Meet the Team

Fiona Spargo-Mabbs, Director, Operations Manager and Founder

Fiona is Dan’s mum, co-founder of the DSM Foundation and up to 1 July 2016 was Chair of Trustees. Since then she has been Director and Operations Manager of the Foundation. She brings a wide range and depth of experience from fifteen years of working in education at operational and strategic management levels, as an English teacher in adult education, and having worked within a broader educational context at local authority, regional and national levels. Until April 2016 she managed English, Maths and Family Learning for adult education in the London Borough of Croydon, and up to Dan’s death was chair of a national network of Family Learning managers across the UK.

Fiona has led on the development and management of the work of the Foundation, from delivery to students and co-ordination with schools, to networking and strategy, and chaired the Board of Trustees until April 2016.  Her passionate commitment to do all she can to prevent what happened to her son, or any other harm from drugs happening to anyone else, drives everything she does within the Foundation.  

Dr Suja Chacko, Chair of Trustees

Suja, a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, has nearly 30 years’ HR and OD experience, most of this at a senior level. She runs an independent management consultancy providing professional support and research, primarily in HR and organisational development.

Suja has a PhD (Royal Holloway, University of London) in human resource management and organisational behaviour; her thesis examined the role of HR practices and a strong human resource management message in influencing employee engagement and performance outcomes. She has presented papers in the UK and internationally on strategic HR and employee engagement.

Suja works with organisations in the public, private and charity sectors and is particularly experienced in working with senior management on organisational change and restructures, and dealing with sensitive people issues. She has contributed extensively to employee engagement and HR strategy, organisational development, communications, change and talent management. Suja enjoys sharing her experience with students as a tutor on CIPD courses. She also serves as a non-legal member of employment tribunals and is on the board of another charity and a community interest company. She leads on governance, policies and HR on the DSM Foundation Board of Trustees. 

Ian Smith, Vice Chair of Trustees

Ian Smith joined the Foundation as a trustee in January 2016, following more than a 30 year career in local government. During his career Ian worked at the highest levels to develop strategic partnerships and joint working , such as with the Met Police, the Drugs Action Team and then Probation Service (now NOMS) , when developing the Safer Croydon Partnership  (to deliver programmes of work in order to reduce crime, fear of crime and antisocial behaviour).

Ian is really enjoying serving a trustee and helping the Foundation to increase its influence and secure more resources, so as many young people as possible can be protected and better informed about drugs use. Ian leads on strategic planning and partnerships for the Board of Trustees. 

Nick Martin, Treasurer

Nick joined the Board of Trustees as Treasurer in May 2017. He is an ACA qualified finance professional with experience of developing and delivering financial strategy, running finance functions, business partnering, providing key financial/operational data, financial planning, budgeting and forecasting. He was until recently Director of Finance and Audit at Pinnacle People Limited, and has been Treasurer of Sutton Schools Work since July 2016. This is a small charity that aims to increase the knowledge and understanding of the Christian Faith and support students in Sutton in their social, moral and spiritual development.



Tim Spargo-Mabbs, Founder and Trustee

Tim is Dan's father and a co-founder of the DSM Foundation. He worked in financial services for six years before turning to a career in Social Care in 1993. Since January 1996 he has worked in the charitable sector supporting adults with learning disabilities in a variety of roles at a variety of levels. He is currently the office administrator for the L'Arche Community in Lambeth during a time of profound change and development. He combines his financial services experience with two decades of administering the charitable sector to assume responsibility for the Foundation's book keeping and liaising with the accountant over all financial matters. As one of the story keepers he often joins Fiona in telling Dan's story during assemblies and workshops. When he's not working for charities he has an interest in photography (which Dan shared) and a passion for the ancient world (which Dan didn't).

Jacob Spargo-Mabbs, Founder and Trustee

As Dan’s older brother, Jacob has been a trustee with the Foundation from the outset. He has graduated in History at the University of Kent in 2016, and will finish a Masters in Early Modern History at Kings College, University of London, in September 2017. As a student he brings the experience and perspective of a young person, and he also leads on digital communication and social media for the trustees. The work of the Foundation to equip other young people to keep themselves safe around drugs is deeply important to him, for obvious reasons as Dan’s brother, and as such he is committed to continuing involvement with it. 

Harvey Ludlow, Trustee and Senior Youth Ambassador

Dan and Harvey went to secondary school together, were close friends and shared some memorable and fun experiences, especially on school trips.  When Harvey heard that Fiona and Tim were setting up the Foundation in Dan’s name he felt it was very important and passed on a serious, strong message for all young people.  He thought that the Foundation would be a great thing to be involved in and a few months after it was set up in 2014 he was invited to become a Youth Ambassador.  He was then was voted in as a Trustee at the beginning of 2016.  Harvey is conscious that very few eighteen year olds are given such an amazing opportunity and he is proud to be involved at this level and representing the Youth Ambassadors, on which he leads for the Board of Trustees, by bringing a young adult’s view to the other Trustees.

Harvey’s main passion is drumming and music.  Music was one of the key factors of his friendship with Dan as they had similar tastes and went to gigs together.  He misses Dan and is doing this in his memory.

Julie Ludlow, Company Secretary

Julie became Company Secretary in February 2017, having been a very busy and committed volunteer co-ordinator for the Foundation since November 2014.  Her role involves a variety of admin, support and resourcing and she is very much Fiona's 'right-hand woman' - as well as being mum to Harvey, who is a Trustee, a Youth Ambassador and Dan's friend. 

She is passionately completely committed to helping the Foundation educate young people about making safe choices and also to the importance of parents having a full understanding of the choices and pressures their children are facing around drugs. 

Sarah Birkett, Drug Educator

Sarah joined the DSM Foundation team in September 2017 as a trainee drugs educator. She is a qualified teacher and had until then been teaching 16-19-year olds at Bromley College. Sarah worked alongside Fiona in 2016-17, receiving training and mentoring as well as working towards accreditation in Understanding Substance Misuse. 

Jo Riches, Project Co-ordinator