CV: Dr Tyron Woolfe

ADDRESS: 3 Greenhill Terrace, London SE18 4BP

DATE OF BIRTH:   10/08/1976




Strategic Connectivity and Leadership

Wide understanding of the lived experiences of children, young people and adults who experience being marginalised; deaf, disabled, LGBTQ+

Analytical approach to complex issues

Interpretation and application of research data

Delegation and giving autonomy for others

Champion for Mental Wellbeing


January 2021 – current

Executive Director (maternity cover), Deafinitely Theatre, home based (4-days a week)

I am responsible for the operational and financial wellbeing and smooth business administration of Deafinitely Theatre, strategically and practically. Deafinitely Theatre is a National Portfolio Organisation.

This includes a lot of work with funders such as the Arts Council and the reporting responsibilities to the Board of Trustees, Arts Council England, Charity Commission and Companies House.

February 2021 – May 2021

Contract: intersections Fund Development Officer, Consortium, home based (7 hours a week flexible basis)

I am responsible for both the analysis and collection of useful information from over 400 groups in the LGBT+ sector who experience Intersectionality/ies.  This information will be used to inform a forthcoming significantly funded project with the National Lottery.

January 2020 – Dec 2020

Project Manager, UK Deaf Sport, home based.

In this fixed role I was managing a two-year project funded by Comic Relief which aimed to achieve both mental well-being and social integration in deaf people in London through Sports and Physical Activity participation.  I gave this role a lot of initiative and diligence especially given the challenges of COVID-19 since March 2020.

I achieved significant changes to the project original plans via giving continuous mentoring and support to 17 individual trainers/instructors to deliver activities to approximately 370 deaf people via online delivery; surpassing the original targets set.  The variety in the work as well as accountability to the Board of Trustees and funders was excellent, utilising case studies and both qualitative and quantitative measures too.

The project continues despite unpredictable times.

May 2019 – Sept 2019

Research Assistant, Deafness Cognition and Language, University College London, 49 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

Recruited 44 older deaf people who may have Mild Cognitive Impairment for the purpose of gathering research data to lead to a diagnostic tool via Artificial Intelligence. Travelled excessively and filmed each person for 30mins. Fixed term contract completed with all targets exceeded.

July 2018- March 2019

(travelled Latin America, including volunteering in Bolivia with young deaf people)

May 2007- July 2018

Deputy Director, Children and Young People Services, National Deaf Children’s Society, 15 Dufferin Street, London, EC1Y 8UR.

Strategic and operational leadership for the charity on all issues relating to NDCS’ direct service provision for deaf children and young people in the UK

Creation of a Children and Young People’s brand for NDCS

This role included:

Safeguarding – Numerous short courses run by National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and several others; Safer Recruitment, Child Protection, Designated Safeguarding, Online safety etc. This learning was important for my role as the Designated Safeguarding Lead for the Children, Young People and Partnerships department at NDCS (various training dates over 11yr).

NSPCC Child Protection Awareness Programme, Educare, May 2010

Child Protection Designated Safeguarding Officer course, May 2010

Management of two Heads of Departments (Participation and Events), including supervision, goal-setting, report monitoring, strategic planning, and interpersonal motivation.

Non-direct management of 20 staff members (managers and officers) who report to both Heads of department.  These staff members are based all over the UK, including some home-workers.

Carrying out the largest ever consultation with deaf children and young people across the UK, asking them what they wanted the charity to do for them.  This became an internal report document and informed the fundamental principles of our Youth Strategy.

Overseeing and supporting a challenging organisational change from a 64-year old parents’ charity to a child-centred one.

Development of a robust Youth Strategy to achieve a meaningful child-centred organisation.

Development of a Volunteering Strategy to enable young deaf people to have opportunities to do more.

Development and implementation of clear strands to deliver key milestones against our youth strategy; Information and Advice, a new website, training and development, extended activities to include deaf children, CYP programme (Arts, Sports and Leisure), Participation and governance.

Writing/development of key-related policies around the involvement of dcyp

Alignment of key strategic aims along with national government strategies, e.g. Aiming High, Integrated Youth Support Services, National Citizenship Service

Establishing a Participation Unit with to deliver our strategic change.

Working with external and internal colleagues, both in the voluntary and statutory sector to enhance the lives of deaf children and young people.

Full involvement with all senior management decisions with other deputy directors.

Budget planning, fundraising applications, monitoring and management

Increasing provision from 454 places a year to beneficiaries, to 2,600.

Jan 2005 – May 2007

Post-doctoral research assistant, Dept Human Communication Science, University College London, London.  Investigating 0-3yr. deaf children’s developmental outcomes.

