Our team

We believe that the more the public sector works with SMEs/VCSEs – the better for us all

From more money going into our local economy and job creation, to smaller organisations growing and becoming more successful and the public sector fulfilling its commitment to supporting local enterprise – when SMEs/VCSEs understand how to succeed in gaining public sector contracts, we all win.

Gillian Askew


Gillian has over 25 years of experience of experience as a procurement professional in the public and private sectors and as a small business and social enterprise owner.

Gill recognises from both perspectives that more needs to be done to support smaller organisations to access public sector work and she co-founded Go4Growth to fill that gap. She’s committed to removing the barriers that prevent SMEs or VCSEs from being able to compete for the work on offer, creating a level playing field for all.

Gillian is the first port of call for businesses or public sector organisations who want to get involved with Go4Growth and delivers many of our training events.

Sheri-Leigh Miles

Sheri-Leigh holds a master’s degree in Education for Sustainability and was involved in the development of the UK’s first sector-level sustainability strategies (Learning and Skills Council and Higher Education Funding Council).

Sheri-Leigh was also part of the award-winning Ecoversity team at the University of Bradford, the first whole-institution sustainability engagement programme in the UK. She was invited to become a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in 2018 in recognition of her sustainability work in the education sector.

She teaches sustainability on Newcastle University Business School’s Executive Education programmes as a visiting lecturer and is an experienced small business owner herself.

Jimmy Brannigan

Jimmy is a social value and sustainability expert and long standing small business owner who has worked with the public sector for over 30 years. He is also a highly experienced trainer and facilitator and delivers many of our training events.

Jimmy is currently Social Value advisor for BlueLight Commercial Services who support Police Forces and Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCS) across England and Wales. Working in the public sector and running his own small businesses, Jimmy is acutely aware of the value that SME/VCSE can bring to the public sector.

Jimmy co-founded Go4Growth to help both businesses and the public sector get the most out of our program me and the information we gather through it.

Lauren Siddons

Lauren is Go4Growth’s procurement assistant. Lauren’s role consists of creating new and engaging content for our audience, working directly with businesses looking to get involved with the programme, running 121 mentoring sessions and hosting live and virtual webinars focused on finding opportunities within the public sector.

Sandra Pickering

Sandra is our service engineer and administrator. She responds to technical and practical enquiries from the SME/VCSE organisations we support, and our public sector clients.

Sandra also ensures that SMEs and VCSEs can access support as they engage with our program me so that their experience is smooth and straightforward.

Milly Moss

Milly is Go4Growth's communications consultant. She has worked for more than 12 years with third sector and social enterprises to introduce innovative tools and communication infrastructures to help organisations overcome complex marketing problems. She has a varied background in marketing and communications spanning public relations, press, website development, digital communications and graphic design and enjoys providing these services to SMEs and VCSEs with a distinctly social and inclusive message.

Mike Fairbotham


FCIPS Mike is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) organisation; a CIPS Procurement Excellence consultant and an experienced trainer.

Like Jimmy and Gillian, Mike is also an experienced small business owner running his own training and procurement advisory service, so intimately understands the market from the perspective of the SMEs he supports.

Mike is our procurement specialist, bid writer and trainer and provides robust and practical skills development opportunities for the small businesses and third sector organisations we work with.

Jayne Ashby

Jayne is G4G’s diversity and inclusion consultant. She works with independent business owners and SMEs, helping them to improve their awareness around diversity matters. She also designs practical and actionable strategies for a more inclusive workplace.

Jayne provides guidance and bespoke equality, diversion and inclusion (EDI) strategies for both SMEs and public sector companies, enabling them to put inclusion at the core of their business.

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What our clients say

  • Office Odyssey is a family run business and one of the U.K.’s leading suppliers of Epson’s sustainable inkjet technology. We are a social enterprise, with at least 51% of profits going onto creating work for people with autism and other barriers to work.

    We found challenges in accessing public sector contracts, as some are flagged as not suitable for VCSEs and we were not entirely clear on what policies and procedures we needed to have in place to be successful in the tender process. The Go4Growth Tool is an excellent tool that helped guide us through the maze to ultimate success,. iIt’s well presented and contains lots of information and resources we now use to improve our tenders.

    Office Odyssey

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