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Staff and Volunteers

Anne Marshall
Director of Middleton Popstars Academy.

I started along with my best friend (Grace Mckeown) what we thought was a fund raiising idea. We asked the youth what they would do to raise funds for a school that had been vandalised. As Grace and I felt that if the youth realized the hard work that was needed to replace the damage done this may help in the future to stop youth taking part in anit-social behavour. The football tournament was well attended and the boys just wanted to play more. The showcase was a fantastic evening my old friend Gail Stevens, Bernard Manning and his friend Bill Tarby came to help and the youth put on a electric night. At the end of the night a young girl came running up to me full of excitment and said when do we meet next and both Grace, Gail and I said well we had not planned anything. She looked at us all and said please please you have just got to nobody else likes me because i have ginger hair,"Well what could we say to that", and it was from that moment that both Grace, Gail and I knew we had to help. We asked (Bob Morrisey) who was the Manager at the civic centre at that time and he let us have one night a week, that was how we started our journey of Popstars. The youth got to pick the name  at the start of this jouney it was (Mini Popstars) this was to change as the youth got older to what we are know today (Middleton popstars Academy of Performing arts. Very Sadly Grace is no longer with us but her love and committment will be remember for ever by me her best friend and all who new her.

Emma Critchley


Emma is a student that came to Middleton Popstars as a dancer when she was 11years old, her mother felt she had to much energy and wanted it to be used up before bed. She was a very energetic young lady and always give a full pratice, never missed a session and never missed a event. She then joined the "Young Forum" when she was 14 years old and had ideas behond her years, from there she was lucky to gain funding from Lottery which seen her working for Middleton popstars for three years while she was in education taking her to become the "Dentist" she is today. Emma know all about young people their needs and speacil needs and has worked alongside many young person and has changed many young person life.

Elizabeth McLean


Liz first became a part of Popstars when she brought her son 8 years ago. She had tried other groups but found them costly and sometimes isolated.  It was not long before Liz got the Popstars bug and found herself a fundamental part of the MPA team. Liz is a university graduate and also works as a special needs teacher during the day. Liz also took the position as secretary at Popstars 4years ago when after her hard work on a funding application we were lucky enough to be successful with the "Big Lottery" Since then Liz has worked tirelessly on admin and other funding applications to keep the continuity for the young people of Popstars. Liz has become a fundamental part of Popstars and gives time and passion for the good of the group, when ever needed.

Jane Meredith

Jane, like many of our vital volunteers, first came through Popstar's door when she brought her child. Jane was aware of the work we did here and believed her daughter would benefit from becoming a member. Jane never realised she herself would end up apart of our team. Jane volunteers many hours to Popstars helping to give support to other children.


Paulette Lancashire
Costume Designer

Here at Popstars we a fortunate to have Paulette as part of our team. She spends many hours designing and making the costume that are worn in all our performances she is also a professional theatrical costume designer and maker. So it is no wonder that the members here never go on stage with out looking the part!!!


Lillian Jones

Lillian plays an active role in the decision making here at Popstars and volunteers many hours to MPA. She is superb with a paint brush and creates many beautiful portraits of the children and other designs which can be seen through out Popstars. Lillian was a Wren in the Royal Navy before she married and like many women at that time gave up her career to start a family. Lillian decided to go back to college and gain her GCSE's, and then Alevels in ART. She is now retired.

Jim Dobbin MP
Associate Board Member

Since the first show in 1999 Jim has shown his support to Popstars and has always been a keen supporter of the work we do with the youth here. He has always been a big help to Popstars behind the scenes in many aspects including meetings and this year has agreed to come on board!

It is with Great saddness that we have loss MR JIM DOBBIN our condolences to his family and freinds he will be sadly missed.

Janice Coxon

In the early days of Popstars Janice worked for Rochdale CVS at the time and she helped me then fill out some of the first funding applications. After a meeting in 09 Janice was metioned and I contacted her to catch up. After talking to Janice and her realizing we were still at it, Janice came to visit and she saw the good work which is done here to benefit the youths of our community and the surrounding communities and decided to help out as she is now retired. She gives up many hours to Popstars and now helps Liz and I with funding applications and is always willing to help to volunteer at shows and rehearsals.

Richy Kelly

Richy has been with us for over 17 years helping out when he can he has had a long term illness but still trys his best to help others. He works with the young people and older helping with gaining new skills in all that is media. He is a well know person in Middleton and before his illness worked as a DJ and young person entertainer.

Jonathan Sheerin.

New to Middleton Popstars -July 2015 coming from a local CVS service of whicih we are very glad about, Jonathan has  fitted in very nicely and is working towards his new skills and learning every day.

Michelle Hallworth


Michelle has been alongside us for over 17years and in that time been a full time worker at Bank of scotland and volunteer at the evening for us. She soon became a big part of MPA and took on the secretary work as well as helping out with drama and productions. Over the past few years Michelle has had four brain tumours but in all that time she figths on and still comes back to volunteer even directing plays for the young people.She a cedit to us here at MPA and the young people she serves