver better outcomes for more young people and overseeing the development and delivery of the services.  This large and diverse portfolio of Early intervention and social care services is also focussed on partnership work, influencing  system change and responding to new and emergent vulnerabilities.

His dedication to improving the lives of vulnerable cohorts, coupled with his skill in fostering collaborative partnerships, enhances the organisation’s ability to effectively confront the challenges posed by criminal exploitation, county-lines, and organised crime vulnerability.

Motivated by a profound passion for facilitating quality improvement and providing support to vulnerable cohorts susceptible to gang and SYV related activities, James excels in working across diverse communities. He is adept at forging purposeful multi-agency partnerships that significantly enhance outcomes for those in need.  

Before joining Youth Unity CIC James worked for County Police forces and with Community Safety teams  delivering frontline training,  intervention services aimed at combating gangs, county-lines, and serious organised crime.  James brings a wealth of expertise in community engagement, strategic planning, integrated teams, commissioning  and collaborative partnerships with both MetropolitanCounty police forces and CSP’s. His extensive experience extends to strategic planning for addressing gang-related issues and serious organised crime and as an advisory for Safeguarding partnerships, education trusts and regional NHS trusts.


Simone Dyer
Youth Worker and Mentor

Simone is one of our valued youth worker’s and sports coach, Simone is the driving force behind the vibrant energy and camaraderie within our youth groups. With a passion for both youth development and sports, they seamlessly blend mentorship with athletic guidance. Whether on the field or in group discussions, this dedicated professional fosters an environment of inclusivity, teamwork, and personal growth. Their leadership extends beyond coaching skills, encompassing valuable life lessons and character-building moments for the young individuals under their guidance. Through a perfect synergy of sportsmanship and mentorship, our youth worker and sports coach contributes significantly to creating a positive and empowering space for the youth in our community.


Simone is also a dedicated professional Boxer who has recently won The New Regional Cruiserweight Champion and won by TKO.

A true champion inside and outside of the ring!

Youth Unity - In House Training provided by iHasco

Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson brings a profound passion for youth to her pivotal role as the founder and Managing Director. Serving as an invaluable asset, she oversees and manages all facets of our operations.

With a rich background in project management, Shirley not only skilfully navigates the execution of many of our initiatives but ensures a seamless transition from concept to realisation.

Beyond her operational responsibilities, Shirley plays a vital role in the overall functioning of our organisation. Accumulating a wealth of knowledge over twenty-five years in marketing and branding on a global corporate landscape, she has collaborated with esteemed artists, agencies, and non-profit organisations. Shirley’s expertise extends to event management, making her a versatile professional with a diverse skill set that significantly benefits our company and the young individuals we serve.

In the last five years, Shirley has dedicated herself to youth intervention projects, particularly those addressing serious youth violence. Her hands-on approach and strategic vision have significantly impacted the lives of those at risk, providing pathways to positive change.

Apart from her impactful work in the youth intervention space, Shirley also spearheads all marketing materials and website design at Youth Unity. Her creative touch and attention to detail shine through in every aspect of our brand representation, ensuring that our mission and message resonate effectively.

Furthermore, Shirley conceptualised and launched a successful online radio station, showcasing her passion for music and communication. This platform not only serves as a beacon of support for various charities but also provides opportunities for up-and-coming talents.

Shirley’s core focus remains on empowering young individuals to lead fulfilling lives. Leveraging her extensive experience, she provides guidance and support, sharing valuable insights to help them navigate life’s challenges. Her commitment to the well-being of young people resonates in her work and interactions.

Her dedication to fostering happiness and fulfilment in the lives of young individuals propels her significant contributions to our organisation.


Paul McKenzie

Paul is a Youth Professional, Videographer, and Public Speaker who has dedicated the past twenty-five years to positively impacting the lives of countless individuals.

With an unwavering commitment to working with young people from diverse backgrounds, Paul has curated a series of engaging workshops and compelling talks that directly address the challenges facing today’s youth. These thought-provoking sessions delve into crucial topics, empowering young individuals to navigate and overcome obstacles prevalent in our society.

