Staff winner

Dr Shanta Coles, Business Engagement and Knowledge Exchange

Shanta is passionate about supporting young people to reach their potential and has been a volunteer youth worker for the last 25 years in every place where she has lived including Stoke on Trent, Coventry, Leicestershire, South America, South Africa, and Greater Manchester. Her roles have included designing, delivering and evaluating youth music programmes, delivering youth camps, providing a safe space for young people to discuss issues, mentoring young people in care and supporting young women who have been sex trafficked.

Shanta has also volunteered internationally, undertaking a year-long programme of community development projects with street children in North East Brazil, setting up a youth group in Buenos Aires, Argentina and working with a young people’s choir in Zimbabwe.  

Back here in Manchester, Shanta, along with her husband, is a leader for a new youth club in Gorton which aims to transform the lives of young people and their families in an area with little youth provision. 

By investing in the lives of young people Shanta has supported their emotional, educational, and social development, helping them reach their full potential and changing the course of their lives.