Response from Capacity re Alder Hey/Springfield Park  

Capacity is on the lookout for a new Chair!

Response from Capacity re Alder Hey/Springfield Park  

We’re making this statement to re-clarify our role in relation to more recent questions around our involvement in Springfield Park. Alder Hey as an organisation hold the task of restoring and revitalising Springfield Park. As highlighted by their team ‘this £6.2 million project aims to create a space that promotes health and well-being, be an attractive place for visitors, and enhances the quality of life for the wider community’. 

Acting as an independent party from Alder Hey, Capacity was commissioned for a very focused contract to co-create and secure the investment needed to deliver the enhanced features local communities want to make Springfield the best destination it can be. With this, Alder Hey funded Capacity to be a really small part of their £6.2 mil wider project, but we made it our mission to add value and generate an impactful return on the investment. 

We, Capacity, are a public service redesign agency, so a lot of what we do is in the background of major projects such as this, helping to make them fit for purpose by working with local people and bringing their ideas to life. This involves consultation, best practice research, finding funding and working with lots of different people and groups to try and unpick the barriers to making the project a success.  

By working with community partners, we were successful in securing additional funding for Springfield Park including £144,000 for a disability cycling centre based in the park and a full summer of events delivered by Hype Merseyside – taking us over and above the original investment made.

We have also supported discussions with funders and Liverpool City Council (as the landowner) to explore more possibilities of a heritage trail, a café and a community hub. This combined work has resulted in bids totalling over £1m for features that can generate a long-term sustainable income for the park.  

In addition, Capacity has also brought many expert community providers into the park who have delivered events including health and wellbeing activities, children’s holiday themed events, health and wellbeing programmes, creative programmes and opportunities for family fun. These events were designed to complement the valuable activities coordinated and delivered by groups such as Friends of Springfield Park, LFC Foundation and more, with the ambition of making Springfield Park a welcoming and inclusive park.  

We are pleased to see that Phase 1 of the park is open and has been returned to the community, and we are thrilled to see that our partners at the ‘Wheels for All’ cycling programme have had a warm welcome to the park.

Sadly, we can’t answer any questions on the Alder Hey health campus or the timeline/content of the return of the park, this is something we are not part of and over which we have no control.  

We are also aware that concerns have been raised about the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA). Again, we sadly cannot answer any comments on the MUGA as our involvement has been very limited. Capacity carried out a pre-consultation in late 2020 following a request for a second planning proposal by LCC. As part of this consultation, we spoke to the community and reaffirmed the preferred location of the MUGA to Alder Hey – this was extent of our involvement.  

However, we do understand the current priority for Liverpool City Council and Alder Hey is the return of the main features of Springfield Park for the community.

Capacity has now finished its small part in the wider Springfield Park regeneration project. We wish the best of luck to Alder Hey, Liverpool City Council and Springfield Park community teams with the rest of their journey.

The Power of People

Capacity is on the lookout for a new Chair!

The power of people: Vaccine rollout is 'True Collaboration in Action'

Teamwork is the magic word as Primary Care Networks (PCNs) across Liverpool mobilise a smooth vaccination programme with just a few days’ notice. GP surgeries in Childwall Wavertree, SWAGGA and Picton PCNs now offering the Covid-19 vaccine, with management support from Capacity.

After a turbulent and traumatic year, the Covid-19 vaccine has been hailed as ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’ and has arrived in Liverpool’s communities sooner than originally predicted. The NHS is operating a staged approach, with patients over the age of 80 and frontline workers being the groups to be invited to receive the vaccine.

As Julia Hyde, PCN Lead Nurse for SWAGGA, points out: “Many in this age group have been shielding since the outbreak in March, so this appointment will be the first trip out of their house in seven months. It’s offering people hope; people are extremely thankful to have been vaccinated.”

It is estimated that once 60% of the population are vaccinated, the positive impact will truly start to be seen, with immunised patients protecting those who have not yet been vaccinated.

GPs deliver the national flu campaign every year, however this has been a significantly more difficult task, with a myriad of logistical challenges to juggle given the vaccine was only approved in the UK in the autumn.

Childwall Wavertree Primary Care Network (CWN), a collaboration of seven GP surgeries in south Liverpool, first found out they were going to be one of the leading vaccination sites in the city on 23rd November, with patients being welcomed in for the vaccine just three weeks later.

CWN enlisted the help of Liverpool public service support organisation, Capacity. Emma Lord, Director of Health at Capacity said, “It’s certainly been a hectic time for anyone involved in healthcare these past few months, but it’s all made worth it when you see how grateful some of our most vulnerable patients are, thanking the nurses, pharmacists, doctors, practice managers and wider workforce for their contribution to making the vaccine a reality.”

