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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Blackwashing Hackney History

Yesterday's Evening Standard filled almost two entire pages with an exposé of alleged con-artist Yolande Beckles and her disappearance with £12,000 of cash raised by black parents in Hackney to send their children on an educational holiday in Trinidad last month. As of this evening there is nothing of this story to be found on the Hackney Groveller website, suggesting either that they were hoping for a scoop or that nobody has told them the news.

Don't let Miss Beckles mess with your money
According to The Standard, Miss Beckles - CEO of motivational company Global Graduates - promised to take the children on a trip to boost the confidence and self-esteem of black youngsters, but instead absconded with the cash to South Korea where she attended meetings arranged by the religious cult "The Moonies".

The paper went on to state that Yolande Beckles was sacked in 1999 from Hackney charity The Windsor Fellowship for allegedly misusing a credit card and other financial misdemeanours including contracting the services of her own mother for excessive fees. It noted that at least one of Miss Beckles' previous businesses has failed, leaving debts of £125,000.

The Evening Standard made reference to the fact that this woman had starred in a three-part BBC2 series entitled "Don't Mess With Miss Beckles", leading veteran Guardian journalist Angela Neustatter to comment: "I wouldn't have put [her] in charge of a little-favoured houseplant" and a distraught parent to write: "The programme was atrocious and a total fix... When I saw it, everything I had objected to they left in... [she] was terrible and her behaviour was wholly inappropriate."

Of far more direct relevance to Hackney, however, amongst the treasures of this carefully researched piece of investigative journalism, was that Yolande Beckles had earlier this year allegedly managed to extract grant funding for 10 sessions on student leadership skills from Alan Wood, CEO of The Learning Trust and the man responsible for all education services in the Borough. Apparently she had little difficulty convincing Hackney's gullible education supremo to part with £50,000 to fund these educational activities, for reasons some have unkindly suggested may be connected with her alleged propensity to excite white middle-aged men. Whatever the real reason, The Learning Trust has now distanced itself by a short mile and Alan Wood is declining interviews, preferring to entrust a deputy to brush off questions.
Alan Wood - allegedly coughed up £50,000

As a representative of financially hard-pressed Hackney council tax payers, I do hope that this affair is not being blackwashed and the full truth will be revealed. I can only hope that matters are resolved rapidly and any money found to have been obtained fraudulently and/or used inappropriately is returned to the Borough's coffers or those of The Learning Trust. Especially before any warrants are executed upon Miss Beckles by any as yet unnamed foreign governments, leading to the possible sequestration of her UK assets.

Postscript: Thanks to "anon" for pointing out that The Learning Trust website continues to celebrate the work of Miss Beckles even today, three days after the Evening Standard exposé.

Post Postscript: Obviously I've been wrong all along about Miss Beckles. According to Madge Hillside, MP for Shoreditch, Hoxton Yuppies and Middle Class Southern Hackney, Yolande is "one of Hackney's Hidden Gems".


Anonymous said...

Alan Wood gets excited by an exotic black lady and hands over £50,000 dear me it gets worse. Welcome back to the good old days of Hackney Council. I see you are following the usual council line just like Alan of burying their heads in the sand and waiting for things to blow over. No comment on £44 Million bill for the Clissold leisure centre? Hackney Homes 1*? Springfield Rec money handed back to Sport for England??
Your feedback is welcomed Lukey Baby

Anonymous said...

The Learning TRust have her down as a Trailblazer 2007

Luke Akehurst said...

You may be Noitall, but you're clearly not Readitall. I've already written plenty about Clissold Leisure Centre, Hackney Homes and money handed back to Sport for England. Use my search box and see for yourself.

Luke Akehurst said...

That would be this link, anon.

Anonymous said...

i know lots about this and have some very interesting evidence that shows Alan Wood was warned about beckles before she went off with the £12000.

No surprise i am sure. but woud like help to make him accountable as currently i am also being brushed off by deputies etc...

want to help anyone. perhaps get the 12 families together too. I know many other people who were stung by Beckles

Luke Akehurst said...

I'd love to hear more. Why not email me?

Anonymous said...

I had the misfortune to have to deal with Yolande last year when she was trying to get more involved in local networks in hackney. by co-incidence, my boyfriend also worked for her in the 90s and never got paid. A quick google search reveals she is now stateside- trying to set up a company called "Think Global Kids." Is anyone actually trying to hold her to account or press charges in the UK- or has she got away scot free? I don't know how to take this forward so I am posting on any blogs I can find.

