Mark Zammit is the Principal Youth Officer at the Gibraltar Youth Service and works for Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar.
Mark graduated from the University of Derby in the Year 2000 with a BA (Hons) degree in Applied Youth and Community Work. After graduation Mark started working for the Gibraltar Youth Service at Dolphins Youth Club in the South District, moving to Plater Youth Club in the Upper Town in 2003. His last post at Youth Worker level was at Laguna Youth Club where he initiated a number of family and community events. Mark has continued his professional development throughout his career qualifying as a Level 2 Risk Assessor in 2003 and becoming a trained First Aider at Work with St John's Ambulance. In 2006 he furthered his studies and obtained a Level 5 Management Diploma with the Durham Business school.
Mark is a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award holder and on return from his studies volunteered with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for a few years, representing Gibraltar at an International Award gathering for young people in 1999 in Ireland and Northern Ireland and on Gibex 2001 in Gibraltar and Southern Spain.
Mark is a currently responsible for 8 full time members of staff within the Youth Service and a number of part-time youth workers and volunteers. Mark is a member of two statutory bodies in Gibraltar. He has been a part of the Child Protection Committee since its inception in 2013 and takes an active role in safeguarding young people in Gibraltar. He is also sits on the Youth Advisory Council. Since January 2018 he has become a member of The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Mark also headed up the recent production of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Police Service in Gibraltar, a relatively new concept for Government Departments.
Rebecca Figueras is a Senior Youth Worker. She studied in Leeds Metropolitan University from 1999-2002. She completed a BA (Hons) in Youth and Community Studies with a 2:1 in Leeds, while she was a student she had the opportunity of working in different settings in Youth Work provision such as the Youth Arts and using drama as a tool in youth work and she also experienced youth provision in a deprived area of Leeds called Lincoln Green with high levels of unemployment, and heroin use.
She started working for Her Majestys Government of Gibraltar straight after she completed her degree in summer 2002. She was the first full time female staff member. Rebecca worked in 2 neighbourhood clubs over 6 years and the Youth Centre (based in Montagu Bastion) for another 5 years. Throughout this time she was able to deliver more targeted youth work by developing a variety Youth Arts programmes. She also set up a very successful personal support programme that has been running since 2006, this is a referral based programme in partnership with the Senior Management team at Westside Girls school. Rebecca was also instrumental in delivering the Luce Foundation Project since 2000. She is involved in the steering group and manages the funding for this project and has contact with the trustees.
Since 2013 she has been in the Senior Post and her responsibilities lie with the more managerial side of the service such as the overall supervisory role for the work carried out on the ground and the supervision needs of the full time team. She takes care of the finances to do with all the youth work carried out in the service such as the youth activities budgets and the budgets for the weekly support staff. Rebecca manages the health and safety and repairs to buildings. Rebecca manage the training needs for the service, the full time and part time staff and volunteers. Rebecca has a strategic managerial role helping implement the vison and strategy for the service. She works towards the policies and operational procedures for the service and this is constantly changing and getting reviewed to suit our needs. One of her aims is that the vision and policies that govern our service are understood, kept to and reviewed accordingly.
Charlene Figueras, Senior Youth Worker
MA Applied Anthropology Community & Youth Work. BA (Hons) Social Work Studies.
Charlene started her journey in 2000 studying Social Work in Southampton Institute. She furthered her studies in Goldsmiths to obtain an MA and JNC qualification in Youth Work.
Throughout her Youth Work placements it was evident that Young people needed comfortable projects where they could explore their identity. Fashion was a topic many young people wanted. She used this as a tool to engage these young people to commit, work together and develop their self-esteem.
Upon her return to Gibraltar (2004) she became a Youth Support Worker, working alongside her sister Rebecca (yep they are sisters! she’s older that’s why she’s above, lol) in a creative arts, fashion project which became very popular amongst young people, especially for the LGBT community.
Charlene started Full Time employment with the Youth Service in 2008. The creation of Training opportunities was an area she focused on. She reintroduced the ‘Introduction to Youth Work training skills’ for prospective Youth Support Workers and Volunteers.
She still continues to offer her creative and photographic skills and manages the GYPT (Gibraltar Youth Production Team) project once a week as well as carrying out her senior duties. She co produces Youth Day with Cultural services. This year she has formed a 'Youth Day Committee' comprised of young people who are tasked with managing all aspects of Gibraltars 'Youth Day' .
Martins' interest in youth work sparked in the year 2000 when he undertook an “introduction to youth work” course which was delivered by the MoD (Ministry of Defence) Youth club. This gave him an interest in the field and after completing his school studies he enrolled on an applied Youth and Community Work Degree at Derby University.
Throughout this time Martin was able to volunteer in a variety of settings including a pupil referral unit, some youth clubs and a specialist sexual health project, these experiences opened his eyes to the wide range of needs that young people experience. While studying Martin spent his summers volunteering with the Gibraltar Youth Service and on his return to Gibraltar in 2005 was fortunate enough to begin employment, the last twelve years have flown by.
During these years with the Service Martin has had an opportunity to work at all four youth clubs which has allowed him to engage with a wide range of young people. He has also developed work in the boy’s school with 15 and 16 year olds that would not be sitting any GCSE exams and instead undertook informal education and life skills with them.
