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, Russia, 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.