Over the years I have held a number of Public, Political and Voluntary appointments. I have taken on these roles because I want to play my part in order to make a difference to society. Whether it is campaigning for children rights or more diversity on stamps, in the workplace as well as fair representation in children’s books and on television.
I was Chairman of BAFTA – Television for two years and ten years ago came up with the idea to have a separate Children’s BAFTA Award ceremony which I also Chaired for two years at the same time as being Chair of the Television Committee. It was hard work but I love a challenge. It was also a challenge being Chairman of Women of the Year Lunch and Assembly (WOYLA), which I did for five years. It was a wonderful experience working with the amazing Lady Lothian, the founder president. She was a great person to work with and a real inspiration, a woman of wisdom and vision. Sadly she died in January 2007 and will be truly missed. However, her legacy lives on.
Lady Lothian is the only other person who has influenced my life apart from my truly beautiful wise mother.
Through the WOYLA I got to meet the leading women of the world both in this country and abroad, Queens, Presidents, Prime Ministers as well as the many inspirational women who are the backbone of society. Everyone who was nominated to attend the Lunch was considered a Woman of the Year!
One of the favourite committees I have sat on was the Royal Mail Stamp Advisory Board. There I had to give my opinion on which subject should be illustrated on stamps and what they should look like. It was important to me to have a good diverse choice of subjects because I saw it as a piece of art that was affordable to everyone in the country which was also collectable.
I also Co-Chair the All Party Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood.
In 2018 I was asked by the then Prime-Minister Theresa May, to Chair the Windrush Commemoration Committee to oversee the commission of a significant monument to the Windrush generation.
I now sit on the Lords Covid19 Committee
Voluntary Work & Commercial and Political Appointments
- 1980 -2000 Elected Patron of several Children’s Charities
- 1990 – 2005 Elected a Vice President of NCH Action for Children
- 1994 -1996 Elected Vice Chairman Women of the Year Lunch and Assembly.
- 1994 -2001 Member of Royal Mail Stamp Advisory Committee.
- 1995 Governor of National Film & TV School.
- 1995 President of Elizabeth ‘R’ Commonwealth Broadcasting Fund
- 1996 -2001 Chairman of Women of the Year Lunch and Assembly
- 1997- 2000 Chairman of BAFTA-Television.
- 1998 – 2001 Elected Governor of Commonwealth Institute by Foreign Office.
- 1998 – 1999 Member of the Task-force to review Multi-Ethnic Society.
- 1998 – 2002 Sat on Caribbean Strategy Advisor Committee reporting to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
- 1998 -1999 Sat on Millennium Dome Advisory Litmus Group
- 1999 – 2003 Elected Member of the British Board of Film Classification Advisory Panel on Children’s Viewing
- 1999 Member of the London Academy of Music and Drama Development Committee
- 1999 – 2006 Millennium Commissioner
- 2000 -2003 Trustee to Young People’s Environment Trust
- 2001 – 2011 Governor of Dulwich College
- 2003 – 2006 OFCOM Content Board member
- 2004 Elected a Vice-President of Barnardo’s
- 2006 – 2016 Appointed Chancellor of the University of Exeter
- 2008 – 2010 President of The Ramblers
- 2008 Appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London
- 2009 – 2011 Chair of Governors Isle of Sheppey Academy
- 2009 Member of LOCOG Diversity & Inclusion Board
- 2010 Elevated to the Peerage as Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham
- 2013 Appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
- 2014 Appointed a patron of Transplant Links (TLC)
- 2016 Appointed Ambassador for the Royal Horticultural Society
- 2017 Appointed President of The Society of Women Writers & Journalists (SWWJ)
- 2018 Appointed Chair of The Windrush Commemoration Committee
- 2019 Appointed Vice President of the Royal Horticultural Society
- 2020 Honoured with Damehood
- 2020 Appointed Patron of the Alfred Fagon Award