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Remembering Gill Maxwell, DDP Connects UK Director, on her passing

29 June 2023

In April 2023 we had the sad and unexpected news that Gill Maxwell, one of our most committed DDP community members, had passed away.

Gill was the Finance Director and founding member of the DDP Connects UK Board. Her work meant she was in touch with and supported so many people over the past seven years, in connection with many aspects of DDP including administering the DDPI certification systems. With Julie Hudson and Liz Tower, she designed the DDPI infrastructure that is used today. She organised the DDP Level One and Two training run by DDP Connects UK and had recently become chair of the DDPI UK Training sub-committee. Before becoming one of founding directors of DDP Connects UK, Gill worked for 30 years in local authority children’s services. 

Gill lived in South West England and was the life partner of 34 years and Civil Partner of 17 years with Julie Hudson, who many of you may also know. Gill and Julie have a son, Matt, who recently married. Gill was a staunch feminist and forthright fighter for LGBTQ+ rights.

DDPI Co-Chair Benjamin Hargrave, on behalf of the members of the DDPI Board, shared his memories of Gill:

 “Gill had the power to be direct, to challenge and did not step away from discomfort. She also had a wonderful and powerful laugh and could find connection in a wonderful playfulness. My own experience of Gill was that she had a slight but compelling twinkle of anarchy in her eye as she zoomed in from her wonderful forest backdrop! I will miss her.”

DDP Connects UK Directors Kim Golding and Marie Kershaw, also shared their reflections on behalf of DDP Connects UK:

“Gill has been an integral part of setting up and running DDP Connects UK right from the beginning. Her experience as a social worker and manager coupled with her understanding of DDP has made her an important part of the team, able to support, encourage and gently challenge. Gill and Julie have always been such a strong team for DDP Connects UK as well as life partners. Gill’s absence will leave a huge hole for all of us, and our compassion goes out to Julie who will be navigating that hole in her life every day.”

Kim Golding CBE, DDP Trainer, Consultant and Practitioner

“Gill was integral to my DDP world. It’s hard to imagine DDP Connects without her. She was part of the DDP furniture; strong, solid, enduring, just always there. She had so much energy and vibrancy. So much character, personality, opinion, perspective, authenticity, life. At times we could rumble and rupture. That’s what happens when you put passionate people in a room together and are pushing to create change, but there was also deep compassion, deep humanity, self deprecation, humour and determination and those are all qualities I valued and respected about Gill.”

Marie Kershaw, DDP Consultant and Practitioner

Gill will be deeply missed by all those privileged to have known and worked with her and we have all benefited hugely from her commitment and contribution.

Billy Smythe
DDP Connects UK Director
DDP Practitioner, Consultant and Trainer
On behalf of DDP Connects UK & DDPI


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