Nikki moved to Manchester four years ago from Belfast, Northern Ireland. In that time Nikki has completed a degree in Youth and Community Work at Manchester Metropolitain University as well as working in a variety of settings which have all centred around supporting young people.

Nikki's background is in sports, before university she worked with young people teaching multi sports in her local community and she played football for local Belfast team, Cliftonville Ladies FC. Unfortunately, an injury put a stop to this, and it was whilst spending time in America, volunteering at a summer camp for disabled children that Nikki realised that youth work was the right pathway for her.

Nikki has worked as part of a the charity Mancunian Way, an antisocial behaviour reduction charity which operates across Greater Manchester. Nikki worked on various projects that are hard hitting and relevant issues to what young people today face. These included a wide variety of issues from child sexual exploitation to loan sharks. This role also involved working with various partnership organisations, including housing associations, local police community support officers and local schools.

Nikki also worked on a national project aimed at young people aged 18-24 year olds that had barriers to education, training and employment. Working with a range of young people with various challenges including homelessness, single mothers, and mental health issues. This role was hugely rewarding as it involved working with young people to allow the young person to develop at their own pace. Through working with a caseload of young people Nikki would help to develop CV’s, attend useful training, gain qualifications, interview practice, budgeting and would help support and signpost through other organisations including Citizens Advice, local GP’s, food banks, training providers and housing associations. Nikki says this role was far more than just supporting a young person to get back into training or education but to make positive changes to their lifestyle in the long term to change their life.

Throughout all of these past roles, Nikki has been lucky to work with incredible people that have given her the chance to develop her skills whilst allowing her to use her passion for youth and community work to provide positive opportunities to young people.

Joining the Rio Ferdinand Foundation's team in Manchester is a great opportunity for Nikki to utilise all of her incredible skills and knowledge to support our Youth Leaders in delivering their own social action projects.

We can't wait for Nikki to get stuck in, she already has girls radio, football, dance, drama, film and gaming projects to get started.

Welcome to the team Nikki!