All about us

Brighter Lives North West is a community interest company based at Valley Street Community Centre in Burnley.

Alongside a great team of fully trained volunteers, we are here to support children, young people and adults from Burnley and Padiham in all aspects of their lives.

Whether it’s our Young People’s Groups where we discuss topics such as bullying or self-harm, or a one to one session where we offer advice and support on domestic abuse or mental health needs, we work with between 250-300 children and young people and between 40-60 adults a year.

Brighter Lives North West is a friendly place where you will feel safe and welcome amongst like minded individuals.

If you feel that we could help you or you know someone who you would like to refer to us, please contact us either via the form here or give us a call on 07925 726855 from Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm.

You are not alone.

A little bit of history

Valley Street Community Centre

Brighter Lives North West was founded in August 2017 by Amanda Ellerton and Elizabeth Schinkel.

The company was set up to help those most vulnerable in the community of Burnley and Padiham and to bring back a local service that was easily accessible to all.
Schools were In need of help and support for their most vulnerable children, and adults were struggling to receive immediate support around domestic abuse, so Brighter Lives was formed.

Initially we only worked with children but once we received our first lot of funding in December 2017 we started our Freedom Programmes which offer adult support.
We have continued to grow the business and now employ 7 members of staff alongside our team of volunteers and not forgetting our support dog Benji.

Amanda has been the Managing Director since Elizabeth left in 2018.

Meet the team

All our staff and volunteers are fully DBS checked.

Managing Director
Amanda Ellerton

Louise Young
Janet Atkinson
Denise Hudson
Michele Tither

Children and Young People’s Complex Needs workers (full time)
Amanda Ellerton
Jade Warrington

Children and Young People’s Complex Needs worker (part time)
Lisa Taylor

Adult complex needs worker
Amanda Ellerton
Kayleigh Barnes

Therapy Dog

We also have four volunteers who help out with groups.

Name: Amanda Ellerton

Age: 39

Job Role: Managing Director

Personality: I have a bubbly personality and like to laugh and joke around. I am easy to get along with and i dont think i am a bad boss, never had any complaints so far 🙂

Hobbies and interests:
I love going on long walks with my dog Benjii (our Therapy Dog) he keeps me busy and active, i also like reading and learning as much as i can. I love my family and spend as much time with them as i can. I am outgoing and will speak to anyone. Spending time with my friends is my therapy but i also like to be on my own for the peace and quiet after a hard week at work.

Why i love my work:
Well what can i say, i could say its because i like helping people which i do however, i am passionate about people being treated in the right way, i like to stand up for an injustice i see happening. I am not only the managing director i also carry out front line work with children, young people and adults because i am a strong believer in keeping human interaction and being out there to keep that connection with the community. I love my work because i can see the difference it makes in peoples lives, theres nothing more rewarding than seeing children, young people and adults empowered and living their lives free from harm. The work we do is fascinating because we meet so many different people in our line of work and it amazes me to see the strength that people find within themselves to keep pushing forward.



Name: Lisa Taylor



Personality: I like to talk a lot, I consider myself to be a positive person with a positive outlook on life.

Hobbies and interests:
Spending time with my family and friends, going to the gym, reading, walking and I am a big Marvel fan.

Why you love your work:
Being a support worker means making a difference in someone’s life, making a real change to the lives of the people I support makes my job worthwhile.

Name: Kayleigh Barnes

Age: 35

Job Role: Adult Domestic Abuse Support Worker

Personality: Down to earth, caring and empathic, old soul at heart born in the wrong era 🙂

Hobbies and interests:
Fitness and the gym although i do love food and a good cheat meal. I love walking with my family and i am mad for reading and love music especially 80’s rock, if i could get away with a mullet i would have one.

Why you love your work:
I got into supporting others as i know how it feels to think you have nowhere to turn. I made it my ambition to empower and support others, and eliminating the taboo of asking for help. I love my job meeting each person i work with as we each have our own stories to ell, and feel priviliged to be a part of their journey. I am also a qualified counsellor and advanced CBT practitioner which enables me to support people further.



Name: Jade Warrington

Age: 28

Job role: Children’s and young peoples support worker

Personality: very bubbly and chatty

Hobbies and interests: enjoys exercising, walking my dog, spending time with family and friends

Why you love you work:
I am very passionate about children having the best start into their adult life . Being able to make just the smallest difference to a individual gives me great satisfaction. I love to get to know each individuals unique personalities and enjoy building relationships with them to help them blossom.

Say hello to Benji!

Benji is our Therapy Dog, a working Cocker Spaniel who is undergoing training. He lives with one of our Directors and is well looked after. He already has a great rapport with the young people at our groups and is extremely friendly and energetic.

There is also a Cockapoo puppy called Oscar who stays with one of our workers in sessions on a Friday morning. This allows the playful pup to socialise and never fails to bring a smile to the children’s faces.

He has helped a young boy who is grieving to smile from the inside, which is something he hasn’t done for a while, and made a young girl laugh so hard her belly hurt. They love spending time with him.



Our volunteers

In our previous Freedom Programme group, we had four volunteers from Burnley College helping to run our crèche. Not only did this help the volunteers in their studies, it also provided them with first-hand experience to apply to their future careers. It also enabled anyone who attended the groups to receive the support they needed without worrying about childcare.

After helping out in crèche, the volunteers were able to recognise the affects of domestic abuse on children, and at the end of their placement they thanked our team and said they felt more confident and relieved knowing they had helped the children and their mothers get the support they need.

If you have any enquiries about volunteer roles, we would love to hear from you. Give us a call on 07925 726855 from Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm or email any time.