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Welcome, introduction and conference overview

Justin Watson NED for GM Poverty ActionJustin Watson

Young Manchester
Justin is Director of children and young people’s charity Young Manchester, and has worked in the third sector since 2002, primarily in youth and community development, focusing on participation, engagement and campaigning.

He spent 7 years at Save the Children, leading their youth engagement and campaigning work, supporting a network of young campaigners across the UK to influence at local and national levels, before moving to Oxfam to head up the development of their domestic programme in 2014, focusing on women’s economic empowerment, food insecurity and inequality.

Before this Justin ran a number of youth engagement campaigns and outreach projects at community level, supporting the direct provision of youth and play services as well as supporting children and young people to have meaningful involvement in issues that affect them and society more broadly, including climate change, education and rights for asylum seekers and refugees.

He is also a trustee of the YPF Trust.

Graham square imageGraham Whitham

Greater Manchester Poverty Action
Graham grew up in Wigan and now lives in south Manchester. He worked for Save the Children as a Senior Policy Advisor for seven years, leading a number of policy and campaign projects focussing on poverty in the UK. During this time Graham successfully influenced policy in Westminster and in the devolved nations. Graham then spent two years in a similar role at Oxfam, helping to strengthen Oxfam’s work on economic inequality in the UK.

In his current role as CEO, Graham leads on GMPA’s policy, research and advocacy work and represents the organisation at a strategic level across the city region.

Graham is passionate about applying the skills and knowledge he has gained in national roles in Greater Manchester and believes that there is the potential to do more locally to tackle poverty. Graham is the founder of GMPA and is excited about working with our network to secure action on poverty.

Outside of his GMPA role, Graham is a councillor in Trafford.


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