Our Team


Dean Buchanan

Ba BArch MSc - Architect

Dean Buchanan established his architectural practice in London in 1987. Over thirty years he designed a series of major buildings including commercial offices and luxury hotels. In 2004 he and his family witnessed first-hand the effects of the Tsunami in Sri Lanka. This roused his interest in trying to help poor and vulnerable children which led to establishing DATUM FOUNDATION. In 2016 Dean took early retirement to allow more time to work on the charity’s projects. As Trustee he has used his experience in building design and project management to construct schools and clinics across SE Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Sue Dryden


Sue Dryden joined Datum as a Trustee in 2019 as the foundation began to develop more maternal and child health projects. She is a children’s nurse by background with over 40 years' experience at service and strategic level in community and clinical settings. Sue worked in Kenya for three years through Voluntary Service Overseas early in her career and remains passionate about supporting women and children to lead healthy lives in developing countries.

Stephen Bishop

LLB Law - Solicitor

Stephen Bishop founded Bishop & Sewell LLP Solicitors, a Central London law firm,  in 1979.  Having met Dean Buchanan some 25 year ago through business contacts and was privileged in being asked to become a Trustee of Datum Foundation and being able to contribute to the charity with his legal experience and contacts. Stephen is passionate about providing education and health care to poor and disadvantaged children in the world.

Elsa Buchanan

Ba Ba - Journalist

Elsa Buchanan is a multilingual news reporter and communications professional who has reported from dozens of countries in the Middle East, South America and Africa. Previously on Newsweek Media Group's Africa news desk, Elsa now helps deliver successful awareness campaigns for the NGO sector to promote awareness of security, human rights, and health issues in Sub-Saharan Africa among the public, social institutions, NGOs, and governments. Having been involved with DATUM since its launch, Elsa uses her cross-cultural context experience to work with staff throughout the world to ensure effective collaboration and successful delivery of projects, including awareness campaigns and coordinating emergency responses.

Nicola Pitchford

BSc (Hons) DPhil – Professor

Nicola is a Developmental Neuropsychologist and Professor at the School of Psychology, University of Nottingham. Over the past 25 years she has researched early child development, exploring how children acquire core cognitive skills that impact their ability to progress at school. She specialises in literacy and numeracy acquisition in typically-developing children and children with neurological difficulties. Since 2013, she has partnered with researchers, charities, and government in Malawi to explore how targeted interventions, such as digital technologies, can be used to address the global learning crisis. As a Trustee, she raises awareness of the Foundation’s work through her extensive network within Malawi and beyond and mobilises her knowledge of child development to ensure the work of the Foundation is fully optimised.

Simon Fradd


I first visited Africa in 1976 when I worked in Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesberg. Though South Africa is a wealthy country compared with most others in Africa, especially Malawi, the level of deprivation and need had a profound effect on me. This influenced the rest of my medical career. Little did I realise that the Tsunami which severely affected Sri Lanka in December of 2004 was to have an even more profound influence on my life.

Dean Buchannan and his family were caught up in that disaster. Dean’s response was to build a childrens’ home in Colombo. This led on directly to the founding of Datum. I was given the privilege of being a founder trustee.  I can think of no more worthwhile organisation to be involved with.


Bishop Christopher Chessun
Professor Dame Elizabeth Fradd DBE DL
Baroness Mary Watkins of Tavistock