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 and businesses to grow sustainably and make a bigger positive difference. This includes by winning grant funding and public sector contracts. Wherever possible she offers her services through funded schemes.
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 positive impact has been verified and recognised through a range of awards and accolades including UK Top 50 Business Advisor, National Enterprise Support Champion, Maserati 100 (for mentoring and advice), and the Northern Women Powerlist of people who challenge the norm and use their influence for good.
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 has served 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; UK Female Entrepreneurship Ambassador and charity trustee and patron.
Melanie lives in Wigan and is married to Donny. Much of her spare time is claimed by her boisterous grandchildren. When not on Nana duty, she’s an avid reader; enjoys crochet, travel, good food and wine; and searching for new unusual pieces to add to her sparkly costume jewellery collection.
Melanie was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant in 2013.