Doctor Ayo Adebanjo, Clinical Lead at CWN and GP Partner at Valley Medical Centre, where they started vaccinating on 14th December said: “I’ve never seen anything like this in my career before now; this whole process has really demonstrated the power of true collaboration in action.”

Over at SWAGGA PCN, Doctor Udit Gupta, GP Partner at The Gateacre Brow Practice, added: “When we first started the rollout last Saturday [9th January], everyone was asking to chip in, to help out.” In discussing what the vaccine will mean for patients and their communities, he noted: “I think this [vaccine] is really what people have been holding on to… this is the beginning of what we hope is the end of this really traumatic time. A lot of the patients are very emotional; they’re very grateful.”

We feared that the rise of misinformation and fake news could have had an impact on the number of people in the UK willing to have the vaccine, however this doesn’t seem to have been the case in South Liverpool: “We’ve had very little concerns about the vaccine; people have been very keen to have it. We’ve had reports of a sore arm and maybe a little tiredness the next day but that has gone away in 24 hours with everyone we’ve spoken to,” Dr Gupta remarked.

The vaccine rollout has not been without the exceptional response from the community; over 40volunteers have signed up in to assist with stewarding the vaccination clinics, and over 300 trainee medical students from the University of Liverpool have offered to work as vaccinators at GP practices across the city.

Pauline, a local volunteer, explained: “I registered last May when Liverpool City Council put out a call for volunteers then, but we weren’t needed until I got an email recently from Roseanne at Capacity asking if I was still interested and following up with some dates and places I could volunteer. So, I chose the shifts based on when I was available and got allocated… The process has been very smooth, everything seems very well organised… So it’s been very good!”

When asked how she had found the experience, another volunteer, Barbara, a retired teacher from Grassendale added: “Oh, it’s been humbling, touching… just wonderful! To see the fantastic response from the staff… It’s just been very joyful all together!”

Thank you Hope!

Clinical directors of SWAGGA, CWN and Picton thanking Hope University

‘Thank you Hope!’ - University vaccination center comes to a close after an incredible 83,000 doses delivered

Clinical directors of SWAGGA, CWN and Picton thanking Hope University

In light of the recent ‘booster-plan’ announcement, we wanted to take a look back at the amazing achievements and the dedication that our partners have shown since the vaccine rollout began.

After months of ‘true collaboration in action’, Hope University’s vaccination center has closed its doors after delivering an incredible 83,000 doses to the communities of South Liverpool.

The vaccination center came as a ‘teamed-up approach’ as Primary Care Networks (PCNs), Childwall and Wavertree Network (CWN), SWAGGA and Picton PCN joined forces in March 2021 to mobilise a smooth vaccination programme to face the increased demands of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

To support with the strategy and communications of the programme the PCNs approached Liverpool-based public service design agency, Capacity, to help make things as safe, efficient and straight-forward as possible. With the added boost of the Capacity management team, the three PCNs were able to secure a fixed space on Hope University’s grounds, allowing the center to vaccinate over 1,200 people a day.

Since March, the center has worked with over 200 volunteers, 192 student vaccinators and 100s more medical staff delivering more than 17,500 hours of support. 

The university grounds have since reopened to students returning to study in Autumn/Winter 2021. Over coming months the Childwall and Wavertree Primary Care network will continue to work closely with the university – ensuring all Hope students have been or have the opportunity to be vaccinated through their network, as well as continuing to support through their accelerated booster programme.

Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of Liverpool Hope University, said: “Liverpool Hope University has a 175-year history of commitment to both education and to the local community. And as part of this key mission, we relished the opportunity to partner with Capacity Lab and the local Primary Care Networks (PCNs) to provide a vaccination facility here at our Hope Park campus in south Liverpool.  

“Since the very beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Hope community of staff and students has worked together in response to the pandemic, raising funds, equipment and much needed resources for those delivering frontline services. In October 2020 the University was able to host its first Covid-19 testing centre, as part of the initial Government pilot scheme, to service both the Hope and local community. 

“Meanwhile the vaccination centre, located in our Hope Park Sports facility, has been providing a much-needed service to a vast number of patients since it was first established in March of this year. We’re proud to have been able to play a role in the national Covid-19 vaccination programme and we’ll continue to work to combat the pandemic in any way we can.”Dr Jamie Hampson, Clinical Director of Swagga commented: “Being involved in the Covid pandemic response by helping to set up and run a mass vaccination centre at Hope University has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. Collaborative efforts from healthcare professionals, Capacity, Hope University staff and the general public created a resource that has vaccinated so many and is likely to have saved many lives both directly and indirectly. We should all be justifiably proud of the part we played in this real achievement at a time of crisis.”

