The Staff

Mustard Tree has a committed team of staff but is dependent on incredible volunteers from all walks of life.  Below are the members of staff who represent the tip of the Mustard Tree iceberg!

  • Des Noone Senior Driver

    Des describes himself as a “54 year-old gnome”. He has been at Mustard Tree since 2008 and is our longest-serving driver. He combines his thorough knowledge of Manchester’s roads with his down-to-earth care for the volunteers that assist him. Des possesses a razor-sharp wit and has been known to empty a crowded room within seconds.

  • Fiona Nelson  Retail Manager

    Fiona first volunteered at Mustard Tree in 2010 before becoming our Retail Manager in 2011. She combines a deep-rooted passion for helping others with an excellent standard of customer care. Fiona has over 12 years’ experience in the retail sector and enjoys helping our volunteers to gain valuable skills in customer services. She loves to experience different cultures – by travelling abroad as well as through her work.

  • ShiranShiran Randeniya Resources Assistant Manager

    Shiran  joined us in December 2013. Shiran has a fantastic track record of helping vulnerable people, in particular through his volunteering work for the Red Cross Movement in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. This has seen him support victims of the Boxing Day 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and be involved in the post-conflict recovery programme in Sri Lanka. Shiran sees the Mustard Tree as the ideal place to help vulnerable people in Manchester and he is already proving just how effective he is at getting the job done.

  • Julia Hewitt   Accountant

    Julia joins us with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in financial management and accounts Having worked for 18 years with the global business and financial management company Ernst & Young as Operational Manager (Tax) – North Region, she brings the necessary skills and experience to support Mustard Tree’s development of its financial systems and processes and will ensure that we are fit for purpose for future growth and development.

  • Jessica Stewart  Operations Manager

    Jess joined the team in 2014. She was keen to rejoin the third sector after working in the private sector for the past couple of years. Jess has a wealth of experience, having delivered business support for an environmental charity before taking on a role that supported a number of recycling & re-use organisations. A keen cook and baker, Jess spends most of her free time spoiling her cat, Evie, and practising yoga. She hopes to complete her qualification to teach yoga later this year.

  • Ken Lee  Driver

    Ken has been driving for Mustard Tree since a friend recommended him for the job in 2008. He loves being able to help our volunteers to build up their confidence and to enjoy their time with Mustard Tree. Ken enjoys playing pool and table tennis, especially with our volunteers. His prowess with the table tennis bat is legendary!

  • Adrian Nottingham CEO

    Adrian joined the team in July 2012, bringing with him a wealth of experience in service provision and redesign from the voluntary, health and public sectors. He is a passionate believer in the value of a focused and envisioned team. Adrian is married with three grown up children. He loves climbing mountains and having conversations that do the soul good. Adrian is also involved in local politics: he is an elected member for the Heald Green Ward, Stockport and is also a member of the Stockport Health & Wellbeing Board.

  • Peter GPeter Gilson  Freedom Project Coordinator

    Peter’s Christian faith initially motivated him to be a part of the Mustard Tree’s work.  He delights in helping others overcome past negative life choices so as to find purpose and reach their potential.  He is good at bringing order and often has insight into where others are coming from. Peter comes from a large working class family of seven children, and has first-hand experience of what poverty is like. He is dyslexic, but thankfully has been married to Steph, a professional administrator who helps Peter with his written work, for nearly 25 years.

  • Soraya Sheikh Organisational Development Manager

    Soraya joined the team in 2011, having left a target driven job with a telecommunications company. She was keen to move away from figures and start focusing on people. At Mustard Tree she is able to combine her excellent organisational skills with her strong ability to empathise. She loves cooking, practising yoga and throwing shapes on the dance floor!

  • Haydn Smith  Driver

    Haydn was referred to Mustard Tree’s Freedom Project in 2010 by his worker at ADS, as a way of rebuilding his life and having something positive to do with his time. His charismatic personality and gentle determination saw him land a job as one of our growing team of drivers in 2012. Haydn loves listening to music, plays the guitar enthusiastically and is a self-confessed fitness fanatic.

  • Johnny Bushell Freedom Team Manager 

    Johnny started working for Mustard Tree in 2010. He was keen to be part of an exciting and dynamic organisation that sees people’s lives transformed. His role enables him to do this in two ways: By helping individuals to work towards their potential; and by linking with other organisations and businesses determined to create opportunities for the marginalised. Johnny is a patient man who loves eating pasta, cycling hills and walking up mountains.

  • Valerie Brisdon  Customer Service Trainer

    Val joined Mustard Tree in April 2013 as a job club volunteer after doing a mentoring course with MAES (Manchester Adult Education Services).  In September 2013, she joined as a Skill Trainer (Customer Service and IT). Her motto being “Learning should be fun!”. Val worked in the chemical industry sector for over 18 years. Now, she has a busy life with two children (still at school), a dog called Billie Jean, an allotment, member of a book club, plays tennis for her local club and of course being at Mustard Tree!

  • Ian Welch Eccles Branch Manager

    Ian joined Mustard Tree as a Freedom Project volunteer in 2009. He had been out of work for some time and needed to build up his confidence and a work routine following a health related period of unemployment. Ian’s great work ethic and positive personality earned him a job as the Mustard Tree Resources Assistant in 2011. In 2012 we opened our Eccles branch and Ian was given the opportunity to be its manager. As a result Ian has become very attached to Salford and its people, although he remains a staunch Man United fan.

  • Graham Hudson Creative Programmes Manager

    Graham joined the Freedom Project in 2009, and remained as a volunteer at Mustard Tree until he was employed as our Creative programmes Manager in 2012. Initially an unwilling volunteer, Graham stayed at Mustard Tree because he soon saw it could potentially save his life. Graham is a talented artist, an engaging public speaker and a compassionate tutor. He was also once the undisputed British Kickboxing Champion!

  • Jim Kielty  Project Manager 

    Jim joined the Mustard Tree team in 2009 as a volunteer, having been made redundant. Jim brings flexibility into the mix, as he is very happy to try his hand at anything – from cleaning the building to strategic planning. He has done plenty of both over the years, but has yet to fulfil his secret ambition of being allowed to cook in the Mustard Tree kitchen!

  • Nick Hypolite  Resources Manager

    Nick has been at Mustard Tree since 2005 and describes his work here as a response to a calling. He is an adaptable worker with the perseverance to see any task through to completion, even if he doesn’t know how to do so at the outset! Nick is equally enthusiastic at home, where he loves the challenge of a new DIY project every time he takes a “holiday”!

  • Jez Green Coach and Freedom Project Support

    Jez had been an admirer of Mustard Tree’s work for some time before he joined the team in 2008. He was recruited to set up and launch the Freedom Project and he feels blessed to now have two full-time colleagues to work with in his role of supporting vulnerable adults. He genuinely loves to listen to and encourage people, especially those who may not find the opportunity elsewhere. Jez also enjoys running, writing poetry and photographing graffiti.

  • Samantha Hipkiss Resources (Retail) Assistant Manager

    Sam joins the team with some great experience at a number of big retail brands. Her strong desire to feel like she is making a difference in people’s lives brought her to Mustard Tree where she can put her skills to good use. Here she is able to spend time doing what she enjoys best: training and developing other people and seeing them realise their potential. As well as being highly organised, Sam is also creative. She studied art at MMU and is currently working on various exciting art projects. She is also interested in nutrition and is an excellent curry-maker.