Meet the Team header


Kate Blakemore

Founder and Chief Executive

Kate is the founder and CEO of Motherwell Cheshire; Kate heads up all the day to day charity operations as well as working with the Board of Trustees to implement the 5 year strategy. 

Kate works with local and national funders to generate funding for the charity as well as working closely with the local Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership to identify the needs of local women and girls in order to implement clear referral pathways for statutory services into the Motherwell services. 

Kate is also the founder of the Crewe and Winsford Women’s Days that take place annually in line with International Women’s Day and in 2020 sees the introduction of an additional event in Ellesmere Port. The events bring together all women’s services, women in business and women speakers to celebrate and Inspire the local community. 

Kate hosts her own radio show on 107.9FM This is the Cat, with her show “The Motherwell Show”, where each week Kate invites guests to talk about topical issues around Mental Health. 

Kate is a counsellor and trainer and is a passionate advocate for mental health and she has her own website should you wish to get in touch. 


Nadine Lewis

HR Co-ordinator

I am a mother of two young children, two very independent, head strong girls. 

I started at Motherwell volunteering about a year ago, just a couple of hours a week to get me out of the house.

I wanted a couple of hours to myself, to think about something other than being a mum. I didn’t realise how much of myself I had lost being a stay at home mum, I didn’t think mentally I needed anything more, I was wrong! Previous jobs I would say, I didn’t enjoy but went to, just to make a living, we all can get stuck in a rut career wise.

Motherwell made me realise work isn’t just a job, it is a place I enjoy coming to and a place I am proud to say I work for.

My role is as the HR Co-ordinator, I am based within in the office, but that is the best place for me! The women I work with are some of the kindest and most supportive women I know, their acts are only to help people and to support them.

Freya O'Brien

Fundraising & Events Co-ordinator

I’m a Mum to 2 young children (I had two under two!) and for the most part have been a stay-at-home mum. I have done a few work from home businesses but am very pleased to have found Motherwell. 

Pre children, I spent time studying history, as well as fundraising and organising events for a charity run by students; I have been involved in Girlguiding for a while.

I’m enjoying rediscovering my passion for charity events, and the more behind the scenes fundraising too. As a mother who had various difficulties herself, I’m very pleased there is a charity like Motherwell around.

Marise Astall-Palin

Business Compliance Co-ordinator

I work alongside a passionate team on projects that really make a difference to individual’s lives and it is great to be a part of this.  I get to see projects from planning right through to reporting on their outcomes and I love seeing how they evolve and deliver more than anticipated.

I have two children, and following the arrival of my first in 2016 I joined a mums group organised by Motherwell.  I am a qualified chartered accountant and auditor as well as being a mum, and I wanted to keep these professional skills so looked into volunteering.  Volunteering at Motherwell was one of the best things I have done since becoming a mum.

I became a staff member in 2017, and in that time have been supported by the charity to continue to develop my skills and work on exciting projects with inspiring women.

I am passionate about empowering women and girls, ensuring they all get a voice.

Debbie Sharred

Well-being Co-ordinator

I am a mum of 3 beautiful children, all mostly grown up, that does not mean I’m not wanted! In my experience it’s a job for life! I’ve been a mum for 28 ½ years and experienced all the emotions, highs and lows, of being a mum! Looking forward to the next chapter!

I’ve worked as a teacher in some shape or form all my working life. I also worked as a Nanny to 3 young boys. I used to work with young women in supported accommodation, supporting them back into education, work, volunteering and training, so I’m very aware of the ‘Mothering Journey’.

I work mainly behind the scenes, coordinating the Well-being Days, Workshops and courses, but love to be front of house, interacting with our mums on the Well-being!

Ginette Ward

Believe Support Worker

I am mum to two daughters of my own and two step children, all adults now. I also have a very energetic grand daughter. All of my children have taught me something different as they were growing up about life how we view it.

