Our Chair

Local Southend resident, Mr Freddie Dawkins is our newly appointed Chair.  Freddie has been volunteering as an Advisory Board member for over a year and we thank him for his continued support.    

Our Board

Chris Gasper

Chris brings to our board a combination of managerial and administrative knowledge and experience from a variety of sources, including 42 years in the civil service and 13 years with the Health and Safety Executive. A skilled negotiator and former member of the LINk, Chris is well aware of the health and social care landscape and the challenges local Healthwatch faces.

Chris is also one of the precious few people keeping the Punch and Judy tradition alive in this country, performing to children and adults in our community and beyond.

Chris said: “I derive great satisfaction from talking to people and helping them cope with life. I always try to understand the reasons behind any situation, and to influence the people with the power to make things better.”

Freddie Dawkins

Freddie Dawkins has lived in Southend for the past 15 years. 

Our board will benefit greatly from his wealth of knowledge and skills attained through a varied career, including early training in Fleet Street as a journalist with the Evening Standard, Daily Telegraph and The Times. He spent 13 years working for the European Commission on various projects including data privacy, e-government, security and energy policy and lived and worked in several capital cities, including Helsinki, Brussels, Seville and Munich. 

Freddie is now semi-retired, works primarily as a driver for Special Educational Needs children and Vulnerable Adults in Essex and also still finds time to edit a global business magazine. 

Married, with two grown-up sons, Freddie has five grandchildren and spends as much time with them as he can.

Freddie said “I care passionately about our National Health Service and Social Care Programmes.  My mother was a nurse for many years and my family has a long history of being involved in the NHS and social care work, both paid and voluntary.

Wendy Dodds

I am a qualified nurse with a BSc in Health Studies and have more than 40 years experience working within the NHS , private and charity sectors.  My passion for the delivery of patient centred quality care has always been at the heart of my work. My most recent post was that of Director of Care and Executive Nurse for a local hospice.  This role enabled me to ensure that patients, families and carers health and social care needs were recognised as being of equal importance.

Since my retirement I have continued to be involved in a voluntary capacity as a Trustee for a local Charity providing respite at home and day centres for the elderly with early onset dementia and adults with disabilities.  In addition my role as an Advisory Board Member will enable me to utilise my past experience, skills and knowledge in assisting Healthwatch in fulfilling their aims and objectives for the benefit of the residents of Southend.

Past Board papers

We make the papers for our public Board meetings available online. We also publish a summary of what was discussed. Check out our past meetings to read more.

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