Lyn Evans - Chair
In the local Government reorganisation in 1996 I moved to Blaenau Gwent Council. I worked in the Works Department as a Management Services Officer, then into Leisure Services and became the Grounds Maintenance & Countryside Manager until my retirement in 2009. I have worked over 30 years in Local Government and I have gained valuable experience during that time.
In March 2013 I became the vice chairman of voluntary directors with Six Bells Regeneration Limited which is Social Enterprise Company based at TY Ebbw Fach in Six Bells. In December 2013 I became the Company Secretaryand I have acquired business skills which will be beneficial in carrying out the role as trustee. I am looking forward to being involved in developing and improving access for leisure, culture and community learning which will bring great benefits to the future health, and well being of the people of Blaenau Gwent. I would like to ensure the long term sustainability of Leisure Services and I am proud to serve as a trustee on the board of Aneurin Leisure
Jenny Ames – Community Trustee
I have had a 35-year career in the university sector, the last 8 years of which were in senior leadership positions, including as Assistant Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of South Wales. I am now based in Reading, Berkshire, where I am establishing a consultancy working at the interface between universities with business and society.
Throughout my career I have gained considerable experience working in partnership with a wide range of organisations, including the NHS, local councils, museums, charities, the private sector, and further education colleges. Enabling and encouraging people to reach their potential is important to me and mentoring and coaching colleagues is further experience I bring to Aneurin Leisure.
I have experience of leading colleagues in areas of direct relevance to the Trust, including Sport and Exercise, Public Health and Well-being, Inequalities and Disadvantage, Natural Environment, and Food. In addition, I have a very good understanding of the types of pathway from academic research to creating an impact in society. I am excited to be able to apply my knowledge and skills to benefit Aneurin Leisure.
Donna Hardman - Employee Trustee
Ross Watts - Community Trustee
Currently working for Tai Calon I have responsibility for services across a wide portfolio including community development, tenant engagement, customer services, estate maintenance, planned environmental improvement program, communications and marketing.
Previous to Joining Tai Calon in 2013 and whilst working for Working Links as Head of Partnerships and Provisions for Wales I oversaw the successful implementation and subcontracted delivery of high profile payment by results employment contracts. This allowed me to develop a broad range of skills in both procurement and supply chain management.
Being local, I’m a regular user of the trust facilities, particularly the sport centres and I’m a recent convert to all things Les Mils! I’m really looking forward to utilising my skills and experience to support the work of the Trust over the coming years.
Richard Dando - Community Trustee
I’m excited to be joining Aneurin Leisure Trust as a trustee to help support the fantastic staff and volunteers across the sport development, leisure, libraries, community education and venue teams to deliver the organisations mission of ‘Improving Community Life’.
I have over 10 years’ experience working in the sport sector with Sport Wales and have worked in partnership with the sport development team in Blaenau Gwent over the last 8 years to help get the schools and communities active and enjoying sport.
I have a passion for supporting the leadership development of people through sport and seeing the positive impact this can have on individuals and communities.
I’m looking forward bringing my experience, enthusiasm, challenge and support to help take Aneurin Leisure Trust forward, in addition to learning, developing and expanding my own knowledge and skills while in the role.
Andrea Smart - Community Trustee
I am so excited about being involved with Aneurin Leisure Trust as a community trustee because I was born and raised in Ebbw Vale – this part of Wales is very dear to my heart. Along with my family, I still live locally and am very keen to do all I can to support the Trust to develop the best services and facilities for the people of Blaenau Gwent.
I currently work as a Commercial Director for a global organisation within the healthcare sector managing the UK business, where I get to use the skills and knowledge I have built up over the last 25 years. I gained a master’s degree in business from Cardiff University in 2007 and have used a combination of academic and practical knowledge to successfully lead several commercial organisations since that time.
Doing the best for patients and customers is what makes me get out of bed in the morning doing my day job – and this passion for making the lives of people living in my community better is exactly the reason I was keen to become involved as a trustee with Aneurin Leisure. I believe that we all have a responsibility to look after our neighbours, local community and those who call these valleys home. I realise that life can be difficult, challenging and lonely for many people, and some of the services and facilities the Trust provides and manages can have a positive impact on all our lives. I am keen to support Aneurin Leisure in providing a variety of things to help enrich daily life and very happy to be able to contribute using my skills in any way I can.
I often visit some of our local amenities such as Parc Bryn Bach with my other family member – my dog, and I am very excited about seeing the future development of other sites across Blaenau Gwent, and I look forward to being involved with Aneurin Leisure over the coming months and years.
Stephen Priestnall - Community Trustee
Originally from Ashington, Northumberland, I moved to Wales in 2017 with my business oomph, a customer experience agency, founded in 2005. Previous experience has included running a WPP interactive design agency in London and working for global telecommunications enterprise Cable and Wireless in the UK and Bermuda. I also founded and now run a digital platform based survey tool, Decision Juice.
I have aways had a passion for wellbeing in all aspects of life, now as a commiteed fell runner, a Welsh FA football coach and PPC for the Green Party in Blaenau Gwent and previously as a triathlete, footballer and qualified personal fitness trainer.
I'm very happily committed to balance time with my family, my work and the communities of which I am proud to be part, I have chaired committees as 11-16 School Governor, a local football team, co-founded a health and wellbeing participation group, run a football youth coaching programme and provided vocational lecturing for High Level Apprentices in marketing and communications.
I'm both grateful and excited to have been offered the position as Community Trustee of Aneurin Leisure and hope to be able to share some of my knowledge in customer experience innovation and data driven research as well as work in which I have been engaged with Sport England, Leisure and Arts Trusts, County Sports Partnerships and Socail Investment Fund development. I look forward to being part of a team that makes Aneurin Leisure a national reference point in creating a new approach to wellbeing through leisure and life community services provision.
Councillor Wayne Hodgins – Local Authority Trustee
I have been a Borough Councillor since September 2016 where I am ward member for Brynmawr. I have been a Brynmawr Town Councillor, since 2014. I am Chairperson of Brynmawr Town Partnership and have the responsibility of organising and installing Christmas lights in Brynmawr Town Centre. I support all the local rugby clubs in the town.
I am a local business man and in the course of my business I work on many community events. I have the interest of the community at the forefront of my work as a councillor and also as a board member of Aneurin Leisure.
Councillor Lee Parsons – Local Authority Trustee
Elected County Borough Councillor representing the Llanhilleth Ward in May 2017, Chairman of Destination Management Committee, Vice-Chairman of Environment, Regeneration & Economic Development Scrutiny Committee.
Passionate Naturalist and Conservationist, member of Blaenau Gwent & Torfaen Local Nature Partnership Steering Committee, supporter of both Gwent Ornithological Society & Gwent Wildlife Trust.
Previously employed within the training industry as Training & Development Advisor, Assessing and Verifying learners on both Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships in Management, Business & Administration and Customer Service.
Former staff reporter on the South Wales Argus newspaper and freelance Journalist/Photo Journalist.
Member of the Royal Photographic Society, achieving Licentiate in 2013, currently working towards attaining Associate qualification.
Supporter of sports at both local and national level, keen to maintain and develop sporting excellence within the Borough and promote health benefits to all and full inclusion for the disabled.