The hard-working team at Advocacy Focus are a family of over 60 people, including employees, volunteers and trustees, all dedicated to supporting the well-being of individuals in our community.  

This page is just a short introduction to our Leadership Team, but look out for our news, blogs and articles each week as we introduce you to our Advocates and volunteers, who are essential to providing the best possible support and outcomes for those who need us.

Senior Leadership Team

Justine Hodgkinson – CEO 

Justine joined the Advocacy Focus team as Chief Executive Officer in 2014 at a time of real change affecting the delivery of advocacy services.  She has considerable experience in social work, charitable work and education, making her a spearhead for positive developments in advocacy.

Justine made the move from private sector to the social sector around 15 years ago, after realising that her real motivation for her work was to reach out to the most vulnerable sectors of society and give a voice to those who struggle to be heard.

John Hutchison – Operations Director

John joined the Advocacy Focus team as an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) before progressing through our charity ranks to Directorship level. He is instrumental in developing all of our strategic planning for the development of our organisation and what we can offer both now and in the future.

He says of his role: “In advocacy, you have to be able to communicate with many different types of people, from the person in need to the health and social care professionals who support them, and also with our partners and commissioners. Having true empathy, and the ability to communicate this in a compelling way, is a key part of our everyday work here at Advocacy Focus."

Leanne Hignett – Service Delivery Manager

As Service Delivery Manager, Leanne ensures that we deliver high quality and accessible advocacy services throughout our contracted areas. Leading the Advocacy Team, she is passionate about providing a caring and supportive service based on quality provision and guidance.

Leanne is a qualified Social Worker as well as a trained Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA), and has experience in advocating on behalf of individuals who lack capacity in relation to specific decisions under the Mental Capacity Act.

Volunteer Senior Team

Lauren – Volunteer Manager

Before joining Advocacy Focus, Lauren volunteered for Home Start, where she completed an impressive 1000 hours as a Family Support Worker.  She also volunteered at Lifeline; a young person’s drug and alcohol organisation, where she worked her way up to the position of Volunteer Coordinator.

Lauren has recently implemented a new Volunteer Strategy at Advocacy Focus, which saw our intake of volunteers grow by an impressive 86%. The impact has seen her be shortlisted for the award of 'Volunteer Manager of the Year' at the upcoming North West Charity Awards 2017 (winners announced October 2017!).  Lauren also won the Selnet Award for 'Excellence in Training and Mentoring' early in 2017.

Advocacy Managers


Becci is also one of our two Senior Independent Mental Capacity Act Advocates (IMCAs) at Advocacy Focus. She also takes on the additional responsibility of heading up the IMCA team, having held and been successful in her advocacy role with us for over two years.  


Farqan oversees the Independent Mental Health Act Advocacy (IMHA) team at Advocacy Focus, ensuring all our specialist IMHAs provide the quality support we have become known for. The IMHA team is a specialist team who provide an additional safeguard for anyone who works with us who is subject to the Mental Health Act.


We are always on the lookout for volunteers to join our team. If you are interested in becoming an advocacy volunteer, check out our volunteers section and contact us for more information! Our volunteers are essential to providing the best possible support and outcomes for those who need us!



We are fortunate to be governed by a wonderfully experienced and supportive Board of Trustees, who provide us with support at strategic level to ensure that Advocacy Focus is running in the most effective way possible as a registered charity and key community organisation.

If you are interested in becoming a trustee, please visit our latest vacancies page where you can apply at 

[email protected]

Could you be part of the Advocacy Focus team? Check out our latest vacancies page, you can apply at 

[email protected]

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