All posts by YMCA Research

Maxine Green

maxine (3)

Maxine Green (Principal)

020 7540 4900

I was trained as a youth worker in the 1970s and educated as a social anthropologist. I am interested in qualitative research especially ethnography. My work since the 1990s has been in the management, development and evaluation of work with young people. This has included six years as the National Youth Officer for the Church of England, Principal Youth Officer for Camden local authority and Deputy Principal Youth Officer for Essex local authority.  Before becoming Principal of the YMCA George Williams College I was a consultant; undertaking research, evaluation and management consultancy. My approach is holistic which embraces the cultural and ‘soft’ dimensions of research or management. In my experience it is these elements which direct and drive initiatives and determine success and achievement.

 My qualifications include:

  • I975: Teaching Certificate with Youth and Community Work Certificate (JNC) – Distinction – Newland Park College – University of Reading.
  • 1993: BSc Social Anthropology – London School of Economics 2:1.
  • 1997: Certificate in Online Education and Training – Institute of Education.
  • 2000: Certificate in Transactional Analysis (Masters level) from University of Bath Spa.
  • 2009: Certificate in Commissioning and Procurement – Institute of Public Care – Oxford Brookes University.

I have been Principal and Chief Executive at the YMCA George Williams College since January 2012.  My duties are concerned with the strategic management and leadership of the College but I also teach and have written study materials for our distance learning students. My teaching areas include the Spiritual Development of Young People, Group work and Teaching.

My research and evaluation experience includes:

  • Longitudinal review of the impact of work with families who are vulnerable to state intervention (current).
  • Review of three pilot detached youth work schemes within the YMCA and dissemination of good practice (current).
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Jewish Lad’s and Girl’s Brigade’s delivery of the National Citizen Service (2011).
  • Department of Education / NYA research on Spiritual Development of Young People (2005/6).

My research interests include: Spiritual Development of Young People; Interfaith work with young people; managing cultural differences; and the interplay of body, mind and spirit in informal education.

Other Information:

  • I have been an external examiner for CYM, Chester University and Manchester Metropolitan University.
  • I am a Trustee for YMCA England, the Interfaith Youth Trust and for the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf.
  • I was involved with the Education Standards Committee of the NYA for over 18 years undertaking professional validations and one of their Quality Mark Assessors.
  • LGA runner up for Children and Young People’s Work 2004 for developing an interactive and participative commissioning system for Essex County Council.

Recent publications:

  • 2005 Spirituality and Spiritual Development in Youth Work – NYA/DfES.
  • 2005 A Sense of Respect with C. Heaney Interfaith resource – NYA.
  • 2006 A Journey of Discovery – NYA.
  • 2008 ‘Putting Spiritual Development on the map – an English Perspective’ in New Directions for Youth Development, USA.
  • 2010 ‘The Youth Worker as Converter’ in Ethical Issues in Youth Work – ed. S. Banks.

Recent conference presentations include:

  • 2014: ‘Burning Conversations’ – Adelaide, Australia (Keynote Speaker).
  • 2014: ‘Leadership’ – YMCA Strategic Leaders’ Network Conference, York.

Lesley Buckland


Lesley Buckland (Senior Lecturer)

020 7540 4928

I have been a Lecturer at the College since 2008 and Programme Coordinator for the full-time undergraduate programmes for most of that time. An active interest in the history of youth and community work has led me to become a member of the YMCA archive group and a regular attendee and presenter at the biennual History of Youth Work Conferences hosted by Youth and Policy journal. I am also an Associate Editor for Youth and Policy. Having worked a significant proportion of my career in the housing sector, I have a keen interest in social housing issues that informs my teaching and research specialisms.

After several years in banking, followed by employment in the private sector, I initially became involved in youth work as a volunteer on a project for unemployed and homeless young people. This was the beginning of a career change that led me into being a youth worker for almost 25 years in both the voluntary and statutory sectors. My two greatest achievements during this period were: developing a number of highly successful peer education projects around sexual health, substance misuse and homelessness; and developing The Daylight Project, a day centre for homeless and/or unemployed young people that provided support to help young people realise their potential and progress into positive outcomes.

