40 local individuals and businesses have been announced as finalists for the brand new Northern Gamechanger awards.
The all-new awards programme will celebrate the forces for good in our business communities and honour leaders in the region making a real difference in their fields.
Unlike most awards ceremonies, there aren’t defined categories here – rather, finalists are recognised for their work in a number of areas, from sustainability and social mobility to diversity and decarbonisation.
The 40 finalists announced today include some of the most familiar business names in the region, including TalkTalk, HideOut Youth Zone, Go Thrift, UA92 and The Juice Academy, as well as brilliant individuals.
The awards themselves are set to take place on 14 September.
10 total Northern Gamechangers will be announced then, chosen by judges including The Manc Group managing director Anna Gledson, Capital & Centric co-founder Tim Heatley, founder of SA Consulting Sharon Amesu, and drector of Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre Amer Gaffar.
The brand-new awards programme is the brainchild of north-west based business consultancy, Elevate, and was launched after noticing the little recognition available for those making a real difference.
Katie Robson, co-founder and director of Elevate, said: “Seeing so many individuals and organisations across the region being nominated has been brilliant.
“We already knew there were plenty of people using their influence for good, but this has really highlighted the game changing attitudes of the north’s pioneering business community.
“We can’t wait to champion those people who are making a real difference – the main reason we wanted to launch Northern Gamechangers, was to shout about the fantastic work people are doing in the realms of sustainability, charity, diversity and many more.”
There’ll be accessible ticket prices for the ceremony itself, which will be a fun and relaxed evening of celebration and networking – with no white tablecloths in sight.
Programme sponsors include leading independent PR agency, The PHA Group, which last year launched its northern base; Manchester Central, the city’s thriving exhibition and conference centre; and Appleyard Lees, Intellectual Property specialists.
You can purchase your ticket for the Northern Gamechanger awards here.
The full list of the Northern Gamechanger finalists
Abi Dunn, Sixty Eight People
Abigail Herron, Aviva Investors
Adam Farricker, HideOut Youth Zone Manchester
Adam Pope, Spencer Churchill
Carl Walker, Go Thrift
Catherine Wilks, Slalom
Chris Roberts, Safe As Houses
Christos Tsaprounis, Autotrader
David MacDonald, Cullen ECO Friendly Packaging
Dr Ruth Brown-Shepherd, FSB West Yorkshire Academia-Industry Network
Duane Cormell, Realm Recruit
Emma Louise-Fusari, Inhouse Health
Fund Her North
Gary Woodhead, CurveBlock
Georgia Fitzgerald, Juice Academy
Grace Dyke, Yellow Jigsaw
Hannah Cox, BetterNotStop
Helen McHugh, TalkTalk
Helen Seagrave, Electricity North West
Holly Holland & Laura Pomfret, Financielle
Husain Bensaud, HBL Associates
Isobelle Panton, University Academy 92
Jason Laing, ProMake
John Eckersley, Castefield Partners
Katie McIntosh, The Remedy Kitchen
Lauren Rosegreen, Invisible Cities Manchester
Lee Chambers, Essentialise Workplace Wellbeing
Liam Starkey, The Inclusive Hub
Lyndsay Hymas, Slalom
Manchester PA Network
Max Whiteley. Accounts & Legal
Rebecca Hartley, Saving Grace Events
Simon Mellin, The Modern Milkman
Sophie Walker, Dsposal
The Royal Exchange Theatre
Tiffany Thorn, BiVictriX Therapeutics
Featured image: Heard Storytelling / Unsplash / Modern Milkman
Tributes pour in for Manchester City legend and former chairman Franny Lee
Tributes are being paid to Manchester City legend and former chairman Francis ‘Franny’ Lee CBE, who has passed away aged 79.
The ex-Man City, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County and England star is said to have passed away in the early hours on Monday morning, 2 October, following a long battle with cancer.
Speaking via a club statement, his wife Gill along with children Charlotte, Jonny and Nik said, “He will be sorely missed and would like to thank everyone for their kind words”.
Both Manchester teams led tributes to the British footballing legend, with avid City fan Liam Gallagher and countless others joining in paying their respects.
Franny Lee scored 148 goals in 330 appearances during eight-year City, helping the club win multiple honours during their first periods of success, including the old First Division title back in 1968.
Born in Lancashire and starting out elsewhere in Greater Manchester at Bolton Wanderers, he also went on to play for Derby following his time with the Blues, helping the Rams to their second-ever title in 1975.
The striker also had 27 caps for England between 1968–1972, scoring 10 goals and winning FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup and the Charity Shield twice at club level during that period.
Honouring their former centre-forward who went on to serve as Chairman for four years from 1994 onwards, the club statement read, “It is with the deepest sadness and heaviest of hearts we announce the passing of former Manchester City player and Chairman Francis Lee, aged 79”, adding that flags around the Etihad Campus are flying at half-mast.
His first club, Bolton, said of the former marksman, “All at Bolton Wanderers are saddened to learn of the passing of former forward, Francis Lee. The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Francis’ family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time.”
As for legacy as for his time in Blue, the club had already planned to immortalise Lee prior to his death, announcing the erection of a statue back in May 2022, the reveal date of which will no doubt be moved up following his passing.
The club has also assured that “more tributes will follow in the coming days.”
Rest in peace to a legend.
Featured Image — Manchester City/England/Bolton Wanderers (via Twitter)
Government set to announce ban on mobile phones at all schools in England
A ban on mobile phones at all schools in England is expected to be announced by the Government this week.
Although many education institutions nationwide already have their own measures in place, according to reports in several major media outlets today – including BBC News, Sky News, The Guardian, and more – Education Secretary Gillian Keegan is pushing for a move to issue a ‘blanket ban’ on mobile phone usage at all schools in England.
She is poised to announce the ban at the Conservative Party Conference – which is currently happening here in Manchester.
If the ban is successfully introduced, it’s believed that under the new Government guidance, head teachers will be told to prevent all pupils from using mobile phones during the entire school day.
The Department for Education wants the devices banned on breaks too, as well as in class time.
While the Education Secretary appears to be adamant that the ban on the devices is a necessary one, reports are indicating, however, that it will be just guidance and would not actually be enforceable by law, which means the final call will be left up to individual schools to decide on their policy and how they’ll implemented.
It’s also unclear at this stage when the guidance will be published, if approved and introduced, according to Sky News.
Reports on the ban of mobile phones today come after the Government estimated back in 2018 that 95% of schools in England have already imposed restrictions, and also come after both former Schools Minister Nick Gibb, and former Education Secretary Gavin Willamson saying they favoured similar restrictions back in in 2019 and 2021, respectively.
Despite this, however, the Education Department said back in 2022 that blanket national rules were not actually needed, as the majority of schools nationwide were already taking action.
This is likely why some eyebrows at Gillian Keegan’s plans today have been raised.
Dr Patrick Roach, who is the general secretary of teaching union NASUWT, said the Government needs to “focus on properly supporting the work of teachers and headteachers”, rather than announcements “designed to detract attention from more than a decade of policy failure”.
Similarly, the general secretary of the National Education Union, Daniel Kebede, said he hopes the Education Secretary will use her Conference speech today to “announce positive measures that face up to the deep challenges in our schools” instead of “distracting attention from them”.