Skip to main content

Introducing Our New CEO...

1st March 2024

HomeNewsBen Whalley to shape a new future for Gaddum

Ben Whalley to shape a new future for Gaddum

Following an extensive, cross-sector recruitment process, Gaddum announces the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer, Ben Whalley.

Ben was previously Head of Operations at Gaddum before being appointed as Deputy CEO in 2022. He takes up the position as permanent CEO on 1 March 2024, bringing a wealth of experience in the voluntary (VCSE) sector, most recently as the Regional Mental Health System Influencing Adviser for Greater Manchester at Mind. Ben will head up a team of 75 staff, providing vital advocacy, carer support and therapy services across Greater Manchester.

Reputed to be Manchester’s longest-standing charity, Gaddum was established in 1833 and has been around longer than Manchester City Council, both Manchester United and City Football Clubs and is only slightly younger than the University of Manchester (founded only nine years earlier)!

Commenting on his appointment, Ben says…

“I see this as an exciting new chapter for Gaddum. We’re going to build on the incredible things we already do and further grow our partnerships in the VCSE sector, with Local Authorities and the Health System. However, my vision is to put even greater emphasis on why we exist, rather than what we do. Gaddum’s core purpose is to empower people and enhance lives – so, we’ll rigorously assess every strategy, initiative, and action to guarantee they align with that core mission. That’s what leads us.”

Ben’s most recently been in a seconded role working with the Greater Manchester Independent Care Board, advising on VCSE sector integration around mental health systems in the region.  He is an experienced Social Worker, charity leader and project manager, and therefore brings with him extensive experience, invaluable knowledge and a wealth of connections.

In terms of making his mark, he’s very clear..

“It’s my vision to be more than a provider of services – I want Gaddum to be completely part of society and the name people first think of for help. Gaddum is right there with people, working alongside to help them get back on their feet, regain their independence and move forward with positive life choices.  And we’ll proactively get other charities with different skill sets on board to help with this. Ultimately, if we achieve our mission, people should no longer need our services; that’s what success looks like to me.”

Ben also draws on his past experience of being a young carer,

“I’m very driven and I have useful, real-life experience. It makes me determined to ensure people with lived experience of any issues are listened to and their insights used to inform services and the broader system. It’s why I’m so passionate about co-production with service users and co-creating solutions with colleagues.”

“This is a very exciting time for Gaddum and I’m incredibly pleased and privileged to be leading such an amazing organisation.”


The Board of Trustees at Gaddum led the selection process and were impressed by Ben’s forward-looking vision for Gaddum, inclusive leadership skills and focus on partnership building. Elaine Mills, Chair of the Board of Trustees, comments, “Ben is a leader that is driven by fairness, democracy and compassion and we’re looking forward to seeing the changes he brings.”