supporting young people into apprenticeships and work


Tel: 07807011948


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Educated at Woodhouse Grove School.


During 1983 to 1987 Steve attended Holme United Reformed Church, Bradford and ‘cut his teeth’ as a detached youth worker on the Holmewood Council Estate.


During 1996 to 1998 Steve achieved status as a Special Tutor to young people and qualified as an Advocate for people with learning difficulties. In 1998, Steve took on a role as Centre Manager on the Fieldhead Estate, North Kirklees.

In 2000 Steve joined the Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC) as a Development Officer and in April 2004 assumed the role as CEO of CFFC.

In Steve’s tenure as CEO CFFC has grown its invested donations to over £9 million and in 2013 Steve received an Outstanding Individual Achievement Award for his work. CFFC is respected locally and nationally and is proud that it is currently the second most successful UK community foundation (endowment per capita).


In 2009/10 Steve helped form a board of trustees in Kirklees and established the One Community Foundation Chaired by Sir John Harman.

Steve is a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire and active as a trustee of the Halifax 900 Trust and a director of Business for Calderdale.



Steve Duncan DL


At the age of 17 Ashleigh won the final series of the BBC1 show The Young Apprentice, securing herself a £25,000 investment from Lord Alan Sugar. Ashleigh was one of a record number of 38,000 young people  who applied to appear on the show. Lord Sugar chose Ashleigh as the winner because of her ‘sheer and utter graft’.


Ashleigh’s working life began as an apprentice in an accountancy firm, after which she became an advanced apprentice in business and administration.

Since the show Ashleigh has worked in various full time roles and is currently National sales manager with Youth Enterprise CIC as well as supporting and mentoring young people all over the UK.


Ashley attended the Calderdale College 'Your Hired event' last year as one of our keynote speakers and met young people during the event. She spoke passionately about The Young Apprentice Programme and promoted apprenticeships as a first choice for young people.  


Working Wonders is delighted that Ashley will be the first patron of our charity.


Ashleigh Porter-Exley



Local communications consultant and freelance writer, Louise Clarke, is part of the Working Wonders marketing and communications team, writing promotional web copy, press releases, blog articles, brochures,flyers and leaflets.


Louise has more than 20 years’ blue chip experience in a variety of public sector and private industries, including financial services, IT, healthcare, criminal justice, construction and association management. Clients include Bupa, ING Bank, HBOS, Serco, T-Mobile, GlaxoSmithkline, The Crown Prosecution Service and Leeds City Council. She also works on marketing communications and PR projects for local businesses.

Louise Clarke


With over fifteen years' experience in PR & Media Relations, Chris has acted for a wide range of regional, national and international clients in various sectors, ranging from local authorities to SMEs, high growth organisations, professional organisations and manufacturing industries.


Familiar markets include the legal & professional sectors, software & IT, digital & creative, financial services, property, education, healthcare, industrial & service sector businesses, automotive, telecoms and the leisure sector.


Chris’s wide-ranging expertise includes media relations, blogs, liaising with the local, regional, national and sector specific press, broadcast, digital media and Web. His specialisms range from drafting articles, case studies, feature contributions, expert opinions, Q&A sessions, press & news releases, through to copywriting for brochure, direct mail and website text.


Chris is also a highly-skilled strategic marketer, workshop facilitator and seminar presenter, as well as offering other business development and growth consultancy services. He also has wide ranging experience with both crisis management & internal PR.


An enthusiastic mountain biker & walker, Chris enjoys nothing more than a pint of one of his favourite beers after exploring one of Yorkshire’s singletrack routes…

Chris Shaw


Dr. Martin Haigh, co-chair of Working Wonders, is a Chartered Engineer by profession, and runs Calderdale-based, multi-award winning  training company, Lattitude7.


Martin uses innovative methods to help people become more confident, positive and effective at work.  Lattitude7 programmes are highly bespoke giving people a sustainable learning experience and a solution to exceed their expectations.


Martin is Halifax Harriers' Vice President, has run 20 Marathons (four times under 3 hours), 10 consecutive Yorkshire Three Peaks Races and over 15 Triathlons, including the UK IRONMAN.  Each event has been completed to raise funds for charities, including: Whizz Kids, Outward Bound, Cancer Research, St. John's Ambulance, Calderdale Special Care Baby Unit, Bermerside Special School, SCOPE and Children with Leukaemia.


A  former Apprentice in Halifax, Martin works tirelessly to support others and is passionate about helping young people to find stimulating work.  In 2013 he was part of the Cycle for Work team that helped 23 apprentices into work and is pleased to be co-chair of Working Wonders Ltd.

Martin Haigh


Joanne has run accounts departments for over 25 years, Her company Hawley Business Solutions Ltd provides bookkeeping and accounts support to businesses across the region. Joanne runs unique bookkeeping systems that give her clients a deeper understanding of the financial performance of their business that allows owners to make informed decisions.


Joanne brings an essential mix of business and financial expertise that provides a solid foundation from which Working Wonders can help young people in the region develop the skills that are essential to prospective employers. "I’ve been an advocate of apprenticeships in the construction industry for over 15 years and look forward to helping Working Wonders improve the lives and prospects of young people in our region across a range of sectors"

Joanne Bratley


Nigel is a marketing technologist driving improved performance from online marketing. His company, The Marketing Lab, based in Hebden Bridge, has benefited first hand from having apprentices on board. “There is a huge gap in the digital sector of skilled people being available. This gap is only widening as the use of digital technologies permeates our lives. Working Wonders provides the platform for young people in Calderdale to be given the opportunity to join a growing sector and improve links with small innovative businesses to improve skills.” Nigel is a National Apprentice Ambassador for the region of Yorkshire and Humber.

Nigel Cliffe


Jayne Spencer is the part time Project Manager.


Project Manager role:


-To engage with young people who require support from Working Wonders to gain an apprenticeship

-Coordinate delivery of work ready programmes for young people

-To engage and support employers who are seeking to appoint an apprentice

-Provide support grants for young people which will remove the barrier to obtaining apprenticeships.

-Provide small employers with support , advice and a grant to enable them to recruit apprenticeships

-Work with all training providers which will support employers recruiting apprentices.

-To promote apprenticeships and Working Wonder within Calderdale.

-To secure meaningful placements for young people that will provide them with skills to gain an apprenticeship.

-Work in partnership with young people, employers, schools, colleges and training providers.

-Support the Board in Working Wonders fundraising events

Jayne Spencer

Project Manager

Jade is an apprentice at Harveys Department Store in Halifax. She was offered the position by Roger Harvey following a presentation delivered by Jade on her experiences with Project challenge, which is an organisation that delivers intense training programmes for disaffected young people.


The project helped Jade restore her self-esteem and confidence after a troubled time at school.

Jade Drinnan


Jade Drinnan ashleigh porter exley chris shaw louise clarke martin haigh joanne bratley steve duncan foundation nigel