Sept 2004 – January 2005

(Travelled Asia for six months)

Nov 2003 – June 2004

High Executive Officer, Department of Education and Skills (Faststream scheme –  for more details)

Dec 2002 – Nov 2003

High Executive Officer, Department of Work and Pensions (Faststream scheme –  for more details)


During my time as a PhD student I was also employed as a temporary research assistant to work on other sign language related projects funded by the Nuffield Foundation at the Department, described as follows:

2001/2– University of Sheffield – Imitation

2001/2 – University of Sheffield – Visual Perception

2002 – University College London – Iconicity

1996 – City University, British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test


Oct 1999 – 2002

PhD at University of Sheffield

Title:                                Theory of Mind and Sibling Relationship[s in Deaf Children

Funded by a fee-waiver; the Wingate Foundation and the Lord Snowdon Award

Supervisors:                   Prof. Michael Siegal and Dr. Stephen Want

Examiners:                      Dr. Mark Blades and Prof. Charlie Lewis

Using past research and current debate on the development of a Theory of Mind, I designed a variety of experiments to investigate the importance of early language exposure in two groups of children, namely native and late signers.  I also looked into the importance of communication with siblings.  This involved a lot of commitment and travelling to reach out to specific children and using specific stimuli that prevented using language modality as a potential barrier itself.  This research resulted in two first authored publications.s

Sept 1996 – June 1999

BSc (Hons). Psychology, Goldsmith’s College, University of London, Degree class 2(i)


  • Impact Measurement and Management, In Focus, August 2020
  • Leadership Development, FPM (in partnership with Children’s Workforce Development Council and Children’s Workforce Network), March 2010
  • NSPCC Child Protection Awareness Programme, Educare, May 2010
  • Child Protection Designated Safeguarding Officer course, May 2010
  • Remote Management, Envision, September 2009
  • Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, 2006.
  • Neil O’Connor Award, the British Psychological Society – Developmental Section: A research award in developmental disability, 2002
  • Millennium Awards Fellowship, 2002
  • Federation of Deaf People, Youth Award, 2000
  • Preparation for Entry to the Outdoor Industry, NCFE, 1999
  • CACDP (now Signature) British Sign Language Stage 2, June 1999
  • CACDP (now Signature) Deaf-Blind Communication Stage 1, May 1996
  • Volunteer Befriending Scheme, 1995
  • Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Bronze, 1992
  • Friends for the Young Deaf Courses:
    • Initiative Training June 1992
    • Leadership 1 March 1994
    • Leadership 2 May 1997
    • Project management, Oct 1997
    • Management Training, Aug 1999

WORK EXPERIENCE:                  

April 1995

National Centre for Mental Health and Deafness, John Denmark Unit, Bury New Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 3BL.

May 1997

Deaf Child and Family Team, Hightrees, Springfield University Hospital, London, SW17 7DJ.


SHOUT Crisis Volunteer – the UK’s first free, confidential, 24/7 text support service – June 2020 to date.

Chairperson – Deaf Rainbow UK – 2019 to date

Respite Carer – to a young deaf boy for 5years under Southwark Family Link Services.

Co-ordinator, British Deaf Association Youth Exchanges.  These exchanges involved a lot of responsibility, organisation, planning as well as the importance of learning foreign sign languages.  I have always communicated well with foreign deaf counterparts who use sign language – 1995-2002

Co-ordinator, Sheffield Befriending Project for Deaf Children.  I made sure that deaf children in the local area of Sheffield met up with deaf young role models on a fortnightly basis and developed positive identities – 2001- 03.

Counsellor, Camp America – worked with adults with developmental disabilities, some of them were deaf and sign language users – 1998, for 9 weeks

Counsellor, Camp America – worked with children with emotional problems, some of them were deaf sign language users – 1997, for 9 weeks

Friends for the Young Deaf – various experiences as a supervisor and leader on numerous projects focused on the integration and empowerment of deaf young people – 1990 – 2002.


Deaf Rainbow UK, Chairperson (2018 – current)

Greenwich University Students Union (2020 – 21)

British Deaf Association: Trustee (2002- 2006)

SignHealth: Trustee (2002-2012)

Royal Association of the Deaf: Trustee (2012-2015)


Woolfe, T., Herman, R.C. and Roy, P. (2010)  Early vocabulary development in deaf native signers: a British Sign Language adaptation of the communicative development inventories, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, March 51, (3) 322-21.

Woolfe, T., Young, A. (2007) Deafness, Deaf People and Genetics, Bioethics

Woolfe, T., Want, S., & Siegal, M. (2003) Siblings, conversation, and theory of mind in deaf native signing children, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 340-347.

Woolfe, T., Want, S., & Siegal, M. (2002). Signposts to development: Theory of mind in deaf children.  Child Development, 73, 768-778.

Woolfe, T., & Smith, P. K. (2001). The self-esteem and cohesion to family members of deaf children in relation to the hearing status of their parents and siblings, Deafness and Education International, 3, 80-96.


Jan 2006

Australia & New Zealand Educators of the Deaf Conference, Rotorua, keynote speaker

Sept 2002

British Psychological Society – Developmental Conference, Neil O’Connor Award, keynote speaker