As a registered charity , we are governed by a Board of trustees that is responsible for our strategic direction. Our trustees are made up of professionals from all walks of life; each of them has a passion and commitment for improving services for vulnerable young people.
Meet the Trustees:
Before joining Caer Las I worked as Company Manager of Cyrenians Employment & Training Ltd (2012-2014) a subsidiary of the charity, Cyrenians Cymru and was Director of Operations at Cyrenians Cymru in 2014. CET worked with some of the most socially excluded and disadvantaged people in the Swansea Bay area helping over 1400 to gain accredited qualifications and 1500 into employment. Prior to this I worked for Shelter Cymru for over 25 years (1986-2011), latterly as Deputy Director, and briefly for Hafan Cymru in a business development role (2011).
I have been a trustee of SYSHP since 1997. I am also a member of the Big Lottery Fund People & Places Committee, was previously a member of the BLF Wales Community Voice Committee and a long-standing Board member of TPAS Cymru, the Tenant Participation and Advisory Service.
Originally from Loughborough, I studied at Aberystwyth University (BA Geography and Postgraduate Certificate in Education) and I also have an Open University MBA. I now live in Llansadwrn, Carmarthenshire.
I qualified as a teacher in 2004 and subsequently spent 15 months teaching English to children in Chiang Mai, Thailand. When I returned to the UK I spent some time teaching supply around South Wales before securing two terms of long term supply in a local school. When this period ended, I moved onto working in a Local Authority setting. I spent some time working in various local authorities in a range of roles before securing my current position.
I was approached to become a member of the board of trustees for SYSHP in 2012. I felt that becoming a trustee would be an interesting challenge and would help me to understand how a provider works. Since becoming a board member I have had the opportunity to visit some of the schemes run by the organisation and talk to some of the young people being supported which I have enjoyed immensely.
I have been on the board at SYSHP for about 5 years. I am currently working with the Welsh Centre for Action on Dependency and Addiction (WCADA) based in Swansea. I am project manager of the DOMINO Therapeutic Recreation Project, which is a programme of timetabled weekly activities, training and education opportunities that support people, families and communities affected by substance misuse. Prior to working at WGCADA I was project coordinator of a Special Educational Needs (SEN) 14-19 ESF project based at Heronsbridge School, Bridgend. I was here for 14 months before joining WCADA. This was a change for me as prior to working at the school I spent 9 years as a project manager with Treatment and Education Drug services (TEDS), based in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend. I managed the Progress2Work contract @ TEDS, so my background is based around working with substance misuse, offending and homelessness.
This was one of the main reasons that I applied to be a board member with SYSHP as I believe that the young people who engage with SYSHP may have been affected, either directly or indirectly, by one or all of the areas above. I feel SYSHP provides vital services to a very vulnerable group of people and I feel privileged to be a part of an organisation that makes a determined effort to change young peoples’ lives for the better. I am proud to be a board member with SYSHP and am keen to support delivery of much needed services and provisions for young people in and around the city of Swansea.
I have thirty years’ experience of working within the UK housing association sector at a senior level. This includes twenty years as part of the Directors team of Gwalia Housing Group, working as the Director of Community Care and then the Chief Executive of Cymdeithas Tai Trothwy. Work for Community Housing Cymru as the Supported Housing Advisor followed, and then eight years at Taff Housing Association as the Director of Support Services. I have further held positions on WFHA council, CHC board and the boards of Shelter Cymru, Shelter U.K., SHNAS, Cymorth and Cyrenians Cymru and was a member of the Welsh Government’s Supporting People Advisory Board. On issues as diverse as the development of Housing Association Leasing Schemes, the introduction of S.P. and work on Universal credit, I have worked with members of all four UK housing federations to develop policy with the Westminster Government.
I have been on the board for the last 8/9 years.
Born on Tyneside, I arrived in Swansea early in 1981 after graduating from Aberystwyth University in 1980. In the 1980’s I worked with the Child Poverty Action Group, advocating for and promoting the interests of people battling the benefits system. I qualified as a Social Worker in 1989 and then spent most of my time working with care leavers, I hav taken early retirement.
Prior to joining SYSHP I served on the Community Care Committee of the Gwalia Housing Society. I am married to Michelle and have four children, the youngest of whom Robbie Wales has been a volunteer with the New Opportunities Team and now works in Pam Lai.
I am a keen swimmer and worked as a lifeguard for Swansea City Council in the mid 1980’s, I re-qualified as a lifeguard in March 2012. I am a lifelong supporter of Newcastle United.
Since September 2014 I have worked as a Development Officer with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol – established in 2011 to support universities in Wales to develop Welsh medium provision in Higher Education. I currently manage several collaborative projects in Arts and Humanities subjects across Wales.
Prior to this I have spent three years as CEO of the London Welsh Centre, leading on operations and strategy at this unique cultural and community facility in King’s Cross. I was Education Coordinator at Shelter Cymru for six years and led on several youth engagement programmes as well as the redevelopment of the charity’s educational resources, Housemate. I have worked in marketing and my CV also proudly includes tutoring Welsh in Brittany and fruit-picking in Australia and New Zealand.
I have been a volunteer and Director at the Welsh language initiative in Swansea, Menter Iaith Abertawe, for many years and enjoys socialising at the Welsh Centre, Ty Tawe. I am an avid sports fan and has completed several challenges for charity, including a bike ride from Swansea to Paris in aid of Shelter Cymru in 2011.
Originally from Talybont, a small village in North Ceredigion, my love affair with Swansea started in 1997 when I embarked on a degree in French, German and Business Studies at the University.
I joined the Management Committee at Swansea Young Single Homeless Project early in 2013.
I have knowledge and experience of homelessness and how it affects young people having worked for 21 years in a similar organisation as SYSHP. I have in-depth knowledge of key legislation and the Supporting People Programme in relation to young people and care leavers.
I have a wide range of expertise in governance and probity issues having been a trustee for a number of charities including being a trustee of Neath Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Service since its inception.
I was keen to continue to use my skills and knowledge by supporting SYSHP in its work with young people.