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Friends of The Banyan Tree – UK


Everyone who works for The Friends of The Banyan Tree in the UK are volunteers, freely giving their time to help others. This enables all the money we raise to be concentrated on the people in need. We pay all our own expenses, airfares, accommodation and transport costs, when making our monitoring visits to India.</


Peter Baker, Chairman of The Banyan Tree

Peter Baker

Peter Baker, Chairman
Peter had 37 years in the education service retiring as a High School Head. He went to India for a six month period in 1990 to work for the charity International Children’s Trust, during which time he met Tom Sutherland; that six months association with ICT became ten years!

Peter has continued to work and travel in the sub-continent expanding his fascination, knowledge and hopefully understanding of this incredible country; his love for its people has deepened and matured. He had a number of years as a leader and organiser of specialist tours and has worked as a volunteer in the S.E.Asia Dept. of the V&A. He has two married children, is a parish councillor and a committee member of a local museum. Other interests include photography, railways, the American popular song 1920 – 60 and jazz music.

Sue Seabon, Secretary & Treasurer

Sue Seabon

Sue Seabon Secretary & Treasurer
Sue first heard about The Banyan Tree when travelling to India on one of Peter’s tours. Peter asked in 2000 if she would like to become secretary of the newly formed Friends, and, imagining an occasional bit of correspondence, she agreed, little realising quite how much would be involved.

Their joint love of India, the people they work with and awareness of just how fortunate we are in the west has meant it is a privilege to be involved. Sue worked for Hopkins Homes as an Accountancy Assistant for over 15 years before retirement.

James Hopkins, Executive Director of Hopkins Homes

James Hopkins

James Hopkins, Managing Director of Denbury Homes
Denbury Homes has been building beautiful homes in East Anglia for almost 40 years. James’ first involvement with The Friends of The Banyan Tree was as a major contributor to our Tsunami fundraising in 2005.

James was with us in India for the formal handing over of the nine family houses we built. This was an auspicious event as James met Chandra Babu and decided to associate his company with the CDSA project and to provide the funding to set it up and maintain its basic running costs. James has since returned to India several times to visit the project.

Margaret Gleave, Committee Member & Fundraiser

Margaret Gleave

Margaret Gleave, Committee Member & Fundraiser
A retired teacher, Margaret and her husband Roger discovered the Banyan Tree in 2000 when on one of Peter’s tours. Immediately they decided to support its work because they liked its emphasis on helping whole communities, not just a few talented individuals. Together they provided The Banyan Tree with the security of Gleave House, one of the buildings at Kulapadda.

Over the years Margaret has been a great supporter of the charity, giving talks and working extremely hard to raise significant funds. Her visits to India have encouraged an interest in helping children with special needs. Margaret is also a local preacher, supports a local museum and enjoys her four sons and their families.

Dr. Edmund Plumber, Chair of Trustees of our parent charity HHI

Dr. Edmund Plumber

Dr. Edmund Plumber
Dr. Edmund Plummer is a recently retired civil servant who has been a trustee of Health Help International (the parent charity of the Friends of the Banyan Tree ) since 2001; and is now chairman of the trustees.

In 2007 Dr. Edmund Plummer visited India with Health Help International, fell in love with the country and its people, and felt a calling to do something to help them. Since then he has been responsible for Health Help International’s work in India, and in 2012, took over responsibility for the work of the Banyan Tree from the Friends of the Banyan Tree, although the Friends of the Banyan Tree remain responsible for funding this.

Kay, Website Developer

Kay Johnson

Kay Johnson, Website Developer
Kay first met Sue and Peter in 2008 when they came along to one of Kay’s website design courses at Knuston Hall, Irchester, to learn how to a build a website for the charity. Realising Peter and Sue were very short on time, Kay offered to build the website for them, as a donation to the charity.

Over the years Kay has continued to support the charity by updating the website as and when required. In 2017, Kay redesigned and upgraded the entire website, to ensure it is fully responsive and compatible for viewing on mobile phones, tablets and large computer screens, and optimised for Search Engines.

Kay’s web design company, Pink Frog, provides a very personal one to one service. Kay designs and hosts websites primarily for small businesses, individuals and organisations. If you would like Kay to design and host your website for you, contact kay @ pinkfrog.co.uk

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When making our monitoring visits to India we pay all our own expenses, airfares, accommodation and transport…