Luke Akehurst said...

I believe that an arrest warrant has been issued for Ms. Beckles by the courts in Trinidad & Tobago. Here in the UK she is still regarded as a trailblazer by many in the Labour Party. But then so was Mark Trotter.

The link you were trying to post is here. I understand that this information, along with other details, has now been passed to the London Evening Standard, the LA Times newsdesk and the Fox News newsdesk.

Anonymous said...

what makes you think she is wanted in TnT? and for what?

I and a number of people i know would be very interested in tracking 'Yo' down if anyone has contact details please post here.

Also to the poster who said they want to take this forward lets all meet up. not sure how to organise that. Luke can you help? it is clear people want to remain anon. but perhaps I can suggested a time and place, somewhere in hackney we could form some sort of coalition.

How about next tuesday 12 august Hackney teh hackney empire Marie Lloyd Bar at 7pm? I will hope that people respond on here even anon and say yes.

Yo might be clever but she cant hide forever. And as a justifiably angry mob I am sure we can bring pressure to bear. I am sure her mother still lives in the uk and was allegedly complicit in a number of Yo's crimes. We could start there? anyway lets discuss as a group.

As for Alan Woods i do think he has got away scott free when he knew about Yo's past and still employed her. He has to take some of the blame. Luke arent you a councillor? if you could prove that Alan Woods knew could you do something? perhaps at least as a council question?

Anonymous said...

Yolande Beckles is understood to be wanted in T&T on fraud charges.

The former head of Global Graduates left London and arrived in Los Angeles in late 2007/early 2008, where she is/was CEO of a startup company called Think Global Kids. Sponsorships not renewed for next year plus lack of company data suggest that she may well have done another runner and no longer be in California.

She is unlikely to return to the UK to operate, as exposure in the media has destroyed any chance of her pulling off any further stunts here, except possibly with someone even more stupid than Hackney Council. Even the Law Society website contains a warning about her.

You might also like to contact The Black Employment Initiative via the Business Design Centre in Islington (020 7288 6806). I understand she remains a Director of this organisation.

Anonymous said...

The Black Employment Initiative at angel is no longer located there. And i can not find any way to actually contact them. If anyone can help that would be great.

Love the name "Beckles watch" by the way.

She may have left uk (or maybe not) but her family are still here and locatable. Sister and mother. and must know where she is. If people want to meet up, or just debate on here? we could and make a start by approaching her family for contact details.

althernatively perhaps someone might want to set up a yahoo group or something? I am determined to at least ensure this woman cant upset anyone else.

Would still like to know what she is wanted for in TnT and also Luke can you help re Alan Woods and Hackney learning trust through the council?

since noone has responded and said they want to meet this evening then i will not be there. But please if you know people who are after Beckles then direct them to this blog and lets start throwing around some ideas.

Hopefully she may also be reading this and know that her behaviour has not been forgotten!

Anonymous said...

This blog is inactive - it closed a while ago - so not really the place for long-term debate, but I'll jelp if I can.

There are 24 Beckles listed with BT in London. That might be a good place to start.

Anonymous said...

thanks Beckles watch.
Any ideas where might be a better place to have a debate. We need somewhere online where people can post anonomously. Facebook therefore no use. Also need somewhere that will show up easily if someone googles her name as I imagine this is what might help people avoid being done by her in the future.

Thanks for your offer to help. I am sure we can amass a small army of people who want to find Yolande and get their dues. its certainly a worthy cause.

Anonymous said...

"Beckles Watch said... This blog is inactive - it closed a while ago"

Eh really? Surely, the very fact that you were able to post your comments and that I am able to respond (anonymously)proves this site ain't dead?

Do you think Yo would lend me some money?

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, la-di-dah. OK - the blog is near-extinct, not actually dead.

Now, if anonymous would like to contact me c/o Luke Akehurst's email address in the sidebar, I'll send you some contact information by return.

Anonymous said...

To enquire about the status of Yolande Beckles in Trinidad & Tobago, you might care to write to:

Professor Kenneth S. Julien T.C.
The University of Trinidad & Tobago
Second Avenue
North Western Main Road
Trinidad W.I.

Anonymous said...

I found out more about her...

Anonymous said...

Nah! Your link is faulty, friend! Try again.

Anonymous said...

It's all very interesting but the story is confusing to those of us in Los Angeles.

As we all know, the internet is full of hyperbole, lies, urban legends and people venting their spleens on others.

There are also those stories that are true...and perhaps this one - or part of this one - is among them.

