Skip to main content

I do lots of things for lots of people, watch my film to find out more


Hi. I'm Gaddum

At Gaddum, we really get to know those we help, understanding their world to offer a range of support that’s right for them. Specialising in Advocacy, Carers and Therapy services, our tailored support is made possible by my breadth and depth of knowledge. For nearly 200 years, we’ve been committed to supporting the people of Greater Manchester.

Listening to generation after generation, has taught us the importance of considering not just the individual but also the relationships around them. Our innovative approach means we’re able to not only help build resilience, but identify further risks and offer preventive support now and in the future.

By supporting individuals, we ultimately help support entire communities.

Questions you might be asking

How it works

Have a look around my website and the links above to see how we can help you get the right support you need.

Who it's available to

We work for people of all ages across Greater Manchester. Some services work in one or more locations so be sure to visit our directory or service specific pages to learn more.

How much does it cost?

All of our services are free.


You can refer into our services by completing a form. Each relevant service page has a contact form which asks you some questions that help us identify how we can support you best.

If you need any support in making a referral, just give us a call to chat through.

Are these services right for you

Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them. We will work with you to understand what you are going through and provide advice on how to help solve your challenges. Whatever you are going through, we will get through it together.

Where is it

Our services are delivered across Greater Manchester

Be sure to visit my directory to learn about specific locations.

My values


I work in partnership with people who use my services, to provide support tailored to their individual needs.


I empower people who use my services to develop their confidence and knowledge, with the opportunity to actively improve and sustain their wellbeing.


I provide confidential people-centred services delivered with accountability and integrity.


I seek out creative ways of working to provide quality, sustainable services, responding positively to change and building upon our core strengths of listening, advising, supporting.


I recognise and value diversity and the unique needs, experiences and qualities of the people both using and delivering my services.

My history

Hi, I’m Gaddum. And this is my story.

History of Gaddum


My house is your house

I work in a number of locations where I support people across Greater Manchester.

My main home is in central Manchester.

St Wilfrid’s Enterprise Centre
Royce Road
M15 5BJ

What people say about me

I would not have been able to get as far as I did with my NHS complaint without the support from an Advocate. Thank you.

Advocacy client

Having someone to speak to about my caring role who understands makes a huge difference to me.


I have struggled for many years with anxiety and depression. It felt safe to speak to Gaddum about what was troubling me and talk through my emotions. I had never done that before.

Client accessing therapy

People that help me help others

Ben Whalley
Chief Executive Officer

Ben took up the reins as CEO, having previously been Deputy CEO and Head of Operations, so he knows us well. His experience in the voluntary (VCSE) sector is extensive, most recently as the Regional Mental Health System Influencing Adviser for Greater Manchester at Mind. Not one for taking it easy, as well as his day job he is also a Trustee at Salford CVS and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at the Brunswick Centre.

Originally from a village called Luddenden in West Yorkshire, he moved to Manchester in the mid-noughties whilst training as a social worker. At first this was working in child protection, adoption and fostering, before spending several years in HIV prevention at a time when treatment options were severely limited. He misses the day-to-day contact and experiences of people living in the community, but as CEO relishes making people and our reason for being central to everything we do.

He has a mantra which is  “no decision about me, without me” which he brings to everything he leads on, believing that a more collaborative approach will always be the most innovative, simple and powerful solution.

The best advice he’s ever received is “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

Lauren Edwards
Head of Operations

Lauren joined Gaddum in 2020 and has 8 years’ experience working within the voluntary sector in Greater Manchester. Lauren originally trained as a social worker but is passionate about the innovative working practices found in the voluntary sector.

Lauren is committed to delivering people centred services and workforce development. Lauren also sits alongside Ben Whalley as a designated safeguarding lead and manages the charities therapy services.

Outside of work, Lauren spends her time caring for her ever growing plant collection, trying out new recipes in the kitchen and playing with her young daughter.

Elaine Mills
Chair of Trustees

Gaddum’s services appealed to Elaine due to her own experiences of being a young carer herself.

Manchester born and bred, Elaine originally wanted to be a teacher, but took a different career path, working at NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care as an Equality and Inclusion programme manager.  She confesses her biggest challenge in life has been breaking down barriers to career progression.

Elaine previously chaired a black-led mental health charity in Manchester in the 1990s and is a volunteer today with other local groups. This experience has helped her develop an understanding of mental health, particularly the need for culturally appropriate, accessible services.

When asked who most inspires her, without hesitation she said Maya Angelou, because she is a brilliant, motivational and inspirational wordsmith.

