Cheryl Ward, Group Chief Executive

Cheryl Ward is the Group Chief Executive. Cheryl was appointed as Chief Executive in 2012, having been Development Director from 2009.

Cheryl joined Family Fund as Commercial Manager, bringing a wealth of experience from her previous careers within financial services and retail corporate sales. Cheryl has overall responsibility for the charity and it's trading arm, Family Fund Business Services.

"Each year Family Fund provides a lifeline to thousands of families on the lowest of incomes, and each year we strive to do more. It is a privilege to work in an organisation where by the fruits of your labour can be so life enhancing to so many disabled children, young people and their families.”

Claire Locker, 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 has overall responsibility for finance, procurement, risk and compliance for both Family Fund and Family Fund Business Services.

"Family Fund is committed to making a difference and being a voice for all families caring for a disabled child. We have a reputation for efficiency and in these difficult times I am proud that we are all working hard to help more families than ever before."

James Turton, Chief Operating Officer

James joined Family Fund in 2018. In his role as Chief Operating Officer, he oversees the work of the teams that are responsible for Family Fund delivering over 88,000 grants and services a year to families across the UK. James worked in the consumer goods industry for over 25 years. He has held senior sales and marketing director roles in Young’s Seafood, Aunt Bessie’s and United Biscuits. Prior to Family Fund, he was Managing Director for McVities Cakes in the UK, a £50 million business with over 250 employees.

James started his involvement with Family Fund as a Non-Executive Director of Family Fund Business Services in 2016, and then extended his involvement to being a Trustee of the main charity in 2017 before becoming Chief Operating Officer. He very much hopes that his commercial and broad business experience can help the charity evolve and develop as it faces new opportunities and challenges in the future. 

Ben Calverley, Director of Grants Services

Ben joined Family Fund in July 2009 as an Applications Officer, moving on to the role of Grants Manager and then Director of Grants Services in 2013.

Grant Services leads the operation and delivery of all grants programmes and services currently on offer to families.  It takes an active role in ensuring we continue to deliver what families need and want whilst striving to provide support in the most effective ways.

The department consists of the Applications Team who deliver all our grant schemes efficiently and effectively; the First Contact Team who respond to all emails, phone calls and offer help and advice; the Safeguarding and Policy Team who ensure our current operations are doing what families want them to do; and the Service Delivery Team who are responsible for developing and delivering new and exciting initiatives at Family Fund.

Aside from grant schemes, these teams also work together to deliver support to families through information and support.  This includes our work in sleep support, digital skills and other signposting, alongside Family Fund home visits. They also support the wider Family Fund Group in delivering other programmes such as BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme.

Supported by the Grants Services management team, the department consists of over 70 staff.

"You can never help enough, but seeing first-hand how much hard work people are willing to put in, to help as much as they can, is the best job I’ve ever had!"

Andy Harper, 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.

"Family Fund does a great job supporting disabled children, young people and their families. I'm keen that we make full use of our strong links with families, both to help shape further development of the support we offer, and to inform our work in influencing wider policy and support across the UK".

Tracy Evans, Director of HR

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

“Our staff are the heartbeat of our organisation and make a real difference to our families every day. We want Family Fund to be a great place to work. Our job is to create the environment where our staff are able to deliver the organisation’s strategy and be their best at work”.

John Mawson, Director of Technology and Digital

John began working with Family Fund in 2019. John has a wide variety of experience from two decades of leading Information Technology teams in both the commercial and healthcare sectors. John oversees the ICT team supporting Family Fund and Family Fund Business Services.

“It’s an enormous privilege to be part of this amazing organisation that plays such an important role in the lives of so many families. In addition to delivering high quality IT support, the role of my team is to ensure Family Fund can maximise the benefits that technology can offer, to continue to improve the efficiency of its essential work”.