Our workforce are our most important feature. They’re the first point of contact for someone looking for help – and they’re the people that continue to offer support for as long as it’s needed.
Our team is made up of 60 full-time staff, 74 sessional coaches and more than 100 volunteers, apprentices and trainees. All are well trained and highly skilled at supporting people – whether that’s on the pitch, in school or in the community.
Many of our staff have previously been part of one of our programmes. We see the opportunity for beneficiaries to volunteer, to join more structured development programmes, or to join us as an employee, as an incredibly important part of creating better futures and improving lives.
This lived-experience is why we involve our people and our beneficiaries in the development of our organisation and the programmes we deliver. Their input through co-design and co-production of programmes means that our support is offered where it is needed and in a way that breaks down barriers.
Joseph Lyons Chief Executive Officer
Joseph has over fifteen years’ experience working across the community sports sector, providing successful leadership and applying core values of community engagement to pioneer and create influential partnerships and projects. Since joining the West Ham United Foundation in June 2013, he has delivered an innovative approach to inspire better futures for all, particularly focusing on Health, Education and Inclusion, and breaking down social barriers for young people to achieve. Joseph’s work across East London has been an example of his multi-layered approach to building meaningful collaborations in order to tackle local need and utilise the power of elite sport for social good. With a strong understanding of the affect football has on attitudes towards learning and community engagement, Joseph has developed a number of award-winning sport-based projects in order to create environments for communities that ultimately aims to drive equality and create life-changing opportunities.
Janet Wallace Finance Director
After training in Practice and spending 10 years as a chartered certified accountant, Janet has gathered a further 18 years of varied experience in accountancy and tax matters within the Corporate, Banking, and Charity and Not for Profit Sectors. Janet joined the Foundation during 2015, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge. The evolving dynamics of the Foundation meant that both her technical and practical skill in Financial & Taxation and strategic experience remains relevant.
Bryan Glover Head of Football Development
Bryan has worked with the Foundation for over 10 years and leads football programme delivery across east London, Essex and internationally. Bryan’s work includes all post-16 Learning Academy projects, extended football provision, Elite Player Pathways and International development as well as overseeing the Academy pathway for both players and staff. Bryan has also worked in the Academy as a Lead Team Manager across multiple age groups, and is a former West Ham United Academy player. Bryan also manages a wide range of partnership development, including relationship management and cultivation of working relationships with public and private sector partners within the Foundation.
Kerry Downes Head of Community
Kerry is a qualified youth worker with over 18 years’ experience in youth work, education and social mobility within the private, public and voluntary sector. As the strategic lead for equality, diversity and inclusion for the Foundation, Kerry works closely with an array of departments across West Ham United and with local and national stakeholders. Within her role of Head of Community she leads a team which focuses on prevention, intervention and partnership development delivering health, youth work and sports initiatives which give opportunities to all ages and abilities.
Jesse Foyle Head of Learning
As part of the senior team, Jesse leads the Learning department including areas of work across Education, Employability, Higher Education, and NCS. With over fifteen years working in education and community settings, Jesse brings significant experience and skills in developing strategy and implementing programmes for positive change. He has a passion for lifelong learning and the capacity of sport to inspire people and bring communities together.
Wayne Maxwell Head of Operations
Wayne Maxwell is the Head of Operations for the West Ham United Foundation, where he supports day to day operations, ensuring its safety, efficiency and value for money. Prior to West Ham United Foundation, Wayne managed operations for another Premier League Football Club Foundation. Utilising his BA (Hons) in Sport Management, Wayne worked within the leisure and health & fitness industry, including completing a two-year graduate trainee manager scheme with GLL, at the time London’s largest social enterprise.
Sarah Lancaster Safeguarding Coordinator
Sarah is the Designated Safeguarding Lead at the Foundation and brings over 12 years of safeguarding experience with her from a Law Enforcement background. She provides a visible and approachable presence to support staff in maintaining a safe, inclusive environment for all. Sarah takes the lead on all safeguarding matters and proactively raises awareness of safeguarding across the organisation, working with a range of partner agencies and stakeholders.
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