Trustees

WEN Wales’ Trustees are elected from our membership for three year terms, and can stand for a second term if they wish.

The Trustees form our Management Committee, which is responsible for the organisation’s strategic development and governance.

  • Sarah Powell

    Chair

    Sarah is a passionate Welsh sports woman and Chief Executive Officer of Sport Wales taking up the role in 2013 and is the first woman to hold the position within the organisation.

    Educated at Porthcawl Comprehensive, Sarah went on to study Psychology at Swansea University before gaining her PGCE teaching qualification from UWIC. Sarah has held numerous board roles – Ryder Cup Wales Limited, the Commonwealth Games Council of Wales and is a member of the UK Home Nations and UK Sport group.

    Sarah is committed to bringing the women’s sector in Wales together, under the WEN umbrella, and campaigning for equality for women in Wales.

  • Alison Williams

    Treasurer

    Alison has experience spanning over 33 years working in the local authority, housing association and charity sector providing care and support to people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. She has gained her experience from grass roots moving through the ranks to senior management level in both the social care and social housing sectors.

    She works as Group Director of Corporate Services at Cynon Taf Community Housing Group and is responsible for the development, implementation and delivery of the strategic plan and overall group vision.

    Being a qualified Certified Accountant brings financial expertise, knowledge and scrutiny that helps WEN to achieve and maintain strategic financial sustainability that will help WEN to achieve and maintain strategic financial sustainability to deliver a ‘fairer society for all’.

  • Rhian Davies

    Trustee

    Rhian Davies has been Chief Executive of Disability Wales since 2001 and is a longstanding advocate of disabled people’s rights and equality.

    She’s led on developments including Disability Equality Training, Direct Payments and Disability Hate Crime. Rhian chairs Welsh Government’s National Steering Group on the Framework for Action on Independent Living.

    She recently gave evidence to the UN Committee on the Rights of Disabled People in Geneva. As a Trustee, Rhian will contribute actively to raising WEN’s profile as the lead national gender equality body in Wales and progressing its agenda to achieve the empowerment and equality of all women and girls in corporate and civil life.

  • Ruth Fowler

    Trustee

    Ruth studied English Literature with Film and Television Studies at at Aberystwyth University and began her career in the Welsh department of the university in 2010. Ruth is the Equalities and Communications Officer in the Human Resources Department at Aberystwyth University, as well as the Chair of the LGBT Network.

    She is also the co-organiser of Aberration, an LGBT arts event based in Mid Wales. In 2018, Ruth made it on to the top 100 most influential LGBT people in Wales’s Pinc List. Ruth is engaged to filmmaker Amy Daniel who won the Straeon Iris Award for her short film ‘Arth’ in 2018. Ruth is a fluent Welsh speaker and enjoys working and living in Wales.

  • Maria Constanza Mesa

    Trustee

    Maria is the Director of Women Connect First whose aim is to empower and create leadership amongst BME women in Wales. Maria arrived in Wales from Colombia as a political refugee in 1978. Over the past 35 years, Maria has been actively involved within the third and public sectors in Wales, developing innovative organisations, projects and services that respond to the needs of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities.

    Amongst others she is a founder member of the Black Association of Women Step Out (BAWSO Women’s Aid), AWETU mental health project, Multicultural Crossroads, the Black Voluntary Sector Network Wales to name but few.

  • Frances Beecher

    Trustee

    Frances is the Chief Executive of Llamau – Wales’ leading young people and women’s homeless charity.  Frances was the founder and first Chair of Cymorth Cymru, Wales’ umbrella body for organisations working with vulnerable people in Wales.

    She is also the founder and Chair of the EYHCymru coalition, a new partnership of charities, agencies, academia and businesses that have joined forces to raise awareness and take a radical approach to ending youth homelessness in Wales.

    Frances is a member of the Supporting People National Advisory Board and Chair of its Governance work stream, as well as a board member of the independent think-tank the Institute of Welsh Affairs. She also serves on the Advisory Panel of the Children’s Commissioner.

  • Joy Kent

    Trustee

    Joy set up her own business in January 2017 to help individuals, teams and organisations identify and build on their strengths to deliver successful projects and achieve personal goals. Prior to this, she was chief executive of Chwarae Teg and executive director of Cymorth Cymru. She’s also worked in policy development for Welsh Government, Welsh Local Government Association and the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru.

    She is chair of Cynon Taf Community Housing Group and a board member of the Community Foundation in Wales. Joy is a fellow of the RSA and her contribution to the equalities agenda was recognised in 2016 with an Honorary Fellowship from Glyndwr University.

  • Kerry-Lynne Pyke

    Trustee

    Kerry-Lynne started her journalism career in 2007 at the Glamorgan Gazette before joining Wales News Service, where she wrote for consumer magazines and national newspapers. She then  moved into PR and Communications in 2009 when she joined Diabetes UK Cymru leading their  PR and communications and established the charity’s social media presence. She was named one of PR Week’s 29 under 29 most talented PR professionals.

    In 2013, Kerry-Lynne joined Macmillan Cancer Support as the Senior Communications Officer for Wales working in PR, social media and marketing and is now the charity’s Senior External Communications Manager for Wales and sits on the Wales leadership team.

    Kerry-Lynne was became a trustee in 2018 after completing WEN Wales’s mentoring scheme.

  • Mutale Merrill OBE

    Trustee

    Mutale is Chief Executive of Bawso, a leading third sector specialist provider for Black Minority Ethnic women and children facing abuse and violence. Mutale has also been the first Chair of the Care Council for Wales, first Vice Chair of Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board and the first Independent Chair of the Board of Community Health Councils in Wales.

    Mutale has won several awards over the years, including an OBE for her work in social care and voluntary sector. Mutale is looking forward to contributing to WEN Wales’ agenda on Domestic Abuse, Violence Against Women and Sexual Violence from a BME perspective.

  • Shelagh Isles

    Trustee

    Shelagh is retired and worked previously as Director of Community Support and Regeneration at a valleys Housing Association. She supported vulnerable women to become empowered, believe in themselves to effect changes in their lives and this remains Shelagh’s passion and interest. Shelagh gained an MSc in Collaborative Community Care and Public Health at Swansea University.

    As a trustee at Llamau and Cymorth Cymru she was involved in strategy and policy for services delivered to vulnerable people. Shelagh was also a member of the RCT/Merthyr Supporting People Regional Committee and will actively contribute to raising
    the profile of WEN Wales. Shelagh has three very young granddaughters and is determined to support them to achieve gender equal status in their lives.