Having qualified as a Youth and Community worker in 1982 Lorraine established a 13 year career base, beginning as a Detached Youth Worker and progressing to Senior Youth Worker and Divisional Youth Officer. Lorraine concluded her time with the attainment of an MA in Women’s Studies. Lorraine travelled to and worked in Greece, Jamaica and San Francisco; on her return she established her own company, which provided participatory community consultations with particular emphasis on the inclusion of women and young people in the process.
Lorraine would summarise her career as being in three stages, initially as a face to face youth worker with a LA Youth Service building a foundation of practical experience, then being promoted over a thirteen year period to a senior management position.
In the second stage her focus was related to community development and education, working with the Neighbourhood Initiatives Foundation and as Director of Fairfield Training Consultants, with particular emphasis on the views of women and young people, Lorraine worked with tenants associations and local groups on community consultations leading to local action plans and funding initiatives.
The third stage was to apply her experience to the academic teaching of JNC validated youth and community work programmes. Lorraine developed a portfolio of expertise including, youth work methods, theory and practice, community development; work with girls and young women, applied psychology and working with groups.
Lorraine became a director with the England Standards Board for Community Development and Learning (EQSB) , working to develop NOS for CDL, she serves on the NYA – ETS committee as a representative of EQSB, and I was also active as a secretariat member of TAG.
Currently Lorraine is the programme leader for the MA / PG Dip in Youth and Community Work at the University of Northampton, with responsibility for the overall development including the evolution and alignment of all the elements to ensure participants achieve the youth work National Occupational Standards and embedding the key values relating to Change making, social innovation, sustainable development, social justice, community cohesion and young people’s development as social activists.
Lorraine Gray is Programme Leader / Senior Lecturer for the MA / PG Dip Youth and Community Work at University of Northampton in the School of Social Sciences. She is the module leader for Youth Work Principles & Practice, Youth Empowerment, Social Action and Research Methods, and the Work Based Synthesis independent study.
She also works with the BA Social *& Community Development programme on their Gender and Culture module and has links with the School of Education BA Childhood & Youth programme.
Lorraine is currently working on an ‘Evaluation of the Community Connecting Programme’, funded by Big Lottery. The aim of the work is to measure the value of the programme in terms of social impact and community resilience, drawing on a ‘theory of change’. To this end, the evaluation programme will be built into the day-to-day management of the programme.
Lorraine is also engaged with:
- Strategic Planning for Local Integrated Strategic Partnership ‘Youth’
- Evaluation of a Domestic Violence Perpetrators Project
- Development of Human Capacity Building Project
- Grundtvig Community Learning Programme with ESB