Dave Wakelin

Violence Reduction

Unit Director

Dave is currently the Director for Health and Wellbeing at Gedling Borough Council.  Prior to taking up this role in 2012 he was a Senior Police officer in Nottinghamshire having served in the organisation for 32 years.

Dave has a long history of successful partnership working, developing and supporting projects for substance misuse and young people across the County and was seconded from the police to the Youth Justice Board whilst a Superintendent to lead on the Board's national prevention programmes.

Dave was instrumental in leading within the County both the development and implementation of Restorative Practice and Integrated Offender Management between 2001 and 2006.

Dave lives in the County with his family and is a long standing Vice-Chair of Governors at a large academy.

Natalie Baker Swift

Programme Manager Violence Reduction and Early Intervention

Natalie is Programme Manager for countywide violence reduction and early intervention initiatives in Nottinghamshire. 

Natlie comes from a background in policing, with ten years of experience working in programme management, strategic planning and corporate governance.

Natalie started her career as a researcher at Nottinghamshire Police and has since been responsible for delivering internal change programmes and supporting various regional and national projects.

Helene Denness

Consultant in Public Health

Helene is a clinically qualified public health consultant with 30 years experience in health and local authority settings, including 21 years in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Originally training as a paediatric nurse, Helene worked in a variety of acute and community settings across England before moving into public health in 2001.

Helen's public health consultant portfolio includes maternal health, children, young people and sexual health and has provided public health support to the violent crime agenda for the last three years.  Helene is also Nottingham City Council's Autism Lead, which is a statutory role identified in the Autism Act, and a Governor at Rosehill Special School

Andrew Towning

Violence Reduction Unit

Project Support Officer

Andrew is a proud native of Nottingham and has worked for Public Health in Nottingham City Council since graduating from Politics at Nottingham Trent University in 2015.

Apart from his substantive role as an administrator, Andrew has contributed to, and run, many projects incuding the Novel Psychoactive Substances Professional Information Newwork (NPS PIN) and Autism Champions and he is currently co-chair of the Council's LGBT Employee Network.

Andrew particularly enjoys partnership work, engagement, public events, research and analysis and looks forward to using his experience in these areas to help make the Violence Reduction Unit a success.

Rachel Miller

Young Person's Strategy and

Improvement Specialist

Rachel is Group Manager for Early Help and Youth Justice at Nottinghamshire County Council.

Rachel has over ten years experience of working with children and families in Nottingham.  She started her career in Education, as a teaching assistant at what was then Elliott Durham School in St. Ann's.

Rachel worked on the front line as a Family Intervention Project Practitioner in the City before moving to the County Council to manage various youth and family support teams before coming into her current role.

Jacqueline Lockhart

Community Engagement Specialist

Jacqueline has over 35 years experience of working in the Voluntary Community and Youth Sectors. She worked in the public sector for 35 years in a variety of roles including Community and organisational development including training management. She also managed regeneration programmes and projects; and developed Community and School partnerships. 


She led on the Strategy for Parents and Carers in Nottingham during the implementation of Every Child Matters and developed resources for families at the former Department for Children, Families and Schools, helping to shape the national outcomes framework. She is an accredited Sector Specialist for working with Children and Families. 


Jacqueline Chairs the community based Ending Youth Violence Network. and the Rainbow Parents and Carers Forum for families of children with disabilities. She also represents the PCF at local. regional and national level. She has facilitated a young people's participation network. She is committed to tackling structural inequalities that lead to poorer outcomes for Children, young people and families.

Eka Famodile

Senior Public Health Analyst​

Eka works as a Senior Public Health Analyst within the VRU for 2 days week and as a Principal Analyst for Public Health in Nottingham City Council for the rest the week.

She is a graduate of Pharmacy and started her career as a Community Pharmacist prior to completing her MPH and switching careers to work in Public Health.

She has over 7 years’ experience working in various analytical roles within the private, health (Acute Hospital) and local government sectors.

Shelley Nicholls

Young Person's Strategy and

Improvement Specialists

Shelley 'cut her teeth' as a probation officer in London before moving back  to Nottingham in 1988  and working in a range of adult offender settings, including HMP Whatton.  In  1999 she became one of the city's newly formed Youth Offending Team's seconded probation officers and 'jumped ship' in 2000 to work for Nottingham City Council and  take on management  of the 'high risk' team .


This was a particularly challenging but stimulating  remit to support colleagues working  with the most troubled and troubling young people in a creative but risk-focussed way.  The 'YOT' is where she learned to love the challenges and opportunities of partnership working and to be an ambassador for children whose needs are as important as the risks they present to others.


Having become Service manager for the 'YOT' in 2010 Shelley became Joint Head of Service for Early Help 2 years ago - a service area ranging from 0-5s Childrens Centres, parenting and family interventions teams, CAMHS, Play and Youth to Youth Justice.