Ady Bibby

Gaddum came to Ady’s attention through a work connection, and then later when the opportunity came to be a Trustee, he applied because of his shared values, and his own experience of child bereavement. Now a Carer himself for his mum, he hopes his involvement with Gaddum will help others find the services they need.

Ady is the founder and Managing Director of branding and design agency, True North, who work with a range of national and international clients. Running a business for 22 years has been his biggest challenge due to the ups and downs that come with it. But he loves what he does and is inspired by the people he works with.

Growing up in Rochdale, Ady always knew he wanted to work in design, but had some alternative careers in mind including manager of Rochdale FC, a professional darts player or a joiner.

His weekends involve football, family and DIY and he enjoys watching Taskmaster due to it’s level of silly humour. However, Morecambe and Wise is closest to his heart. He’s met Eric Morecambe’s son, Gary, and is the very proud owner of Ernie Wise’s top hat, as seen in many dance routines, and the famous Angela Rippon sketch.

Jon Miller

Jon joined Gaddum in January 2021 as Finance Trustee. He was born in London but brought up in South Manchester, where he now lives with his wife and two grown-up daughters.

Growing up, Jon wanted to be an air traffic controller, which is a world away from his current role as Finance Director at Hugh Jones Solicitors, specialists in mental capacity law and Court of Protection work. His current role is challenging, but making a difference gets him out of bed each day.

In work, his biggest challenge was owning his own business and not knowing where the money would come from next, though he persevered and succeeded, which he is very proud of.

At the weekend, Jon will do anything to avoid the supermarket shop.

Jonathan Brewer

Jonathan found Gaddum particularly appealing because of its long history of supporting people in Greater Manchester, and the inspiring work the charity continues to do today. He currently leads a team of NatWest relationship managers in Greater Manchester supporting SMEs and loves meeting ambitious entrepreneurs growing their businesses. Whilst remote working made it a challenge to help customers in the early stages of Covid, supporting businesses in the region through the pandemic was particularly rewarding.

Jonathan was born in London and  has seen plenty of the UK,  living  in Maldon, Grantham, Edinburgh, and Leeds. He moved to Manchester in 2018 after marrying his wife, whose family are from Altrincham.

His weekends are mostly spent with his 18-month-old daughter and when she has some downtime,  Jonathan will be out running, cycling, or watching Fulham.

Kabir Patel

Kabir Patel has over 15 years of experience in Finance and Technology. In his current role as Senior Director at AstraZeneca, Kabir oversees Finance and Transformation as Global Head of IT.

Prior to AstraZeneca, Kabir spent more than 10 years working in consulting roles with Thomson Reuters and Oracle where he focused on technology-enabled digital transformation and unlocking significant value.

Kabir holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from Sardar Patel University in Gujarat, India, and completed the General Management – Executive Education Programme from the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. Kabir is keen on sports and acoustic guitar, enjoys food, travel, and interesting talks.

Ian Williamson

Coming from a family interested in campaigning for social change, Ian was drawn to Gaddum, hoping as a trustee to support and guide us to be the best we can be in serving the needs of people in Greater Manchester. He describes his role as a privilege.

Born in Oxford, Ian originally wanted to be a cricketer, though 50 years on he’s starting to think his England call-up is unlikely.

Before joining Gaddum, Ian worked in the NHS as a senior leader. His biggest challenge was helping to lead the NHS in Manchester through the Covid pandemic. This included setting up the Nightingale Hospital and ensuring the Covid vaccination campaign reached the city’s diverse communities.

He came to Manchester for University and stayed along with his wife, who also worked for the NHS. They have two grown-up sons and an old Labrador, Bronny. Ian watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with his boys again and again as they grew up, and now knows the dialogue off by heart.

John McKernaghan

John was attracted to Gaddum because of the services we deliver and our hard-working teams. However, it’s our Carers service that is really close to his heart as he has been a carer – and at a time when there were no commissioned services.

Born in Ireland, John now lives in Greater Manchester. Work wise, he is Chief Officer of The Brunswick Centre in West Yorkshire, an organisation in the field of HIV social care, HIV prevention and LGBT issues, particularly for young people. The biggest challenge in his working life has been tackling stigmas and the impact of (health) inequalities.

He is most inspired by Angela Davis, author and political activist, and his favourite quote is actually from her, which is “We must always attempt to lift as we climb.”

Sarah Thompson

Sarah began her career in 2005, studying Health & Social Care. Over the years Sarah continued to study and has worked/volunteered for various organisations and mental health services. Sarah is enthusiastic and quite passionate about her work ethics which has enabled her to have a positive impact on contributing to the development of improving services including their policies and procedures.

