Greater Manchester VCSE Leadership Group: the sector’s voice in Devolution

The VCSE Leadership Group seeks to promote the role and involvement of the VCSE sector and communities in devolution. It comprises individuals from eighteen voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise organisations from across Greater Manchester.

Objectives of the group

  1. To champion VCSE engagement in devolution across Greater Manchester by promoting the vital role the sector plays in working towards a more equal society

  2. To act as a point of contact for those working within Greater Manchester devolution and Greater Manchester’s VCSE sector

  3. To share information and opportunities, operate transparently and think beyond individual organisations

  4. To promote positive change and collaboration within the VCSE sector through devolution

  5. To create a social movement for change that empowers the communities of Greater Manchester

The Group works to support sector engagement across Greater Manchester’s devolution agenda. It originated as a formal part of the health and social care devolution architecture and works closely with Alex Whinnom, CEO of GMCVO, who represents the sector on the new Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Strategic Partnership Board and is a member of the Group. 

The Leadership Group is not a representative structure but individuals are nominated by their own networks and are held accountable to their network and/or the Group by a signed protocol agreement. Members of the Group are expected to be ‘catalysts and connectors’ on behalf of the sector.




  • Alex Whinnom (GMCVO)


  • Mike Wild (MACC)
  • Alison Page (Salford CVS)
  • Liz Windsor-Welsh (Action Together)


  • Joanne Walby (Mustard Tree)
  • Simone Spray (42nd Street)
  • Paul Martin (LGBT Foundation)
  • Priscilla Nkwenti (BHA)
  • Rachel Howley (Citizens Advice GM)
  • Stewart Lucas (Mind in Greater Manchester)


  • Michele Scattergood (Breakthrough UK)
    (linked to GM Coalition of Disabled People)
  • Suzanne Hilton (Age UK Bolton) (linked to Ambition for Ageing Equalities Board)
  • Khadija Tily (KYP) (linked to GM BME Network)


  • Chris Dabbs (Unlimited Potential)
  • Priti Butler (Big Life Group)


  • Sara Tomkins (GreaterSport)


  • Charles Kwaku-Odoi (GM Faith Community Leaders)


  • Lynne Stafford (Gaddum)


  • TBC (Greater Manchester Healthwatch)


  • Ben Gilchrist (Action Together)
  • Graham Whitham (GM Poverty Action)


Chair Warren Escadale (VSNW)

Secretariat Lead Karen Conway (VSNW)


Members of the group are connected to a range of regional and national networks, many of which provide routes to engage.

10GM Network Alison Page, Mike Wild and Liz Windsor-Welsh

GM VCSE Assembly Alex Whinnom

GM BME Network Khadija Tily

GM Coalition of Disabled People Michele Scattergood

GM Healthwatch Network TBC

Northern Soul Social Enterprise Network Chris Dabbs

Ambition for Ageing Equalities Board Suzanne Hilton

NW Leaders Board, DoH/NHS England/PHE VCS Strategic Partners Programme and Health Equity North Warren Escadale

Cancer Champions Network Ben Gilchrist

Our key messages

We are many. The army of staff, volunteers and supporters across the sector are a catalyst for change and a connector of people

Our role is critical for the economic success of devolution in Greater Manchester but also for the equally important cultural and social devolution that will help build a truly equal region

We can devise, develop and deliver solutions to some of the most challenging problems faced by Greater Manchester, breaking down barriers and building community confidence and cohesion, and ensure we move from crisis resolution to anticipation and prevention

We understand our communities. We can help drive people-powered change, harnessing social action and bridging the gap that can exist between public services and the people they serve

To find out more about devolution in Greater Manchester, you can visit:


The GM Health and Social Care Partnership

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Contact details for some of the networks are listed below.

10GM Network:

GM VCSE Assembly:
0161 277 1000 (GMCVO)

Greater Manchester BME Network:
0161 860 6842

For more information on the Greater Manchester VCSE Leadership Group contact:

T. 0161 276 9300