Emma Lord, Health Director at Capacity added: “The pace and brilliance of people has been astounding. The team at Hope University have shown incredible generosity with their space, supporting the PCNs to manage huge numbers of the public on their campus.

Local volunteers and medical students have been recruited and trained at an incredible speed, filling shift after shift enabling us to vaccinate thousands of people. The medical teams and leaders have worked tirelessly to ensure the site has run like a well-oiled machine – it’s been the best team-building exercise we could have wished for and demonstrates the power of the amazing people we work with.”

A Change for Good

A change for good – ‘I’ve got my son back’: Steve’s story

About Steve

In his own words, he said he had ‘no hope’. Steve had been back and forth through the system, continuously getting into trouble for illegal behaviour and activities. Through his actions over the best part of his young adult life, his family had given up on him and he had no friends to support him and help him to get back on track.

Upon Steve’s most recent time in prison, he became part of the Recycling Lives workshop. As part of the workshop, Steve was able to get hands on with projects, learn new skills, as well as building new and trusted friendships. He was able to gain the guidance and confidence he needed to make positive changes in his life, all the while saving a pot of income to help him on his way when his sentence finished.

Steve continued with Recycling Lives as part of their residential programme, enabling him to work on the issues that caused him to reoffend previously. He now has a stable job at United Utilities and is continuing to progress his career.

As for his family life, his mum said ‘I’ve got my son back’ as he firmly settles back in as a loved son, brother and father. Steve is happy, healthy and has completely turned his life around.

About Recycling Lives Charity & Social Enterprise
Recycling Lives Charity is redefining what social value can look like as a UK leader for combining business and charity. They deliver charity programmes for offender rehabilitation, residential support and more.

Throughout the pandemic, they were able to reduce reoffending rates to under 5% and support over 150 people back into work, contributing to creating social value of £22.3million.

Its work is supported by Recycling Lives Ltd, who use their commercial operations in recycling and waste management to create training and work opportunities for Charity participants.

How Capacity helped
Capacity has been able to work closely with Recycling Lives over the past five years, supporting with various projects, including a plan for growth to expand their prison-based workshops.

From business planning to finance management and bid-writing, Capacity was able to help Recycling Lives Charity to secure £600k of Big Lottery Funding for their growth plans. 

The 600k has now allowed Recycling Lives to grow their services across the UK as positively change more lives than ever before.

REGROUP: How to crack company culture


“How to crack company culture”

(SPOILER: it’s less about what you say, and more about what you do) 

With Katy Leeson, former MD of Social Chain, Lesley Dixon, CEO of PSS and Dave Sweeney Exec Director of Partnerships at Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership  

Date: Thursday 16th June, 2pm – 4.30pm 

What does ‘a great culture’ really mean, and how do you get one?  

This topic comes up every working day at Capacity, whatever type of project we’re delivering it’s often the foundation that either enables or blocks change. In the last ten years we’ve all become more aware of its importance, of the need to create exciting and happy workplaces that make going to work enjoyable not a chore. That’s the expectation of most employees today, and right now, after the most pivotal change we have seen in working history, the ‘great resignation’ means we’ve got to think about the connections between great culture and great leadership and deliver on the promises we make.  

We want to use this event to really understand this word ‘culture’. Often overused, (and often misunderstood) it’s one of those topics that can be difficult to plan for, after all it’s less about the ‘what we do’ and much more about ‘how we do it’. Search online today for ‘great company culture’ and you’ll find a hundred books you can read, TED talks you can watch and inspirational stories you can follow, but where do you even start? We all know it’s not something that happens overnight – it’s something that takes planning, graft and absolute unwavering commitment.  

On the day, we’ll be talking to three leaders from the North West, people who know what it takes to build amazing places to work (don’t worry we checked they’re staff think it’s a great place to work too). As leaders who know a good bit about high levels of employee engagement and feedback, we’ll find out more about what it means to them and their teams, the work that they’ve done and the platforms and potholes they’ve found along the way.  

Katy Leeson

Katy has an impressive record of leading and inspiring meaningful change both within her most recent role as MD of Social Change and through her client work. She believes culture and values are the most important thing a leader can focus on, that great ‘buzz’ of an ambitious workplace, one with clear ambition and vision. Katy supports organisations to think about the role of culture in attracting the best talent, and the importance for leaders to have a commitment to those ways of working to not only recruit but retain the people they want.

