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Blackburne House Executive Team

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Andrea Rushton



Andrea has worked at Blackburne House for 12 years, 8 of which have been part of the Executive Leadership Team. 

Prior to joining Blackburne House, Andrea was a successful social entrepreneur within the environmental field. More recently in Blackburne House Andrea managed the assets, a successful portfolio of projects and a range of social business areas that all contributed to supporting our education work. Known for her ability to transform enterprise and project ideas into meaningful business operations, Andrea has a proven track record in delivering social and economic change and improvement.


Lisa Mairah

Director of Business Development & Communications 


Lisa has a career that spans over 20 years working within the Social Enterprise Sector.  She works to ensure that Blackburne House provides an effective and innovative eco system that supports the social mobility of women from across the Liverpool City Region. In addition to this Lisa leads the North West branch of the Global School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) supporting the creation and growth of social businesses who positively impact social change in some of the most deprived communities across the North West. 

Blackburne House Board

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Liz Cross

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.

Annette Hennesy

Vice Chair of Blackburne House


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. 

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Jayne Worthington

Chair of Education & Quality Committee


Jayne is Group CEO of The Progress Group, a group of companies that change lives through education and training. She was previously the Managing Director of The Growth Company. Prior to this, she was Assistant Principal at the City of Liverpool College and has worked her way up over 15 years in senior leadership positions in the further education sector. Jayne has also worked across government departments to develop skills and employment policy and strategy and was the Leadership and Management Policy Lead at the Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills as well as National Skills & Employment lead for the North West Development Agency.


Claire Dixon

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.  Currently she is Deputy Chief Executive at Plus Dane Housing.

Claire is Chartered Member of the Institute of Housing and have been a trustee and Board Member at Blackburne House since 2018.  From 2020 she has held the position of Chair of the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee.  Her route into management started in 2006 when she studied for a Chartered Institute of Management qualification at Blackburne House.


Sally-Anne Watkiss

Chair of SSE North West Advisory Board


Sally-Anne is an accountant with 25 years experience in a FTSE 100 company. She 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.

Humaira Khan

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. Humaira also volunteers for the Whitechapel Centre.


Lynda Brady

Board Member


Lynda has been the the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) & University Secretary at Edge Hill University since April 2014. Her portfolio includes responsibility for Academic Registry, the Academic Quality Development Unit, the Centre for Learning & Teaching, Directorate Office and Student Services. Before joining Edge Hill, Lynda spent 12 years at the Open University (the OU) in a variety of roles, including Regional Director in the North West. From 2011 onwards, Lynda was Director of the Learner Support Service. Previously, Lynda worked for seven years at Liverpool John Moore’s University where she was a Principal Lecturer in Law and Head of the Legal Practice Course.

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Nina Roberts

Board Member


Nina is a commercial director with fifteen years’ experience across public, private and third sectors, where she developed strategies and generated revenue for clients and businesses. Previously, she worked for Culture Liverpool and helped deliver the large-scale and internationally acclaimed cultural events programmes, before moving to The Guide Liverpool. She has a keen interest in building partnerships, driving brand awareness and growing investment for businesses she believes in. Nina is passionate about the education and empowerment of women in Liverpool and joined the board in March 2019, forming part of the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee.

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Ngunan Adamu

Board Member

Ngunan is an experienced producer, presenter, and international multi-media trainer, with over fifteen years experience at the BBC. she currently produces and presents BBC Merseyside’s popular ‘Upfront‘ programme, an African Caribbean specialists show that promotes and tells stories from the African Caribbean community and African Caribbean lens. As an entrepreneur and community leader, Ngunan has developed and lead initiatives aimed at promoting diversity in the media.  She is also the founder and CEO of iWoman Media – a peer to peer organisation set up by women to empower, entertain, explore and inspire women around the world.

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