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Spirit of Manchester Awards Judges

In this year's Spirit of Manchester Awards we had 11 categories that invited nominations to win a Spirit of Manchester Award.The deadline for nominations in these categories is 1 May 2022. Our panel of judges will shortlist three under each category which will be voted on by the Awards event audience to determine the winner on 6 October 2022. 
Meet the judges whokindly agreeded to read all the nominations and shortlist this year. Here are their final choices for the shortlist.

Jez Myers




Jeremy Myers - Chair

A little over a decade ago, following the riots, Jez organised for 1,000 people to take to the streets of Manchester, earning him the prestigious Pride of Manchester Award. He has acted as the panel chairperson for the last eight years, ensuring transparency and fairness for nominees. Outside of this role, Jez splits his time between Manchester and Ukraine, advises businesses and community groups on how to realise their goals, writes poorly for his local paper, makes socks for bands, and watches far more football than a middle-aged man really should.

But you’re not here to read about Jez.

The dog is called Albus. He’s a chihuahua, likes tummy rubs, chewing things, and being overfed.











Atiha Chaudry - Equal Access Consultancy

Atiha Chaudry has over 30 years of experience within the public, voluntary and community sectors and has worked for a range of organisations including the National Association of Local Government Women’s’ Committees, Newcastle City Council, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), and since setting up her consultancy company, Equal Access Consultancy in 2001 she has worked on many commissions locally, nationally and at an international level. She has spent some of the time living and working abroad and had the experience of working for the Brunei Civil Service institute delivering training on a Women and Leadership programme. Atiha was born and brought up in Kenya and undertook her early schooling in Nairobi .She than moved to the North East of England where she completed her further education. She graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Public Administration and has pursued a successful career in the public and voluntary sectors.

Atiha has extensive community and voluntary sector experience gained over many years of work in the community, both on a voluntary and paid basis. She is passionate and committed to the community and voluntary sector and over the years has given her time generously to the sector. She currently sits on the Manchester Health and Care Commissioning( MHCC) Board as Lay member for patient and public involvement. Atiha has several other roles including, chair of GM BME Network and Leaders forum and Associate for Manchester BME Network CIC, Trustee of GMCVO and chair of GM BAME Social Enterprise network . She served, for 17 years, as a Justice of the Peace at the Stockport Magistrates Court. She was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester in 2012 in recognition for her work in the diverse community. 


Val Bayliss-Brideaux - Head of Engagement, Manchester Health and Care Commissioning

Val has worked in the NHS for over 14 years and previously in the voluntary and community sector in Manchester. She is passionate and committed to the community and voluntary sector and over the years has given her time generously to the sector. Val is a Trustee at Cheetham Hill Advice Centre, The Place, Clayton Hall Living Museum and North Manchester FM and uses her experience to actively play a role in governance and supporting organisations.

Her NHS experience includes patient and public involvement, complaints and feedback, commissioning VCSE organisations for engagement and more recently managing and recruiting volunteers for the COVID-19 vaccination sites across the city.





Amanda Croome - Head of Homelessness Caritas Salford

Amanda has over 30 years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector in Manchester.  Over this time she has championed the cause of ending rough sleeping and homelessness and was awarded an MBE for her services to people who are homeless. She has been centrally involved in setting up the Manchester Homeless Partnership and working to bring together voluntary and faith based organisations to work with people who are experiencing homelessness, and with statutory services and the business community, to tackle homelessness. Amanda was the CEO of the Booth Centre for 26 years before moving to her new post of Head of Homelessness for Caritas Salford in December 2021, where she is responsible for the Cartias’ homelessness services in Manchester and in Greater Manchester and parts of Lancashire. Amanda is passionate about the need to involve people who use our services in designing, delivering and evaluating services and in the power of the voluntary sector to bring about this change.


Paul Newcombe - CEO Booth Centre

More details to come soon.