Sarah is a qualified therapist with a vast experience of working with young people, adults and families.

Sarah currently works as a Step 3/3.5 Mental Health Practitioner for ‘Thinking Ahead’ Rochdale.

Beth Plant

Beth was inspired to join Gaddum because of our values, how central we are to Greater Manchester’s history, and our work on bereavement support.

For the last twenty years, Beth has been working and volunteering in the charity and social policy sector. She is currently Regional Funding Manager for the National Lottery Community Fund in Greater Manchester and is passionate about collaboration and innovation to tackle social issues and inequalities. Growing up, however, she thought she’d be a zoologist living in the Galapagos islands!

Beth grew up in Sheffield with her Cockney parents, who moved north to find some green space to raise a family. Her biggest challenge in life has been struggling to conceive and pregnancy loss. It’s nice to know that she now lives with her Spanish husband and one son who she describes as “a tree climbing pirate renegade”.

The best advice she’s ever received is, “don’t do nothing just because you can’t do everything”.

Emma Jackson
Head of Finance

Emma’s favourite thing about Gaddum is how varied things are. She loves the buzz and vibrancy, and having the ability to get involved in a wide range of activities.

Emma was born in Rochdale and has stayed close to home, now living in Saddleworth with her daughters and their four fish and two hamsters (Daffy & Buttercup). She describes her biggest challenge as managing her work-life balance when the girls were both much smaller and she was in the private sector. But Gaddum’s understanding culture is one of the things she appreciates most about working here, along with the fact that we do what we say we’re going to do!

Without a particular person in mind for her biggest inspiration, Emma is in awe of all those individuals in society who don’t let their circumstances limit them and have the courage to simply go for their goals – no matter how big or small – when there might be a whole list of obstacles in their way.

The best piece of advice she ever received was, “Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them, all of it has always been big stuff”.

Jo Campbell
Head of Development and Innovation

Jo leads on Gaddum being business-ready and securing new funding streams, describing her role as a mix of anticipating what’s next, learning, and disrupting. Her favourite thing about the role is exploring Gaddum’s potential.

Born in Sunderland, Jo came to Manchester via both Liverpool and South Africa. Despite her career’s officer suggesting she become a dinner lady, Jo’s curiosity led her to become a general nurse in accident and emergency, specialising in paediatrics. She still gets an adrenalin rush whenever she sees a blue light.

Jo has worked in the VCSE, Local Authorities and regeneration. She has run her own businesses, owning hotels and restaurant in South Africa 17 years. Jo describes one of the biggest challenges in her life as not having gone to university, as people often close doors and make assumptions because of this, but Jo proved all those who doubted her wrong and Gaddum is very grateful she’s not a dinner lady- despite her excellent baking skills!

Jo is now settled with her wife, who is also her biggest inspiration, their 10-year-old son, and two dogs. Her weekends are spent with her family, reading or re-watching The West Wing for the third (OK, fourth) time.

Lily Huggins
Assistant Head of Operations

As the Assistant Head of Operations, Lily oversees our Advocacy, Placement Education and Therapy services as well as our central communications. Her role is about supporting services to develop and deliver, whilst ensuring that working practices at Gaddum are supportive for our wonderful staff team. Lily says “The team at Gaddum always have so many brilliant ideas about how we can expand and develop our services, I could spend all my time looking into new development ideas. The biggest challenge of my role lies within picking which ideas to explore next”.

Lily’s favourite thing about Gaddum is that we don’t want to take over the world, we just want to serve the people of Greater Manchester and do that really well. She appreciates how much Manchester means to our organisation and how it’s at the centre of everything we do.

Lily always knew she wanted a job that made a difference and had a few ideas about how she would achieve that. She began her career in the VCSE sector in frontline services as a supervisor at an emergency homeless shelter. Lily has also worked in outreach, rapid HIV testing, drug and alcohol awareness policy, and working as an advice worker for people who are homeless with mental health needs. Her experience in homelessness services has also included work with asylum seekers and refugees, and she still volunteers in this sector today. Lily is also a trustee at an organisation which provides services to LGBTQ young people and people that are living with HIV. Despite her passion for the VCSE sector, there was a time as a kid when Lily wanted to be an archaeologist!

Lily was born in Liverpool but raised in Manchester, where she now lives with her wife and Pat Butcher the cat. Her best piece of advice is, “Listen, listen, listen, read, read, read.”

Call me on 0161 834 6069 or send me a message to