Meet the team

Centre 56 team

We are a small team of staff, volunteers and a Board of Trustees whose dedication and passion ensures that Centre 56 continues to support those who need it most. 

The Centre 56 team is highly experienced and qualified, and they understand the needs of children and families who have suffered domestic abuse or a crisis situation.

The Board


Paul Roberts, Chair of Trustees at Centre 56     

Paul Roberts, Chair of Trustees

Paul joined as Chair of our Centre 56 Trustees Board in 2021. He is also Chair of Trustees for homelessness charity Petrus in Rochdale. Paul has extensive experience within the housing sector, working for one of the largest social housing organisations in the UK, the Guinness Partnership as an executive team member.

He has had a varied career across the private and third sectors. Paul has also held the role of Finance Director for a youth education company where he helped to establish its corporate functions including; finance, fundraising, IT and governance. He has also worked in Finance and Information Technology at Kelloggs, a small/medium enterprise in the aerospace industry and British Gas.

As a Chartered Management Accountant, Paul is an experienced finance professional and business leader with significant strategic experience across business sectors and has a track record of delivering business performance and implementing business change through successful teams.

Michael Birkett, Trustee at Centre 56   

Dr. Michael Birkett

Michael joined The Regenda Group as Group Chief Executive and member of the Board in March 2014. Before joining Regenda, Michael spent eight years as Chief Executive of The Calico Group and earlier in his career held senior roles at The Aspire Group and Liverpool Housing Action Trust.

Lesley Dixon, Trustee at Centre 56

Lesley Dixon

Lesley is the Chief Executive at PSS, a social enterprise that works across the UK supporting people in their home-life and relationships with their family to live happy, healthy and hopeful lives.

Lesley’s commitment to empowering people who need support goes beyond her role within PSS, Lesley is also a trustee of the Furniture Resource Centre – one of the first social enterprises in the UK and was previously a vice-chair of Mind and was also a commissioner on the Liverpool Fairness Commission. Lesley was also a member of ACEVO’s Health and Social Care Special Interest Group.

Before joining PSS, Lesley worked at the University of Leeds and in 2010 received an honorary doctorate for her contribution to the student experience. Lesley is also a Chartered Manager and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

    Joanna Wild, Trustee at Centre 56

Joanna Wild

Joanna is a FTSE 250 leader with a wealth of knowledge holding senior roles in both Aviation and Retail sectors. Currently Joanna mixes consultancy with non-executive roles. She specialises in delivering profit growth, operational efficiencies and customer excellence. Her experience within B2C organisations includes being a Managing Director overseeing a Retail division of 1200 stores and 8000 personnel.

   John Wood, Trustee at Centre 56

John Wood

John’s academic background is in planning and he has more than 37 years’ experience in the social housing sector, mostly as a member of the Senior Management Team with the Riverside Group from where he retired in April 2018. He became qualified early in his career and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

He has developed a strong balance of strategic vision along with a grasp for detail; an authentic leadership style focused on delivery, backed with a zeal for effective performance management; all while retaining an awareness of customer needs, expectations and challenges, and the importance of having the customer voice heard.

     Tony Russell,Trustee at Centre 56

Tony Russell

As Executive Director of Resources at The Regenda Group, Tony is responsible for Finance, Business Transformation, People Services, ICT and Communications. He has over 25 years’ experience across the housing, education, and construction sectors, providing leadership and direction in large and medium sized North West groups.