Directors & Staff
When does the Board meet?
The Board meets regularly and below are the dates for this year’s meetings:
Week commencing: 21st Sept 2020
Week commencing: 12th Oct 2020
Week commencing: 16th Nov 2020
Week commencing: 22nd Feb 2021
Week commencing: 22nd March 2021
Week commencing: 17th May 2021
Week commencing: 21st June 2021
Week commencing: 26th July 2021
Week commencing: 27th Sept 2021
Week commencing: 18th Oct 2021
Week commencing: 15th Nov 2021
What Does The Board Do?
The Board of the Pen y Cymoedd Community Fund is legally responsible for how the resources are used, and is the body that shapes a strategy to give life to the community’s aspirations, as expressed in the Prospectus. There are six initial Directors who have steered the setting up of the company and developing its initial ethos, values, procedures and priorities. Over time the Board will expand to a maximum of eight members. Members will serve three-year terms so creating a mechanism for turnover and recruitment of new energies and ideas as the Fund matures.
Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund Community Interest Company
The Fund is managed on behalf of local communities by an entirely independent, locally based and locally accountable Community Interest Company (CIC). The Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm structure we’ve adopted means that delivering community benefit will always be our main priority, and that the funds we manage are subject to an ‘asset lock’. This is a key feature of all CICs and ensures that all our assets will always be used exclusively for the benefit of the community – no matter what.
The Company Objects set out in our Articles of Association are straightforward – they say that we will:
- Carry on activities which benefit the Community
- Oversee a fund to deliver benefits to the Community (as agreed from time to time with the Company’s funder); and
- Ensure that funding received by the Company brings long term benefit to the Community.
What does the Board of Directors do?
The Company currently has six Board Directors – all with local connections and with years of community engagement experience.
Together, they are legally responsible for how the resources are managed and used, ensuring that the community aspirations set out in the Prospectus are brought to life.
Over time the Board will expand to a maximum of eight members. Members will serve three-year terms, ensuring turnover and recruitment of new energies and ideas as the Fund matures. Recruitment to the Board will always be open and transparent.
What’s important to us – how we’ll work with you
Working closely with local communities and organisations, Directors of the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund CIC will do all we can to provide excellent stewardship of the Fund. This statement sets out what’s important to us and how we’ll work with you.
The Code of Conduct applies to all the ways in which Directors work together and with CIC staff, and how we all represent and promote the CIC externally. Staff and Directors work together with respect for each other and with integrity, and similarly with external individuals and organisations. We aim to conduct ourselves in an open and approachable way – we want to be an organisation that all stakeholders can trust.
The Conflict of Interest policy aims to protect the CIC, Directors and Staff from impropriety and minimise the risk of any perception that funding decisions have been influenced externally in any way. All Directors and staff must complete Declaration of Interests forms when they are appointed and every year after that. Declarations of Interest are also invited at the start of every Board meeting as a standard agenda item. You can read both policy documents in full on our Downloads page.
Meet the Current Board and Staff Members
Kate provides all aspects of delivery support and community engagement for the Community Fund and is responsible for day-to- day management and strategic leadership. She has worked in a variety of administration roles for 12 years after completing her Law degree in 2003 and has worked in a variety of employment settings – from running her own business to managing grant programmes in Higher Education Institutions. Kate has been with Pen y Cymoedd since its start in October 2016. Outside work, Kate also walks with her lovely dogs Eric and Cora and has been learning Welsh for three years with aim of being a fluent Welsh speaker before she turns 40.
Enterprise Support and Finance Officer
Michelle will be responsible for advising and supporting business applicants (commercial and not-for-profit), from those at the initial idea stage or about to launch, to those who are established and ready to grow – complementing existing business support services and developing networks.
Michelle set up her own social enterprise from scratch with all the challenges, learning and excitement that involves, so brings a wealth of experience to the job. “I am so excited to be joining the Pen y Cymoedd Community Fund Team” she said. “I’m really excited to be working with the local communities, working with that passion to help develop and pass on my own learning”
Project Support Officer
Shayla joined the team in July 2021 as our dedicated Project Support Officer. Shayla previously worked for DVLA and before that ran her own dog grooming business.
With experience of answering complex enquires over the phone, on webchat and by email and providing customers with accurate information Shayla will be first point of contact for people who approach the fund.
Shayla’s role will also be to drive up social media following and find new and innovative ways to engage with local communities and stakeholders as we well as providing administrative support to the fund.
David left school with no qualifications and no idea of his future career. That was almost 50 years ago, and since then he has carved an impressive career in education and training, founding and running his own training companies. He has lived and work in the communities benefitting from the Pen y Cymoedd Community Fund for 35 years and is particularly keen to see the local communities take the lead in deciding how the fund can be used best in their areas, and use it as a catalyst to restoring the “can do” attitude he believes the Upper Valleys were built on. Dave is also a Non-Executive Director of Valleys recycling company – “Too Good to Waste”
Mair Gwynant is a chartered accountant with significant experience of working across the public, private and third sector. Her areas of expertise include financial management, governance, funding, grant management, business development and strategic planning.
