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 Infed.org. 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.