Ally Melling
2009 Public Sector Award Winner

Ally has been involved in youth work for 25 years, at the grass roots as well as shaping policy at government levels. From a disadvantage background and with learning difficulties herself, she set out on a life-long mission to empower young people who are disadvantaged by fractured education and circumstances outside their control – to give youngsters a chance. Currently she manages the largest university based volunteering and community leadership programme in the UK. She is passionate about engaging, empowering and enabling young people to achieve positive change within their communities through volunteering and community action. Locally, nationally and internationally, she targets hard-to-reach groups of young people and creates peer-led programmes, addressing polarisation, exclusion and inequality.

Lucy Danger
2009 Social Entrepreneur Award Winner

Lucy epitomizes a social entrepreneur – a visionary, risk-taker and creator of jobs, benefiting a variety of groups, and making a profit! She has pioneered the issue of waste recycling in Manchester since 1997. She began knocking on doors…and had driven her company ‘Emerge’ to become one of the the area’s leading environmental and longest running social enterprises concerend with sustainable resouce and waste management. Lucy is passionate about conserving resources, improving the environment, and making our loval communities sustainable. She is the driving force behind its success, far-reaching in her goals: ‘Emerge’ provides recycling and reuse services to businesses, schools and homes, as well as winning local government contracts. She established ‘emerge’ as an open membership organisation, encouraging people to join in order to increase accountability to the local community.

Rowena Burns
2009 Business Award Winner

There cannot be many women who have done more for the city they live and work in. She is a role model for women in business, achieving success in male dominated sectors and applying the highest principles. She uses her intellect, integrity and passion to deal with hard business decisions, inspiring those who work with her and respected as a formidable adversary. For Manchester City Council she was a central influence in most of the recent major transport and infrastructure projects. At Manchester Airport her inspirational leadership and business skills came to the fore in her business development role. She joined Bruntwood Ltd as Chief Operating Office in 2008 and has already made a major impact with her planning and organisation capacity.

Gee Walker
2009 Community Award Winner

After the horrific murder of her son in 2005 in Huyton Merseyside, Gee bore no hatred only forgiveness, advocating peace, tolerance and racial harmony. She set up the Anthony Walker Foundation (AWF) to eliminate racial discrimination within the community and create cultural harmony and awareness in young people. She believes that better community relations can be built through education, music, art and sport. To celebrate Anthony’s life, Gee has created a school programme, set-up a sports festival, established a law scholarship and a youth bursary, and gives an annual Citizenship Award. She is the most amazing role model – whilst working as a learning support teacher support teacher, she continues to spread the message of tolerance, by talking in schools and speaking with officials from unions, government and churches.