Leadership team

Our leadership team is responsible for implementing the decisions of the board of trustees, and making sure that the charity operates effectively.

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Cheryl Ward

Group Chief Executive

Cheryl joined Family Fund as Commercial Director in 2008 and became Group CEO in 2012. During her tenure Cheryl alongside her team has raised the charity’s reach and profile, providing practical and essential grants and services to around 150,000 families every year. Cheryl was pivotal in setting up the charity’s wholly owned trading subsidiary Family Fund Business Services in 2013 of which she is a Director.

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Louise Wood

Group Chief Operating Officer

Louise Wood joined Family Fund in October 2021 and has overall operational responsibility for the frontline grant delivery, ICT and change functions. She brings more than 25 years’ experience in both commercial consultancy and public service to the role, having held a number of Board-level positions spanning local government, health, policing and education sectors.

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Claire Locker 

Group Director of Finance

Claire Locker has been working at Family Fund since 1999. Claire joined Family Fund as a Finance Assistant and has successfully progressed to her current role as Director of Finance. Claire is also a Family Fund Business Services Director. She has overall responsibility for finance, procurement, risk and compliance for both Family Fund and Family Fund Business Services.

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Phil Henderson

Director of Family Fund Business Services

Phil joined FFBS in 2022 as Director, taking responsibility for leading the team and the business and delivering unrestricted income to our parent charity. Prior to joining FFBS Phil worked in retail for over two decades, initially at a supermarket and latterly on the Board of a UK bookseller.

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Ben Calverley

Director of Grants Services

Ben joined Family Fund in July 2009 as an Applications Officer, moving on to the role of Director of Grants Services in 2013. His role is to lead the operation and delivery of all grants programmes and services currently on offer to families, while striving to provide information support in the most effective ways. During the last few years, Ben has overseen Family Fund’s increasing support to families through grants and services, developing and implementing several new schemes and services across the UK.

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Andy Harper

Group Director of Partnerships, Public Affairs and Family Outcomes

Andy joined Family Fund in October 2016 bringing 25 years of experience working within the public and voluntary sectors in the fields of economic and social inclusion. He heads up the Partnerships, Public Affairs and Family Outcomes team, working to develop links and projects with other organisations to support disabled or seriously ill children and their families, find out more about the families we support and the issues they face, and use that information to deliver and advocate for improvements in families' lives.

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Tracy Evans

Group Director of HR and Facilities

Tracy joined Family Fund in March 2019, bringing 20 years’ experience in Human Resources management, across public, not-for-profit and private sectors, including Yorkshire Housing, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Housing Trust and Aviva. She leads the HR and Facilities team across Family Fund and Family Fund Business Services.

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Julie Charlton

Group Director of Communications and Fundraising

Julie leads the Fundraising, Marketing and Communication teams and joined the charity in 2022. She has 25 years’ strategic marketing and fundraising experience gained across wide-ranging businesses including not-for-profit organisations and charities.

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John Mawson

Group Director of Technology and Digital

Working with Family Fund since 2019, John has a wide variety of experience from two decades of leading information technology teams in both commercial and healthcare sectors. John oversees the ICT team supporting Family Fund and Family Fund Business Services.

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Sam Faddy

Group Director of Internal Assurance

Sam joined Family Fund in 2019, bringing many years experience in audit, risk management and compliance - most recently in legal and financial services. Sam heads up the Internal Assurance Team and is also our Data Protection Officer. Providing a strong control framework and assurance to our Board of Trustees is very important to us, and Sam’s team are there to ensure that this is the case.