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David Baxter

Founder and Chief Executive

As the Chief Executive, I’m responsible for overseeing the overall management and strategic direction of the organisation, having Founded the organisation in 2013. I’m particularly involved with developing the forward strategy and creating new ideas for projects, plus representing the organisation at meetings with key stakeholders and Anchor organisations such as Wigan Council and the CCG, as my primary goal is to empower local people in the Borough to create a greater opportunity for Community Ownership and to reduce inequality, be it via Social Enterprise or Community Business.

I bring over 21 years of experience to my role, including experience working in the Abram Ward community, managing a Community hub, and working with the Local Authority. As a result of this background, my approach is very strategic and I bring a high level of knowledge and connections to the work.

Outside of work, I have been married for 8 years, and enjoy Music, Reading and Sport, as an avid supporter of Liverpool FC.

Alex winstanley

Proper Good Programme Co-ordinator

I am really pleased to have taken on a part-time role as Programme Coordinator for the Wigan Borough Proper Good programme. I am passionate about empowering people to create positive change and I hope that my experiences so far and ongoing learning will help other local social entrepreneurs to achieve their goals and dreams. I have found that working together with great, like-minded people is the key to success and true impact, and I'm sure the programme will allow people to do just that!

I am an award-winning social entrepreneur and best-selling author. Over a decade of international experience as a teacher, carer and SENCo led to me to set up a disabled persons-led social enterprise in 2019. Happy Smiles Training CIC empowers disabled young adults to create positive social change, by delivering inclusion and diversity-based training across schools, community groups, businesses and more, and they have delivered training to thousands of beneficiaries. I have since also become a published children's author, with his first series of children's books, that help to support children and young people to understand a range of long-term health conditions, including dementia, depression and cancer, whilst promoting a diverse and inclusive society.

My 'My Has' series has since been taken on by a children's book publisher, and I am now working with charities and organisations to produce their own children's books.


Dane Anderton

Chair of Trustees

As the Chair of Trustees I am responsible for managing board meetings of my fellow trustees which focus on setting the strategic direction of the Wigan and Leigh Community Charity.

I am proud to able to work with a range of inspiring community groups which are part of Wigan and Leigh Community Charity (WLCC) and beyond. I was born and raised locally, and this is why I want to see our area do well for future generations.

As well as being a Trustee at WLCC I am a School Governor at Newton Westpark Primary School and The Westleigh School. I see my role as supporting and linking community groups and organisations together so they get the right resources to help them achieve maximum impact in what they do.

Eunice Smethurst


Tel: 07777777777

My name is Councillor Eunice Smethurst and I am one of the Trustees on the Wigan and Leigh Community Charity.

I have lived local for the past 49 years and have been involved with many of the local community groups, organisations and Churches in the Abram Ward in that time. In 2006 it was my privilege to become only the 4th female Mayor of Wigan.

During my time on the Council I have sat on nearly all the Council committees at one time or another so I bring a wealth of experience to Wigan and Leigh Community Charity. Over the years I have sat on many outside bodies including Health, Transport, and Leisure holding prominent positions in all of these organisations.

At present I am the Chairperson of the Confident Council Scrutiny Committee. This committee looks at, and, scrutinises what the Council is doing. Coming up with recommendations as required.

For the past 24 years I have been involved with the domestic abuse charity DIAS, Drop in and Share, becoming a Trustee 15 years ago.

Kerry Whittle


As a trustee I will be supporting fellow trustee members and help with the setting the strategic direction of the Wigan and Leigh Community Charity.

It's been an honour to be able to work with a range of inspiring community groups which are part of Wigan and Leigh Community Charity (WLCC) and beyond. As a local Wigan resident I have a passion for encouraging and supporting Socially focussed and community based businesses. I have been instrumental in helping to set up the Men’s Shed in Abram Ward, which helps men of all ages have a space to connect, through woodworking and other shed based activity.

I have worked within the social housing sector for all of my career and as a qualified building surveyor my career has been within the refurbishment of properties, to enable people and families of modest means live in quality housing and to create a home.

Ed Ellis


Over the last 20 years I have been involved in the Voluntary and Community sectors across the region.

During this time I worked for The Groundwork Trust, The Council for Voluntary Youth Service and founded Training 2 All CIC a not for profit training company, delivering a range of compliance and team building training, across the UK and Asia.

In addition to my paid work I have also sat as a trustee/director of several community organisations and chaired Encompass (a Borough wide umbrella organising for the community sector)

I retired eight years ago but still maintain voluntary roles in several organisations. In addition, I carry out medic and Ops management duties on festivals.

In my spare time, I enjoy cooking and travel.

Sonya Bithell


As a Business Development, I’m responsible for overseeing the Power to Change Made in Wigan project and for introducing new business and income streams to the organisation. I’m particularly involved with the delivery of Enterprise Awareness Sessions to school aged children and to out of work individuals, looking for an alternative career path.

I bring over 35 years of experience to my role, including experience working in the banking sector for 32 years and in the charitable sector for 4 years. As a result of this background, my approach is very methodical and I bring a high level of consistency to the work. 

Outside of work, I have been married for 25+ years and enjoy hiking and socialising and particular enjoy the process of beer making – sometimes sampling the end product.


Are you someone or have you identified someone who might benefit from becoming involved with WLCC or any of our initiatives such as Made in Wigan?

There are various ways that you can get in touch to take things forward.

It may be that you want to make contact to first find out if there really is a ‘fit’.

You may want to speak on the phone, come and visit us on behalf of someone, or maybe you’d like to bring someone along for an initial chat.

Whichever route you prefer we can accommodate.

First things first though, share some brief details and we’ll be back in touch!


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    Wigan & Leigh Community Charity. Business Community Hub. Platt Bridge Community Zone.
    81 Ribble Road, Platt Bridge, Wigan. WN2 5EG
    made possible by the hard work and dedication of many people and among others the following organisations.