Steering group biographies

Sophie Fryer (Joint Chair), Ethical Sourcing and Sustainability Manager, Co-op
Sophie joined the Group in 2017. With 13 years spent specialising in responsible sourcing, she has extensive experience of network building and stakeholder engagement to address human rights and ESG performance.

Sophie has worked with a wide range of organisations to embed, monitor and implement ethical trade, social value and sustainability programmes. A qualified ethical auditor and contract practitioner, she is also a steering group member of the Indirect Procurement Human Rights (IPHR) Forum and has chaired the Waste & Recycling Working Group since 2019, driving activity to address human rights issues in the sector through the power of collaboration.

Matt Richardson, (Joint Chair), Social Value Lead, The Growth Company
Matt is currently Social Value Lead for The Growth Company and his drive is to focus the organisation’s ambitions to enhance their delivery of social value, both internally and through the individuals, businesses and communities that they serve.

Matt has 18 years of working on national health and wellbeing programmes within the private, public and third sector and led a project alongside the World Health Organisation to create the first British Sign Language version of the Alcohol Audit Screening tool.

David Burch, Senior Researcher, CLES 
David’s role involves policy, research, membership and consultancy work.
CLES is the UK’s leading independent think and do tank realising progressive economics for people and place. Their aim is to achieve social justice, good local economies and effective public services for everyone, everywhere.

Jo Gregson, Senior Governance and Ethical Sourcing Manager, Co-op and founder member of the Retailers Indirect Human Rights Forum
Over the past seven years, Jo has used her experience to focus on Procurement Strategy and Transformation, Business Relationship Management, Strategic Sourcing Training/Development/Capability and Coaching, Process, Policy and Governance, Procurement Risk and Audit Management, along with driving a social value and diversity and inclusion strategy across the supply chain, which has now equipped her with the full spectrum of experience across a major procurement function and its operations. More recently, she has written the Co-op’s GNFR 5 year Responsible Sourcing strategy which will set Co-op Procurement apart from other private sector procurement functions, and enable Co-op to be a leader in this area for GNFR.

Sue Hutchinson, Partner, Beever & Struther
Sue is an audit partner and Head of Charities at Beever & Struthers. Since 2014, Sue has thoroughly enjoyed working with their dedicated specialist team in the not for profit sector, as well as developing their practice and colleagues working together to achieve better. As a leading member of the team, Sue works with over a hundred clients at local, regional and national levels, including housing associations, local government subsidiaries, charities, academies, colleges and social enterprises.

A passion is to support clients and share her experience and knowledge through board and committee meetings, seminars and training sessions. Sue is currently embracing social value, equality diversity and inclusion, and economic social and governance standards. For Sue, financial reporting should embrace the culture and transparency of achievements, good and bad in a meaningful way.

During the pandemic, Sue led the Covid Business Leaders Forums in collaboration with many cross sector organisations, discussing how we build back better for the good of society, with clients and contacts where these topics were always high on the agenda.

Anne Lythgoe, Principal – VCSE Accord Implementation at Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Anne’s role includes supporting the implementation of the historic VCSE Accord between the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, NHS Greater Manchester and the GM VCSE Leadership Group. Projects include the co-design of the GM Community Wealth Hub, supporting the GM Independent Inequalities Commission, the GM Social Enterprise Action group, the Co-operative Commission and the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Disabled People’s Panel.

Anne is a qualified social accountant and auditor, has published several articles and research papers about evaluation, particularly focusing on the practice of social accounting and audit, and is a treasurer of the Social Audit Network and on the advisory Council of Social Value UK.

Anne Parkes, Social Value Associate, Arup
Anne is a social value and sustainability professional based in Arup’s Manchester office, working to embed social value at the heart of built environment projects. With over 20 years’ management experience gained across the private, public and charity sectors, Anne is a strong business and programme manager able to apply experience to new challenges at both a strategic and operational level. She has a proven track record in stakeholder engagement, with excellent communication and business development skills and is passionate about place-based solutions based on an understanding of local need.

Peter Schofield, Head of Integrated Commissioning and Procurement, Manchester City Council
Peter’s experience includes strategic and operational procurement, delivery of front line council services, construction projects, major regeneration programmes, and public sector improvement and efficiency initiatives. Specialties: CIPS qualified in strategic and operational procurement, PRINCE2 Practitioner and MSP Master Practitioner, Qualified Civil Engineer with experience of managing projects and programmes. Peter has extensive experience in managing public sector street scene services, public sector improvement and efficiency initiatives including shared services, collaborative procurement, application of lean techniques and implementing new ways of working.

Beth Sharratt, Project Manager, GMCVO
Beth leads on GMCVO’s Health and Social Care VCSE Engagement Project, involving the VCSE sector in devolution of health and social care in Greater Manchester. I manage the Greater Manchester Equality Alliance, a coalition of organisations taking a pan-equalities approach to tackling inequality, focusing on the intersections between different forms of inequality, channelling multiple perspectives and developing solutions through dialogue.

Karen Smith, Director, Turn Up the Value Ltd
Karen believes passionately that the small contributions we can all make add up to big differences for our communities and the environment. She has supported private sector businesses and VCSE organisations to maximise their social value and specialises in measuring and celebrating social impact. She has 15 years experience of working in the public sector in neighbourhood management and environmental policy, with a proven track record in building relationships and partnerships across the public, private and voluntary sector. Karen has worked with communities across Oldham, Salford and Bolton and is experienced in using asset based techniques to support communities to reach their full potential. As a Director of the Social Audit Network, she uses a social accounting framework to demonstrate the impact made by organisations. Karen is passionate about the contribution social businesses can play in social change and works with The Woodland Trust to develop opportunities for social enterprise at their Smithills Estate in Bolton.