Having gained a First Class BA (Hons) Degree with YMCA George Williams College, I went on to gain their Certificate in Supervision, and became a college supervisor providing non-managerial support for students on the undergraduate programmes. During this time, I returned to work in the statutory sector and developed my teaching skills through various opportunities as a youth worker (e.g. Training the Trainer in Sexual Health with the NHS, and providing training to various organisations around Group Work, Communication and in a number of other related areas) before joining the College in 2008.

My main areas of work for the college include:

  • Programme Organiser of the full-time undergraduate programmes
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Tutor on the full-time and distance learning programmes
  • Facilitator at distance learning residentials
  • Short Course Leader – Working with Homeless People
  • Developing course materials

I have written study guides and materials for our level 3 Diploma in helping, mentoring and community learning as well as our level 4 undergraduate programme, the Social Contexts module, which I also taught on the full-time programme. I currently teach at level 6 on the Community Learning and Development module and have developed new materials and teach on the level 4 Pedagogy Learning and Development module. I am currently re-developing our Working with Homeless People Course, which I previously delivered.

I have a plethora of research and evaluation experience. As a recipient of European Social Fund grants, I was required to evaluate impact and report on a monthly basis. Working within the voluntary sector for a number for years and being substantially reliant on external funding provided me with a breadth of opportunity to develop my evaluation skills.

I did an extensive piece of research into the viability of Peer Education in 1994 over the period of 3 months. As a direct result of this work, a project was piloted initially for 6 months. I evaluated this project, which then grew and became a central way of working in Hampshire County Youth Service. The yearly evaluations that I carried out enabled us to get further funding to continue and develop this project. This work was still continuing four years later, when I moved on.

As a course leader I am constantly researching in order to develop study materials. I have had study materials published and have also written articles, book chapters and book reviews, contributing regularly to Youth and Policy and also to My research interests are in social policy, social pedagogy and homelessness. I am studying for a PhD examining social pedagogy as an unspoken practice in youth and community work in the UK.

My role as an associate editor and book reviewer for Youth and Policy keeps me aware of social policy and current thinking in the field. I was invited to chair the steering group of a community interest company, Fruition Youth, a not for profit youth organisation that aims to provide young people with confidence, experiences and entrepreneurial skills that are required for adult modern life. This keeps me connected to the realities of what is happening in the field. Since 2005 I have also been a trustee of the Aldershot Institute, a charity that has enabled youth and community organisations to run independent of government funding by raising money from commercial business, since 1856.

Publications include:


Buckland, L. (2013). ‘Positive for Youth. A critique’, the encyclopaedia of informal education.

Study Guides:

Buckland, L. (2013) Understanding The Social Context London: YMCA George Williams College

Buckland, L. (2009)  Introducing helping , mentoring and community learning London: YMCA George Williams College

Chapters in books:

Buckland, L. (2006) ‘The Aldershot Institute 1948–1956: Our Club’ in Gilchrist, R., Jeffs, T., and Spence, J. (eds.) Drawing on the Past: Studies in the History of Youth and Community Work

Recent conference presentations include:

‘Is it time to set up a national organisation for work with girls and young women?’ June 10th-11th 2014. Presentation at Thinking Afresh: Feminism and Youth Work conference hosted by Youth and Policy journal, Hinsley Hall, Leeds.

‘Where next for youth, community and playwork?’ May 10th 2014. Keynote at the CYWU Hampshire Youth Workers’ Development Day, The Carroll Centre, Winchester.

Simon Frost


Simon Frost (Senior Lecturer)

020 7540 4917

Simon Frost is Programme Director for the MA Youth Work, Community Learning and Development Programme and the College’s academic link with Canterbury Christ Church University. Since joining the programme team in September 2002, he has developed a specialist interest in ethics and values in youth work. In his most recent publication, Philosophy in Youth and Community Work (2014, with Mike Seal), he has developed a range of philosophical reflections that encourage practitioners to look beyond the assumptions and rhetoric of youth work values; encouraging philosophical enquiry as a tool for reflection on professional practice.

Prior to joining the College, Simon was a Senior Youth Worker at the Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey for three years and, prior to that, a Community Youth Worker based in Merrow, Surrey. As a practitioner, Simon was heavily influenced by the ideas of deliberative democracy, community practice and rights, as a way of engaging young people; principles that have provided a constant theme in his research and teaching.