Lesley Dixon

Lesley has been a CEO in the third sector in Liverpool for the last 10 years, transforming the now 103-year-old PSS in terms of direction and culture. With staff engagement levels to envy, Lesley will share her key insights from the journey she’s been on, the challenges along the way and what she thinks are the most important considerations if you truly want to create a place people love working in.

Dave Sweeney

Dave has 24 years’ experience working in Health and Social care, and (put simply) his job is all about getting people to work well together, whether that’s within internal teams or across projects. Dave’s a true ‘people person’ with a unique approach to his public sector role. His ability to connect with others and keep them motivated is critical as his teams face the steep challenges that come with working within the NHS. s on, that great ‘buzz’ of an ambitious workplace, one with clear ambition and vision. Katy supports organisations to think about the role of culture in attracting the best talent, and the importance for leaders to have a commitment to those ways of working to not only recruit but retain the people they want.

REGROUP for 2022 is back!

REGROUP is back for 2022!

How is it March already?!
This year is moving by quickly!


We’ve took the time to speak to many leaders over the past couple of years, and we don’t know one CEO, Director or Senior Manager that hasn’t spent a good bit of it in fire-fighting mode.

As we all know, that often means leaving those things you’d usually do (the things that are about developing yourself, your networks and thinking for the longerterm) off the ‘must-do’ list!

The feedback we’ve had has told us that hearing from some of the top voices in business, charity and public services was just what the doctor ordered – that it gave a touch of inspiration and advice when you needed it.

So, we’ve had a long think and we’ve decided – we’re not going to stop at speaker events, we’re turning REGROUP 2022 into a broader, more interactive range of events and tools that are free to anyone working in public and/or community services in the North West and Wales.  

This year, we will be bringing you a mix of:   

  • Keynotes: These sessions run for up to one hour and feature speakers who share our values and visions for public services. They generally talk about their experiences in their particular sector and at the end take part in a Q&A with their audience. These will be held typically online as a lunchtime session, so you can have your lunch as you have a listen.  

  • Huddles: These small round table sessions have targeted invite lists focused around key themes, and by being part of the REGROUP network (and registering your areas of interest) you’ll be on our radar as booking are made. These events will be led by an facilitator (and expert on the topic at hand) from the Capacity team and on occasion a special guest to stimulate discussion.  

  • Socials:  These events are designed to bring sector leaders and decision makers across multiple industries together in a more relaxed environment. The aim is to create connectivity across organisations and leaders, and to unpick those barriers/blockers together.

  • Stories: As leaders it’s so easy to get lost in the day job, so each Friday afternoon we love to put things into perspective. Every month we will share a story to remind you of the impact you and your teams are having on real people. So, as you close that laptop for the weekend you can remind yourself that all your hard work is worth it.


So, what to do now? Well, keep an eye on our website and socials for some new and exciting events to be announced very soon!

Capacity Associate Roles

Capacity Associate Roles

We’re on the lookout for some brilliant Associates to join the team…

  • Excited by the prospect of working on an ever-changing portfolio of projects across health and social care?
  • Specialist in a key commercial area such as service design, impact management or marketing and communications?
  • Great at quickly acquainting yourself with new projects and people?
  • Capacity is looking to recruit specialist associate team members who can support projects on an ad-hoc basis, as and when briefs fit their expertise and availability.

Are you:

  • An impact specialist? (We call them “data crunchers”).
  • A marketing and communications whiz? (We call them “storytellers”).
  • A delivery mastermind? (We call them “project managers”.)
  • A community engagement expert? (We call them “listeners”).
  • A tech-minded design guru? (We call them “digital innovators”).
  • A public service specialist? (We call them “service designers”).
  • A veteran leader? (We call them “mentors”).

If you’d like to learn more about any of these opportunities, get in touch via to speak to one of our Project Leads, who will identify areas of need across our current projects and match them with your skillset and experience.

Capacity CEO, Chris Catterall joins Local Trust Board

Picture of East Cleveland Big Local

Capacity CEO, Chris Catterall joins Local Trust Board

Picture of East Cleveland Big Local

Our CEO, Chris Catterall is one of four new trustees who have been appointed to place-based investment charity Local Trust’s Board.  These appointments now bring a wealth of experience and knowledge from a range of disciplines including local government, property development and national policy. 

Joining Chris on the Board of trustees are:

  • Matt Bell, Corporate Affairs Director at global property business Grosvenor
  • Patrick Melia, Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council
  • Charlotte Pickles, Director of think tank, Reform

David Warner, Chair of Local Trust said: “This is a crucially important time for Local Trust. Over the past few years, the charity has taken rich learning from the communities it supports across the country to drive change to champion community-led investment and drive even further change.

