Jo has held a number of positions within the youth service and youth sector over a period of over 20 years and is currently Service Manager – Young People and Partnerships for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.
After graduating from university, Jo worked in Russia as an English teacher, then returned home to volunteer and later work as a youth worker for Newport Youth Service, piloting and developing school-based youth work and emotional literacy programmes and working as a detached and centre based youth worker. Later, she worked as a Senior Youth Worker in a voluntary sector youth project in the centre of Merthyr Tydfil.
She developed an interest in a rights-based approach during the developments of Extending Entitlement and further developed this with the Children’s Society, later Tros Gynnal and finally worked with the Children’s Commissioner for Wales as a Senior Participation Officer.
For 11 years, Jo worked as Blaenau Gwent’s Youth Service Manager, developing the service to provide a range of open access and targeted youth work programmes, acting as the strategic lead for the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework and the Southeast Wales European Social Fund (ESF) Youth Inspire programmes.
Jo represents Blaenau Gwent at the Principal Youth Officers' Group (PYOG), sits on the Education Standards Committee (ETS Wales), which endorses Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) Youth and Community Work programmes in Higher Education Institutions across Wales. Jo is also Chair of the South East Wales Regional Skills Partnership Young Person’s Guarantee Group.