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The Team
Cheshire Community Foundation was established in 2011 to address need in what has traditionally been perceived as one of the wealthier areas of the Northwest. The reality for many, however, is very different.
Mel Sproston
Chief Executive

Melanie Joined Cheshire Community Foundation in 2024, following a successful career in the international education sector.

In addition to her employed roles, she previously established and chaired a charitable community ‘hub’ which provides a range of activities and events to support physical and mental wellbeing. Melanie also chairs a multi-academy trust educating over 2,500 pupils in a particularly deprived area and is a member at another multi-academy Trust which serves Cheshire and Derbyshire.

Born and raised in Cheshire, Melanie continues to live in the County and is passionate about tackling disadvantage and supporting local communities.


Margaret Cheshire
Chief Operations Officer

Margaret joined the Foundation in 2019 following a career in HR working for a number of organisations based in Cheshire.

Her previous experience focused on people and organisational development helps her lead the Foundation’s team and ensure that the organisation delivers an efficient and friendly service to donors, grantees and all its partners. She is delighted to work locally for an organisation that makes a difference and suits her name!



Angela Richardson
Freelance Grants Consultant

Angela is now working on a freelance basis for CCF, alongside other coaching and consultancy work. She has nearly 25 years in grant making (she started young!). Ange has worked for four major funders – Big Lottery Fund, The Housing Corporation, North West Development Agency and BBC Children in Need (as well as two years as a Fundraising Manager for Deafness Support Network).


Debbie Smith
Donor Account Manager

Debbie joined the Foundation in August 2018 following a period of time spent raising her family. During this time, Debbie volunteered with a variety of charities including a children’s reading scheme, the NCT and a community gardening scheme. Prior to that, she worked for a national accountancy recruitment consultancy and a big-four firm of accountants in an account management role.

Now her role includes providing information to donors, ensuring they feel proud of the difference their generosity has made to those less fortunate in Cheshire.


Susie Roberts
Fund Development Manager

Having spent the last 25 years in a variety of marketing communications and business development roles, spanning a range of sectors including property, higher education and hospitality, Susie joined the charity in May 2019.

She now helps to raise awareness of the Foundation’s goals and achievements throughout Cheshire’s business community, whilst supporting organisations wishing to streamline their CSR and philanthropic policies to achieve maximum impact by connecting with the most effective grass-roots charities and not-for-profit organisations in the region.


Karen Ziesler
Grants Manager

Karen has been working in funding and development roles in the voluntary sector and in grantmaking for nearly 20 years, including 10 years with a lottery funder, and 5 years as a freelance grant assessor with BBC Children in Need. Her early career was spent in quality and health and safety management in industry.

She has wide ranging voluntary experience, having spent time as a befriender supporting Syrian refugees, doing translation work for the National Holocaust Museum, and as a trustee on Chester Women’s Aid Council of Management.

Karen has been doing assessment work for the Foundation since 2017, and has now moved into a grants management role.


Emily Stone
Grants Officer

Emily joined the foundation in October 2022 as a business graduate. She has 20 years experience of serving her community as either a Dispensing Optician, the trustee of her local primary school’s PTA or an associate in her local charity shop.


Emily’s role as the Grants Officer is to underpin the strategic work of Grant Making and maintain accurate data to ensure an excellent service is provided.   She is passionate about the third sector and enjoys bringing her enthusiasm and organisational skills to the role.


Emily has lived in Cheshire her whole life, loves to see the impact CCF has on the local communities, and is proud to be part of it.


Amy Platt
Marketing and Communications Manager

After three years at CCF, mainly in Donor Engagement, Amy has moved into the Marketing and Communications Manager role. She has a background in Museums/Arts and Heritage, and more recently, education. Amy grew up in North Wales and has deep roots in Cheshire.

Amy uses her creative skills to spread the word about CCF and keep our donors informed, whether that’s through newsletters, online or at events. She describes her role as ‘the best job in the world’, because she gets to see so much kindness, both from our donors and the amazing charities on our doorstep.


Helen Taylor
Finance Co-ordinator

Helen joined the Foundation in 2022.  She was previously a solicitor and then worked in school finance.  She brings this experience to support the finance side of the Foundation.  She has lived in Cheshire for 25 years and enjoys seeing the positive impact CCF has across Cheshire.


Iona Moxon
Fund Development and Projects Co-ordinator

Iona joined CCF in December 2020 having spent 7 years working in the hospitality and events sector, managing a busy conference centre in Manchester whose profits funded various charitable activities.

After having children and relocating to Cheshire, Iona wanted a new challenge. Being able to combine her organisational skills with helping others she sees this as her perfect job role. Iona provides support across all aspects of the charity’s work, helping to further CCF’s efforts throughout the community.



Sarah Bloor
Digital Communications Officer

Sarah joined CCF in summer 2022, she’s grown up in Cheshire and lived in the area for over 30 years. She has a background in marketing & social media and uses her skills to help promote all the amazing work our charities and organisations do, as well as praising our wonderful donors. 


Tim Askham
Finance Officer

Tim is responsible for overseeing accounting, treasury and related compliance matters. A chartered accountant and previously a partner in an international accounting firm, since retiring from that he is fulfilling an ambition to become involved in the charity sector, joining the Foundation on a part time basis in 2019. He is involved with a couple of other charities as well, including as a volunteer trustee with a local educational foundation.
His other qualification for this role is 30 years’ and counting residency in Cheshire/Warrington. Tim is delighted now to be working on behalf of the disadvantaged people in this special county.


Tracey Pearson
Warrington Fund Development Manager

Tracey joined CCF in early 2023 after working in both the corporate and charity sector in business development and fundraising roles. Following her own personal battle with health, she has a real empathy and understanding of the many challenges individuals face on a day-to-day basis. She is a passionate fundraiser herself, most recently completing a Challenge Trek across the Lake District and raising over £15,000 for The Christie Charity, Manchester.

Her role focuses on securing funds from local businesses and generous individuals to build a Warrington Fund, to address the needs of the grass roots charities and communities across the Borough, working alongside partner organisations and public services.

Tracey has lived in Cheshire most of her life, loves meeting new people and has great pride in being part of the CCF family, helping those most in need across Cheshire and Warrington.


Tom Kirk
Head of Grants & Impact

Tom joined CCF in 2024 after spending the last decade working in Grantmaking for BBC Children In Need, where he was originally responsible for managing the grant portfolio for Cheshire and Greater Manchester; later he moved on to be the Policy And Quality Assurance lead for the organisation. Before this, he was a Grant Manager for Arts Council England, working on UK-Wide Funding Programmes. Tom specialises in Grantmaking elements such as assurance, policy, process, and operations.

Tom is also a Trustee for the Palace Theatre and Opera House Trust in Manchester, fuelled by his passion for engaging people across the region with the Arts.

Tom has lived in the North West his entire life and is delighted to continue working towards delivering work which benefits people all across the region.