Paul’s influence extends even further through his captivating short films and informative videos, reaching thousands of young people, parents, and professionals. Widely accessible on social media and other platforms, his video content is widely utilised in educational institutions, colleges, and statutory organisations. Covering critical subjects such as serious youth violence, grooming, and drugs awareness, his videos serve as valuable resources, aiding in the exploration of solutions to these pressing issues.

Ultimately, Paul’s overarching goal is to create inclusive spaces for young people to recognise and unleash their untapped potential through transformative, creative projects. By inspiring broader change, he remains proud of his contributions in addressing specific issues that profoundly impact communities and shaping a brighter future for our youth.

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Julian Philips

With an extensive 23-year career in the Criminal Justice System, encompassing roles within the prison system and probation, Julian has acquired invaluable expertise. Additionally, he has held a managerial position in the Mental Health sector, further broadening my knowledge and skills.

In both his personal and professional life, he is driven by a strong motivation to serve as a positive role model. Julian strives to embody the values he believes in and inspire those around him to achieve their full potential. His ultimate passion lies in advocating for the less fortunate and advocating for equality, aiming to create a fair and just society for all individuals.

Over the course of his professional journey, Julian has amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience working with young people. Equipped with the necessary tools, I am adept at navigating through even the most challenging situations. This enables me to effectively connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds, establishing productive and meaningful connections.

Julian finds great fulfilment in inspiring others to pursue their goals and aspirations. By empowering individuals and encouraging them to reach their fullest potential, he believes in making a lasting impact on their lives.

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Paul Robinson
Serious Youth Violence Project Manager for Tendring

Paul is an experienced professional with a strong background in intervention, sport, and crime reduction management. He brings a wealth of knowledge and a genuine passion for making a positive impact in the lives of young people. Having enjoyed a successful coaching career in both the UK and the US, Paul made a deliberate decision to shift his focus towards utilizing sports and arts as a means of engaging with hard-to-reach young individuals. His goal is to uplift their aspirations and guide them away from a path of criminality.

In his most recent role as the Crime Reduction Manager at Charlton Athletic Football Trust (CACT), Paul demonstrated his leadership skills by spearheading projects that advanced and innovated criminal exploitation prevention across Kent and South East London. Currently, Paul serves as the Youth Unity Essex SYV Coordinator, where he takes on the responsibility of leading efforts in addressing serious youth violence.

Paul’s commitment to community safety and tackling serious youth violence is evident through his involvement in various London-based advisory boards. He actively contributes his expertise and insights to shape strategies and initiatives aimed at ensuring the well-being and security of local communities.

Overall, Paul’s background, experience, and engagement with advisory boards reflect his dedication to making a difference in the lives of young people, promoting community safety, and driving positive change.

Wayne Hill

Wayne Hill
Mentor, Gang Exit Serious Youth Violence

Wayne is a dedicated and passionate advocate in the field of serious youth violence and gang exit work. With over 25 years of experience, he has been at the forefront of efforts to address and mitigate the impact of youth violence and gang-related issues within our communities.

Having witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of youth violence, Wayne has committed his career to creating positive change and providing viable alternatives for at-risk youth. Wayne has worked tirelessly to design and implement intervention programs aimed at preventing youth involvement in gangs and supporting those seeking to exit this perilous lifestyle.

Wayne serves as our mentor for addressing serious youth violence, boasting an impressive tenure of over three decades spent working closely with challenging and difficult-to-engage young individuals. His extensive experience encompasses a diverse spectrum, and his unwavering determination to guide young people toward success is truly remarkable. With an outstanding track record of achievements within his cohort, Wayne has consistently demonstrated his proficiency.

Furthermore, Wayne’s expertise extends to the realm of contextual safeguarding, an area he has gained considerable insight into over his many years of involvement in children’s care homes. His adeptness and fervor shine through, particularly in his adept handling of the demanding responsibilities associated with this role.


Grace Moore
Clinical Supervisor

Grace is our dedicated clinical supervisor who is a cornerstone in our team, providing essential guidance and support to our healthcare professionals.

In this critical role, she bring a wealth of experience and expertise to oversee and enhance the quality of clinical care provided. Through regular supervision sessions, they create a reflective space for our team members to discuss cases, share insights, and continually refine their skills.

Grace’s commitment to upholding high standards of care and ensuring the well-being of both our clients and our team members makes them an indispensable leader within our clinical framework.