Executive Team 2018-01-12T11:22:39+00:00


Dawn Hewitt – CEO

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 – Operations & Development Director

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.

Debbie Robson – Head of Service

Debbie is the Head of Service for CHUMS and is responsible for the effective delivery and development of all clinical services. Debbie’s role is very varied and she supports all managers within the team to ensure that quality and evidence based practice is maintained. Debbie is a proactive and creative member of the executive team.

Debbie has a long history of managing within an NHS setting and has been involved with CHUMS for many years initially as a volunteer within the bereavement service and in a management role for the last 6 years. Debbie has extensive training in counselling and takes the lead on change management internally.

Russell Hurn – Clinical Director

Russell joined CHUMS in 2012 after 11 years working in the Child Adolescent Mental Health Team in Hertfordshire.  He is a Registered Counselling Psychologist and Supervisor and an Accredited EMDR practitioner. Since 2014 he has specialised in working with children and adults who have experienced traumatic events.  He is currently working on developing a group format for delivering evidence based approaches to child refugees and unaccompanied asylum seeking children. Russell is the former chair of the Child Section of EMDR UK & Ireland and has presented his work at National conferences focussing on clinical interventions, the impact of illness on self-esteem, how mental health work can effect clinicians and engaging service users in clinical delivery. He has also contributed to Clinical Psychology and GP trainings in Hertfordshire.

Gill Kendall – PA to CEO, HR & Admin Lead

Gill worked in the NHS as a PA in Children’s Services in Luton for ten years prior to joining CHUMS in October 2012, initially as PA to the CEO. Since then Gill has taken on the additional roles of HR and Admin Lead and become an active member of the Exec Team.

Christina Sweet – Finance Director

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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