5 Years in Position.
Originally intent on pursuing a career as a Chartered Town Planner Suzanne graduated the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne and worked for 17 years in various local planning authorities in the North West and East Midlands. An interest in community participation and environmental regeneration and a desire to innovate in place-making took her to the Groundwork Trust where she worked to change places and change lives in some of the most deprived communities in the North West and in her native Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire.
A career change and life-affirming purposeful madness she describes as “like climbing the Eiger in flip-flops.” Every day was different, we could see the difference we were helping to make and working with like-minded professionals was a joy.”
From there Suzanne progressed up the charity leadership ladder and achieved her first charity CEO role in 2010. From there the career journey has seen her transition from the environment to health and social care sectors.
Reflecting on her various jobs and life influences Suzanne can track her journey to Regenerage from her first vacation job aged just 18 as a domestic in a geriatric hospital where old people with frailties and dementia were stowed away with just a bed and a locker to call ‘home’. She recalls how lonely, sad and desperate for company the in-patients could be and how her appearance with the vacuum cleaner was greeted with pleas to sit and chat. Prior to arriving in Lancashire, she spent nine months collaborating with health and social care professionals and private care suppliers in Devon to support an elderly widowed Aunt with a dementia diagnosis who was adamant she was going to remain living in her own home.
Her commitment to the community voluntary sector spills over into her spare time and Suzanne has been a Trustee and Chair in a number of national and regional charities and a Housing Association in her native Staffordshire. Today Suzanne melds her interests in local community, environment and organization leadership through her Director role of a Right To Manage Company at her home in a historic converted warehouse.
Director of Sales and Marketing
5 Years in Organisation.
Ann Beetham – 5 years with Regenerage- 4 years as Business Growth manager and 12 months in current post as Director of Marketing & Sales.
After leaving college where she studied media/ journalistic studies, communication studies and languages, Ann decided not to go down the university route but to venture into the world of work, securing her first role within the civil service. Realising that a desk job was not for her and that she was quick to strike a rapport with people from many walks of life, she moved into the sales sector, cutting her teeth and honing her sales skills initially on the phone and quickly moving into a field sales role, covering the North West Region. Ann carved out a successful career for herself, progressing to work for a prestigious textiles manufacturer where her love of all things in homeware fabric design started, continuing to this day in her many creative hobbies which include upholstery and the design and making of soft furnishings. Whilst in this role covering the UK and Ireland, Ann carved out a niche for herself, selling to mail order, hotels, holiday resorts and nursing homes. On one occasion and against the advice of the transport manager, she drove a 7.5T vehicle laden with soft furnishings over to Cork in Southern Ireland, accompanied by a team of warehouse staff in a minibus who went to fit the furnishings in time for the holiday resort’s grand opening in time for St Patricks Day. The annual 3-day new product launch and sales activities at the NEC are something that Ann still remembers with many happy memories.
Becoming a mum meant that UK travel for work was no longer conducive and so Ann then dipped her toes into the recruitment sector. Working for a global recruitment company, she started as a recruitment consultant and was awarded with trips to London, New York and Barcelona for her multiple successes in winning new business and overachieving on targets. The final 7 years of her time in recruitment were as a Sales Branch Manager where she recruited, trained and managed her team, being responsible for the P&L of the branch.
Having always worked within a sales environment and very much a people person, after 17 years in the sector Ann made the move away from private and into the public sector, working as a Business Development Manager for a local college where she worked with many North West Businesses to recruit and upskill their staff. Organising events and seminars, arranging keynote speakers and networking with Lancashire businesses (from micro to blue chip) to develop new and meaningful partnerships was the order of the day. This role opened up new industry sectors to Ann, enabling her to work with businesses in many different sectors, culminating in engineering and construction, where her interpersonal skills were put to best use to the benefit of the business, the college and its learners.
Ann had now worked for the public and private sectors and after deciding to take a further qualification in Business Innovation & Growth made the decision to transition her skills to the 3rd sector, successfully applying for and securing a role as Business Growth Manager with Regenerage. Here, Ann knew that she could help to grow the network of business supporters for Regenerage from contacts that she had accumulated over the years in both a business and personal capacity. Nor could she have started in her new and exciting role at a more apt time in her life as her stepfather of 30 years had recently been diagnosed with dementia. Almost 5 years later, Ann in her current role as Director of Marketing & Sales has helped to create a new and vibrant business supporter network, helping to get the Regenerage brand and its’ story out into the business community. Passionate about getting the brand known, she connects with individuals and businesses who are keen to support a worthy Lancashire-based charity and get them involved!