Mair previously worked in senior roles within the Welsh Government, the Welsh European Funding Office, the Wales Co-operative Centre, Chwarae Teg and Deloitte Touche LLP. She has worked with many organisations in the Pen y Cymoedd area, developing sustainable community projects and social enterprise activity. Mair welcomes the opportunity to contribute to and shape the positive change that the fund can make to the area.
Professor Donna Mead
Professor Donna Mead has a distinguished career in nursing, academia and public service – and throughout this has kept her family base in her home community of Glynneath. Currently Vice Chair of Cwm Taf University Health Board, she relishes the prospect of using of the Pen y Cymoedd Community Fund to increase the resilience of communities in the Upper Neath, Afan, Rhondda and Cynon Valleys.
has worked in co-operatives development for over eighteen years, and has facilitated the set-up of many community- and worker- co-operatives and co-operative consortia. He makes use of his business training and understanding to help people develop entrepreneurial ideas into successful co-operative businesses. Glenn is Director for Enterprise at the Wales Co-operative Centre and was co-ordinator of the Local Economy Action Project for Bridgend County Borough Council.
Glenn has been a resident of Tynewydd and Treherbert all his life and all his family live within the ward and is excited about being part of an organisation that will make a difference to people’s lives, empowering his and neighbouring communities to support themselves to develop sustainably.
Martin is a qualified accountant and auditor, risk management and governance expert. Martin is also an experienced board member and is currently a board member and chair of audit at Sport Wales and at Velindre University NHS Trust.
Having lived in the South Wales Valleys all his life, Martin recognises the outstanding opportunity the funding available through this scheme represents and wants to ensure the funding makes a long-term impression on the area – delivering for the wellbeing of future generations.
Michelle has been employed by RCTs Education and Children’s Services since 1996, now employed as a Business and Facilities Manager at a secondary school in Ferndale. Michelle is also the Managing and Founding Director of The Fern Partnership, a multi award winning Charity and Company Limited Guarantee, selected in July 2017 as a ‘Pathfinder’ organisation for Wales by Welsh Government under the Valleys Task Force initiative. The Charity is strategic and forward thinking in relation to the future, community development and the joined-up approach to community partnership working. As both a resident and a professional in the Rhondda Valleys Michelle is proud to be part of communities that flourish, develop and thrive in what can be challenging and sometimes extremely difficult environments.
Dr Jack James
Having been raised on smallholding in West Wales, Jack received a marine biology degree and PhD Swansea University before starting his professional career in Madagascar as a fish farm manager. Following this he was appointed Head of R&D for an aquaculture company in Malta, before returning to South Wales in late 2013, to Aberdare. Here he settled with his family, founding an aquaculture R&D business in Hirwaun in 2014, now employing 13 people and expanding significantly through 2020/21 locally and into Singapore. The business trades globally but is very firmly rooted in the Cynon Valley, and Jack has a strong personal and professional commitment to enhancing the community in which he lives and works. He lives in Llwydcoed with his wife (from Aberdare) and two young children.
Victoria is a Chartered Waste Manager, with 17 years’ experience, specialising in modern waste management and recycling. Originally from Hirwaun, her career has taken her all over the world, including Australia and the Middle East, where she worked for engineering and environmental consultancies, and was Board Member for the Western Australian Government’s Waste Authority.
Previous to this, Victoria was a Community Councillor for Hirwaun and Penderyn, she was co-founder of RCT’s Briars Bridleways and a member of Action for Hirwaun, helping achieve Village Green status for the Gloucesters.
She now runs a fledgling business selling farm produce to the public. Victoria is passionate about the Valleys communities and bringing some of her experiences to help revitalise local villages and towns.
Previous Board Members
Bob Chapman has been a key presence in the Afan Valley for many years, developing innovative services, including the Upper Afan Valley Citizens Advice Bureau – the first mobile CAB in Wales, serving six valley communities. He is currently Chair of the National Advice Network Wales. He has served on national bodies – such as the board of Shelter Cymru – as well as local organisations which are the life-blood of the community, such as the Governors of Croeserw Primary School and the Friends of Cymmer Afan Community Library.
Marc Phillips is an experienced grant-maker with 40 years’ experience within the voluntary and charitable sectors. He recently retired as Head of Policy for BBC Children in Need and has been Chief Executive of both Tenovus, and the Dyfed Association of Voluntary Services.
Now living in Cardiff, he spent many years living in Aberdare, Mountain Ash and Dowlais.