ADASS bid an affectionate and grateful farewell this week to its long-serving business manager Mary Gillingham, who has retired. Mary has worked alongside, and then for, ADSS/ADASS* since 2000 spending a year as policy adviser to then vice president Moira Gibb, and being appointed to the business manager post in October 2001.

President David Pearson thanked Mary for her loyalty, outstanding attention to detail, and unrivalled integrity, at a farewell party in Local Government House on Thursday evening, December 11. Before then she had worked for the LB Hammersmith and Fulham having been originally appointed as a social worker by then team leader Geoff Alltimes, who was to rise to become the authority’s chief executive.

Quoting a 2002 ADSS Inform headline concerning her appointment - 'Precise, detailed and well-received' –  David commented on how apt those words were in describing Mary's contribution to the Association. She cut her teeth in helping to prepare the Association for the report of the Laming Inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie, although, as she later said, her baptism of fire had come earlier, attending a 'lock-in' immediately prior to the publication of the Waterhouse report in 2000, under Jo Williams's presidency.

The event was attended by former ADASS officials, well wishers and colleagues. Mary, who was given a present on behalf of the Association, thanked everyone present, highlighted the 'dazzling array of skills' she had encountered during her long years with ADSS/ADASS, as well as the single-minded pursuit of the Association's interests exhibited by colleagues.

She said that once she had got over the shock of retirement she planned to visit a lot of art galleries, lead a healthy lifestyle and pursue her favourite hobbies of sailing off the Suffolk coast and playing tennis.


Pictured from left to right:
Harold Bodmer, current ADASS regions lead
Jo Cleary, former treasurer and co chair of the workforce network
Richard Webb, current honorary secretary
John Dixon, former president
John Nawrockyi, co chair, physical and sensory impairment and HIV network
Drew Clode, Policy/Press Adviser
James Reilly, former treasurer
Sue Williams, ADASS Research Group.
David Pearson, ADASS President
John Beer, former honorary secretary
Mary Gillingham
Richard Jones, former president
Andriana Delevich, project administrator
Jonathan Gardam, ADASS policy
Tony Hunter, former president
Lizzie Comley, former graduate trainee
Sarah Norma, ADASS policy lead

* The former ADSS emerged as the new ADASS in March 2007