There doesn't appear to be much interest about Ms. Beckles on this site beyond a few of you. If so many people were harmed, I would think that there would be more folks interested in pursuing her.

On the other hand, if what has been said about her in the press is false, why wouldn't she pursue slander or libel actions in your courts?

If any of you - or others you know - have actual documentation to support any of the numerous allegations against Ms. Beckles that have been published, it would be most valuable to some I know in Los Angeles who are doing due diligence on her.

Where can the hard copies be viewed - is anything online? How can it be confirmed that there is an arrest warrant out for her? Where are the various judgments against her or her prior companies?

It has been said that she is in the US as a result of a request from the William Morris Agency. Perhaps this is as a result of her BBC TV shows. Can anyone provide a link as to where can her BBC TV shows might be seen?

Lastly, if anyone can produce a name and contact info for someone (or several) who worked with and/or for her, it would be appreciated. Likewise for contact info for those with a valid claim against her.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Yolande Beckles
c/o Mrs. Beckles
20 Fairland House
Masons Hill

Anonymous said...

if the anonymous from LA wants evidence why not check with companies house in london on Global graduates ltd, You can see there that this company, which was basically Yo herself, never filed accounts. You can also contact Clerkenwell and also Hackney courts and ask about court judgements won against her. I know there are number of employment ones for unpaid wages. Again against GG not necesarily her. Why not also contact some of her old customers and or sponsers such as the college of Law. I know they will have lots of info.
Or why not contact Alan woods the cheif exec of Hackney Learning trust who employed her when she allegedly stole money off children in hackney. I am sure his office will act as reference (as in explain why the police are investigating her on their behalf). finally why not put your name and number either on here or send to Luke and he can pass it on to others on this site who clearly have info.
But turst me there is lots of real evidence to this woman's criminality and moral lack. I know lots of good people who have been stung by this woman. Please do not trust her! she is dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Yoland Beckles. Well Known in the circles of ethnci minority training in London and Birmingham,UK but for the wrong reasons. Do not trust your flowers or children with her. Believed now to be in LA, California.

Avenger said...

Well Yolande Beckles is leaving in LA..Her 14yr daughter Diandra is a student at Beverley Highs High School and has a listing on Facebook.BHHS have confirmed her as a Student..Now for some history regarding Yolande Beckles.In 1995 Miss Beckles ended up leaving in Hostel (streatham) with her daughter after alleging she was a victim of domestic violence..The Victim was in fact her former Partner (daughters father) who suffered knife injuries at the hands of Miss Beckles at there former home in Tulse Hill..Later in 2006 he committed suicide after taking a drugs overdose..Miss Beckles had previous Companies called Moving Parts (dance Teaching) and Three Circles Ltd (Education/Training) both failed leaving debts..Miss Beckles also lived with and worked for Yvonne Thompson CBE (CEO ASAP Communications) but after financial misconduct Miss Beckles was sacked (1995)...In 1996 Miss Beckles relocated to Northamptonshire with her child however she again was alleged to have assualted her new Partner leaving him with a severe head injury...After fearing arrest she fled back to London...Miss Beckles then reinvented herself and found a new Partner Mr Colin Logier(father to her son) but several years later she faced charges of assualt and attempted poisoning of her Partner..A trial lasted several weeks at Bromley Crown Court cica 2006.However Miss Beckles managed to hire an expensive Barrister and got off...Miss Beckles is an expert Con Artist and is so convincing no wonder their have been so many victims over the years...Perhaps now it is time for Yolande Beckles to spend some time in Custody so we the public feel safer in our beds....

Anonymous said...

Yolande and both children arrived in Los Angeles December 24th 2007. They rented two rooms from my family in Hollywood. There is a long involved story here and I have all the details if anyone really wants them.

It is insane that we let it go on so long and trust me, we are blown away that even after we were sure she was a con, and confronted her, she cried and begged and pleaded that under no circumstance would she ever do something like that. OMG! she really is evil and evil entered our home and a black cloud covered us for almost three months. If it could go wrong it did.

I asked Yolande to leave our home March 17th with her two children. I would have kicked her butt to the curb long before that had it not been for the kid's. The money was always on the way, and the television show was within arms length, if only we would give it another few days, and days and days.
We were not sure if her daughter was part of the con or a victim. Yes, she left our home and us 15,000 in debt. She never paid her rent, utilities or food bills. Colin found her through his son's phone call's and Yolande did receive maintenance money. She did also receive a large sum of money that her partner in the UK sent to her from some grant for her company. Instead of paying us the money she owed, she and her children went on a 10 ten shopping and tourist spree of Hollywood and 8,000 later, there was no money.
The story is very detailed and there are several details I've given to the UK press. Anyone wants to find her and get the story get in touch with me.

