Councillor Peter Mitchell - Chief Executive
Peter has worked in the private sector for over 20 years, and was Finance Director, and then Managing Director, of a large multi-million-pound retail company. A former Chair of North Liverpool primary care trust and of the Alt Valley Partnership Board, Peter was elected to Liverpool City Council in 2010 to represent Croxteth ward. He was appointed as Mayoral Lead for Parks and Open Spaces, in charge of all of Liverpool's Parks, in 2012. Peter is Chair of the Big Help Project and of Cobalt Housing.
Colette Goulding - Assistant Chief Executive
Colette has helped to set up and establish the organisation's three shops, and has a passion for providing high quality retail options which provide a source of sustainable income for charitable activity. Her previous experience includes working for major national companies, including Barclaycard.
Sue Torpey - Assistant Chief Executive
Sue is a former school teacher with a vast amount of experience working with vulnerable children. Skilled in project coordination, she has helped oversee rapid growth of the Knowsley Foodbank, and ensured delivery of the key Food Support contract with Knowsley Council. Sue first got involved with Knowsley foodbank as a volunteer at St Mary’s Church, Halewood. She began working for the Big Help Project as foodbank manager. She is now an Assistant Chief Executive with oversight of foodbank, Big Help Food Club, Baby Basics and Jubilee Debt Advice. She has 2 young grandchildren who keep her very busy. In her spare time Sue likes to help support a local animal rescue charity.
Martin Cummins - Assistant Chief Executive
Martin has served in the public/third sector for over 30 years including 15 years as a community regeneration consultant, 8 years as a Liverpool City Councillor and 6 years with the National Health Service. His first job straight out of university was as the assistant manager of a ‘Big space’ in a church. ‘’ At my interview the vicar took me into the Church and said your first job every Monday morning is to move all the benches to the side to create a big space. Your job for the rest of the week is to fill it with people having fun. I want this space to radiate God’s Love. Your last job at the end of the week is to put the pews back for our service on Sunday.’’ Martin believes that working at Big Help gives him the Big Space to radiate God’s Love on a daily basis. ‘’ I feel really privileged to work with my Brothers and Sisters in the Big Help project every day making a positive difference to people struggling in their daily lives and letting our clients know that they are not alone…. That they are Loved. “
“Martin is married to Jean and blessed with a young daughter, Grace, ( the best joke teller on Merseyside) and he is immensely proud to have won the Best Tea/Coffee maker at the Big Help project for the last three years running.”
Antonia Bingham - Trading Manager
Antonia is a dedicated and committed member of our management team and brings a wealth of diverse knowledge to the role having previously led our in house “Next Steps” Employability Service. Prior to commencing employment with The Big Help Project, Antonia has several years managerial experience in the Retail Industry and as such has a track record of co-ordinating a coherent business plan to ensure sustainability as well as also having worked in the Early Years Sector for several years throughout Liverpool. Antonia is proud to bring these skills to benefit a cause she is passionate about and is driven to ensure that Big Help Trading grows and can continue to cover the operating costs of Jubilee Debt Advice, Baby Basics, Next Steps and Knowsley Foodbank for as long as these services are required, supporting the most vulnerable in our community.
Antonia has a passion for history and in her spare time enjoys reading historical fiction/non-fiction as well as catching up with family and friends.
Ewelina Gawel - Head of Finance
Ewelina joined the team at the Big Help Project in 2015, working part-time as the bookkeeper for the growing charity. Since then she has supported us with accounting and compliance as the charity has evolved. Ewelina is now our Head of Finance, leading a team of three Finance Officers. She lives in Knowsley with her husband, two children and a kitten. Ewelina is a Parent Governor at her daughter’s school, and is also an accomplished baker, who regularly brings in amazing bakes for the Big Help Team. In her spare time Ewelina likes reading modern fiction and watching Friends.
Andrew Moorhead - Fresh Start Project Director
Andy has over 30 years’ experience working with vulnerable people including families and children. He is passionate about helping people realise their full potential. Andy leads the team in delivering a quality service, providing supported accommodation offering a bespoke service for clients. Fresh Start is a service that offer hope and opportunity to those people that no one else wants to help.Andy was the elected leader of Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, where he and colleagues developed and delivered the Local Regeneration Plan for Knowsley, which has seen the building of over 1700 new houses and created 1,000s of jobs.Andy was a member of the Liverpool City Region Board, where he served as portfolio lead for Liverpool City Region for Children’s and Adult Social Care.