I have had a varied career starting out within the equine industry, moving into hospitality before studying to become a counsellor. As a qualified and registered counsellor, the counselling path has also taught me the diversity and complexity of people as individuals and the individuality that brings.

I feel proud to be a part of the Motherwell team working as a support worker for the Believe project and the mums I work with. My role involves supporting mums as individuals in a variety of ways such as working on wellbeing and self esteem. As well as supporting at meetings such as core groups, child protection plans, social workers and other agencies.

I am passionate about supporting others and helping them to find the best of themselves which I feel the Believe Project underpins.   

I have had the pleasure of working at Motherwell Cheshire, with a fabulous bunch of women (and Dave) since June 2019.
I am the mum of 2 adult children who live away from home. Alex is a very caring son, age 34 with learning difficulties and Cerebral Palsy and Courtney an extremely independent young woman, age 29 who still needs her mum at times!
I lost my own mum in May 2019 and have been going through that ‘year of firsts’ without her. My sister and I also lost our dad and brother during the last 10 years, so it’s just us now!
I have been married to my Canadian husband Chris for 38 years and lived in Canada for 14 of those years.
My working life has been quite diverse; including accountancy, sales (in both countries), admin, retail, education (supporting the mental health of secondary school students) to finally as the Referrals Coordinator at Motherwell Cheshire, where I can indulge two of my passions – people and spreadsheets!!

I enjoy reading, sewing, sudoku, spider solitaire, family barbecues, caravanning and taking our lovely dog Dexter for walks.

Dave Corp

Chair of Trustees

I have enjoyed a career path that has taken me from managing national logistics businesses, a volunteer for Mind, the Princes Trust, the Outward-Bound Trust & supporting vulnerable people as an Advocate.

I have a firm belief that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

I hope that my business and people experience will contribute to the skills & enthusiasm of the Motherwell Team, supporting the charity to the next level of its future development.

Outside of work, I have a busy family life with 6-year-old Sami, wife Roxi, grown up daughters & a gorgeous granddaughter, as well as my 2 allotments to keep me busy!

Tracey Farleigh

Trustee & Treasurer

I have worked for Barclays Bank in IT since 1985 in various roles and locations. I spent the first 18 years in technical roles and for the past 13 years I have been in team leading roles. I have enjoyed every role and had some fantastic experiences along the way. A particular highlight was the opportunity to build out teams in Singapore and India a few years ago, and visiting the teams a number of times; enjoying the cultural experiences that brought.  One of the aspects of team leading I enjoy most is developing people and seeing them grow in their careers and personal lives.

I became involved with Motherwell via two routes in September 2016 – 1) through our chair-person Shirley and 2) through Cheshire Connect via Barclays.

I have been able to use business and life skills to help Motherwell as part of the newly formed Board with the specific role of Treasurer. Going forward I also want to help in a more hands on way and not just attend monthly meetings as I have reached another stage of my own mothering journey.

I am married with one son who is now 18 and a signed player at The New Saints, Oswestry. I am an immensely proud Mum and for me, this has been my biggest achievement in life. I also love swimming, reading, travel and spending time at our caravan in North Wales.

Another big part of my life is supporting and visiting (at least once a year) an orphanage in Kenya – the children and community are part of my extended family.

So… why Motherwell?  Having (very unexpectedly) suffered from Post Natal Depression 18 years ago after my son was born and there being very limited – actually no – support, I really felt drawn to Motherwell.

Being emphatic is key to truly understanding the challenges that women can go through as a Mum and my own experiences are a massive driver to be part of an organisation supporting Mums to ease or overcome a number of issues.

I believe in the goals, strategic direction and brand of Motherwell;  and the desire to help Mums at various stages of their own journeys.

Jayne Pullar


I am a careers mentor, with many years experience of supporting people choosing how to work towards their chosen career. Linking in with a local charity who find successful women from the business world to mentor young women to raise their aspiration. 

