Chris Beedell was born on 14 December 1924 in Highbridge, Somerset. He was brought up on a farm in Devon and educated at Bishops Stortford School.
Beedell was a conscientious objector during the Second World World, spending a short period in Wormwood Scrubs prison. In 1941 he moved to Wales to study chemistry at University College London which had been evacuated to Bangor. It was during this period he learnt about the experimental Q Camp in Essex from David Wills' book 'The Hawkspur Experiment'. By the end of 1944 Beedell was working at the Q Camp in Hawkspur as a student helper. His work with Wills inspired Beedell to switch his studies from chemistry to a degree in psychology. After qualification he had a short lived career as an actor at the Old Vic theatre before moving to Bristol in 1950, with his new wife Gill, to work as a child psychologist at the Bristol Child and Family Guidance Service.
One of Beedell's early tasks was to develop a course for senior staff working in the newly emerging field of residential child care. He worked at the clinic until 1956 when he was appointed to the post of Lecturer in Education and Social Administration at Bristol University. He published the highly regarded book 'Residential Life With Children' in 1970 promoting the notion that children needed to be held, nurtured and helped to develop and maintain personal integrity. In 1978 he was promoted to the post of Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Bristol University and was instrumental in establishing the Advanced Course for senior staff in residential childcare, which was identified by the Home Office as one of only two able to provide leadership in residential care in the UK. In 1992, he was called upon to submit evidence to the Warner committee into the selection and recruitment of staff in children's homes.
Beedell was a consultant and friend to a number of different residential establishments. He was a notable supporter of Barbara Dockar Drysdale, the founder of the Mulberry Bush School in Oxfordshire, serving on the school's Management Committee, Education and Treatment Sub-Committee and as a Staff Consultant. He also served on the Managing Body of the Cotswold Community, a school established by his former colleague, Richard Balbernie. Beedell was a founding member of the Charterhouse Group of Therapeutic Communities and a supporter of Highdene School in Bristol.
Beedell stayed at the University of Bristol until his retirement in [1982?] [1985?]. He died on 24 August 2001.