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Spirit of Manchester 2017 Awards Judges

We are delighted to have the following judges shortlisting the nominations for this year's Spirit of Manchester Awards.

Kirsty Ashman

Kirsty Ashman, Fabulous Fan Fayre
Kirsty has worked in retail management for over thirty years for both multinationals and family businesses including The Gap, Marks and Spencer, and Asda where her career moved direction into human resources. Kirsty was responsible for over 11,000 colleagues over numerous multi-sites in their Northern division. Kirsty then took on the mantle as Human Resources Manager at Clinton Cards Plc. in 2007 where she TUPE’d 400 ‘Birthdays’ Stores into the group and implemented new policies and procedures including a National Agreement with the Job Centre Plus for recruitment. 

She was awarded the ‘Retail Ambassador of the Year’ award in 2010 with whom she was nominated by the National Skills Academy. Kirsty went on to work at Harrods as a Business Partner for Store Operations and Distribution where her achievements included the mobilisation of the Distribution Centre from Osterley to Thatcham.

Her passion includes management development and recruitment whilst creating a culture of a great place to work. Kirsty moved to ‘Fabulous Fan Fayre’ in April 2013 to set up the human resources department and now also oversees all HR for the parent company One Event Management Ltd.

Majid Dar

Majid Dar, Community on Solid Ground
Majid Dar has worked in the voluntary sector for over 12 years. He is the joint co-founder and CEO of Community on Solid Ground (CSG). CSG is a multi award winning charitable organisation, dedicated to enhancing the lives of young people across Manchester. 

Majid also manages the champions team of the Junior World Dodgeball (YSG Dreamers) and has entered the 2018 World Cup which is taking place in New York, USA. Majid is a dedicated Mancunian (original Manc!), born and bred. He is an active board member and an under 12’s team manager of the infamous Fletcher Moss Rangers FC, which is one of Manchester’s most successful junior football clubs who have produced many Manchester United legends such as Marcus Rashford, Jessie Lingard, Danny Welbeck, Wes Brown and the list goes on!

He is also a Manchester BME board member and sits on Manchester City Council’s, Mcr Games committee. In his spare time Majid enjoys traveling to the scenic places of the UK, especially the Lake District.

Nathan LeeNathan Lee, Heritage Lottery Fund, North West
Nathan came to HLF from Arts Council England, and prior to that the Museums Libraries and Archives Council, working in a variety of senior management roles across the North and the North West since 2007.

Nathan began his career working in health and social care planning and general management. Nathan has experience of working in local government and NHS health providers including project management of organisational change. With a BA in Fine Art, an MA in Mass Communications and an MBA, Nathan also brings with him a deep interest in the wider role of culture in society and best management practice to sustain culture and heritage. He grew up in Surrey and now lives in Greater Manchester.

Jeremy MyersJeremy Myers
Having spent nearly a decade working within the social housing and homelessness sector, Jeremy accidentally found himself thrust into the wider public’s consciousness when he organised a community clean up, following the riots of August 2011.

In little over 12 hours and harnessing the power of social media, 1,000 volunteers armed with brushes, bin bags and gloves took to the city’s streets. Jeremy went on to be described as ‘a true Manchester hero’ by Manchester City Council and ‘a great Briton’ by Prime Minister David Cameron before winning the prestigious Pride of Manchester award.

Anthony O'ConnorAnthony O’Connor, Manchester Cathedral
I joined Manchester Cathedral in September 2008 as Director of Fundraising and Development. As part of this role, I established the Manchester Cathedral Development Project in October 2010 to take forward the cathedral’s capital and social programme of investment which was then costed at £2m. This multi-million fundraising campaign has since developed into over 20 capital and social programmes which has opened up the Cathedral to a wide variety of activity, including concerts, dinners and a wide variety of events.

In 2012, I established a volunteer programme for the long-term unemployed, this programme known as Volition Community (www.volitioncommunity.org) has taken over 700 people through the programme and moved over 50% into work. I am also a Director and Trustee of the Cathedral Visitor Centre. Working with the leaders of Manchester City Council I have been instrumental in changing the business model which the Centre operated from 2002.