Directors 2018-01-12T11:49:56+00:00


Ben Banks – Chair and Non-executive Director

Ben is a 45 year old married father of 2 children, raised and schooled in Bedfordshire with a very keen interest in sport having represented the county in a number of sports, playing regularly for Bedfordshire CCC during the late 1980’s and early 1990s. Ben is the co founder of Fashion Brand Distribution company, Fourmarketing Limited, which started in 1997 and is based in Farringdon, London;  a business with 90 employees and customers across the whole of Europe, Russia and the Middle East.  Ben and his family became aware of CHUMS as a service user after the death of his son Sidney, aged 13 months in December 2009. CHUMS supported, his daughter Betsy and the whole family took part in workshops. After 22 years living in London Ben and his family relocated after the loss of Sidney back to Bedford where they currently live.

Dawn Hewitt

As a manager in the NHS for 11 years Dawn managed CHUMS Child Bereavement Service developing it into a countywide service. In 2009 she was instrumental in setting up the charity ’Friends of CHUMS’ to raise money to set up and deliver a Trauma Service. Dawn led the service through the Department Of Health’s ‘Right to Request’ programme to become a Social Enterprise in 2011.  On becoming a Social Enterprise Dawn became the CEO and her focus changed from clinical delivery to business development and with support from a committed and passionate team of staff and volunteers the service has grown from 11 staff to 60 and receives approximately 3000 referrals per year, across its 9 services supporting children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.   Dawn trained as an RGN and then as a District Nurse and has an MSc in Leadership, as well as experience and qualifications in management, reflective practice, counselling and bereavement.

Amanda Thaxter

Amanda’s journey with CHUMS started in 2002.  Since that time she has been an administrator, a volunteer, a co-ordinator, Head of Service and now Operations & Development Director.  Since becoming a social enterprise her main focus has been on service development which has included tendering for new services, exploring funding options and ensuring all services are developed with quality at the forefront of delivery.  Prevention and early intervention in mental health are her passions and her aim is to ensure CHUMS remains a lead provider of timely and relevant mental health support to children, young people and their families.

Jeff Phillips – Non-executive Director

Jeff is a qualified accountant and a graduate of the London School of Economics. He is a former corporate finance director and treasurer of a Footsie 100 company, and has been involved in a number of business start-ups in the telecommunications sector. He is a non-executive director of Herts Community NHS Trust and chair of its Audit Committee, a governor of Manland School in Harpenden, an appeals panel member for Herts County Council and is the Treasurer of SHELTER in Wales.

In addition to a keen interest in health and education in Hertfordshire, Jeff’s other interests include housing and economic development in his local area.

Dr Julian Marsden MBChB FRCGP – Non-executive Director

Julian has been a GP in Luton for over 30 years, working at Woodland Avenue Practice. He has been a volunteer GP visitor to the CHUMS Luton bereavement workshops for over 10 years.

He is also currently Provost of the Beds & Herts Faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners and is past-Chair of the faculty board.

He also spent 16 years as Training Programme Director for the Luton Specialty Training Programme for General Practice until retiring from that role in 2016.

He plays tennis but accepts that his best playing years are behind him and he enjoys music and sport.

Rob Gill – Non-executive Director

I work with organisations to help them develop business opportunities, write better bids and win more tenders.

In my 20 years of writing bids, I have secured over £15bn of work for clients within the health, education, construction and public services sectors. I have an excellent understanding of schools and NHS markets in particular.

I have developed and run successful workshops and training courses in presentation skills and bid writing.

From my time in PFI I have developed sound commercial skills which I bring to my role as a non-exec on the CHUMS’ Board.

Nanci Hogan

In addition to being a trustee for CHUMS, Nanci is the CEO and Founder of Sophia Transformations, Ltd., a company geared towards promoting the growth of small and medium sized charities. She’s particularly interested in consulting with people interested in developing missions-driven businesses, including limited companies, CICs and charities, by providing strategic as well as governance advice and support. Additionally, Nanci is a published author who is currently writing a book on moral intelligence to facilitate the ways in which thought leaders in the charity/business/and public sectors might work together on some of today’s complex social challenges. Prior to that, Nanci worked in local government in Bedfordshire as the Chief of Staff for the Police and Crime Commissioner and has 20 years of experience working with international, non-governmental organisations around the world in economic development. Her specialities include domestic abuse/violence, criminal justice, policing, conflict transformation and human rights.

Christina Sweet

Christina is the Finance Director at CHUMS. She has a wide range of experience as both an accountant and analyst, having worked in both banking and retail sectors since 1994. Her roles have specialised in data analysis and the development of complex financial modelling tools to help organisations to understand their business.

Joining in May 2016, Christina has focused on ensuring the service has meaningful financial information to enable sound business decisions and planning. Passionate and enthusiastic, not only about CHUMS and its support for children and young people, but also about how good financial management ultimately ensures the sustainability of the organisation. Christina recently demonstrated her commitment to CHUMS by jumping out of an aeroplane and raising c.£2,500.

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