Our team are passionate about supporting local women to achieve their potential.

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Anne has over 25 years of successful senior leadership and is committed to achieving social change through values-based partnerships and accelerating opportunities and initiatives that address inequities faced by women. Prior to joining Blackburne House, Anne spent 12 years as the Director of Education for the UK body of a worldwide humanitarian charity. Anne is responsible for the strategic direction of the Blackburne House Group and, believing in the life-changing power of education and self-development, is working to ensure the organisation continues to be a leading social enterprise and an empowering centre of education and wellbeing for women.


Chief Executive Officer

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Colette is a member of Blackburne House's Senior Management Team, who has worked her way up the ladder starting as a Volunteer to holding senior positions in FE. She has over 25 years of experience in FE, developing and setting up and managing education & training provision and contracts across the country.  Colette is responsible for all aspects of contract management, curriculum and educational development.  Prior to joining Blackburne House, Colette was also Director of her own consultancy business, supporting other social enterprises, stakeholders and training providers. 


Executive Director of Education

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Andrea has been with Blackburne House for 10 years; she is a successful social entrepreneur and currently the Executive Director of Operations at Blackburne House, managing the assets, a successful portfolio of projects and business areas. Known for her ability to transform enterprise and project ideas into meaningful business operations she has a proven track record in delivering social and economic change and improvement.  Her creative outlook and ability to support fellow entrepreneurs has enabled many businesses to transform their activities and grow their client base and turnover.  An experienced Business Mentor and Action Learning Facilitator Andrea continues to support individuals and businesses to deliver positive social impact across communities. 


Executive Director of Operations



Director of Digital & Entrepreneurship & Head of SSE NW

Lisa has a career that spans over 20 years working within the Social Enterprise Sector. She leads the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) North West team and also works to ensure that Blackburne House provides an effective digital and enterprise eco-system that supports the creation, growth of social enterprises and the positive social mobility of students across the North West. She is an advocate for people-powered change believing that people and communities with the first-hand experience of social issues have strong foundations and practical knowledge to bring about real social change. Lisa attended Blackburne House Nursery, she was also a Blackburne House student gaining website design and professional management qualification. She has managed the marketing and communications functions of some of Liverpool’s most recognised social enterprises, she is an experienced action learning set facilitator and the mum of 2 wonderfully curious children. 



Director of Strategy, Planning & Business Support

Andrea is an FCCA qualified accountant with a background in senior leadership and transformational roles within the FTSE 100 Financial Services Sector. She started at Blackburne House as a student in 2010 when pursuing some further development opportunities and joined the Board shortly afterwards. She spent 3 years as a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Finance Committee before joining the Executive Team in 2013. Andrea works part-time at Blackburne House and has leadership responsibility for our Finance, Nursery and Catering teams and supports the Senior Leadership Team and Board on Strategic Planning. 


The Blackburne House and WTEC boards are made up entirely of highly-skilled, female leaders, who share a passion for empowering and supporting the personal and professional progression of other women.  



Chair of Blackburne House


A social entrepreneur, organisation and business consultant and experienced NED. Liz Cross (BSc(Hons), MBA, MBPS) has been on the Board of Blackburne House Group since 2011 and Chair since 2014 and has been actively involved in many aspects of its work and development since 1992. 

"Blackburne House is a place where everyone, especially women, finds inspiration, independence, transformation and true equality in all we do.  As relevant today as we were when we first began in the early '80s, we will continue to champion change to ensure we can live in a just world where people live into their potential”


Annette has an extensive track record of collaborative and creative leadership in the criminal justice system and beyond, lately as CEO of the Merseyside Probation Trust. She is committed to changing the mindsets and perceptions about leadership as a coach, a NED and an advisor in supporting those outside of mainstream communities to discover their potential. 

"I'm a trustee of Blackburne House because I believe if we support women  to grow to their potential, not only is the benefit reaped by those around them, our communities and all of us"


Trustee of Blackburne House



Emma has been Managing Partner at full-service law firm MSB since 2018, having joined the firm as its first female trainee solicitor, before launching its award-winning Family department in 2000.


