Meet the Team
David Parks BSc (Hons), PG Dip, ADPED Social Work
David grew up in Glasgow, Scotland and has worked in Community
Development and Young People’s Services in Glasgow, Belfast, North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne. David was a Team Manager at Newcastle Youth Offending Team for 12 years, where he managed a range of multi-disciplinary services for young people at risk. David specialised in Court Work, Restorative Justice, and Education, Training and Employment support initiatives. Prior to this David worked as a Prevention Manager at North Tyneside Youth Offending Team for 11 years.
David has developed a network of pan European partners sharing practice and ideas across a range of criminal justice activities and has directed the academic research partnership between Newcastle Youth Offending Team and Northumbria University. He qualified in the Advanced Diploma in Practice Education and Development (Social Work) in 2003 and has a strong commitment to Social Work education and training, teaching on a number of Criminology, Law and Social Policy modules. David is an Associate Partner of the Centre of Offenders and Offending at Northumbria University and a founding Director of The Skill Mill Limited. David is currently Managing Director of The Skill Mill Limited working at The Skill Mill Hub in Gateshead.
Paul Brownlee CQSW, Dip HE Social Work, DMS
A former Sapper in the Royal Engineers, Paul qualified as a Social Worker in 1993. Paul has worked in a number of Social Work Departments in the North East of England. He has spent many years delivering, managing and leading services for young people involved in the Criminal Justice System. Paul has worked as an advisor and Performance Improvement Consultant to the Youth Justice Board of England and Wales developing best practice models at both local and national levels. He has focused on implementing innovative partnership responses to youth justice and social work services for vulnerable young people and has spoken on the subjects at international events. During his career Paul has been responsible for Youth Justice Services, Young People’s Substance Misuse Services, Multi-Systemic Therapy, Youth Work Services, Young Carers, Social Work services for 16+, Looked After Children, Care Leavers and Vulnerable Young People. Paul is now the Head of Performance and Quality for Hull Children’s Services and is a founding Director of The Skill Mill Limited.
Linzie Pentleton BSc (Hons)
Linzie started her career as a civil engineer working for two local authorities (Alnwick District Council and Sunderland City Council) where she obtained an ONC and HNC in civil engineering. She joined Northumbrian Water in 1997, and since then has worked in various departments and roles. Starting in the sewerage network department as a Technician she then went on to become a Project Manager within the Investment Delivery Department, delivering new network infrastructure. From there she became the Water Efficiency
Manager, working with the community and schools to reduce water consumption. She then progressed to be a Wastewater Treatment Manager responsible for the treatment works compliance in the Hexham area which lead her then to become a Water Treatment Manager. Ensuring drinking water supplying Northumberland was to the correct quality and quantity. During this time she also studied for a BA (Hons) in Leadership and Management which she completed in 2012 and also became a qualified NVQ assessor. She is now the Sewerage Network Controller for Northumberland and Tyne working closely with local authorities to minimise flooding and the Environment Agency preventing pollution. Linzie is a founding Director of The Skill Mill Limited.
Katri-Liis Lepik is an Associate Professor of Management at Tallinn University, Estonia. She is a lecturer in the global Master’s programme of Social Entrepreneurship and a mentor in the online Social Entrepreneurship Incubation Program. Currently she also runs the international COST network “Multi-disciplinary innovation for social change” covering 38 countries. Having worked for public, private and non-profit sector, she possesses competences relevant for cross-sectoral cooperation and management consultancy.
Katri-Liis has worked with the other Skill Mill board members for over 20 years developing services and international projects in the social field. Her other social enterprise E-dibledeals with rescuing food and raising awareness on the circular economy.
Andy Peaden CQSW, MSc
Andy started his career working as a volunteer with Northumbria Probation Service in 1987. He became an Intermediate Treatment worker with Blyth Valley Juvenile Justice team in 1988 and qualified as a Probation Officer in 1991. Andy worked in a range of different locations for both Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire Probation services, including 3 years as manager of St John’s Voluntary Probation Hostel in Leeds.
Andy left Probation to go back to the world of Youth Justice in 2003 becoming the South Yorkshire ISSP consortium manager. He became Sheffield Youth Offending Service manager in 2005 and Assistant Director for Youth Services in Sheffield 2010. In 2011 Andy was seconded into Sheffield Futures (an independent charity delivering Youth services and Connexions) as Chief Executive. He moved to Leeds to take up the position of Head of Leeds Youth Justice Service in 2012 leaving Leeds in 2020. He is now an Independent Youth Justice consultant. Andy was vice chair and then chair of The Association of Youth Offending Team Managers (AYM) and has been a Director of The Skill Mill Limited since 2018.
Andrew has worked in a range of areas across Government including the economic and domestic affairs secretariat, youth policy, further education and apprenticeships and charity governance. He has extensive experience in designing and setting up new organisations, programmes and projects - with a particular focus upon strategic planning, governance and partnership working.
Prior to moving to Ofcom in 2018 to lead its online strategy and planning team he spent four years with the Centre for Social Impact Bonds and led the design and creation of the Life Chances Fund - an £80m fund centred upon driving closer collaboration between local and central government and front line organisations by focusing upon a shared desire to deliver better outcomes for people and communities across the country.
Hannah Brandon BA(hons), DipSW, MA
Hannah qualified as as a social worker in 1998 when she began her career in youth justice. She worked in Manchester, Salford and Grimsby Youth Offending Teams as a practitioner and as a manager in Lincoln and Liverpool before becoming Head of Targeted Services for Liverpool City Council in 2014. This was an integrated Service which included the Youth Offending Service, Targeted Youth Service and teams working with missing children and children at risk of exploitation. During this period Hannah was seconded to HMI Probation for 18 months as a practice assessor inspecting Probation and Youth Offending Services in England and Wales. Hannah has been involved in various youth offending initiatives including peer reviews, sitting on the joint Youth Justice Board (YJB) and Association of YOT Managers (AYM) boards. She was the north west executive member for the AYM and chaired the core cities youth justice group. In 2017 Hannah moved to London and began working in the London Borough of Croydon as Head of Adolescent Services where she had responsibility for the Youth Offending Service, missing children and strategy for vulnerable adolescents. She set up social work teams that specialised in working with 13 - 18 year olds where there was risk outside of the home. Hannah has a specific interest in adolescent risk, child criminal exploitation and in securing positive long term outcomes for children. In 2020 Hannah moved roles within the borough to become Head of Social Work with Children Looked After and Care Leavers before taking early retirement in August 2021. She is now a Director of the Skill Mill having set up two successful Skill Mill teams in Liverpool and Croydon.