Katya Allcott – Office and Volunteer Manager
Katya is our Office and Volunteer Manager. After she completed her theatre studies degree in 2013, she decided to continue to volunteer at various events, developing the work she had done with the student union’s events committee. It was through this voluntary work where she discovered that her passion lay in working with volunteers. She was appointed the role of Office and Volunteer Manager in 2015 and is enthusiastic to embrace all aspects of working with young people. Since starting her role at YCSA she has completed various training and is excited to be beginning a career in this field. She loves to stay active and is always attending various dance and fitness classes.
Clare McBrien – Programme Lead
After spending too much time studying Spanish verbs, Clare left university to play music, travel and work for various creative and third sector organisations. On return from her dream trip from Colombia to Cuba in 2015, she joined YCSA as an Outreach, then a Development worker. She enjoys working with people through creative processes to give them the opportunity to understand themselves and to be heard. At YCSA, she spends her time facilitating workshops, developing partnerships, and supporting young people on a one to one basis so that they may overcome barriers they face and feel empowered to live their best life. When not in the office, you might find Clare with her nose in a book or out and about with friends.
Neil Girvan – Development Worker
After working for a local charity in Kenya, Neil returned to Glasgow where he worked in a children’s residential unit for Quarriers where he saw first-hand the challenges young people faced from an early age. He went on to train as an actor before travelling to France to get back in touch with his family’s roots while managing retail stores in Paris. After a couple of years he returned to Glasgow to pursue work that was closer to his heart. For the past year he has been working as a youth caseworker for the British Red Cross. Neil carries with him a message the people of Kenya gave him to take wherever he goes: ‘Kidogo kidogo, hujaza kibaba’ which translates as “little by little the container gets filled”.
Ashkan Farzan – Project Worker
Ash is classed as the master of the class
What class is that? The secret master class
The technique knower you don’t speak over
Flexing with experts, never the mediocre
Digital decoder, pro gadget holder
Don’t be peeking at notes in his folder
The perfect candidate, the man is compassionate
Frictionless creativity like a break-dancer on laminate
To empower, gotta have balance of course
After building trust he challenges and supports
Got plenty credentials to bring out the potential
You know the ability to respond is essential
To summarise, he respects everyone as equals
Always pushing barriers for young people
Ian Hamilton – Project Worker
Hailing from Barnhill in Dundee, via Edinburgh (as a student), Ian has a background in media studies and most recently a Post Graduate Diploma in Community Learning and Development. After several years of working in retail by day and being a singer songwriter guitarist at night, Ian studied Community Learning and Development at The University of Glasgow. He began at YCSA as a volunteer on a film making project he has joined the ranks as a project worker with the Ctrl Alt Delete team. Still playing the guitar, writing songs and as a keen Dundee United supporter Ian is happy to talk about football, music and the meaning of life!
Leo Plumb – Development Worker
First appearing in Glasgow in 2015, Leo continues to find inspiration by exploring the different areas the city has to offer. He joined the YCSA team on the back of his experiences in the public arts, outreach and education, where he worked with and alongside young people. As an ESOL tutor, he enjoys helping others express themselves and hearing stories from around the world. Recently, Leo spent time researching creative practices at the Glasgow School of Art. One question continues to follow him: ‘How can different community groups use the arts to discuss issues which are important to them?’
Fariha Thomas – Operational Manager
Fariha Thomas holds qualifications at postgrad level including in Urban Policy, Social Work, and Social Work Management. She has worked in the fields of community development and equalities in Scotland, in both statutory and voluntary sectors for 30+ years. She has worked in a range of minority ethnic community groups; involved in providing anti-racism and cultural awareness training to various organisations and undertaken research on minority ethnic issues. Fariha has extensive experience in the voluntary sector having served on numerous Boards and managed several organisations; and having served as a member of the YCSA Board (2012-17) - was also a Glasgow City Councillor (2012-17).
Coco Claxton – Ebara Development Worker
A newcomer to Glasgow, Coco has spent the last five years studying Arabic at University. Following several months in Egypt, she returned to Scotland where she worked as a play group assistant and translator of Arabic in the refugee services sector. Having discovered a passion for youth work Coco moved to Glasgow, working and volunteering for the British Red Cross and Aberlour Youthpoint. She joined the YCSA team to take up the position of Ebara Development worker, supporting young members of the BME community within HMYOI Polmont. She is particularly interested in exploring the potential of arts-based interventions within the Criminal Justice System.
Andy Docherty – Assistant Office Manager
Following a long stint in E-business in NZ, Andy escapaded around Australia, South East Asia, India and Cyprus before settling in rainy Glasgow. Fresh from 7 months of travelling & having worked in a mountaineering/outdoors centre, Andy took up a role as a bank Fraud Adviser before jumping into the 3rd sector here at YCSA. Having studied International Relations (& Film) at University, he is passionate about getting hands on in local projects at grassroots level; promoting multicultural events, reading and foreign cinema. When not working, he is usually meandering stealthily through Europe chasing culture, the hills & writing his travel blog.
Shameem Raza – Counsellor & Wellbeing Co-ordinator
Shameem started her career in the civil service. During a career break whilst raising a family she was often occupied with either volunteering for charitable causes or learning new skills. One of her ambitions included sourcing organic fabrics, designing & creating bespoke, intricate pieces of clothing & scarves, which she displayed & sold in exhibitions. To keep active, she has accomplished a number of 10K walks & raised money for causes she holds dear to her heart. Her friends see her as a good listener & that’s the reason she is doing the job she loves best! Her motto is “everyone can help someone.” Shameem is married with 2 children.