Simon has a Cert HE in Youth Work and Theology from the University of Wales, a BA (Hons) in Informal Education from Canterbury Christ Church University and an MA in Ethics and Values in Education (Philosophical Perspectives) from the Institute of Education. As a senior academic at the College, Simon has responsibility for quality monitoring, evaluation and validation work.

He has performed a number of research roles for the College including: working on a large scale evaluation project for the Big Lottery Fund and Department for Education (an evaluation of the English government myplace initiative); an evaluation for the Central London Connexions Partnership pilot programme; and as a researcher on an evaluation of the YMCA England Leadership and Management Strategy.

YMCA George Williams College, 199 Freemasons Road, Canning Town, London E16 3PY, United Kingdom. Direct line/voice mail: 020 7540 4917. E-mail:

Jeff Salter


Jeff Salter (Vice Principal)

020 7540 4912

Jeff Salter is Vice Principal at the YMCA George Williams College and specialises in the field of principle-centred leadership and management. He has led, taught and written material at the College since 1997 including chapters and study items on developing informed and committed workers and managing conflict. He initiated the College’s current suite of MA programmes and is responsible for developing College partnerships with Canterbury Christ Church University and the Rank Foundation. He is currently  contributing to a leadership strategy programme with YMCA England and is developing The Centre for Reflective Leadership which will provide opportunities, programmes and support for the College’s  past graduates, friends and the wider field with the principles of ‘journeying, learning and leading’ at its heart.

Prior to the College, Jeff was  Deputy Principal Youth Officer  in an Outer London borough where he was responsible  for the service and staff development at eleven youth service locations, Senior Neighbourhood Officer in another London borough where he developed and ran services with an area brief and he started his youth work career as a Senior Youth and Community Worker at a Youth and Community Centre in North London developing  the social, educational and recreational needs of the local Jewish community, especially young people. He has also been a managing director of an international holiday school for young people, a RE teacher in a London comprehensive school and a sports coach.

Jeff has an MSc in Human Resource Development from South Bank University, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Roehampton Institute and a BA (Hons) from Kent University. As a member of the College Senior Management Team, he has corporate responsibility for the management and delivery of the College’s offer, particularly leading and managing the work related to curriculum development, delivery and assessment.   He currently teaches on and writes for the management and leadership modules on the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, a counselling and helping skills module on the undergraduate programme as well as offering tutorial support to students individually and collectively.

As the College’s Rank Tutor, he trains and produces support materials for a national network of voluntary youth and community work agencies and managers supported by the Rank Foundation, the Joseph Rank Trust and the Robertson Trust. Additionally, he is currently developing a series of Managers’ Retreats with the Foundation and is a steering group member of the YARN Network, contributing to strategy, writing, conference preparation and delivery on behalf of Rank’s network of projects.

He has performed a consultancy role for many agencies and projects primarily around leadership and quality assurance issues and has successfully bid for funding throughout his professional career, most recently from the Rank Foundation, Barclays Capital and the Joseph Rank Trust.


Mark K. Smith


Mark K. Smith

020 7540 4929

Dr. Mark K. Smith specializes in the fields of informal education, social pedagogy and community learning. Among his books are Creators not Consumers (1980, 1982), Organise! (1981), Developing Youth Work (1988), Local Education (1994), Informal Education (1996, 1999, 2005 with Tony Jeffs), The Art of Helping Others (2008, with Heather Smith), Youth Work Practice (2010, edited with Tony Jeffs) and Journeying Together (2010, edited with Alan Rogers). He writes for, and edits, and is on the editorial board of Youth and Policy.

Innovatory, action research is a particular interest. Mark K. Smith’s projects have focused on social and political education (funded by the Department of Education and Science and based at the then National Association of Youth Clubs); youth work (supported by the Rank Foundation); and community learning and development (also supported by the Rank Foundation). He has also been responsible for large scale evaluation projects – most recently with Jean Spence for the Big Lottery Fund and Department for Education (an evaluation of the English government myplace initiative).

At the moment, Mark K. Smith is working on a book on working with young people in difficult times and another (with Tony Jeffs) on social pedagogy.

