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Board of Trustees

Age Cymru has a Board of Trustees to monitor Age Cymru's strategic objectives. The Senior Management work closely with the Trustees to carry out the day-to-day running of Age Cymru.

Chair - Professor John Williams

John is Emeritus Professor of Law having enjoyed a long and distinguished career at Aberystwyth University between 1975 and 2018, primarily researching into the human rights of older people. During his career Professor Williams focused on the impact of the law in terms of older people accessing health and social care. He also undertook extensive research on older prisoners, the design of care homes, international law and ageing, and domestic abuse and older people.

In addition, the professor advised a number of national bodies including the National Assembly for Wales on the drafting of the Social Services and Well-being Act, and the Welsh Government’s Safeguarding and Protection Advisory Committee on safeguarding guidance and regulations.

His expertise was also sought outside of Wales and he became a member of the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Human Rights of Older People, provided evidence to the joint House of Lords and House of Commons Committee on the draft Mental Incapacity Bill, and between 2017 and 2020 was a member of the Commissioner for Older People Northern Ireland’s statutory review of Dunmurry Care Home and its treatment of older people.

Deputy Chair - Diane Hughes

Diane retired in 2018 from her post as Corporate Procurement and Contracts Manager at Conwy County Borough Council where she was responsible for delivery of contracting for all directorates within the authority. The role included providing the regional lead for procurement activity in education and social care, delivering a comprehensive framework for the authority on key fee negotiations with service providers.

Compliance with the relevant legislative frameworks, partnership working with key stakeholders including advising colleagues on specialist commissioning and contracting matters for social care, housing, regulatory and public protection services. Developing a good understanding of the care sector, including market analysis and risk for internal and external service providers.

Key areas of responsibility in Diane’s role prior to retirement will enable her to support the work of the Charity and she is keen to help develop, expand and promote the presence and influence of the Charity in North Wales. Diane has a range of voluntary experience.

Treasurer - Jack Mansfield

Jack is a Chartered Accountant (FCA) with extensive experience and a successful track record in the private, public and non-profit sectors. He was a main board director with Companies House between 1992 and 2017 where he was responsible for strategic leadership of the organisation’s finances, IT, procurement, property management. He increased organisational productivity and output through investment in digital services and reporting systems, professional development and multi-skilling of teams and worked to challenge diversity-related issues in a multi-cultural workplace.

Jack has experience as a Non-Executive Director of a waste recycling company owned by largest local authority in Wales and has recently been appointed to the Board of Hafan Cymru (a charity helping those escaping domestic abuse and regaining independence). Jack has previously volunteered as honorary Treasurer with a local MS Society and volunteers with Oasis Cardiff (provider of Refugee Support) and does maths teaching (homework club) with All Communities Equal (ACE) Cardiff.

Catrin Davies

Catrin was brought up in Ceredigion and is a fluent Welsh speaker. After graduating, she spent a brief period teaching Welsh at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, where she also gained her PhD.

Catrin moved to Cardiff to work as a translator for the newly established National Assembly for Wales in 1999. A few years later she joined the Welsh Government and has worked in various roles in the civil service, leading policy and legislative projects across a range of portfolio areas, including in areas relating to tackling poverty, advice services, early years and childcare, and housing for an ageing population. She particularly enjoys working with external stakeholders in Wales to understand the impact of central government policies on people, businesses and services.

Catrin is driven by her passion to make a difference and to ensure that everyone feels they have a place and a purpose in the Wales we live in today.

Charles Carter

Charles retired in 2017 as Director Regions, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales where he was a member of the Institute’s Senior Management Team. Prior to this Charles worked for Age Concern England as director of the International Longevity Centre and Director of Debate of the Age following a long career in the forces.

Prior to moving to Pembrokshire Charles was Trustee and Director for Age Concern Salisbury District and holds several other appointments including Trustee of Regimental Association and two regimental museums.

Eleanor Sanders

Eleanor brings more than thirty years’ experience working in the public sector within both the NHS and Welsh Government. Initially as a registered nurse in various clinical settings to service improvement initiatives across Wales culminating in bringing together that clinical knowledge and leadership skills into the Welsh Government health department. Being exposed to the political machinery of government has contributed to her desire to influence decision makers both locally and nationally.

She has extensive experience within the third sector, particularly at charity board level; including five years as the Chair of Trustees at Cardiff Foodbank. This has provided her with the familiarity such organisations face balancing ever increasing demand within the capacity to deliver effectively against financial pressures.

As an elected Independent Local Councillor representing her local community in Cardiff, Eleanor saw at first hand many of the issues faced by older people, representing several of them to tackle and overcome many of those identified needs. She continues to be involved in her local community including chairing the organising committee who run the very successful summer and winter festivals.

Eleanor is currently an independent volunteer advocate within the Age Cymru HOPE project. She uses both her lived experience of supporting several older family members to obtain services they required as their needs increased, as well as her knowledge of local provision particularly in the health and social care sectors.

Karen Heenan-Davies

Karen has more than 30 years of experience as a public relations and marketing communications manager, beginning her career as a journalist with newspapers in South Wales. In subsequent roles she managed public relations for three local authorities and a higher education college in Wales.

In 1997 she joined a multinational chemical company where she led media relations, advertising and branding in Europe and Asia and served on several business boards. After retirement she served as a trustee for Groundwork Wales for three years. Karen is a volunteer leader for Age Cymru’s Nordic walking programme in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Maria Coggins

Maria is a commercial lawyer with dual specialisms in general commercial legal work and corporate restructuring. She delivers training to clients on effective legal risk management and advise on risk strategy and how to minimise risk and ensure compliance in their business.

In addition to carrying out work for clients she acts as Deputy COLP providing support to the Managing Partner in her role as the Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (“COLP”).

Steve Milsom

Steve Milsom, a retired senior civil servant was Deputy Director and Head of Adult Social Services Policy at Welsh Government when he retired in October 2013. He has extensive experience of developing policy and legislation for social care and older people. Steve holds an MSc in Ageing Studies (Swansea University 2012).

Since retirement, Steve has been a self-employed Social Care Consultant working with Practice Solutions Ltd, undertaking a range of projects with Councils, improving social services for older people. 

He has also been a member of the Commissioner for Older People’s Advisory Group and a field worker for her Review of Care Homes (2014). He also undertook an evaluation of an Enrichment Programme operating across six care homes in N Wales (2014). In 2016, Steve was appointed for four years to the Commissioner for Older People Wales Audit Committee.

He is a Member of the Commissioner’s Expert Panel on Human Rights for Older People. Steve is the Vice Chair of Caerphilly 50+ Forum and a Trustee of Cymru Older Peoples Alliance. He is a Member of the Welsh Government’s Ministerial Advisory Forum on Ageing. Steve is married with two sons and two grand-children and a keen football supporter (Cardiff City FC)


Last updated: Apr 29 2024

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