About Our Team

We are experienced

Youth & Children's Services

specialist consultants

Louise Atkin established Atkin Associates in 2002.  We are a company of associates who specialise in policy and practice development for organisations that work with children and young people. 

Here is our core associate team and we draw on a wider associate network to compliment our skills and experience for particular areas of work, including legal and financial advice.

Louise Atkin

Louise Atkin


Louise is the full-time director of Atkin Associates.  She is an expert in youth policy and practice development with many years of experience of leading nationally on outcomes for young people and best practice.  Louise is a critical thinker with strong skills in analysis and ability to create effective strategic and operational solutions.  She is a skilled trainer and has undertaken many research projects directly involving young people.   She oversees all work undertaken by Atkin Associates to ensure the quality of our services and customer satisfaction.

Louise has been an associate of the National Youth Agency since 2004 and was an Ofsted additional inspector for Youth Services, Connexions Partnerships and Youth Offending Teams for 9 years and prior to this was lead adviser for Learning and Development at the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales.

Sandra Richardson

Sandra Richardson

Associate Consultant

Sandra Richardson is the CEO of Knowsley Youth Mutual and has held this position since April 2014 since the successful spin out of the former KMBC Youth Service where she was Head of Service since 2008. KYM leads nationally on alternative Youth Service delivery models and is the only Youth Mutual that boasts shared ownership (50%) with a youth membership base of 4,000 local young people.  KYM now generates £1million annually of its own resources to fill the gap in Local Authority Youth Service funding.

Sandra has a history reaching back 40 years as a community development worker, youth worker and youth work manager and she is passionate about young people, their rights, role and ambitions. She believes that supporting and empowering their voice and participation is key to transformational change.  Working in a variety of roles in both Local Government and the Voluntary Sector, Sandra holds a wealth of experience across the Youth Work Sector.  She is a passionate Leader, Artist and Poet who enjoys working with individuals and organisations to develop their Vision and Skills to make a difference.

Sandra holds a professional Youth and Community Work Qualification and an MSC in Management. She has an expertise in managing change and business development within a Social Enterprise context.

Sandra is also a member of the Knowsley Safeguarding Children Board and the Knowsley Health and wellbeing Board. Knowsley Children and Young People’s Board.  She is also a Trustee of the Centre for Youth Impact.

Gill Kelly

Associate Consultant

Gill worked for over 20 years as a Probation Officers and Manager in the Probation Service, she is a registered social worker. From 1994 onwards she worked as a Training Manager for West Midlands Probation Service and in that time was actively involved in the development of Effective Practice Initiatives. Since 1999 Gill has worked independently providing training and consultancy predominantly in the field of Criminal and Youth Justice. She has developed in that time a significant body of work focusing on Risk Assessment and Management and working with Young Offenders.

Gill is a Practice Educator for social work students at the University of Birmingham and is an associate with Reims University in France, where she lectures in Motivational Interviewing and Core Social Work skills.

Gill has a particular interest in working with refugees and is a volunteer for the Refugee and Migrant Centre in Wolverhampton (UK) and brings good local knowledge of the organisations and support that is developing in the region. Gill is a fluent French speaker.

Annabel Evans

Annabel Evans

Associate Consultant

Annabel Evans has recently retired from teaching in Birmingham. She grew up in Aberystwyth and attended Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth, a Welsh speaking primary school, and a bi-lingual secondary.  She obtained her PGCE at  Univ. of Wales, Aberystwyth following the Welsh course.

She has worked as a special educational needs teacher and advisory teacher for 20 years.  She is a trained trainer of person-centered approaches for engaging young people and their families in review and decision making meetings and is an experienced facilitator of meetings using person-centered structured frameworks. As a manager, she was involved the development of standards and in the delivery of SEN Reviews for schools across Birmingham.  We are looking forward to Anna working with us on the Quality Mark.

Bill Robinson

Associate Consultant

Bill is a qualified social worker and has 20 years experience of transforming and improving services within the the public, private and third sector.  Bill has a substantial background in leadership and management. Bill has held Chief Executive roles in independent and third sector organisations including Connexions and Assistant Director and Senior Consultancy roles within Local Authorities and was Head of Service for the Youth Offending Team in Worcestershire and Hereford. Bill is an enthusiastic and innovative professional who combines public service values with a modern business ethos. Bill has successfully led high profile change and improvement initiatives leading to better outcomes for local communities and individuals. 

Bill and Louise have worked together with a number of local authority Children’s Services following poor outcomes from Ofsted inspection, leading and designing improvement programmes.  Bill has led on development of alternative delivery models including comprehensive options and appraisal and service redesign in youth justice and children’s service programmes.

Sue Quinn

Associate Consultant

Sue has a long history in the youth sector both in the statutory and voluntary sector within the Merseyside area.  She was Principal Youth Officer in Halton and National Programme Manager at the National Youth Agency (NYA).

 Sue devised and managed the Quality Mark Programme at NYA, recruiting, training and managing a team of assessors, and delivering promotional and training events.  Sue is working as an associate consultant on the Quality Mark for Youth Work in Wales with Atkin Associates.  

Sue was also responsible for a large Local Government Association programme at NYA. This programme delivered quality improvement and organisational development packages to 70+ local authorities across England. She managed a team of Associates to support this programme and devised a quality assurance process to enable the right level of support, expertise and challenge were used to ensure maximum impact and effect.

Bill Stewart

Associate Consultant

Bill has 16 years experience as an independent consultant building and implementing performance, practice and quality assurance systems for public service clients with a particular focus on assessing the impact and effectiveness of services. Bill has expertise in analysis and interpretation of complex data and in working across all levels of an organisation to ensure that management information reflects the reality of frontline practice and the experience of service-users.

Recent News Posts

Latest news from Atkin Associates and useful insights from the sector.

Happy New Year 2019!

Reflecting back on 2018 it has been a great year for the Quality Mark with 17 organisations in Wales now holding the Bronze Quality Mark, two Silver and three Gold.  Congratulations on the  most recent awards to Youth Cymru and Neath Port Talbot Youth Service for...

Quality Mark Training Workshop

  Come and Join us on Friday 16th November 11-2.30 at Gwalchmai, Anglesey at our Getting Started Workshop.  This will give you greater insight into what the Quality Standards means and help you make a start on your Quality Mark submission. We know from Award...




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