Honoured with an OBE (New Year 2012) for her services to Social Enterprise and Women’s Enterprise in the North West, Melanie supports social enterprises, charities, businesses, infra-structure organisations and individuals to make a grow sustainably and make a bigger positive difference. Wherever possible she offers her services through funded schemes or sponsored events to ensure accessibility is not dependent on financial status.
Following a successful career which encompassed senior roles in organisations that included Girobank, The Co-operative Group and global management consultancies, Melanie founded WhyNotChange in April 2009 to pursue her social impact objectives. Her work is diverse with assignments that range from helping organisations to develop income streams including through public sector procurement; to supporting a deprived community to retain a hall that was to be demolished and turn it into a thriving community facility; to designing and delivering the North West Women’s Enterprise Day which is attended by over 250 local women each year. Her positive impact has been verified and recognised through a range of awards and accolades including National Enterprise Support Champion and Britain’s Top Real Role Model.
Having started volunteering at the age of 14, Melanie is passionate about giving back and undertakes an extensive portfolio of pro-bono work. For example, she serves as a Member of the Community, Voluntary and Local Service Honours Committee; Commissioner for the Greater Manchester Poverty Commission; Big Venture Challenge Judge; UnLtd Mentor; LGBT Cancer Support Charity Trustee, UK Female Entrepreneurship Ambassador and Patron of Independent Choices, a domestic violence helpline charity.
Melanie lives in Wigan and is married to Donny who is also a social entrepreneur. Much of her spare time is claimed by her boisterous grandchildren. When not on Nana duty, she’s an avid reader; enjoys crochet, the theatre, good food and wine; relaxing at the spa; and searching for new unusual pieces to add to her sparkly costume jewellery collection.
Melanie was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant in 2013.