Meet leaders - North
Chief Executive of Halifax Opportunities Trust
Alison Haskins is the newly appointed Chief Executive of Halifax Opportunities Trust. Prior to this she was CEO of voluntary sector support agency, Nova Wakefield District.
Halifax Opportunities Trust (HOT) is a large, local social enterprise based in West Central Halifax. It was set up by local people in 2000 to run a range of activities, services and community businesses which create wealth, health and happiness in the community.
The Trust runs employment, apprenticeship and training schemes and provides space for over 50 local businesses. It runs Children’s Centres services (including day care) across 11 sites and Staying Well, which provides non-clinical solutions to wellbeing issues. It also provides healthy meals to local schools and runs the Outback – a straw-bale kitchen and kitchen garden in the heart of the local community.
Project Manager for Giroscope, Hull
Caroline Gore-Booth is Project Manager for Giroscope and holds a Masters in Architecture from the University of Sheffield.
Giroscope is a self-help housing project based in Hull. They have developed a sustainable model for community regeneration that brings empty properties back into use, provides affordable housing and creates training/work experience opportunities. Giroscope was conceived in the Mid-Eighties by a group of students and young unemployed people who decided to take direct action to resolve their own housing situation. Establishing a worker's cooperative and registering as a Limited Company in the Summer of 1986, Giroscope members purchased their first house using their Giros for a deposit and set about redeveloping the property to provide accommodation for the unemployed.
Giroscope won a World Habitat Award in partnership with Canopy for their project ‘Self-Help Housing in the North of England’.
Managing Director of the Burton Street Foundation, Sheffield
Clare Mappin is Managing Director of the Burton Street Foundation.
Burton Street Foundation provides vital services for 300 adults and children with learning and physical disabilities in Hillsborough, Sheffield. Set in three Victorian school buildings and a converted factory building, the community hub also accommodates over 50 small businesses, community groups and charities – it also has a café, a bar and restaurant, a conference centre and event space, a gym and sports hall and a recording studio – Burton Street employs around100 local people and is assisted by a group of 40 local volunteers. All facilities are open for use by the local community and Sheffield businesses. Income is generated from over 60 different creative sessions for adults and children with learning difficulties each week, office rental and catering, conferencing and events.
Founder Director of Success4All, Newcastle
Caroline Afolbi is the Founder Director of Success4All. Before running the business, Caroline was a foreign language teacher and head of Modern Foreign Language of school in Sunderland. In 1995, she obtained a Masters in Business and Administration from the University of Durham.
Working primarily in the North East, Success4all provides one-to-one befriending and educational activities that cannot be met by mainstream education, in areas of low academic achievement.
Project Manager at St Catherine’s, Wakefield
Jonathan Williams is the Project Manager at St Catherine’s.
St Catherine’s is an award-winning community business that runs the largest food bank in Wakefield and the Five Towns and West Yorkshire’s first recovery café for sufferers of mental illness. The café offers integrated support to the large numbers of malnourished people with mental health problems who access his 80,000 meal-a-year food bank - in particular those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. His community-based innovations utilise large amounts of high-quality food waste and help vulnerable people to tackle the root causes of their poverty.
Founder of Incredible Farm, Todmorden
Nick Green is Founder of Incredible Farm and Fellow of the School of Social Entrepreneurs.
Originally a project of Incredible Edible Todmorden, we built the farm for teaching small scale commercial food growing and marketing skills to young people. The aim being to start food production businesses.
Incredible Farm is now a standalone not for profit-company. We are supported by income from produce, plant and fruit tree sales and from training. We are aiming to explore and model the idea that it is possible to make a career in growing food.
Project Manager at Sustainable Harborough
Gavin Fletcher is Project Manager at Sustainable Harborough.
Sustainable Harborough is focused on progressing community businesses working in the areas of business and household energy efficiency, support for local food and drink businesses, community food growing and local community renewable energy generation in Market Harborough and the surrounding area.
Chief Officer at Meadow Well Connected, North Shields
In 2014 Meadow Well Connected celebrated 20 years of work in the community. Meadow Well Connected is a community hub serving the two highest areas of deprivation in North Tyneside and in the top 5% in England (IMD), where 63% of households experience deprivation, with 14.5% of those in three dimensions or more.
Mandi Cresswell is the Chief Officer at Meadow Well Connected. Mandi has worked in both the public and private sector, has run her own small business and gained experience of working in the voluntary sector through work a number of initiatives, including The Key – a youth skills development charity.
Mandi loves people, cooking, enjoys walking her dog, going out to see live music, theatre or the cinema, and spending time with her family.
Chief Executive of Foxhill Forum, Sheffield
Foxhill Forum is a community organisation based in North East Sheffield, set up in 1995. Its Mission is to create a community where local people are involved and empowered to play an active role and make a difference. The Forum owns and manages the In-volve Community Hub, a well utilised community building, and offers a wide variety of activities, services and opportunities based on the needs of local people. These opportunities are focussed around the Forum’s 4 core strands: Health & Wellbeing, Active In-volvement (Volunteering and Community Action), Community Learning and Employability Support.
Director of MoorEnd Development Trust, Rochdale
MoorEnd Development Trust is a community owned regeneration company run by volunteers for the benefit of people living in the Pennines Township of Rochdale. They have recently secured a lease on the iconic Hare Hill House and are gradually bringing the building back into use as a Community, Arts and Enterprise Centre.