She jumped on her visa which ran out on March 20th... has her kid's in school in Hollywood and has been using my address for all everything. I do have the L.A.P.D. working on it... Her daughter is not at Beverly Hills High but I can tell you which school she is at. I've been in touch with the British Embassy and they have revoked her passport so she and the kid's can't travel anywhere except back to the UK... I'm contacting the U.S. Embassy this week at the suggestion of the UK Embassy.

She left us with a phone bill of 1800.00 to the UK which took place over a 5 day spree of her trying to collect money.

She may think she got away with the long con with us and yes, we were much much to soft because of the kids' but that woman ruined our credit, has put us in a position that now, we may be evicted. We rented to her because we needed the income, not for a moment thinking we could be ruined in a mere 2 1/2 months by this evil...

I did know she tried to poison Colin. She came to our home because of a mutual friend from the UK who lives in Hollywood. She told me about Colin after I told her my daughter, who was now confronting Yolande regarding the long-con; my daughter became so ill she couldn't get out of bed at all the week before I told Yolande to leave. Yolande kept making food for my daughter. Later, we realized that because my daughter was confronting Yolande and I was beginning to realize she may be right, she had to shut my daughter up... Hell, if she killed her, I'd need confort, right? Then she could move right in to help.

MyShe applied to 3 US banks for business and personal checking accounts and wrote a check to our landlord for the funds she owed us and that check bounced. We had to pay that back to them and it put us way behind finacially.

She is receiving over drafts from these banks daily for insufficient funds. I've contacted the bank to tell them she is a fraud.

I've contacted the Los Angeles Unified School district to tell them she's using our address for her children' schools without our permission. I've explained she in our home as a vacation rental and left without paying.

She's enrolled in educational classes for her self and the fee she paid to take the classes has bounced.

She put her things in storage and those checks have bounced and they've locked her out of her storage locker.

William Morris never asked her to come to the US, her agent in the UK said WM would be interested in speaking with her if she were in Los Angeles. I took her to her appointment at WM and nothing has came of it as I know.

There is sooooo much more if anyone really wants to make sure this woman spends time in jail and has the information to add to what I've got, let me know.

I will not stop till she is behind bars.

She is not a fit mother for those children. Her daughter is the primary care-giver of Euan. However her daughter since enrolling in public school in Feb. has not made the best choices for her friendships.

The worst thing is she wanted to get involved with a church here and I introduced her to dear friends who attend Agape. She moved right in trying to worm her way into another con... She is an evil woman.
I'm on a mission... anyone want to get involved?

Anonymous said...

This blog is interesting but I don't understand why only one blogger actually left contact information. if you really want to get this woman, why no shared contact info. Just blowing your horns or do you really want her?jf

If you think the "Beckles Watch" is defunked, set up another one maybe with the email address the last blogger gave you. If you really want to get her then do it!
I'm in to at least do some research, that's my job.

Anonymous? What's that all about? Who give validity to anonymous. Want to blog and hide, get a life..

Anonymous said...

I'm setting up a Wikipedia page for Beckles to collect in one place the information found on various websites. Wikipedia articles have to have a neutral POV but I'm sure you'll agree that the facts speak for themselves. Any help appreciated, especially if anyone has any sources like records of the CCJs against her.

Luke Akehurst said...

Hadrian - email me at and I'll send you some information for your Wikipedia page.

Anonymous said...


1) Anon on here is a number of people not one.
2) choosing to post anon is often to protect oneself further. Having been stung by the evil cow Yo beckles and seen what she is capable of it makes sense to be a bit careful. Also is 'ervine' any less anon?

But more importantly


I am so sorry to hear how she has stung you. it really sounds terrible. I will email you seperately with all the information i have. I only wish i had done more to stop her so that you wouldnt have been stung so badly. although i and others have tried. I would add that some of the people i warned simply didnt believe me or thought, unfortunatly that i had alterior motives.

Whilst its not much consolation I know, do remember that she is not a happy woman and ultimatly lives for her ego and needs to think she is respected. Which she so isnt. I once met one of the children she worked with, who said many of his peers could see straight through from the start. so thats reassuring.

I will look for the wiki page with interest. Perhaps a facebook group would be useful too.

