Plus Dane’s Chief Executive and Board Member recognised in New Year’s Honour’s List


The chief executive of Merseyside and Cheshire based housing association Plus Dane, Barbara Spicer, and the organisation’s Board Member, Anne Davies, have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Barbara was awarded a CBE for her services to education , learning and skills. Prior to joining Plus Dane she held the role of interim Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency for government, and before that Chief Executive of Salford City Council where she held the skills portfolio on Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority.

She is also a Commissioner for the executive non-departmental public body the UK Commission for Employment and Skills,  and as is a Founding Trustee in a newly formed charity, Volition Community, which supports people into skills and employment through volunteering at both Liverpool and Manchester cathedrals.

Barbara commented: “I was delighted and very surprised to receive the Honour, and see it as a great privilege. I firmly believe the two things that are most important for a person’s well-being are having the education and skills to get a real job, and having a proper home. I’ve tried to stay focussed on delivering both throughout my career, especially for and with people who may need some support to deliver them  for themselves.

“This award is the product of a team effort, a hugely supportive family and the amazing people I’ve worked with over the last twenty years at Knowsley, Salford and the Combined Authority then at the Skills Funding Agency. I remain committed to driving this agenda forward at Plus Dane and hopefully throughout the housing sector.”

Anne Davies, Board Member at Plus Dane, received an MBE for services to the Voluntary and Social Enterprise sectors throughout Cheshire, especially in Ellesmere Port.

Anne has worked in the social enterprise and voluntary sectors for the past eight years. With a background in the government funded training sector she was actively involved in influencing policy, holding senior positions in a number of national bodies. She moved into the charity sector in 2000 where she has worked tirelessly to make a difference by applying business strategies, helping organisations to become sustainable and not totally reliant on government funding.

Anne said: “I was delighted and shocked to receive an MBE, I always thought I’d never receive a long service award as I’m involved in so many different areas of work and volunteer in many different sectors so the work I do is very diverse. I’m proud to be recognised for my work with the voluntary and social enterprise sectors, championing social enterprise as a way to launch new organisations and help them to become sustainable, creating local work and supporting the local economy.”