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Elevate Announces 10 Northern Gamechangers

Last night, business development consultancy, Elevate, announced its final 10 winners of the very first Northern Gamechangers awards.

Leading figures in the north came together under the legendary Firehouse glitterball to celebrate the champions of purpose-driven business in the region, all making game-changing moves in sustainability, community, and diversity.

Ultimate Gamechanger

Lauren Rosegreen, Sales and Business Development Manager at Invisible Cities Manchester, was awarded the much-anticipated accolade of Ultimate Gamechanger – thanks to her fantastic work training those who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of the city centre, alongside her tireless efforts to educate others on intersectionality and diversity.

Speaking on the win, Lauren said:

“There are so many incredible people in the room tonight, I’m shocked but so proud to have been chosen as the Ultimate Gamechanger. The Northern Gamechangers is unlike any other awards programme in that it celebrates those who are truly driving change in the region.

“Ultimately, though, what I do is all about the people I work with – the guides are what make the organisation what it is and being able to amplify their voice is amazing. I hope that this win will help me to do that even more.”

With attendees treated to music by Twisted Tubes and one of Firehouse’s famous runway shows, there wasn’t a white tablecloth in sight – cementing the Northern Gamechangers as an events programme with an edge.

Manchester-based artist, Amy Coney, designed an exclusive piece of art which featured on the winners’ awards, whilst the original piece was presented to Ultimate Gamechanger Lauren Rosegreen.

Winners were judged by regional business leaders, including leading independent PR agency, The PHA Group, Manchester Central, the city’s thriving exhibition and conference centre; Appleyard Lees, Intellectual Property specialists and The Manc.

A full list of the nine winning Northern Gamechangers can be found below:

  • Georgia Fitzgerald, Juice Academy: Georgia has created nearly 400 job opportunities and increased the diversity of apprentices. She’s extremely passionate about skills of the future, providing people from different backgrounds with opportunities to succeed, and filling skills gaps especially in the digital sector. Georgia is also a member of Tangerine Communications’ Diversity and Inclusion group, where she plays a key role in ensuring inclusivity in order to build a more diverse workplace.
  • Lee Chambers, Essentialise: Lee is the founder of PhenomGames and Essentialise Workplace Wellbeing – which helps organisations to create a sustainable business case that looks at people, planet and profit. He founded these businesses after developing a chronic illness, which suddenly left him without the ability to walk – but after 11 months of walking rehab, two periods of intensive physiotherapy and a daily practice of walking, stretches and exercises, he walked his first mile unaided. Lee is passionate about conscious leadership, equality of health opportunity and menopause awareness.
  • David MacDonald, Cullen ECO Friendly Packaging: Creator of The Fibre Bottle, David is owner of Cullen Europe’s only combined manufacturer of moulded fibre and corrugated packaging. He has led the team in designing and delivering over 1 billion pieces of plastic free packaging since 2020 to 34 countries globally and is a respected and passionate thought leader in the realm of sustainability.
  • Fund Her North: Fund Her North is a Northern-based collective of over 30 women in private equity, venture capital, funding organisations, and angel groups with a combined investment power of over £650m. Their purpose is to help Northern female entrepreneurs to gain investment, provide fundraising confidence, and support in a business landscape they often find more challenging than their male counterparts.
  • Sophie Walker, Dsposal: Sophie believes in using the power of business and tech for good. She is the co-founder and CEO of Dsposal, a tech company who are at the forefront of the digital transformation of the waste and resources sector, that aims to solve the issues of the waste crisis using technology and data to drive behavioural change. Alongside this, Sophie sits on several boards, including the advisory board for the One Bin project at the University of Manchester and the Equality, Diversion and Inclusion working group for the Chartered Institution of Waste Management.
  • Jason Laing, ProMake: Having only arrived in the UK with a suitcase and £3,000 to his name four years ago after being selected for the Global Talent Visa, Jason set up of ProMake, which specialises in the design, development and manufacturing of medical innovations and devices. During the pandemic, Jason developed a Graphene Lab-on-chip device that helped the government with faster pathogen testing.
  • Hannah Cox, BetterNotStop: As Founder of sustainable impact agency, BetterNotStop, Hannah supports responsible businesses striving to do good. Alongside paid clients, she strives to empower small businesses in the region to improve both their social and environmental impact by offering pro-bono services, whether this be B Corp certification or general impact reviews. She has also created a highly impactful network of more than 70 mission-led business leaders, The Better Business Network – with aims to grow the community further to inspire positive change.
  • Adam Farricker, HideOut Youth Zone: Having been involved in youth work in Manchester for over 20 years, Adam is now the Chief Executive of HideOut Youth Zone – a children and young people’s youth work charity based in Gorton, Manchester. Despite opening in the peak of the pandemic, Adam ensured the charity adapted its approach to delivering critical services to vulnerable children and secured the ongoing commitment of funders and partners. As a result of this, they now have over 5000 members aged 8 – 19 or up to 25 for those with additional needs.
  • Abigail Herron, Aviva Investors: Described by a previous Chief Executive as a ‘Swiss army knife of sustainability’, Abigail is a leader and ambassador of sustainable finance within Aviva Investors and externally. During her 16 years in sustainable investment, she has engaged with companies on the A to Z of ESG topics – from aviation emissions to zero-hour contracts. She now works in the Aviva Investor’s Sustainable Finance Centre for Excellence, which is building the world’s most ambitious ESG agenda and pushing boundaries toward a more sustainable financial system through thought-leadership, advocacy and education.

Speaking on the evening, Katie Robson, Co-Founder and Director of Elevate, said “We’re so proud to have hosted Elevate’s very first Northern Gamechangers awards programme – it’s been a long time in the making and after much planning, it was fabulous to celebrate in a room full of remarkable people.

“We know there are so many people in the North making game changing moves in their industry, but we launched the awards because we noticed a distinct lack of recognition available for those using their force for good.

“Last night was all about celebrating the amazing people in our community – every single winner should be extremely proud of what they have achieved. Here’s to many more years of Northern Gamechangers!”


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Northern Gamechanger winners and judges(photo credit Elenor Koemets)

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