SHiFT Tameside

Tameside logo

Manchester VRU


SHiFT Tameside was the first pilot Practice located outside London, in partnership with Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council and the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit. The Practice sits within the Children’s Directorate, under Early Help & Partnerships, as part of Tameside’s Adolescent Services and is co-located alongside the Youth Justice Service. 

SHiFT Tameside held a launch event in December 2022 that was attended by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, along with senior representatives from a range of partners and services from both within Tameside and across Greater Manchester. Following on from this event, professionals were invited to nominate children who they thought would be suitable for the SHiFT Programme and, by January 2023, the Practice had received nominations from a range of partner agencies. 

SHiFT Tameside’s Lead Guide and Practice Co-ordinator started in January 2023 and were soon joined by the four Guides, all of whom were from a range of different professional backgrounds and brought with them their own expertise. Following an induction period where colleagues from national SHiFT team travelled to Tameside to provide support, a further exercise was conducted to consider the children and young people who had been nominated. From this, 27 children were invited for SHiFT support. Each Guide works with six children and the Lead Guide works with three; the group predominantly consists of boys but there are also two girls, with ages ranging from 12 to 16.   

There has been no formal evaluation yet as it is too soon but early indicators are positive and all of the Guides are engaged with the young people and at various stages of forming trusted relationships.  

Listen to radio coverage of SHiFT Tameside's launch on BBC Radio Manchester here -

Andy Burnham

Meet the Team

Faith Harper is the Practice Coordinator at SHiFT Tameside. She joined the Practice during the initial stages in January 2023. Faith has previously worked in a variety of administrative roles in the education and human resources sector. Faith has a BA Hons degree in Childhood Studies, graduating in 2019.

Mathew Morris-Jones

Mathew Morris-Jones, started as the Lead Guide at the Tameside Practice in January 2023. He is extremely proud to be the lead guide in the first SHiFT programme in the North West.

Mathew has a degree in Sports Studies/Education and also a degree in social work.

Mathew started out as a youth worker and then became an advocate for children and young people who were ‘Looked After’ by the Local Authority. He then went on to have a career as a front-line social worker, later managing a Duty and Assessment team and a long-term court team.

Mathew loves working with young people and is motivated by children's rights and ensuring the most vulnerable have a voice.

Mathew is a proud Welshman who loves football and going to gigs.

Stephen Woolley

Before Stephen Woolley joined SHiFT Tameside as a Guide, he worked as a Psychiatric Nursing Assistant on a High Dependency Unit. He was also a Probation Officer for 10 years, worked as a Head of Wellbeing at a Specialist SEMH independent school and was in Youth Justice Services for 12 years in Halton and Warrington, Oldham and Manchester.

Stephen keeps his energy high through a variety of activities including  playing football, watching the mighty Man City over land and sea, motorcycling, fishing, listening to music and reading about anything that captures his imagination .. usually Artificial Intelligence!

He is passionate about justice and equality and in  his words, "patience and persistence are, perhaps, my key skills".

Eva Amos

Prior to working at SHiFT as a Guide, Eva Amos managed an accommodation-based care leavers service in Tameside. She has also worked in schools as a drug link worker and in custody settings related to housing and on housing projects. Eva is passionate about gang work and the ripple effect this lifestyle has on the family.

Eva graduated 2009 with a BA in Social and Community Studies.

When not working, Eva enjoys exercising, reading when able as most of her spare time goes to watching her son play football at weekends.

Robyn Searle

SHFT Tameside Guide, Robyn Searle, graduated with a degree in Psychology in 2018 and began working in secondary education with children with special education needs before working in a local Tameside secondary school as a Head of Year for Year 10 and then Year 7.

Robyn loves going to the theatre, listening to music and long dog walks at weekends with family and friends.

Her favourite quote is by Maya Angelou: ‘You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them’.

George Erlanger

Originally from Edinburgh (although you wouldn’t be able to tell from the accent), SHiFT Guide, George Erlanger, moved to Manchester two years ago after living and working in Bristol for 10 years. George began working as a teaching assistant in a mainstream setting before moving into Alternative and Specialist Provisions in pastoral, teaching and leadership positions as DSL of two schools. After completing his Msc in Education (inclusive) George taught business and employability in a Secure Children’s Home before moving up to Manchester where he managed a PRU.

In his free time George enjoys getting out to the Peaks or Lakes, going to gigs or boxing (from time to time!).