“Watching our clients grow in confidence gives me and the team enormous satisfaction, we do what we do because we care. I am proud to have a dedicated team that work as part of The Big Help who genuinely want to make a difference in people’s lives”
Carole Almond - Doherty - JDA Co-ordinator
Carole is a Christian and happily married and has been for over 33 years. She was born an Evertonian and remains one. Once a blue always a blue. Carole worked for Sefton Council for a year, then in banking for 12 years. After Uni she became a teacher for over 18 years. Carole was a volunteer for Knowsley Foodbank and Victim Support. In her spare time she has been a Sunday School Teacher, part of the leadership team for 3 youth groups. Has a growing family and has a menagerie of animals. Joined Jubilee Debt advice as an admin worker in November 2014 and became co-ordinator in April 2015. Is part of a fabulous debt advice team.
Simon Cowie - Painting Green Co-ordinator
Simon is a supervisor within the Big Help Trading. He has worked in the hospitality industry for over 30 years, managing hotels and leisure clubs from Cornwall to Crosby. In his spare time he likes to work on rebuilding and maintaining classic Vespa and Lambretta scooters. Simon joined the Big Help Project as a volunteer in the foodbank, his ethics, enthusiasm and experience soon helped him quickly progress to a Big Help Trading supervisor, and then subsequently he helped launch our “Community RePaint” project in 2016.
Simon continues to influence the growth and progress of The Big Help Project. with a New Project “ Painting Green “.
Andrew Wilson - Welfare Rights Co-ordinator
Andrew has worked in the advice sector for over thirty years in a wide range of roles. He was manager of Croxteth Community Federation’s advice centre for ten years and managed Speke Citizens Advice Bureau before providing governance advice to voluntary groups and charities as an officer of Knowsley Council for Voluntary Service. Andrew acted as the City Council grant liaison officer for the advice centres in Liverpool and was an active member of the Community Legal Service Partnership. For the last six years Andrew set up and managed a benefits advice team within Cobalt Housing Association in North Liverpool. Andrew provides welfare benefits advice to people using Big Help services.
MAVIS SHARKEY - Volunteer Co-ordinator
Mavis joined the team as a volunteer. She brings with her a wide range of experience working for Leask & Co., Solicitors for 18 years as a Legal Assistant, dealing with conveyancing, probate & wills. Knowsley Borough Council “Activity for Life” exercise on prescription programme Senior Administrator for 13 years. Setting up systems, managing operations across 4 sites including managing volunteers. She has a genuine passion for helping and caring for people. Since taking early retirement her volunteering has included Carer’s UK telephone listening support, Alzheimer’s Society maintaining skills workshops and Willowbrook Hospice massage, meditation, reiki, arts and crafts. She is an ambassador for Dementia UK working to promote awareness and much needed funding for Admiral Nurses. Mavis brings a wealth of experience and knowledge which helps her to provide our volunteers with a personal understanding of how rewarding volunteering can be and the feelgood factor it brings. We offered her the role of Volunteer Co-ordinator and she say’s “I have never looked back”, “It is a pleasure working with a great team and fabulous volunteers who choose to use their precious time for the benefit of others”
Happily married with two wonderful adult daughters. She believes that life without music would just be so boring. Embrace life walk in the park or on the beach and smell the flowers life is what you make it……..
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
― Anne Frank
Michele Duckworth - Fundraiser
Michele is the fundraiser at The Big Help Project and has worked in the charity sector, in all for 10 years. Previously she worked as a Team Leader at Barclaycard Contact Centre in Wavertree.
Originally from the East End of London she has lived in Liverpool for 35 years and proudly calls herself an adopted scouser.
Michele has a wealth of experience in the charity sector ranging from leading a successful charity committee at Barclaycard, winning a number of Chairman recognition awards to spending a number of years sitting on the Lord Mayor of Liverpool’s Charity Committee.
‘If we all done a little we could achieve a lot’ is a statement a friend of Michele’s always uses and which she feels is such a true and powerful statement and something we can all learn from.