Our Team


Clare McBrien – Youth Music Initiative Co-ordinator

After spending much time studying Spanish verbs, Clare left Uni to play music, travel & work for various creative & 3rd sector organisations. On return from her dream trip from Colombia to Cuba in 2015, she joined us as an Outreach, then Development worker. She enjoys working with people creatively to give them the opportunity to understand themselves and be heard. At YCSA, she spends her time facilitating workshops, developing partnerships & supporting young people on a one to one basis so they may overcome barriers they face & feel empowered to live their best life. When not in the office, you might find Clare with her nose in a book or out & about with friends.

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 & Social Work Management. She has worked in the fields of community development & equalities in Scotland, in both statutory & voluntary sectors for 30+ years. She has worked in a range of minority ethnic community groups; involved in providing anti-racism & 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 & managed several organisations & having served as a member of the YCSA Board (12-17') - was also a Glasgow City Councillor (12-17').

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.