I think you could do a little more to take Mr Woods to task over this too. There is still the question as to why he employed her and ignored evidence that was presented directly to him that she wasnt suitable.

Unknown said...

Is all this true. I really need to know it is urgent...

Luke Akehurst said...

No Andrew, it's all a figment of my fertile and overactive imagination. I was bored, so I sat down and made it all up. Then I posted all those comments, before heading off to The Guildhall to collect the Mann Booker Prize for literary fiction. If you're still in any doubt, ask the former Deputy Mayor of Hackney - she'll set you straight. Btw - Yolande is now in hiding from a great many very angry people. Try searching the internet and you'll realise that she's very well-concealed.

Luke Akehurst said...

Unless, of course, you know better. In which case I'd love to hear.

Anonymous said...

How do I get in touch with you.

Luke Akehurst said...

My email address is in the sidebar, beneath the photo of ma vie en rose.

Anonymous said...

Hello! Yolanda is very visible and worming her way into every available children's program in Los Angeles. Her youngest child attends Rosewood Avenue Elementary School located on Croft Avenue in Los Angeles. She is actively pursuing financial support for the "Think Global Kids Summer Enrichment Program" within the Los Angeles educational community. STOP HER NOW!!!

Luke Akehurst said...

It appears that you are absolutely correct. As recently as a couple of months ago she was addressing meetings of "Hollywood Wives", getting them to agree donations of thousands of dollars to pay for various expenses associated with her Think Global Kids Summer Enrichment program. Thanks for the clues. Now I have all the information needed to assist the authorities to pay her a visit. Unless, of course, she does a bunk in the interim.

Beckles Watch said...

Can I refer everyone to this new website that I have just created to act as a focus for further discussion and exchange of information about Yolande Beckles:

Yo Ho Ho: It's Beckles Watch.

Unknown said...

"Alan Wood gets excited by an exotic black lady and hands over £50,000"

Mr. Wood does seem to have a thing about exotic black ladies with interesting histories / connections. Just last summer Miranda Grell was working at The Learning Trust in the Chief Exec office.

And Colleen Amos, sister of the allegedly corrupt Baroness Amos, is his right hand woman heading up the Marketing and Communications department at The Trust.

Interesting that the Amos sisters - perhaps inspired by Beckles - set up the Amos Bursary, some type of education charity aiming to do its bit for Black boys in the UK.

But would you give money to an education charity with no registered charity number and a website littered with spelling mistakes?

munchinella said...

I am shocked but not surprised by what I have read. I know Ms Beckles and can confirm she is a very crude con merchant. I was part of an all male black fraterninty called Utani well one of its founders. We pioneered working with young black men long before it became fashionable or there was any money in it. We did it for nothing as these were our brothers and as professionals we have clear commitments to our own. While working voluntary for the Lionel Jefferies Centre in London Beckles managed to bring in other people to do the same.

She is one of these people who does not have a product but picks up on things we or others say then approaches them or sponges of their ideas. This was an exciting project so many good people came forward. I made the stupid error of loaning her my file of programmes which we had developed sinice the black power movement in the UK. Tried and trusted stuff to work with all types of black groups.

As soon as the grant came for the Lionel Jefferies Centre she handed them a massive invoice to the shock of the management committee who were under the impression she like us were doing this for good faith. But the joke is her bill was literally as big as the total grant for the project and the committee refused point blank to be used or hussled. The dispute went to court and the centre and various projects closed down and she loss but destroyed a major project for black and under privileged kids.

It dawned on me that Beckles had my file and I tracked her down to Windsor Fellowship she emerged as one of its programme directors. After more calls than I care to mentioned it was clear she had no intention of returning my files and decades of hard work and was not even smart enough to photocopy them. I have never had my intellectual property returned and she hid behind her secetary until she then turned arounded and screwed the Windsor Fellowship.

Councillor Kinglsey Abrahams is one of the nicest guys I know and was one of the Trustees of the Lionel Jefferies Centre. Mention Yolanda Beckle's name to him and stand back and hold your breathe.

Now she has to hide like the thief she is.


mewmewmew said...

Alan Wood gets excited by an exotic black lady and hands over £50,000 dear me it gets worse. Welcome back to the good old days of Hackney Council. I see you are following the usual council line just like Alan of burying their heads in the sand and waiting for things to blow over. No comment on £44 Million bill for the Clissold leisure centre? Hackney Homes 1*? Springfield Rec money handed back to Sport for England??

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