Our leadership team is responsible for setting Gingerbread’s strategic direction and making sure we do the best work possible to support single parent families.

Senior Management Team

Victoria Benson

Chief Executive Officer

Victoria joined Gingerbread in February 2019, having served on the Board for four years before that. As a single mum to six children and the daughter of a single parent, Victoria is passionate about supporting single parent families and driving forward our ambitious strategy.

Prior to working at Gingerbread, Victoria was Director of Governance at Macmillan Cancer Support for 12 years and practised as a solicitor before that. Victoria has a PG Dip in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School.

Email: victoria.benson(@)gingerbread.org.uk

Jo Hardy

Head of Services

Jo is responsible for Gingerbread’s advice services, including the helpline and peer support activities, covering our network of single parent friendship groups across England and Wales. She is also the charity's safeguarding lead.

Jo has spent almost three decades working in the charity sector, in organisations providing a range of information, advice and family support services, including Contact, Mencap and YoungMinds. She also spent five years on the London region grant-making committee at BBC Children in Need.

As a single parent with two grown-up sons, and having been raised in a single parent household, Jo is passionate about supporting single parent families, in particular challenging disadvantage, empowering parents and carers to thrive and getting the best outcomes for children, and innovation in the charity sector.

Email: jo.hardy(@)gingerbread.org.uk

Farah Baldock

Head of Communications and Digital

Farah joined Gingerbread in May 2019 and is responsible for the organisation's communications and digital activities.

Prior to joining Gingerbread, Farah spent seven years living in China where she balanced caring for her two young daughters alongside taking up freelance and volunteer communications roles. Before moving to China, Farah led the communications for Locality, the national network for community-led organisations.

As the daughter of a single parent, Farah is passionate about empowering single parents to share their voices and make positive change happen.

Email: farah.baldock(@)gingerbread.org.uk

Doug Ridley

Head of Finance and Resources

Joining the Gingerbread team in June 2020, Doug has oversight of Finance, IT, Facilities Management – all the vital back office work that supports the organisation in being the best it can be.

Prior to Gingerbread, Doug spent three years as Finance Director of a property services company in Mayfair, 10 years as Regional Corporate Services Manager for the Australian Government and eight years at the London Borough of Lewisham.

A 'Ginger Kid', Doug’s relationship with Gingerbread dates back to the mid 1970s when his local group provided a vital support network to him, his mum and baby sister. He is delighted to have found a practical way of saying thank you.

Email: doug.ridley(@)gingerbread.org.uk

Steve Hawe

Head of Fundraising and Marketing

Steve joined Gingerbread in August 2020 and leads on raising the funds we need to support our work.

Before joining Gingerbread, he led fundraising and communications teams at the children’s literacy charity Coram Beanstalk and the disability charity the Disabled Living Foundation. He started his career as a fundraiser at the Big Issue Foundation, after moving into the voluntary sector following thirteen years working in marketing and communications in the online information/academic publishing sector.

He is a member of the Institute of Fundraising and CharityComms.

Email: steve.hawe(@)gingerbread.org.uk

Rhian Beynon

Head of Policy and Campaigns (Interim)

Rhian joined Gingerbread in May 2021 as maternity cover and leads the charity’s policy, campaigning and research activities. Her team also oversees evaluation and supports the charity with strategy and measuring our impact.

She has previously worked at charities that support children and their families in a variety of policy, communications and campaigns roles, including for Family Action, World Vision UK and Barnardo’s.

Rhian works for Gingerbread because she believes in the potential of all children and that the effective discrimination against single parent families must end.

Email: rhian.beynon(@)gingerbread.org.uk

Nicola Yudaken

Head of Human Resources

Nicola joined the Gingerbread team in October 2020 as the Head of Human Resources leading on all things people and culture related.

Before joining Gingerbread, Nicola was Head of HR for a health tech start-up focused on empowering patient experiences. She has had a varied career working across the construction, automotive and not for profit sector supporting teams across Europe and America.

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