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SEDCU’s founders are Jan (Janet) and Ben (Bernard) Herdan - a retired teacher and a semi-retired public sector leader who are also parents and grandparents and who love to explore the world. In 2011 they visited Uganda for the first time and were given a warm welcome by people they met. They visited a number of schools in the South West of the country and saw at first hand the challenges of educating children in rudimentary facilities and with tight budgets. The financial burden parents faced to educate their children was very apparent. So often children are withdrawn from school to work at home, for financial gain, and lose the opportunity to pursue secondary or tertiary education. Jan and Ben were so inspired by the people they met, and by their commitment to the education of their children, that they came home determined to do something to help.  They recognised that they were in a position to provide some support to enable a few disadvantaged children to attend school and realise their potential. Jan and Ben began on a purely personal basis to support some of the children they had met, and in conversations with friends, family and colleagues they found that others would be interested in getting involved. After returning to revisit the schools in 2013 they decided to put things on a stronger footing and established this charity. Jan and Ben visited the schools and children again in 2015, 2017 and 2019 - in the latter case accompanied by two other SEDCU trustees. This has confirmed and reinforced their commitment and they are working closely with schools and communities to achieve the charity's objectives. The next visit was planned for 2021 but had to be postponed due to the pandemic and other factors, and finally took place in March 2023. The plan is now to resume biannual visits if possible.

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SEDCU is a small charity but we are not alone. There are many individuals, charities and schools from the developed world working to similar ends, through funding new buildings, providing basic facilities like water or sanitation, or supporting individual children. The charities Sustain for Life, School Places and Kisoro Trust have been particularly active in the schools where we are working during the last few years. Within the area of Uganda where our chosen schools are located, we communicate with people and charities with similar aims to ourselves and take care to ensure our input is complementary to theirs. We are building strong relationships with local community leaders in Mgahinga and Kisoro and see ourselves as their partners. We have also spoken with young people who have benefited from similar opportunities and they are now in professions working to improve the conditions of their fellow Ugandans and to promote their homeland and some are sponsoring children themselves.



Dr Bernard ‘Ben’ Herdan CB has had a varied career, initially including a period at the European Space Agency as a spacecraft programme manager.  He returned to the UK and worked for some years in the private sector before embarking on a career in the public sector where he led a number of different Government Agencies.  He is now semi retired and has a portfolio of public and charity sector roles. In his spare time Ben enjoys walking, horse riding, travel and theatre.  Ben is Chairman of SEDCU

Janet 'Jan' Herdan

Janet ‘Jan’ Herdan is a retired primary school teacher who taught in the public and private sectors and in The Netherlands as well as the UK. She more recently sat on educational appeal panels, was a churchwarden and a parish councillor. Jan is a devoted mother and grandmother who enjoys reading, gardening, travelling, theatre and the arts. She is the SEDCU Board Secretary.


Kate Coulson

Kate is a working mum of 2 beautiful girls. Her ‘day job’ is within the HR field; currently within the Construction industry but previously within the early years and adult care sectors. 

Kate is very passionate about giving individuals opportunities in life and she values that each and every one of us is unique. Kate is proud to support SEDCU to give opportunities to children and families in Uganda. Kate manages SEDCU's social media. 

Dr Bernard 'Ben' Herdan CB

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Rebecca Lynch

Becky is a mother to two wonderful children. Becky works within the fresh food sector specialising within risk and compliance. 

Becky is proud to be a trustee of SEDCU and to be part of making a difference to the lives of others.  Becky manages the website and fund raises for SEDCU. 


SEDCU is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales; our registration number is 1161405.  We are also registered with HMRC to recover Gift Aid.  We hold regular Board meetings and track our progress against our annual business plan.  We publish our Annual Report on our website and file our Annual Accounts with the Charity Commission.


As a charity regulated by the Charity Commission, the formal position is that SEDCU funds overseas partners who provide education and support to disadvantaged children, (‘ SEDCU beneficiaries’) who are defined to be a vulnerable group.  Accordingly, SEDCU has a legal duty of care and must take the necessary steps to verify that partner organisations are safeguarding children in their care and who could possibly be at risk of harm.  SEDCU has prepared a policy document which sets out how SEDCU discharges this legal obligation. This has been shared with the schools with which we work, and they have provided the relevant assurances.  Follow the link if you wish to read the Safeguarding Policy document.

SEDCU issue's a newsletter twice a year to keep all our supports informed of the work of the charity.

July 2018, Issue 9

January 2024, Issue 20

January 2023, Issue 18

July 2022, Issue 17

January 2022, Issue 16

July 2021, Issue 15

January 2021, Issue 14

July 2020, Issue 13

December 2019, Issue 12

July 2019, Issue 11

December 2018, Issue 10

July 2018, Issue 9

December 2017, Issue 8

June 2017, Issue 7

December 2016, Issue 6

July 2016, Issue 5

December 2015, Issue 4

July 2015, Issue 3


SEDCU Annual Report 2023

SEDCU Accounts 2023

SEDCU Annual Report 2022

SEDCU Accounts 2022

SEDCU Annual Report 2021

SEDCU Accounts 2021

SEDCU Annual Report 2020

SEDCU Accounts 2020

SEDCU Annual Report 2019

SEDCU Accounts 2019

SEDCU Annual Report 2018

SEDCU Annual Report 2017

SEDCU Accounts 2017

SEDCU Annual Report 2016

SEDCU Accounts 2016

SEDCU Annual Report 2015

SEDCU Accounts 2015

SEDCU Annual Report 2013/2014

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