Currently, Martin is working at Laguna Youth Club which has recently been relocated to Glacis estate in the North District, where during the evenings he works with a 6-10 and an 11-15 age group. Alongside this Martin is involved in working with the Westside school personal support programme which takes place with a group of girls from the secondary school who need a little more support.
Martin has also been activity involved in the Luce Foundation programme which gives young people an opportunity to experience a week away from their home environment in a residential centre undertaking outdoor activities.
At a personal level Martin is passionate about Gibraltar’s History and Heritage and when relevant strives to introduce young people to this important element. He is also a great advocate of outdoor activities and is keen on getting young people learning while exploring new activities in an outdoor environment.
I have been involved in youth work for over 20 years after securing my degree at Southampton University. During this time I have been involved in a number of generic, targeted and specialist projects which include homelessness, substance misuse, youth offending and advocacy with Hampshire County Council. Working with young people who are on the edge we used a variety of intervention methods which included harm minimisation programmes, anger management, individual assessments for supported / dry housing and put together a support package which enabled them to address their issues.
I was very fortunate when my family in September 2014 relocated to Gibraltar to secure employment with the Youth Service and continue with my passion for Youth work. I am currently involved in a number of provisions based around preventative work and education with the ultimate aim of our young people contributing positively to their community.
Abdul Afrah is a passionate Youth and Community worker for the Gibraltar Youth Service. Throughout the years Abdul has worked with young people in different settings, first as a basketball coach and then as a teaching assistant in schools. Abdul is fluent in three languages and over the years has experienced many cultures working with a wide range of people from all walks of life. This has allowed him to deliver effective youth work to the wider community in Gibraltar.
In Abdul’s time with the Youth Service, he has had the opportunity to work within two youth clubs in different catchment areas within Gibraltar, he Is currently based in Laguna Youth Club. In addition to delivering face to face work at the youth club, Laguna offers community events and this is an area of work which Abdul enjoys. Furthermore, Abdul offers workshops at Bayside school, where the aim is to develop the children’s self-esteem, confidence and social skills, within their school and personal life.
Abdul takes great pride in coaching basketball, he recently got appointed as the Head Coach for the Gibraltar under16 boys team. Working with young people and empowering them through sport is a privilege often overlooked. The values young people learn through sport are for life and in the long run will benefit their community.
His educational back ground includes a BA in Events and Sports Management from London Metropolitan University in London. In addition to that Abdul Afrah also has a Post Graduate Degree in Youth and Community from De Montfort University in Leicester, United Kingdom.
Sarah Wadsworth commenced her studies at the University of Derby in 2008; where she acquired a 2:1 BA (Hons) degree in Applied Social Work. Throughout the course she experienced a variety of social work settings, including an LGBT drop-in centre, a community Children’s and Adolescent’s Mental Health Service (CAMHs) and a local authority child protection service.
Upon completing the degree in 2012, Sarah started working with looked after children for the Gibraltar Care Agency, where she developed a better understanding of local social issues and needs. In this role she begun to hone in on her communication skills with young people; developing an interest in Youth Work.
In 2014 Sarah was employed by the Gibraltar Youth Service and embarked on a distance learning PG Diploma in Youth & Community Development with Leicester’s De Montfort University; which she completed in 2016. Throughout her training Sarah managed the Youth Centre on Line Wall Road, engaging young people in community events and initiating a Life Skills project for long-standing members.
Currently, Sarah manages Dolphin's Youth Club; running sessions for different ages and needs. Sarah also manages the Personal Support programme in partnership with Westside School, and has a particular interest in developing young people with social and emotional needs.
More recently Sarah joined forces with the Dept. of Education and The Care Agency to create 'The Mingle'; a fortnightly social project where adults with mild learning difficulties, aged 18-30 meet and engage in a variety of social and educational activities.
Jamie Napoli, Youth & Community Worker
BA (Hons) Youth & Community Work from Cardiff Met University
Dedicated Youth Leader with over five years’ experience leading youth groups, volunteer activities, community events and European residentials. A friendly people person with strong leadership abilities and the ability to build rapport quickly with diverse youth and adults. As a Youth Club manager, Jamie feels it is our duty to ensure young people have safe spaces to explore their identity, experience decision-making, increase their confidence, develop inter-personal skills and think through the consequences of their actions. This leads to better informed choices, changes in activity and improved outcomes for young people.
Jamie began his youth work journey having initially experienced life as a student teacher on the teacher training scheme in Gibraltar prior to studying at university. This is where he recognised his passion to work with young people and advocate on their behalf. Jamie then embarked on a degree in Youth and Community Work at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Throughout his studies he was challenged with working in a variety of environments including youth drop in centres, sports based programmes, youth offending and school based informal learning projects. This enabled him to develop his youth work skills and approach young people from a variety of angles.
At present, Jamie's role is to manage Plater Youth Club based on Moorish Castle Estate where his immediate responsibilities are for the delivery of “face to face Youth and Community Work”, developing youth activities and community projects and aiding young people in their personal and social development whilst adhering to existing policies and procedures at the Gibraltar Youth Service.