Ben Banks – Chair and Non-executive Director

Ben is a 51 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, founded in 1997 currently based in Farringdon, London;  a business with over 200 employees and customers across the whole of Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  He also has significant experience in mentoring young business and designers in the clothing and retail sectors, working closely over the years with the British Fashion Council and their sponsors.  Watching Luton Town (home and away!)  is a favourite hobby along with finding time for family holidays, where the occasional game of golf is enjoyed.  Ben and his family became aware of CHUMS as a service user after the sudden death of his son Sidney, aged 13 months in December 2009. CHUMS supported his daughter Betsy with counselling and the whole family took part in the bereavement workshops.  After 22 years living in London Ben and his family relocated after the loss of Sidney back to Bedford where they currently live and have done for the last 10 years.

Dawn Hewitt – CEO

As CEO of CHUMS Social Enterprise, Dawn has developed the service into a regional service, growing from 11 staff to 90, and now receives almost 4000 referrals per year across its 9 services supporting children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Following 11 years as a manager in the NHS, Dawn led CHUMS Child Bereavement Service through the Department of Health’s ‘Right to Request’ programme to become a Social Enterprise in 2011. Her focus necessarily changed from clinical delivery to business development and management and in 2007 she was instrumental in setting up the charity ’Friends of CHUMS’ to raise money to set up and deliver a Trauma Service. CHUMS Charity now raises funds for five services including some adult services.

Dawn trained as an RGN and then as a District Nurse and has an MSc in Clinical and Organisational Leadership. She has experience and qualifications in management, reflective practice, counselling and bereavement.

Andrew Buckley

Andrew Buckley – Non-Executive Director

Andrew has been a solicitor for 22 years and specialises in employment law. He has a keen interest in public service and is also a director of several other charities. Andrew is married with 7 year old twins. Outside of work he enjoys long distance running and has practiced Tae Kwon-Do for 36 years.

Ben Willbond – Non-Executive Director

Ben is an experienced charity finance professional, with significant success in driving change to financial reporting, risk management, investment management and information governance. Holding a key leadership role at The Nuffield Trust, he contributes to achieving strategic goals and managing the resources of the organisation.

Ben has had personal experience within his family of the mental health and emotional support offered by CHUMS. That personal experience highlighted the importance of the services provided by CHUMS. Being impressed by CHUMS’ mission and achievements, Ben volunteered his time and became involved as a non-executive director during 2020.

Paul Jansen – Non-Executive Director

Paul’s career started off in change management in international banking, first in his native Netherlands and – from 1997 – in the London City. A sabbatical in 2004 made him decide to a change of direction, and ever since he has made a career out of helping purpose-led organisations realise their full potential.

He led and created several employee-owned social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations in health, mental health and social care, mostly former public sector services. That included supporting the creation of CHUMS as an independent social enterprise out of NHS Luton. Three years at Buurtzorg Britain & Ireland saw him introduce the world-famous Buurtzorg care model of self-managed teams to parts of the NHS, local authorities and others.

In 2020 he founded Trust Works, a boutique consultancy that delivers coaching, support and programmes that inspire and provide practical tools to organisations who want to introduce self-management, empowerment and autonomy.

Paul lives in Cambridge with his wife and teenage daughter. In his spare time he plays basketball.

Dr Floriana Ellis – Non-Executive Director

I am Dr Floriana Ellis. I am a GP in Bedford who is passionate about the emotional wellbeing of young people and children and a strong advocate of early intervention support. I was previously the strategic lead for Children, Young People and Maternity at the BLMK CCG. I also act as an out of hours trainer and GP at Herts’ Urgent Care (HUC) at Bedford Hospital. Prior to training as a GP, I trained in  paediatrics in the Northeast of England. I live in Bedford with my two young children and husband. In my spare time I enjoy playing tennis with my children, reading and meeting friends for coffee.