Now, with the end our strategy in sight, we are really pleased to be joined by four individuals from across the country with completely different experience and perspectives. Their knowledge and skills will be invaluable in helping us, not only meet our aims, but ensure that community power is firmly on the national agenda now and beyond 2026, so all neighbourhoods have the opportunity to flourish.

Chris added: “I am thrilled to be joining the Local Trust Board. This is a very important time to work as closely as we can with our local communities and make sure we listen to the challenges they are facing.

Through place-based investment we have the chance to make some real and impactful change and I look forward to working with Local Trust to achieve this.”

The appointments come at a strategically important time for the charity, as it seeks to maximise the impact of its work and secure a legacy beyond 2026, when its pioneering community-led investment programme Big Local, is set to complete.

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and delivered by Local Trust, Big Local is a resident-led funding programme providing people in 150 areas in England, that have historically missed out on funding, with £1.15m each to spend across 10 –15 years to create lasting change in their neighbourhoods.

The four new Trustees will be formally appointed at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting in November 2021

REGROUP with Jon Yates

Jon Yates

with... Jon Yates

The last 18 months have been some of the most challenging our sectors have faced. We’ve seen families devasted, professionals burned out and systems overwhelmed, what good can come from that? It’s been a heavy price to pay but increasing recognition of our public and third sector (of long-standing underfunding and undervaluing of colleagues) has rocketed and that is something to we at Capacity want to help maintain. Therefore, we’ve decided to both celebrate and stimulate this recognition with a series of events that will run from September to November this year – the REGROUP ‘Never More Needed’ series.

The full programme is still being finalised and will be winging its way to your inbox shortly, but in the meantime, I’m delighted to announce our first speaker, Jon Yates. Jon has a vast amount experience on both the commissioner and provider side of youth services, playing key roles in national policy development and project leadership with the Department of Education, founding sector leading youth organisations and now working as Executive Director the Youth Endowment Fund. Jon’s was ahead of most in seeing the potential this pandemic had to achieve something positive and his perfectly timed book ‘Fractured’ presents us as designers, commissioners and providers of public services with much food for thought as we reflect on the pandemic and its ability to unite people across all walks of life. The book and Jon’s thinking is based on the principle that ‘what unites us is stronger than what divides us’ and we believe this thinking and way of living is a great mantra for us to take into the coming years as our societies, and our sectors, start to recover.

The event will take place via Zoom on Friday 10th September at 10am, so keep it free if you can. To save you the task of cut and pasting this information across we’ll send you a diary invite over the next few days.

We really hope you can join us to in the first of this new series, I look forward to seeing you there.

Just email Chris Witterick at to book your place  

New programme launching to support Region’s brightest up-and-coming social entrepreneurs

New programme launching to support Region’s brightest up-and-coming social entrepreneurs

The new Emerge social enterprise programme will see fifteen students embark on an eight -week journey to build a new social enterprise or community business that will directly support local people and improve the relationship between Liverpool’s local communities and the students who live there short-term while studying at the University.

The programme, which begins in February, will be delivered by the Capacity team across eight weekly workshops and will see students learn about:

  • community consultation,
  • feasibility studies,
  • business planning,
  • financial modelling,
  • communications,
  • governance,
  • business development,
  • fundraising and,
  • impact.

At the end of the programme, students will pitch their social enterprise idea back to the community and lay down a realistic timeframe for its delivery. The overall aim of the programme will be to promote better awareness between students and their neighbours and will mark the start of a sustainable social enterprise that exists to educate students who move into these communities in the future.

Chris Witterick, Partnerships Manager at Capacity, said:

I am delighted to be working with the University of Liverpool to the deliver the third Emerge programme. After two fantastic years developing the city’s next generation of entrepreneurs, we will be supporting a new cohort of students to conceive and launch a community business which will directly improve people’s lives. The programme will mostly be delivered by the Capacity team, who have a range of different skills and work closely with some of the city’s most impactful community organisations. This is our most ambitious programme yet, but I can’t wait to get started!
Chris Witterick
Partnerships Manager
Meanwhile, Emma More, Director of Careers & Employability at The University of Liverpool added:
I am excited that we have once again been able to renew our partnership with Capacity to develop future entrepreneurs firmly rooted in the Liverpool City Region. As we enter the third year of the Emerge programme, it is great to see an increased focus on social enterprise, combining Capacity’s skillset with the passion of many of our students. A perfect programme for this time of recovery when an increased focus on ‘community’ is more important than ever.
Emma Moore
Director of Careers & Employability, University of Liverpool