Emma is committed to access to justice and sits as a committee member of Liverpool Law Society’s Access to Justice Sub Committee. Emma has been named as a recognised practitioner in Chambers and Partners and a leading individual in the Legal 500 legal directory.


Emma has delivered training to lawyers and the not for profit sector on domestic violence and in particular the availability of legal aid. As well as being a Trustee for Blackburne House, Emma is a Trustee of Liverpool BID and Anthony Walker Foundation, Liverpool Citizens Advice Bureau and Cornerstones Foundation. She is also on the Steering Committee for the Homelessness Business Charter, the first of its kind charter for businesses to pledge their services to come together and fight homelessness in our city region.


In her role as Managing Partner, Emma has personally taken charge of an all-encompassing diversity and inclusivity drive at MSB, actively promoting values of democracy, tolerance of different cultures and religion, mutual respect and individual liberty.


Trustee of Blackburne House

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Chair of The Finance, Audit & Risk Committee

Claire has over 20 years’ experience in social housing working at housing associations within Liverpool in a variety of roles and is currently a Director at South Liverpool Homes.  She is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Housing and has completed ICSA’s company secretarial qualifying scheme, acting as Company Secretary in her current role.


Her route into management started back in 2006 when she studied for a Chartered Institute of Management qualification at Blackburne House.  She has acted as a trustee and Board Member at Blackburne House since 2018 and in 2020 was appointed as the Chair of the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee.


Therese has extensive NHS Board level experience, working across community, mental health, acute and specialist healthcare now working as Chief Executive Officer at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust. Therese joined Bradford Care Trust from Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, where she was Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Strategy. In this role, Therese led both Trust and district-wide sustainability programmes, working closely with clinicians and key stakeholders. She was also Chair of a Provider Alliance of 15 health, care and voluntary organisations, working together to provide an integrated service and improve health outcomes for local people. Previously Therese worked at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Liverpool Community Health Trust. She also spent a short period working in the private sector with GP provider companies. Before joining the NHS in 1999, Therese spent nine years working in health development in Zimbabwe, Somaliland and Pakistan and joined Blackburne House as Non-Executive Director in November 2015 and was appointed to the role of Vice-Chair in November 2020. 


Board Member

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Head of Strategic Brand Partnerships for Culture Liverpool Nina is new to the board, joining us in March 2019. She has 12 years of commercial and marketing experience and a passion for the education and empowerment of women in her home city. 

"To me, Blackburne House is a group of incredible women, educating and empowering other incredible women, because sometimes we simply just need someone else telling us we can and  that's what we do"


Board Member

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Accountant with 25 years experience in a FTSE 100 company. Now supports social enterprises and community businesses with finical planning and business support. Sally-Anne is a board member at Kitty's Launderette, The Bluecoat, Avela Services and Homebaked Cooperative bakery and a school governor for The Aspire Federation in Birkenhead. 

"When you educate and empower women, you don't only change their lives but change lives and their families and communities too. As a consequence, Blackburne House has a positive impact on lives of people right across Liverpool"


Board Member

Humaira is the newest member to the Board, joining in October 2020. She joins us as an Associate Non- Executive Director. Humaira took a career break in 2018, from her role as a solicitor to look after her family. She joined Blackburne House in February 2020, as a student, after deciding she wanted to change her career and is currently working on the next chapter of her journey. Humaira brings experience from her previous roles as a solicitor and as an Entrepreneur. She has a wide range of experience working in Commercial and Residential property and Crime including working with young offenders. She has previously managed small teams and trained staff members. Humaira also volunteers for the Whitechapel, a charity for the Homeless in Liverpool. She has two energetic daughters and in her spare time enjoys being creative, keeping fit and yoga. 

“I first experienced the beauty of Blackburne House, 6 years ago when my sister had her wedding reception here and returned in February 2020, as a student. Blackburne House is a safe place for women of all backgrounds to grow in confidence and empower themselves through education. There is a kind of magic that happens when you walk through those red doors, as the saying goes - ‘when you know you know' and this is the beauty of Blackburne House and all the inspirational people that make it what it is.”

Humaira Khan

Board Member