Currently, he is also a foundation governor of a Catholic secondary school in an inner London borough, and was, for a number of years, chair of a nearby tenants’ cooperative that ran two tower blocks.

YMCA George Williams College, 199 Freemasons Road, Canning Town, London E16 3PY, United Kingdom. Direct line/voice mail: 020 7540 4929. E-mail:

Tina Salter

Tina Salter

Tina Salter (Senior Lecturer)

020 7540 4908

My background is in youth work, specialising latterly in mentoring young people ‘at risk’ of exclusion from school. I am also experienced in coordinating programmes and managing teams.

My youth work career started out as a volunteer at a youth group that I had grown up in. I then trained as a youth worker at Oasis College and have since worked full-time as a youth worker in a variety of settings, both charity- and statutory- based. I have managed a range of programmes for young people including: coordinating multi-agency programmes aimed at developing young people’s skills in the performing arts; managing a community-based mentoring scheme recruiting, training and supporting volunteer mentors; and managing a team of full-time inclusion workers supporting young people in school with behavioural and emotional difficulties. I came to the College in 2004, originally to coordinate the Level 2 programme for volunteers or those starting out in youth and community work. I moved across to the undergraduate distance learning team in 2008. My values and expertise in supporting young people in a variety of settings have contributed to the development of my career now as they continue to inform my teaching and research.

I have completed the following programmes:

  • Youth Ministry Course, Oasis College, graduated in 1993
  • Diploma in Mentoring, Leeds Metropolitan University, graduated in 2002
  • Masters in Coaching and Mentoring Practice, Oxford Brookes University, graduated in 2007
  • Doctorate in Coaching and Mentoring, Oxford Brookes University, graduated in 2014

In my role at YMCA George Williams College, I am a senior lecturer and programme organiser for the degree programmes by distance learning. I teach on the full-time and distance learning undergraduate and Masters programmes at the College.

My teaching areas include:

  • Helping and counselling skills at Level 5
  • Management research at Level 6
  • Coaching and mentoring in Leadership and Management at Level 7
  • Research Design and Dissertation at Level 7
  • Tutoring groups on both the full-time and distance learning undergraduate programmes

I have carried out research on behalf of the College where they have successfully been awarded contracts to evaluate pieces of work.  These have included evaluating a pilot project which integrated global youth work into a life skills programme being delivered by a YMCA Hostel supporting homeless young people.  I have also evaluated a pilot programme which sought to integrate global youth work into a YMCA Outdoor Education Centre.

When working towards my Masters in Coaching and Mentoring Practice I used a grounded theory approach to explore the thoughts and opinions of coaches regarding the emerging use of coaching supervision. This enabled me to offer a critical view on supervision and whether or not this should be mandatory for coaches who affiliate to related professional bodies.

My doctoral research focused on a comparison of mentor and coaches through the lens of six mentoring and coaching disciplines. There is currently no universal definition of mentoring and coaching and whilst my research did not come up with any definitive answers, my findings show that practitioners can adopt specialist disciplinary, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches, according to skills and experience.

My research interests include:

Any aspect of youth work; but I do have a particular interest in mentoring and coaching, as well as interventions used with young people deemed to be vulnerable in some way.

I reached the finals of The Association of Conferences and Events’ national award: ‘Conference Organiser of the Year – 1999’ in the category for the largest sized conferences.

Recent publications include:

Salter, T. (2015) Equality of Mentoring and Coaching Opportunity: making both available to pre-service teachers, International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 4, Issue 1

Salter, T. (2014), Mentor and Coach: Disciplinary, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches, International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, Special Issue No.8, June 2014, available at

Belton, B., Hill, J., Salter, T., & Peaper, J. (2011), Supervision: Praxis and Purpose: Developing a critical model of practice for those working with children and young people post Munro, Lyme Regis: Russell House Publishing

Salter, T. (2008), Exploring current thinking within the field of coaching on the role of supervision, International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, Special Issues No.2, November 2008, available at

Recent conference presentations include:

‘A Comparison of Mentor and Coach Approaches Across Disciplines’ at the Coaching and Mentoring Research Conference held at Oxford Brookes University in 2014.

‘Mentor and Coach: same, similar or different?’ at the Oxford Brookes University Business School and Burgundy School of Business Joint Research Conference in 2013.