Fay Selvan & Edna Robinson 

2017 Cohort

Fay Selvan started working as a social entrepreneur in 1991, and established The Big Life group in 2002.  It is the first group of social businesses and charities in the country and has a turnover of circa £19m.  The group operates across the north of England and includes well known brands such as Big Issue North.  It offers opportunities to people who have the least, helping them get to where they want to be.  It works in the fields of health and wellbeing, children and families, employment and training. Fay won the Social Enterprise Leader England Award in 2011. Fay completed an Honours degree at Sussex University before moving to Manchester in 1980.  She has an MSc in Strategic Leadership in 2001 at Salford University. 

Key appointments include: CEO of the Big Life group (1991 to present); Chair of New Charter Housing Group (2014 to present); Chair of International Network of Street Papers (2014 to present); Non Executive Director of CAFCASS Children and Families Court Advisory Service (2012 to present).

Previous appointments include: Executive Sponsor for the Manchester, Salford and Trafford Health Action Zone (1999 to 2001); Chair of Trafford North Primary Care Trust (2001 to 2006) Chair of Trafford Healthcare Trust (2006 to 2012) Commissioner on the Channel 4 Street Weapons Commission (2010).

Edna Robinson is Chair of The Big Life group and Trafford Housing Trust.

A successful public sector leader, She has held several senior positions within the NHS, including Chief Executive of PCT and Hospital Trusts, Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Chair of the Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of the Advisory Board to Richard Branson’s Virgin Health Group.

Her other roles included board member and advisor to the Home Office in the establishment of the National Police Improvement Agency.

Edna established the Greater Manchester Chairs Group in May 2015, a forum allowing non-executive leaders of housing providers to share knowledge and expertise for strategic leadership in the sector.