When not in her work capacity or crafting in her home workshop, you might bump into Ann somewhere in or on water, whether on her paddle board, on a boat, open-water swimming in the Lake District or even cruising the countryside on her beloved Vespa GTS 300 (yes she has a full motorbike licence)… oh and she loves to travel abroad!
Director of Finance
2 years with Regenerage. Initially Finance Manager then Director of Finance from April 2023.
After leaving school Christine joined Barclays Bank where she worked for 14 years. Christine worked full time until the birth of her first child in 1990 returning to work part time following maternity leave. An offer of voluntary redundancy was made whilst she was on maternity leave with her second child in 1993. Christine accepted and it provided the opportunity to change direction to a more accounts based career path.
Whilst working as a part time finance assistant she commenced studying for her AAT qualification at Blackpool and Fylde College and obtained level 4 in 1999. Christine then changed role to work, over the next 11 years, in private sector accountants practices gaining considerable knowledge and experience of varied business types. She was encouraged by the senior partner to continue her studies and qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant in 2005.
Christine’s next career move was into industry – mainly construction. Following 10 years in this sector, covering a vast array of tasks and responsibilities, she decided to move to the charity sector.
Outside of work Christine likes to spend her time outdoors, especially walking in the countryside, and is very involved with her two grand daughters.
- Director of Care Services and CQC Registered Manager
13 Years in Organisation.
Claire Hewitson boasts a rich tapestry of over two decades within the Charity Sector. Her work journey commenced at the age of 13, working on a Fruit and Veg stall at Preston Market, witnessing firsthand the struggles of those facing financial hardship. Following high school, faced with career options, she embarked on a Youth Training Scheme (YTS), opting for a path leading to a Secretarial career, as advised by her father.
Claire excelled as a Junior Legal Secretary specialising in Immigration, matrimonial, and conveyancing, later transitioning to an administrative role managing a substantial team of staff and trainees at a training agency. Subsequently, she navigated through various roles, from the Buying & Distribution Directors Secretary at a Supermarket Head Office to volunteering in her local community, discovering her passion for the Voluntary, Community, Faith, and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector.
Her tenure at Home-Start UK was marked by a hybrid role, supporting the National Safeguarding lead and North West Schemes. Despite the closure of regional offices due to government cuts, Claire persisted, taking a sabbatical to explore other charities before landing a role at Help Direct, managed by Regenerage. There, she evolved from Project Support Officer to Community Based Support Officer, contributing significantly to Loneliness and Social Isolation projects.
Following the closure of Help Direct, Claire assumed the position of Volunteer Coordinator at Lancashire Wellbeing Service, subsequently transitioning to Volunteer Manager at Regenerage. Amidst the challenges of the pandemic, she played a pivotal role in the Coronavirus Support Service SWAT team, recognized for its outstanding achievements.
Claire’s journey continued within the Regenerage Live Well Services team, ultimately leading to her current position as Director of Care Services, CQC Registered Manager, and Safeguarding Lead. She played a crucial role in steering services post-COVID, earning accolades for her dedication and leadership.
Claire has volunteered with people at both ends of the age spectrum with young people and older people.
Described as a “human Swiss Army Knife,” Claire’s skill set extends beyond her professional achievements. With a compassionate heart, high work ethic, and problem-solving acumen, she thrives on seeing people live their best lives. Claire’s commitment to mentoring and fostering staff growth, coupled with her numerous awards, underscores her impact both in and beyond the professional realm.
Director of Retail
Started her employment with the charity back in 2001 as a part time Shop Manager in the original Bamber Bridge. She worked her way up to a full time position as Retail Manager, then to Head of Retail and then to her current position of Director of Retail which she has held since March 2022. She is a keen advocate of internal progression within the charity.
Initially qualifying with a NNEB Diploma, Bel moved in to the hospitality industry where she worked as an Assistant Manager in a multi –million turnover restaurant and bar. Here she gained experience of sales, staff training & development, catering, HR and stock management whilst also qualifying as a D32 NVQ assessor, taking the lead on the in house staff- training scheme. Five years on, Bel moved into the charity retail sector, initially as a stop gap to support her new, young family and has never looked back since.
