Our Team


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 – Communications Officer

Following 3 years of E-business in NZ, Andy took off around  Australia, South East Asia, India and Cyprus before settling in rainy Glasgow. Fresh from 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 baking in the sun (or lack of) or chasing culture somewhere in some obscure European city.

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.

Joe Donnelly – Programme Lead

Joe graduated in 1990, following years of community involvement addressing homelessness & addiction in his home town, setting up accommodation & counselling projects. Has worked across communities supporting young people with complex experiences of addiction & trauma related issues. Has supported various communities, youth organisations & national agencies (Prince’s Trust/Columba 1400) developing practice & engagements with hard to reach young people emphasising inclusion & employability. Has delivered training across a spectrum of youth & community development issues and he is currently working towards qualifications in applied psychology & counselling.

Zara Hussain – Development Worker

Zara started as a young person who YCSA delivered sessions to, which later on progressed onto Zara becoming a volunteer in some of our many activities.  Through her volunteer work at YCSA, Zara was offered the chance to join the YCSA’s Youth Panel where she was an active member for several years. Later on, she progressed onto doing several different sessional jobs with YCSA helping deliver sports related programmes. Through the experience and knowledge gained through being a volunteer and a sessional worker, Zara was given the opportunity to become a fully fledged member of the YCSA Ctrl Alt Del Team as a development worker.

Eleftheria Galani – Development Worker

Eleftheria has travelled from Greece all the way to Glasgow where she joined YCSA after spending time volunteering in welfare rights & advocacy. She has also worked in applied housing research; and with a variety of people in both Greece & Scotland, focusing on how egalitarian participation can empower people to achieve the best for themselves & their community. She has worked with refugees & the Roma community, developing their language skills, knowledge of civil rights & how to exercise them. She graduated with a degree in Social Work from the Technical Education Institute of Western Greece & focused on Social Work research as well as youth & adult education.

Daniel McMahon – Office & Volunteer Manager

Daniel is a footloose worker, used to serving behind tills, delivering workshops & feeding cats, all with an essay deadline looming at the end of the day.  Daniel always wanted to find a job contributing in empowering young people & playing a part in the transformation of society.  Daniel has spent several years studying psychology & social research as well as working various roles in customer service, support & animal welfare. YCSA allows Daniel to hone admin prowess, developed in community work & previous office roles, while blethering about social justice & the essence of existence. Outside of work, Daniel likes to read, write, make & find beauty in the streets.

Javed Sattar – Development Worker

Javed has been involved in media from an early age & his journey has taken him from mobile discos with school friend’s to hospital radio to Q96.3, BBC Scotland to Community Radio. A founding director of Awaz FM, Glasgow’s fulltime Asian Station - he’s also involved in Paisley FM & Cumbernauld FM. A Council Member of Community Media Association representing media in local communities & currently lecturing at New College Lanarkshire within Creative Industries. 20+ years’ experience in the 3rd sector, he’s currently employed as a Development Worker for the Young YCSA Future Possibilities Project delivering Homework Study Club, Media, Arts & Sports Clubs.

Zaitoon Salamat – Development Worker

Zaitoon started her career as a receptionist at a Hotel at the age of 17 while she was still in college studying Business Administration.  After graduating with a degree in Business Administration, she joined the Civil Service where she worked for the British Passport Office for 2 years and then had a career break to raise a family  (she is still raising them, who knew).  She returned back to work temporarily as a Young Person Support Worker for YCSA, before  opening, running and closing an Indian restaurant. She then joined Amina MWRC as a volunteer for 4 years.  She is now a Youth Development Worker who specialised in the summer programme and beyond, here at YCSA.

Amanda Brown – Development Worker

Amanda has worked in various roles in the public & third sectors as well as in private arts tuition with a focus on digital media, music & theatre. She is incredibly passionate about utilising creative practice as a means of empowerment & education. Throughout her career as a learning facilitator, she has worked on projects that use common interests to break down barriers & encourage integration & cohesion in established & emerging communities. She has worn many different ‘hats’ professionally but they all have the same themes: empowering young people’s personal development & providing fair access to activities/learning which will help people realise their full potential & follow their passions.