Most recently I joined a local housing trust setting up a new project as an Employability Adviser/Mentor acting as an Interim Team Leader to support the development of the service, now with a permanent position of Senior Adviser. This involves offering information, advice and guidance to support customers into sustainable work. 

I am a mum of two grown up children, grandmother of one and have been married for 30 years. Working full time as my children were growing up, I understand the difficulties involved in juggling a career and a family life. I have met crossroads in my life where the time to change careers has been right for me. I am passionate about the importance of exploring yourself and career ideas to create a future you want. 

Amanda Palin


I am a mother of two and grandmother of five, from Crewe. 

I have worked in a variety of roles in Social Care for 28 years including working for the British Red Cross for the past 4 years. 

I am passionate about preventative local service which are responsible for supporting local needs.

My role is helping to equip people to understand and use self care in everyday life. 

Jackie Hodgson


I retired a couple of years ago but have over 30 years experience of working in social housing.  I have a B. Soc Sc (Hons) degree from The University of Birmingham and a Post Graduate Diploma in Housing Administration from Sheffield Polytechnic.  I am also still a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

I have spent the majority of my working life in mid-Cheshire and hope that my skills, together with my work and life experiences, will help to further develop Motherwell.

I am married with a grown-up step-daughter and an 18 year old daughter who is studying in her second year at University.  I feel that I can understand and appreciate the many issues facing mothers and the services that are needed to support them. 


Sir John Timpson


Sir John Timpson was educated at Oundle and Nottingham University.

The Timpson family business, founded by Sir John’s great grandfather in the 1860’s, was taken over in 1973, but 10 years later Sir John led a £42m management buyout.  In 1987 he sold the shoe shops and concentrated on building the shoe repairing and key cutting business, which has diversified into engraving, watch repairs, dry cleaning and photo processing.

Timpson now has over 2000 branches nationwide, including the Max Spielmann, Johnsons the Cleaners and Snappy Snaps brands. The Group has a turnover of over £300m and profits of over £20m.  It is a private business wholly owned by Sir John Timpson and his family. Timpson is recognised for its creative approach to employee engagement and innovative work helping ex-offenders – it is the UK’s most active employer of people from prison.  In 2018 Sir John chaired an expert panel that made recommendations to government on future plans for Town Centres.

Recently widowed, Sir John was married to his wife Alex for 47 years.  He has five children Victoria (50), James (46), Edward (44), together with Oliver (43) and Henry (30).

Sir John and his wife were also foster carers for 31 years, during which time they fostered 90 children.

In 2000 he wrote ‘Dear James,’ which passes on to his son James, now Timpson’s CEO, the lessons learned in 25 years as a Chief Executive.  A management maverick, he describes his business philosophy in ‘How to Ride a Giraffe’, ‘Upside Down Management’ and ‘Ask John’. ‘High Street Heroes’ was published in 2015 and ‘Under Orders’ is the diary of a racehorse owners’ husband.  His latest book, ‘Keys to Success’ gives 50 tips from a management maverick.

He has a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph.

In 2004 he was awarded the CBE in the Birthday Honours List for Services to the Retail Sector, and in 2017 he was awarded a knighthood for Services to Business and Fostering.

Sally Carman


We are proud to announce that actor Sally Carmen has become patron of our Believe project.

In Coronation Street, Sally’s character ‘Abi Franklin’ represents the amazing women that we support.  These mum’s are very often misunderstood, living with mental health conditions after experiencing traumatic events, with a lack of appropriate support.

Sally is an established actress, who attended the LAMDA drama school in London.  Some of the roles she is best known for playing are Kelly Maguire in Shameless and Abi Franklin in Coronation Street.



We also have a team of volunteers that help support the peer support groups, counselling service, drop ins, social media support, office duties, Well-being Days and all the admin work. 

If you wish to find out more about being a Motherwell Volunteer, contact us for an informal chat.