Who we are

Make it Happen is a Community Hub, which consists of a community space, social supermarket and pay as you feel shop where customers pay what they can afford for clothes, enabling people to gain the means and ability to improve their quality of life whilst enjoying a unique retail experience.

Amy Butterworth
Amy ButterworthChief Executive Officer amy@makeithappenbirkenhead.co.uk

From being homeless at 16 herself, to 6 months of supported housing, Amy then gained employment with the organisation that accommodated her.  Starting as Resident Rep, involved in tenant engagement to leading a team at management level enabling young people to influence real change locally, regionally and even nationally.  As part of her personal development, Amy undertook a ‘transformational’ qualification in Coaching which really resonated with her.  Amy had time out after 14 years within Forum Housing following the loss of her mum. She moved onto undertake community care work and Community Connector work then returned to Forum and worked as Community Asset and Resource Developer within the subsidiary of Forum Housing Association called Forum Creative Enterprise. Whilst doing this she recognised that there was so much more that could be happening with the shop on Market Street with such a fabulous community around it and whilst making strong friendships with other local groups, organisations and business. Make It Happen began to grow and with this she was nominated and successful in receiving an Award for Merseyside Woman of the Year for the category Community Change.

Amy puts her success down to the support from her family, friends and colleagues. Her passion stems from having a heart for people and recognising being kind is the most impacting and priceless commodity we all have. 

Our Trustees

Chris Allen BEM JP
Chris Allen BEM JPTreasurerchris@makeithappenbirkenhead.co.uk

Chris has lived and worked in Wirral all her life and she is well known as a community activist. Chris was Chief Executive of a local Housing Association which housed and supported young people, which she built into a £5million business over the 33 years she worked there. She retired in 2014. In 2009 Chris was recognised for her work with a lifetime achievement award presented by the Children’s Workforce Development Council. She has experience of leadership, corporate governance, strategy and people management and development. Chris was recognised for her community work with homeless young people when she was awarded a British Empire Medal in 2012.

Chris has been a non-executive Director of various statutory and voluntary bodies. She is currently a member and trustee of the Church Council and and Governance group at her local church.

Chris enjoys reading and knitting in her spare time. She sees herself as an enabler of people and she is passionate about community development and community voices being heard. which is why she is part of the leadership team at Community Voice which is a new organisation.

Most recently, Chris received an honorary degree from the University of Chester for all her incredibly hard work and commitment! Congratulations! Chris Allen, D. Litt. Doctor of Letters

Catherine Maddaford
Catherine MaddafordSecretaryinfo@makeithappenbirkenhead.co.uk

Cathy has had a long and interesting career in the NHS, working in Community, Mental Health and Acute Trusts as well as being a JP. She qualified as a Registered Nurse and has held positions as both an Executive Director and a Non-Executive Director. Her key interests have been in partnership working, quality, safeguarding children and adults, governance and equality and diversity. Cathy is currently a Governor at the University of Chester and is Vice Chair of their Audit and Risk Committee. Cathy's hobbies are singing knitting and walking her dog.

Most recently, Catherine received an honorary degree from the University of Chester for all her incredibly hard work and commitment! Congratulations! Catherine Maddaford, D. Litt. Doctor of Letters

Phil Dickson
Phil DicksonChairpersoninfo@makeithappenbirkenhead.co.uk

Phil is an Environmental Health Practitioner who began his career in Liverpool in the mid seventies. His responsibilities covered both the busy city centre commercial and administrative districts and the Mersey docklands area where he quickly developed an expertise in Health and Safety.

Married to Sue and having set up home in Wirral Phil joined a newly established specialist Health and Safety team within Wirral Borough Councils Environmental Health Department.

Phil worked hard to establish close cooperation and partnership with Public Health Colleagues within the Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Collaborative Group CHAMPS where he helped to collate the regions Public Health Strategy.

In 2010 a publication produced by the governments Improvement and Development agency ‘An asset approach to community wellbeing - glass half full’ landed on Phil’s desk at Wallasey town hall. 'A Glass Half-full' offers a fresh perspective on how to reduce inequalities in community health and wellbeing. It proposes assessing and building on the strengths and resources in a community to increase resilience and social capital, and develop better ways of delivering health outcomes.

More recently Phil has worked closely with Bishop Keith Sinclair and regional church leaders to establish the Together Wirral Churches Forum a new collaboration of local Church Together Groups and regional Christian ministries which he now helps to facilitate.

In that capacity Phil helps to lead ‘Community Voice’ a collaboration of community leaders drawn together from member groups of the Wirral Asset Based Community Development Community of Practice.

Dr Murray Freeman
Dr Murray FreemanDirector info@makeithappenbirkenhead.co.uk

I started working for the NHS in 1977. I was a GP in Tranmere / Rock Ferry for 34 years. I am now a locum GP. I was a non–executive director of Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust from 2012 to May 2018. I was appointed as a non-executive director of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust in June 2018. My main responsibilities are around the quality and safety of services provided by the Trust. I am also a specialist adviser to the Care Quality Commission. I am a trustee of Townfield primary school in Birkenhead.

I was Cancer and End of Life lead for NHS Wirral from 2002 to 2010. In 2000, I completed an MSc in Primary Care at the University of Manchester.

