Our Trustees

John Ward


John is a County Councillor representing Sprowston Ward in Norwich. John is the current Chairman of the Norfolk Museums Development Foundation and is also the Chairman of the Norfolk Museums Joint Committee. Before retirement John spent his career in retail management and is very active in the local community doing voluntary work for Oxfam and the Royal British Legion.

Margaret Dewsbury

Margaret has served on Norfolk County Council since 2013 and is the Cabinet Member responsible for Communities and Partnerships. This covers a wide range of services including the Arts, museums, the Fire Service, Armed Forces Covenant and Trading Standards, plus Adult Education, Customer Services and Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. Margaret has always been involved with communities and community work.

Her political career began in 1991 when she joined South Norfolk Council. She is currently their longest serving member and has served in various roles including chair of Scrutiny and Chairman of the Council. She also served on several County organisations including Norfolk Rural Community Council, Norfolk Playing Fields Association and Norfolk Town and Parish Council Association.

Margaret worked with childcare groups for many years, then Social Services, advising and supporting early years organisations, childminders and playschemes before moving on to inspecting them on behalf of Ofsted. Margaret wants to encourage children of all ages to take an interest in learning about and preserving historic items as well as supporting older people’s memories of their earlier years and their families and communities histories.

Alex Hemen

Alexandra is a passionate leader of retail operations and strategy. Currently holding the Head of Retail position for Adnams PLC, her role is to deliver growth and excellent customer service. Passionate about operational efficiency and digitisation, Alex has a true love for East Anglia, with a keen interest in poverty alleviation, levelling up agenda for the region and sustainable development. Areas of expertise include retail, operational productivity, marketing strategy and FMCG market. 

Alex is currently on Maternity Leave.

Mark Jeffries

Mark spent his career with Mills & Reeve, a national law firm with offices in Norwich, Cambridge, Leeds, London, Manchester and Oxford.  He was national managing partner between 2001 – 2007 and national senior partner and chairman of the firm’s board between 2007 – 2015.

He now has various non-executive roles including chairman of the Norwich Diocesan Board of Finance and as a director of R G Carter Holdings Limited and the Cambridge Building Society. He also chairs the Council at NUA.

Previous external roles have been as a director of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, elected member of the Eastern Regional Council of the CBI, trustee of the Norfolk Education, Industry and Commerce Group and chair of Evolution Academy Trust. He is a Lay Canon of Norwich Cathedral.

Brian Horner

After a long career working in the voluntary sector and local government, Brian retired after 10 years as the Chief Executive of Voluntary Norfolk. During his time there the charity developed into one of the leading voluntary sector support organisations in the country supporting volunteers and voluntary organisations, working in partnership with voluntary and public sector organisations both locally and nationally, and building the charity’s business support activities from scratch.

Brian brings strengths in governance, strategic planning and fundraising to the Foundation and was the charity’s Company Secretary for its first few years. Brian is keen to see the Museums service further develop its community engagement work. Having a long-standing interest in local and national history he is also a trustee with Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation and is Treasurer of the charity.

Sarah Steed

Sarah is Director of Knowledge Exchange and Employability at Norwich University of the Arts and oversees the University’s external collaborations and employability services. Her role is concerned with building knowledge-based partnerships for the university both with business but also other research organisations, as well as ensuring the best possible employment outcomes for their graduate community.

She also works with early-stage creative businesses emerging from Norwich University of the Arts, helping them to establish themselves effectively on the national and international stage. Sarah’s career has been centred on Marketing and Innovation in international businesses based in Norfolk. Norwich University of the Arts is a strategic partner to Norfolk Museum Service with common and complementary aims and purpose. Sarah’s role on the board is to facilitate and strengthen this relationship, whilst lending her commercial skills to the development of revenue streams for the service.

Tim Sweeting

Tim became Diocesan Secretary (Chief Executive) for the Diocese of Norwich in September 2021, leading a team who support local parishes to impact their local communities for good.

Prior to this, Tim worked for youth charity YMCA for 22 years in various positions across the country, acting as Chief Executive of YMCA Norfolk for 12 years. He has been a Lay Canon of Norwich Cathedral since 2017 and is a Trustee of the Horstead Centre and Norwich Cathedral Trust.

Tim is passionate about giving young people opportunities to develop their full potential and is excited to be supporting young people to engage in heritage through NMDF.

Caroline Williams

Caroline is an entrepreneur with a portfolio of interests including operating as an Executive Coach, Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner and Yoga Teacher. Caroline held the position of Chief Executive of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce for 17 years. Prior to running the Chamber she had a career as an International Buyer working for a New York based  Buying Office and as the M&S Account manager for furniture manufacturer Jentique Furniture based in Dereham.

David Missen

Treasurer and Company Secretary

David is a Chartered Accountant based in East Anglia, for many years a partner in a large regional firm specialising in agriculture and rural businesses and practising in North Norfolk. Since retiring from public practice in 2015 David has been Honorary Treasurer to the Norfolk Museums Development Foundation.

In his retirement David his is now able to pursue interests in the history of Norfolk, church architecture and industrial archaeology, and holds other charitable trusteeships in those areas.  He also continues his involvement with agriculture, as a consultant, writer and speaker at training conferences. In his spare time he owns and runs a small farm in Norfolk where he is actively developing the ecological diversity and attempting to maximise the environmental benefit on a modest arable acreage, making full use of grass strips, bird feed crops, hedges and traditional ponds and meadows.

Donna Chessum

Donna has many years experience working in various fields of communications including public relations, brand management, sponsorship, advertising and corporate responsibility. She has worked in-house in publishing and financial services, and as a director of award-winning PR agency, Tribe, where her clients included Camelot, Greene King, the East of England Development Agency, Norfolk County Council and May Gurney. She is now a director of Chessum Communication.

She served on the East of England Heritage Lottery Committee for six years, making decisions on grant awards for hundreds of heritage projects across the region. She has a first class History degree from the University of East Anglia. Her love of history and heritage was fired at an early age by visits to Norwich Castle and she is delighted to now be playing her part in igniting interest and curiosity among others as a trustee of Norfolk Museums Development Foundation.

Helen Wilson

Helen has a background in broadcasting having been a producer and editor on the BBC’s Today programme, the World at One and PM. After a stint in New York and Washington for the BBC she became Managing Editor Radio 4 and then Controller Radio 4. After leaving the BBC she ran an independent production company and then became Chair of Southern Norfolk Primary Care Trust for the NHS.

Helen is a trustee of the National Centre for Writing and also Co-Chair of the UEA’s Impact Board.

Previous roles have also included Chair of the New Anglia Culture Board and Chair of the National Lottery Heritage Fund Committee for the East of England. Most recently Helen was part of the Bishop of Norwich’s Commission on the future of Church Buildings “Lifelines for Historic Churches and their Communities”.

NMDF accounts

​Our accounts

As a registered charity, Norfolk Museums Development Foundation is committed to operating in a transparent manner. The Charity Commission website contains full details of our charity registration.

Account returns for NMDF can be found below:

NMDF Accounts to 2023

NMDF Accounts to 2022

NMDF Accounts to 2021

NMDF Accounts to 2020

NMDF Accounts to 2019

NMDF Accounts to 2018

NMDF Accounts to 2017

NMDF-Accounts to 2016