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Michelle Bailey - Centre Manager
Michelle Bailey
Michelle has been involved with the community of Hulme and Moss Side for a number of years. Her background includes working for local companies and DJ'ing on local radio, and assisting with staging events. These include Moss Side Carnival, St Wilfrid's fun days, and other events organised by Firmstart and local organisations.

Michelle has worked for Firmstart since 1994, helping to successfully provide office space at the St Wilfrid's and the Cornbrook Centres and participating in the regeneration of the area by organising business support events and promoting the commercial and social developments in the area.

Michelle is an accomplished and qualified Business Administrator, managing the main office servicing the Firmstart team and the tenants of St Wilfrid's Centre. Michelle also organises and arranges all functions at the Centre, ranging from meetings and conferences, to exhibitions for Firmstart and other local organisations. Michelle has completed a Project Management Course and Counselling Course and a Btec Certificate in Photography. She works as a freelance photographer, and in 2015 is enjoying a sixth month sabbatical from her post.


John Nancollis - Managing Director
John Nancollis
Originally from Merseyside, John found himself in Manchester in the early eighties after graduating in Psychology (minoring in Social Anthropology) from Lancaster University. Following a brief period of foreign travel and work, development work with 'The Site' project (for youth and unemployed) in Manchester City Centre led him to meet the promotors of The Churches' Work Scheme in Moss Side, from which Firmstart was established in 1986. Present responsibilities include company development, and property and financial management for Firmstart (Manchester) Ltd. Other positions include being a trustee/director of Wesley Community Furniture, an environmental charity. John's other pastimes are many and varied, but travel, music, food, drink, and the environment are favourites. Also recycling, and cycling ! John now works part time for Firmstart whilst he develops an 'eco' campsite and guesthouse business in South West Bulgaria ( 


 Workers from the relatively recent past




Future Jobs Fund Team May 2010 - November 2010


 A number of staff members were recruited under The Future Job Fund. In 2010 the Government produced a scheme called Future Job Fund, it was a national scheme designed to provide work experience to unemployed 18 - 24 year olds (or in certain unemployment 'hotspots', .. all age groups.) Firmstart has benefitted from a number of staff working under this scheme, the main criteria for placement within it being that the work would be of social benefit. The scheme which had commenced early in 2010, was an early casualty of the new coalition government which was formed in the May 2010 General Election. As a result, placements under Future Jobs Fund ceased mid 2011.



Sadiq Yusuf - Project Admin

Originally from Manchester, born in 1991, I've lived in various locations around Manchester, currently living in Hale Barns Cheshire. I left school in 2007 and joined South Trafford College where I did a course in football coaching earning an NVQ in Football Level 2 and a FA Level 1 as a qualified coach ... I rejoined South Trafford College, to do a second course in Sports Develoment where I earned my Level 3 NVQ and I've now joined Firmstart with a company called Job Solutions I would like to stay longer maybe in the future after my initial 6 months. My interests are football, relaxing due to me being so laid back... and music :D



Mohammed Ramzan - Project Admin

I am from Longsight, Manchester, born in 1989, I've always lived in Manchester and at the moment I am doing a Foundation Degree in I.T System Support at the Manchester College. I have been studying I.T for a few years now and I have reached Level 2 and 3 up to now. I felt like that was not enough so I carried on to a Foundation Degree. I have been interested in making and producing music such as rap, hip hop and UK funky house. If you want to know anything about me just ask me.

My experience of working at Firmstart

Well where do I start with Firmstart, it has been an amazing experience working here. I have met a lot of great people here. The work here has been fun doing things such as updating the website, daily stuff, but good things have to come to an end.  I would like to thank John Nancollis and Michelle Bailey for the opportunity of working here. I have made quite a few friends here especially Colin and Adam, they have been great and entertaining to work with. I will miss working here and St Wilfrid’s centre will be missed.



Colin Neale - Project Admin

Hi! My name is Colin, from Salford but have lived all across Manchester. Before starting at Firmstart I was a Customer Care Team Leader at Virgin Media. My interests include football (come on you reds!), relaxing with my friends and travelling. Looking forward to meeting lots of new people and implementing my ideas to have a positive impact on Firmstart and the community. 

My experience of working at Firmstart

I started working for John Nancollis and Michelle Bailey, at Firmstart in May through the future job fund. During my time at Firmstart the work has been fun and varied, from doing day to day stuff like paperwork and invoicing. I have had to do some stewarding and create some homemade solar ovens.

Working at St Wilfrid’s I have enjoyed meeting all the different people who use the centre, as well as making some good friends along the way (golden boy and moho especially!). I have really enjoyed working here over the last six months, and hope that Firmstart (and Arcspace) can carry on the work that they are doing to educate people on recycling and helping local community.

It has been a great opportunity to gain some work experience and to learn some new things, my attitude to recycling has defiantly changed! I would like the take this opportunity to thank Michelle Bailey, John Nancollis, the FJF lads and everyone who I have met during my time. For the enjoyable experience I have had, and wish everyone involved at Firmstart and Arcspace all the best for the future.

Colin Neale


FJF Team Dec 2010/Jan 2011 - May/June 2011


Hamza Ahmed - Marketing Assistant

Hi there. Although I now live in Manchester, I spent the majority of my life growing up in London. Originally I was born in Kenya and I speak Swahili, but I have family and relatives from all over the world. I have 2 brothers and 3 sisters who are all older than me and have moved on to start their own families – because of this I am now an uncle of 10 children (great).

Just out of college I studied psychology, art, business and ICT. And before that 2 years at Manchester’s Loreto High School but before that I spent a year in boarding school abroad.

After college I took time off to go travelling where I visited countries such as Tunisia and Egypt and the United States.

Prior to working at Firmstart I had never had a real job other than a total of around 8 weeks work experience. My hobbies are playing and watching football or relaxing with friends, and I particularly enjoy gaming however, I find my greatest comforts are movies and my comic books (I’m quite the nerd).  


Alf Cordell – Marketing Manager
Alf Cordell

Alf worked as marketing manager between 2010 and 2012, developing Firmstart's online presence and networks. 








 Post Future Jobs Fund 


 Adam Mylchreest - Project Admin & Maintenance

Adam is from Stretford, and currently lives  in Urmston. He  was born in 1985, left school and started an NVQ in motor mechanics. He finished the course and worked in a few garages, but after a year or two decided that he wanted a change so started work in building. Adam  learnt many aspects of building from drainage all the way up to roofing. Unfortunatly the business he worked for ceased trading due to the recession. Adam joined Firmstart under the Future Jobs Fund programme in 2010. Following Future Jobs Fund Adam was taken on, on a fulltime contract. He was responsible for management and admin support and property maintenance work. His interests include football, building and fixing computers, playing with his two beautiful little girls Leah and Amie, and driving his car.



Adam left the company in May 2012 to pursue a career in sales and marketing. We wish him all the best.


Added: Tuesday, November 2 2004

Short Overview
Board of Directors