Action4Youth benefits from the huge range of knowledge and experience brought by our ambassadors.
Sir Francis J S Habgood QPM DL
Francis spent 32 years as a police officer, starting his time in West Yorkshire on the beat in Leeds and finishing as the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police. He enjoyed a varied career and one that was full of challenges and opportunities, but also one that was hugely rewarding. He was made a Knight Bachelor for services to policing in 2020. After retirement Francis became the Independent Chair of the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership and the Safeguarding Adults’ Board. This allowed him to carry on his passion of protecting the most vulnerable in society and supporting young people.
Francis is married to Nicolette and they live in Buckinghamshire. They have two adult sons and have just become grandparents.
Paul Kitchen has lived and worked in Buckinghamshire all his life, and so far has had careers in music, motors and marketing. A keen piano player and marketer, Paul lives with his wife of 20 years and his daughter (17, and a great musician) and now runs a marketing strategy agency in Milton Keynes, and volunteers as the chairman of the board of governors at The Cottesloe School in Wing. “Marketing fills my days, and music gives me a nightlife” A great balance, and both creative pursuits.
Paul says his journey through school some 40 years ago was a tough one: knowing early on that he was a creative and so-not an academic (in his words). Inspiration for Paul came at 15yrs from a local businessman who had a passion for fine cars and sharp suits, and time watching and learning prompted Paul to borrow money to start his own small business aged 19. It took nearly 4 years to open and then close the business, which was a real education that money just can’t buy. He went on to use his newfound education opening, running and selling businesses for the next two and a half decades. Paul says he learnt to stop chasing money, and instead chased the other currencies of success, and this has stood him in well. Paul spent many years mentoring 15-17 yr olds at Kingsbrook School in Deanshanger, and has some fabulous case studies of the now-inspirational people he mentored.
“I was inspired at a critical age in my development, and A4Y seeks to do just that with its programs for young people. I couldn’t be happier than to support A4Y in any way I can.”
Entrepreneur and self-confessed workaholic, Nicholas Mann founded Interdirect in 1995. Nick’s motivation has and always will be technology. With a degree in electronic engineering and beginning his career at world renowned post-graduate institute, Cranfield University, he became one of the country’s first Java developers. His ambition for innovation and development continues today, and is reflected in Interdirect’s expansion to include a full range of services, digital, PR and marketing. Nick’s professional yet chilled out business ethic has made its mark on the company, positioning Interdirect as a vibrant agency with creativity at its heart now employing 20 full time members of staff and working with a range of national, regional and local businesses for 20 years.
Born in a remote area of Pakistan and now a criminal barrister attending courts and tribunals throughout the country, Irfan Arif knows the importance of life chances. With strong community ties to Chesham, Irfan has enjoyed being a mentor, a school governor and trustee for Buckinghamshire Learning Trust helping school improvement and governor support.
Irfan and his siblings have all grown up with a strong sense of public service and the importance of giving back. By being an A4Y ambassador, young people will get the benefit of the personal challenges Irfan overcame as well as his professional experience as a defence criminal lawyer meeting people when they are at their lowest point.
Irfan is passionate about the right interventions at the right time that can effect lasting change. Looking forward to helping the next generation, he is keen to support making sense of well-trodden paths when it may be difficult to see a way forward, especially if there has been a challenging background, little support, or simply not the right environment for growth.
Irfan believes in the importance of positive influences who sometimes come from unpredictable places – Irfan recalls one of his turning points came at 17 from an inspiring teacher who broadened his horizons and with whom he developed a lifelong friendship. And whilst that teacher is now no longer here, the principles and values she passed to Irfan, are ones that he now seeks to pass to others – to help young people live meaningful lives, with a sense of purpose, and provide the right support to help them achieve their long-held ambitions.
Alumni Youth Ambassadors
Becoming an ambassador enables me to share my experiences and encourage others to take the same opportunities Action4Youth offered me, which increased my confidence and helped me overcome challenges.
Taking part in NCS when I was in year 11 was a really great experience for me and it taught me a lot. Working full time at Action4Youth for two years made me get to know the charity really well and see first hand what great projects they run and the impacts they have. Being a youth ambassador means I can contribute a little towards all the good Action4Youth does.
I am in my final year of Film Production at Westminster University. I love all things film-related and enjoy dancing and singing in my free time. I come from a multicultural family, my mum is Austrian and my dad is Nigerian, so I know how difficult it is for ethnic minorities to break into creative industries. I’m really excited to be a part of Action4Youth to help make a change for the better and hopefully can inspire some young people to stand up for their rights.
LATEST ACTION4YOUTH NEWS
All the latest news and blog articles from Action4Youth. | More
As Black Friday and Cyber Monday whirl by, we move away from consumerism and into compassion. Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving and encourages individuals and organisations to come together to make a positive impact on their communities and beyond.
Anti-Bullying Week serves to provide information and advice against the pervasive issue of bullying. As a children’s charity, we recognize the profound impact this week can have on the lives of young individuals and the communities they belong to and the importance of encouraging a culture of kindness, empathy, and understanding within schools and in all young people’s social interactions.