Overview and Research Interests

I studied Community Studies at the University of Bolton, before gaining an MA in Community and Youth Work at Durham University. I also hold a PGCE teaching qualification and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I am currently undertaking a Ph.D. on the history of youth clubs and the contemporary development of youth hubs.  As a result, my research interests include youth work and community work practice, youth policy, history of youth and community work, youth and childhood studies, community development and community education.

Teaching Responsibilities

As a lecturer in youth and community work, I teach across all levels of the BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work programme.  I am currently module tutor and lead for:

  • Working With Groups in Community Settings (level 4)
  • Youth, Welfare and Policy (level 4)
  • Youth Work Principles and Practice (level 5)
  • Global Nature of Youth Work (level 5)
  • Dissertation Co-ordination and Supervision (level 6)
  • Placement 3 -  Managing Youth and Community Work Environments (level 6)

My teaching reflects my interests in youth and community work. I am interested in youth and community work as a means for developing increased equality and social justice and the ability for youth work to enhance personal and social development. This is evident is my external activities as a facilitator of Socratic Dialogue workshops for youth workers and students, but also, my teaching methods whereby I use storytelling as a tool for unpicking key concepts in youth work. 

Overview (background and how research informs teaching activities)

Prior to becoming a Lecturer, I worked for approximately 17 years in areas of youth and community work.  My practitioner experience to date includes, working with young women and girls groups, detached and outreach youth work, community educator for refugee and asylum seekers, development of children and youth work training resources, developing and delivering work-based learning, and management of a Further Education mentoring project.


External Activities

  • Member of Editorial Group for Youth & Policy Journal (youthandpolicy.org) and organiser of Bi-annual conferences
  • Member of the Secretariat for Professional Association for Lecturers in Youth and Community Work.
  • Member of Board of Trustees for Endeavour  (formally Paws For Kids), a charity supporting women, children and their pets escape from a life of violence and abuse  
  • Member of Steering Group for In Defence of Youth Work, responsible for storytelling workshop facilitation and development of storytellling web-based resource.

External Examiner

  • University of Wales: Trinity Saint David for the BA (Hons) Youth and Community programme (Sept 2013 – 2017). 
  • Canterbury Christ Church University – Youth and Community Work courses for George Williams College (YMCA). (September 2015- 2019).


Connaughton, P et al. (2015) online resource on Storytelling and Youth Work. IDYW. Contributor of 2 chapters: Storytelling in Universities; Storytelling with Young Volunteers. Launched March 2015 at the IDYW conference in Birmingham. http://story-tellinginyouthwork.com/

Connaughton, P. (2013) Women, Trade Unions, and Solidarities. Concept. The Journal of Contemporary Community Education Practice Theory. Vol. 4 No.3 Winter 2013. http://concept.lib.ed.ac.uk/ Online ISSN 2042--‐696812 

Conferences and Seminars 

University of Bolton (July 2015) Workshop at the Teaching Intensive Research Informed (TIRI) Conference, “Findings from the UoB Mentoring Project”.

Youth & Policy Journal ‘History of Youth & Community Work’ Organiser of bi-annual conference (March 2015). Hinsley Hall. Leeds

University of Bolton (Feb 2015) Organiser and Speaker at the National Union of Students sponsored event on Youth Work Provision in partnership with the Youth & Community Work programme at the University of Bolton.

Youth & Policy Journal ‘Thinking Seriously’ conference (June 2015). Thinking Afresh: Feminism & Youth Work.  Organiser (with Ruth Gilchrist). Hinsley Hall. Leeds.

‘Threatening Youth Work: The Illusion of Outcomes’ Seminar(co-organiser with Tony Taylor), IDYW in partnership with University of Bolton Youth & Community Work Dept. (June 2013).

History of Trade Unions: ‘Ethical Socialism and Trade Unionism’ (symposium panel member with Mae Shaw, Tom Wylie, Sue Atkins & Tony Taylor), History of Community & Youth Work Conference, Youth & Policy, Leeds, 8-10 March 2013.


Ulster University (Dec 2015) Facilitator of Storytelling Workshops for academics, youth work researchers, practitioners and students. 

Galway and Roscommon Education & Training Board, Athlone, Ireland (Oct 2015).

Facilitator of Storytelling workshops for Youth Officers and Youth Workers.  

People’s History Museum event – ‘The Global Nature of Youth Work: Exploitation and Sweatshops workshop’  (Dec 2011).


University of Bolton Learning Enhancement Fund Grant (LEF).
A joint project: University of Bolton Youth and Community Programme with the Students’ Union.  “Fostering Community Engagement and Students’ Employability by reducing isolation through the development of a Mentoring Project”. Total Award £1950.