Bel is extremely process driven, is ‘in the detail’ highly motivated and leads with a commercial head to achieve the best possible retailing results for the charity. She has taken the lead on a variety of charity partnerships in order to maximise income generation for the wider charity. Bel heads-up the senior retail team, overseeing the E-Commerce function, whilst constantly seeking and implementing new and improved strategies in line with ever- changing needs of the charity sector.
Bel is now very experienced in retail property procurement, leases, set-up for opening stores from start to finish and everything in between and is passionate about further increasing the retail portfolio of the charity over the coming years.
When Bel is not in the thick of charity retail you can normally find her out walking, in the gym, reading, cooking, enjoying a wine or two or the summer doing her best to grow her own veg and pottering in the garden.
Director of Business Innovation and Development
6 Months in Position.
Mel commenced his media career by joining Rock FM in 1990 and quickly progressed to sales director. He had many successes, including delivering record revenue performances, and winning industry awards for “best salesperson and commercial team”. He was responsible for the first UK Live broadcast from a nightclub night, the Palace Night Club in Blackpool and then from Tokyo Joes Preston. Mel was the architect of the now locally famous “Buy a Bike” media campaign that changed the direction and the business fortunes of Charnock Richard Cycles.
In 1996, Mel was appointed Managing Director at 29 years of Viking FM, a then-underperforming radio station based in Hull. The business goal was to reposition the radio station in the marketplace, refresh the presenter lineup, re-energise the commercial team and grow the revenues. Mel achieved numerous industry awards, including a New York Ariel award, the Converted Industry Commercial Team of the Year award, and IRN news team of the year, and he launched the career of many industry big hitters, including – Head of BBC Newcastle, Radio 1 breakfast presenters, Head of Kiss FM London and the MD of BOX TV. Notable commercial achievements included launching a TV-advertised Magic compilation CD, a networked syndicated Friday night Kiss in Ibiza programme and a UK comprehensive Kiss FM listener holiday in association with Thomas Cook.
In 1999, Mel moved to Newcastle to lead Metro Radio. Mel successfully won the three-year radio commentary rights for NUFC and Sunderland FC and built solid relationships with managers- Sir Bobby Robson and Peter Ried, and football club owners Freddie Shepard / Sir John Hall and Bob Murray. Mel enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the infamous NUFC Chairman – Jack Charlton.
Mel also oversaw the relocation of Metro to new premises before moving to Blackpool.
The move to Radio Wave was an opportunity to return to Preston and cement family foundations. Mel brought his experience, drive and focus to the business giving it a competitive edge and a genuine local marketplace meaning. Mel launched Radio Waves live on-air charity auction, which has raised over 1 million pounds for various local charities.
Mel was headhunted and joined TLRC as the Regional Managing Director for Yorkshire and the Northeast. He had responsibility for businesses in York, Harrogate, Scarborough, Huddersfield, Darlington, Durham, and Sunderland.
He then moved to GCAP to run three metropolitan radio station businesses in the East Midlands – Nottingham, Leicester and Derby.
Mel continued to deliver high-performance results and after the purchase of GCAP by
Global, he was asked to join the senior leadership team to work on the OFT investigation. Following the acquisition of another media group, Guardian Media, Mel was requested to join the senior team that worked on the business purchase carried out by the Competition Commission.
Mel has political experience and gave evidence on the “future of media“ and “communication bill” by shaping and giving evidence to the Welsh media and culture select committee. And while in Nottingham, Mel negotiated a 5-year naming rights deal with the Nottingham Arena
In 2011, Mel moved to Wales, initially acting as the turnaround director for Real Radio Wales and Heart Northwest and Wales. Both businesses were rebranded, and the management teams were restructured. He implemented a multi-brand, geographical, product, delivery channel commercial strategy and once again, industry recognition for commercial growth and audience/marketplace penetration followed.
In 2020, following COVID-19 and the effects of the national lockdown, Mel returned to his family home in Preston, which he had built four years previously. Mel decided to leave the media and join John Lewis. His role is focused on shaping and developing e-commerce in Lancashire.
In 2023, Mel Joined Regenerage leading their business development and innovation department.