I have had a range of posts over the last 30 years, including:

  • Chairman Wirral Local Medical Committee
  • GP Trainer
  • Communication skills tutor, University of Liverpool
  • GP Locality Facilitator – Wirral PCT
  • Medical Director, Wirral Community Healthcare Trust

My main clinical interest has been planning Palliative care services. As part of my end of life role I concentrated on improving the quality of End of Life care across Wirral – and was successful in making considerable improvements for patients on Wirral. Along with colleagues from across health and social care, we developed and implemented an integrated cancer and end of life pathway on Wirral.

Murray enjoys singing and travel.

Anne-marie Harrop - BA (Hons) , CIA, CMIIA
Anne-marie Harrop - BA (Hons) , CIA, CMIIADirectorinfo@makeithappenbirkenhead.co.uk

Anne-marie Harrop is a member of the Chartered Institute of Internal Audit and has expertise in internal audit, risk management and corporate governance.  Anne-marie is a professional auditor and corporate governance expert with over twenty years’ experience of delivering audit, assurance and consultancy work across the NHS and Central Government.

Anne-marie lives locally on the Wirral, is married and has two teenage children.

Kieran Gordon
Kieran GordonDirectorinfo@makeithappenbirkenhead.co.uk

Kieran has led Career Connect from its formation and its initial incorporation as Greater Merseyside Connexions Partnership (GMCP) in 2001 to present day. Kieran has an extensive track record of providing careers advice and guidance services to young people and adults for 38 years. The Companies he has led have been commissioned by Government and other public sector and private sector agencies since 1996.

Kieran is a Wirral resident, having moved to Wirral from Liverpool in 2015.

Key areas of expertise and experience

  • Leadership and management of Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) services for young people and adults (including the National Careers Service), working with Secondary schools, Colleges of Further Education, Work Based Training Providers, employers.
  • Policy and strategy development of IAG services with UK Government departments and Local Authority Children’s Trusts.
  • Development of a large skilled IAG workforce in Career Connect delivering services to clients in a wide range of settings at neighbourhood, Local Authority and Regional level.
  • Leading a Company that has been successful in increasing the proportion of young people participating and progressing in learning and employment and reducing youth unemployment in successive years since its formation.
  • Development of Career Connect as a Company with local and national respect and recognition for its services to young people and adults.
  • Development of Social Investment strategies and Investor relations to increase reach of services and grow business.

Other governance roles

Board Trustee, Open Awards: Open Awards is a North West based Charity that develops and quality assures accredited courses designed to support educational achievement form all, which are delivered via Colleges of further education, Offender learning services in prisons, adult and community education providers.

Board Trustee, Edmund Rice Bicentennial Trust (ERBT): ERBT is a Charity which promotes Christian values and provides for the education and training of children and others in the less developed world through charitable donations.

Board Director, Careers England: Careers England is the trade body for the careers sector in England.

Steve Maddox OBE DL
Steve Maddox OBE DLDirectorinfo@makeithappenbirkenhead.co.uk

Steve Maddox was born in Bootle in 1953, the son of Ben and Jean Maddox. His father had many jobs during his life and retired on at least six occasions - the last was six years ago when, at 83, he retired for the last time as the oldest taxi driver in Southport!

His mother worked for Vernons Pools in Aintree for over twenty years before she retired in the late 1980s having reached the extremely responsible position of Claims Supervisor.

Steve Maddox lived in Bootle throughout his childhood, which was rather nomadic, as he attended no less than five different primary schools; but this did not prevent him passing the entrance examination to Merchant Taylors School Crosby. However he never forgot that he would have not have been able to go to that school without the considerable financial support of a wonderful local authority, the County Borough of Bootle, under the direct grant scheme which existed at the time.

The early years at Merchants were a little difficult but things improved and, overall, he enjoyed his time there very much.

He left school in 1971 to attend the University of Kent at Canterbury, which he chose solely because it was a long way away, fearing that if he chose a University too close to home his Mum would come to visit him every weekend!

It was a good choice and he enjoyed a fabulous three years in Canterbury. Regrettably academic study was not a significant priority but he did get an average law degree (2:2) and, most importantly, met Jenn who has been his wife and best friend for over 36 years

Jenn is a partner in Liverpool’s oldest and most prestigious firm of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, W.P Thompson and Co. of Church Street.

Steve and Jenn Maddox have two sons of whom they are immensely proud; Peter (an Evertonian) who has just returned home having spent four years teachingEnglish in China and South Korea; and Robby (a Liverpudlian) who is now in London studying for his Bar finals.

On leaving University Steve Maddox applied to Wirral Council to become what was then called an articled clerk. He records that this was one of the best decisions of his life since he was to spend his entire working career of more than thirty six years with Wirral – a career which he enjoyed tremendously.

Outside of his work within the Council he was a Governor of Wirral Metropolitan College for ten years until his retirement in 2010 and very much enjoyed spells as a Governor of two Wirral schools, Fender Primary in Woodchurch and Black Horse Hill Juniors in West Kirby. He became the Clerk to the Merseyside Passenger Transport Authority, Merseytravel, in 1998 - a post which he still holds.

Steve Maddox retired as the Council’s Chief Executive in October 2010 - having held this post for thirteen years. He was awarded the O.B.E for services to local government in 2008 and, even more importantly for him, was awarded the honour of the Freedom of the Borough of Wirral in November 2010..