Advisory Board

Matthew Ashton

Director of Public Health, Liverpool City Council
Honorary Professor, Department of Public Health and Policy, University of Liverpool

Matt was appointed Director of Public Health for Liverpool City Council in April 2020 and leads a team of approx. 30 people covering a range of public health activities including the commissioning of public health services, health protection, health improvement, health care public health, embedding health in all policies approaches, and addressing the wider determinants of health.

Matt’s appointment is joint with the University of Liverpool, and as an Honorary Professor with the Department of Public Health and Policy he is creating opportunities to identify and develop evidence based policy interventions that can be embedded into local practice to innovatively improve health and reduce inequalities.

Matt also works closely with other directors of public health across Cheshire and Merseyside, as part of the CHAMPS public health collaborative, and leads on Strategic Intelligence & Partnerships, Employment & Skills, Communications; and Workforce & CPD, and is also the lead Director of Public Health for the Liverpool City Region Violence Reduction Partnership, and for Food Active.

Professor Lucy Bray

Professor of Child Health Literacy at Edge Hill University

Professor Lucy Bray is a children’s nurse and academic with over 25 years of experience of working with children, young people, and families, both clinically and as a researcher within a range of settings. Lucy’s national and international work explores how children, young people and their parents can be provided with information in a meaningful way to influence their ability to interact with health professionals and services and become involved in making choices and decisions about their health and well-being.

Lucy is passionate about improving the health and well-being of children and young people and most of her work uses innovative methods to empower and facilitate the involvement of children and young people in research.

Andy Cooke

HM Inspector of Constabulary and HM Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services

Andy Cooke joined Merseyside Police in 1985 having obtained an Honours Degree in Politics from Nottingham University. He served as a Detective at every rank and has had numerous roles including being in charge of the Robbery Squad and Target Operations at the Major Crime Unit. He became the first Commander of the nationally recognised ‘Matrix’ team, responsible for tackling gun and gang enabled crime. During his time as Area Commander for South Liverpool, Andy was instrumental in significantly reducing crime, antisocial behaviour and disorder and South Liverpool became one of the highest performing Basic Command Units in the country.

In 2008, Andy was appointed Assistant Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary. He returned to Merseyside in 2012 and in 2016 he was appointed Chief Constable. Andy has also been commended on 10 occasions and in 2014 was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal. He is married with twin daughters. He has a passion for football and rugby league and is chair of the British Police Rugby League Association. Andy was appointed as HM Inspector of Constabulary and HM Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services in April 2021.

Phil Garrigan

Chief Fire Officer, OBE, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

Phil joined Merseyside in 1990 and during that time has served at a variety of Community Fire Stations - working in some of Merseyside’s most vulnerable and deprived communities.  He brings a strong community focus to the Service, recognising the unique position of trust and respect in which the FRS is held, he has used this and the professionalism of Merseyside FRS staff to tackle the real underlying factors which affect risk.

Phil is the Vice Chair of the NFCC and the National Lead for the Fire and Rescue Service with regard to Children and Young People. He is also a member of the Operations Coordination Committee given Merseyside FRS oversee National Resilience capabilities on behalf of the Home Office. He is a National Strategic Advisor overseeing a number of National events recently, including the UK’s response to COVID19. The breadth of his work gives him an almost unique understanding of the sector.

Alison McGovern

Labour MP for Wirral South, Shadow Sport and Culture Minister

Alison McGovern has been the Labour MP for Wirral South since 2010 and serves on Labour’s frontbench as Shadow Sport and Culture Minister. Previously, Alison was Parliamentary Private Secretary to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and scrutinised government’s economic policy as part of the Treasury Select Committee from 2017 to 2020. Other previous frontbench roles include Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Shadow Childcare Minister and Shadow International Development Minister. Alison is the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Friends of Syria group. 

Before entering Parliament, Alison worked for Network Rail, The Art Fund and Creativity Culture and Education, which helps young people reach their potential through creativity. She served as Deputy Leader of the Labour Group on Southwark Council in London as a Councillor in Camberwell. Alison is a member of the Social Market Foundation advisory board and chaired internal labour political group, Progress. She plays football for the Women’s Parliamentary Football team and the local team Wirral Valkyries.

Simone Roche MBE

Founder of Northern Power Women, Northern Power Futures, the Power Platform and the Be Heard Platform

Simone has developed a specialist network of impactful women and men and curated a portfolio of campaigns, events and podcasts which reach globally. She is proud of her Liverpool roots and lives by paying it forward. Simone is passionate about gender diversity and championing all talent and believes in the ‘art of the possible’. 
 
Simone has grown Northern Power Women and Northern Power Futures into a community in excess of 70,000 across all sectors, genders and socio-economic groups and in 2020 created the Power Platform to better connect people with opportunities. She was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2018 for services to gender equality and appointed Honorary Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy in June 2020. Simone has been recognised on the Yahoo Finance Heroes List 2018, 19, 20 and awarded the IOD NW Chairs award for excellence in 2020.

Troy Townsend

Head of Player engagement at Charity Kick It Out

Troy is the current Head of Player engagement at Football’s equality and inclusion Charity Kick It Out. His core focus in his role, is to deliver education within professional football’s academy structure on racism and discrimination. He also chairs Kick It Out’s Player Advisory Board, which has recently set up to align the organisations work with professional players.

Troy previously spent 15 years working in the education sector, predominately through his former business that provided PE tutors to schools in London but also as a member of senior leadership and a school governor.

He has received various accolades throughout his working life with the most prestigious amongst them all being selected as one of The FA’s 150 Grassroots Heroes, which included a visit to Buckingham Palace to receive his award from Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge. Whilst also receiving two awards for The Football Blacklist, which focuses and celebrates the contributions of black people working in football.

His work with young people has included developing his own football academy to support the growth of boys and girls in the game. Creating mentoring events and opportunities through Kick It Out’s Raise Your Game program and as a patron of the youth led organisation Football Beyond Borders.

David Wafer

Founder and MD of McIver Scott Recruitment & Chair of the Institute of Directors

David has 20 years experience of working with senior leaders to help them shape their businesses and careers. Using psychometric personality profiles with both clients and candidates to maximise the “fit” and success. 

Under David’s stewardship, IoD has become the fastest growing networking organisation in the North West and attracts speakers from senior politicians to business leaders. Connecting, developing and influencing the business agenda locally and nationally. 

A respected business leader, David works with the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and LFC Foundation as an advisory board member to give advice and guidance. 

David is a passionate advocate of using his platform for good and helps a range of charities to add value in the North West and beyond.