Games Activator at Wythenshawe Forum Trust, Manchester
The Wythenshawe Forum Trust primarily serves the local community in and around the M22 & M23 area. The key objectives of the Forum are in essence to tackle unemployment, crime, health and education
As a Games Activator Natalie's role is to support inactive people from within the local community to engage with the physical activity programmes that are on offer. These include inclusive family programmes, school holiday projects for young people, over 50s programmes, all designed to be easily accesible, fun and providie a positive opportunity for the whole community to be more active and healthy.
Secretary of Origin Sports, Newcastle
Origin Sports is a multi-sport not for profit which offers leadership development and sports coaching for disadvantaged youths in Newcaslte upon Tyne and the surrounding area. They operate out of the Elswick Pool as well as Gateshead Academy for Sport, and we have several programmes running, including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling classes. In addition to providing services for young people, we also offer sessions for adults, as well as a children's class that uses active play as a way to improve balance, co-ordination and agility and to promote self-confidence.
Development Worker at Birtley Community Association, Chester-le-Street
Birtley Community Association is a community action group focused on supporting the recreational, educational and social needs of the local Community. Working closely with local authority and other voluntary services, the BCA runs a community centre providing space and support for groups, clubs and educational courses to support the community it serves.
Having a strong membership of more than 700 local people, the centre welcomes something in the region of 3,000 people each year. Groups that meet at the centre include parent and toddler group, pre-school nursery, youth groups and groups aimed at helping unemployed young people and also groups catering for the social needs of older adults providing a social venue for this age group alleviating social isolation.
Carol Smith is a Development Worker, supporting two community business, a shop and café based at the Birtley Community Association
Managing Director at My Outdoor Classroom
My Outdoor Classroom CIC offer a variety of outdoor learning opportunities in Merseyside and Greater Manchester. They are a registered community Interest Company ran by educational professionals. They offer workshops that take place in green spaces such as woodlands to get hands on science and maths experience. We offer workshops that cover many aspects of the National Curriculum and their forest school aims to engage and inspire individual children or young people through nature, promoting positive outdoor experiences
Project Manager at Hyde Park Sourc, Leedse
Hyde Park Source is an environmental community organisation and have been delivering community led projects for over 15 years. We work with local residents, volunteers and young people renovating underused areas in Leeds. We work with local communities to improve their surroundings, designing and creating attractive, exciting, safe and useful places for people to live, work and play.
Director of Sow the City, Manchester
Sow the City is an award winning organisation based in Manchester. Established in 2009 with a few packets of seeds and some compost, we’re now the leading specialist food-growing company in the city.
It provides a range of services for local authorities, housing providers, schools, businesses and the voluntary sector including events, research, landscape design and other consultancy.
Jon Ross is Director of Sow the City. Jon a wealth of experience in sustainability, working for consultancies and within roles at Transport for Manchester. He holds an MA in Environment Impact Assessment and Environmental Management from the University of Manchester.
Community Development Manager at New Wortley Community Association, Leeds
New Wortley Community Association exists to manage the New Wortley Community Centre and provides a community space for groups to meet and activities to take place. They run a cafe, shop and laundry and are on course to make the association self sufficient.
Bill has great experience running businesses over the last 25 years. Currently, Bill is managing the New Wortley Community project, building a great local rooted community organisation into a business that can combine social enterprise with service delivery.
He is a Trustee of Bramley Baths and consults on a wide variety of community initiatives. He believes that local solutions are the best solutions for communities and that empowerment of people can lead to positive outcomes. In his spare time he Coaches and manages an under 15s boys football team.
Chairman of the OASIS Community Centre and Garden, Worksop
The OASIS Community Centre and Gardens has over 25 different projects serving on the community in the Kilton Estate and the surrounding area of Worksop. The area is an ex coalfields areas with high unemployment and declining manufacturing opportunities.
The organisation took over a derelict youth centre and abandoned recreation field and raised the money to renovate and repurpose the site, which is now a thriving multi purpose multi function community facility. The community centre has a cafe, children's room, and computer suite, and outside there is a beauitful garden with sports space, sensory garden, and orchard.
CEO Humantics CIC, Darlington
Humantics is a successful Community Interest Company that in 2011 took over ownership of a struggling live music venue with recording and rehearsal facilities called the Forum Music Centre. To date it is a vibrant community hub which hosts weekly entertainment and offers educational and enterprising support for those wishing to pursue music as a career and lifestyle choice. Recent success has been amplified by great engagement with the local community and a visit for the then-minister Nick Hurd MP as a great example of community action.
Finance manager at Wythenshawe Forum Trust
The Wythenshawe Forum Trust primarily serves the local community in an around the M22 & M23 area. The key objectives of the Forum are in essence to tackle unemployment, crime, health and education.
As Finance Manager, Wakas ensure the smooth running of the organisation and its programmes.
CEO of Redcar Development Trust
The Redcar Development Trust evolved from the Redcar Amateur Boxing Club which was established in 1998, moving into the Memorial Hall in 2000. This was established to help support young people off the streets and steer them away from drugs and crime.
In addition to running incubators units for new start businesses and providing meeting space for over 50 different community groups RDT host fitness classes, boxing club, Karate and also promote music and sports events and have recently restarted the iconic Redcar Jazz Club
Development Worker at Oblong, Leeds
Oblong aims to develop the capacity and skills of people living in socially and economically disadvantaged areas in such a way that they are better able to identify, and help meet, their needs and to create active flourishing communities. Oblong does this through providing volunteer opportunities, running Woodhouse Community Centre, delivering well-being courses and providing support for community activism.