Sheila Sturgeon

Yes Manchester

Sheila joined Yes Manchester – then a CIC – at the height of the pandemic in October 2020, moving 150 miles up the M6 from Northampton to Manchester to do so! She immediately made a difference, seeing quickly what had to change and how, if the organisation was to thrive.

Everything changed when our parent and funder Northwards Housing was told it would be returning to be an local authority department – you can’t be a subsidiary of something that doesn’t exist! Sheila and the directors, with the support of colleagues within Northwards, lobbied council officers and convinced them that independent charitable status was the best route to ensure Yes Manchester’s survival and sustainability. In only four months, Sheila delivered an independent CIC staffed by the existing team all of whom had been TUPEd from the housing body. By the autumn a new website was in place alongside a client-management-system and Yes was fully funded for the financial year, despite receiving significantly less from the authority, and in fact the team had grown. All this happened whilst Yes supported more than 500 people in the last year – and of course she, the team, our customers and the world were living through the pandemic.