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.

In parliament was 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. This was followed by my appointment as Chair of the Windrush Portraits Committee by the then Prince Charles, who commissioned 10 portraits of Windrush Pioneers for the Royal Collection to celebrate Windrush 75th anniversary.

From 2020 to 2022 I sat on the House of 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 – 2012: 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 – 2012: Member of LOCOG Diversity & Inclusion Board
  • 2010: Elevated to the Peerage as Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham
  • 2012: Appointed Ambassador World Heartbeat Music Academy
  • 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 – 2022: 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
  • 2022 – 2023: Appointed Chair of the Windrush Portraits Committee