Value Invest

Benita Refson, OBE – Chief Executive and Founding Trustee at Place2be

Portraits of key members of staff at Places 2 Be. Adult training sessions and various youth counselling sessions in the Places 2 Be room at 326 City Road, 29th October 2012 Benita Refson, OBE is Chief Executive and Founding Trustee of Place2Be, the award-winning national children’s charity providing integrated, early-intervention support to 64,000 children in over 170 UK schools and offering training and advice for teachers and parents. Place2Be effectively prevents the downward spiral that can lead to low aspirations, poor educational achievement, truancy and exclusion from school. It helps improve attainment and academic progress and builds children’s resilience.In her role as Chief Executive, Benita has steered and developed Place2Be to become the leading provider of school-based mental health provision. She works full-time for the organisation in a voluntary capacity. Under Benita’s leadership Place2Be has been recognised for the strength of its scalable cost-effective model, the high quality and measurability of its results and demonstrable impact. Economic evaluation has shown that every £1 spent on Place2Be services brings about a return on investment of £6 for society.Benita is a qualified counsellor having trained at Regents College, London and The Westminster Pastoral Foundation and worked with voluntary sector agencies providing counselling to young people for several years before establishing Place2Be.In June 2007 Benita was awarded an OBE ‘for services to Children and Families’ and in 2009 she received an Honorary Doctor of Law from the University East London. In 2010 Benita was awarded The Beacon Judges’ Special Prize for Outstanding Philanthropic Achievement. Place2Be is recognised as “a pioneer in the field of children’s emotional health” (New Philanthropy Capital) and is a leading authority on the provision of school-based mental health services.

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