The team

Iwan Thomas

is the Chief Executive Officer of PLANED, and joined the organisation in October 2018 having worked in the public sector for over 20 years.
Prior to joining PLANED, Iwan was the Regional Programme Manager for the North Wales Economic Ambition Board for five years, and also worked for the Local Government Data Unit Wales as its first appointed, Senior Consultant.
In addition to a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Iwan brings considerable experience from working across the private, public and third sectors in partnership across Wales, with recent voluntary posts held including being Chair of the Board of Directors for North Wales Science; a Trustee at Theatr Clwyd; and an Advisory Board Member for the North Wales Regional Schools Consortia.
Iwan is a passionate advocate of skills development and community engagement, having been invited to speak at many national conferences and seminars; and brings to PLANED, direct experience of developing the Regional Skills Partnerships model across Wales, and delivering sustainable outcomes for communities in partnership with employers and politicians on key projects of local, regional, and national significance.

Ged Davies

joined PLANED in September 2016 and is our Building Resilience in Catchments (BRICS) project co-ordinator. Having worked in Local Government, Environment Agency Wales, Natural Resources Wales, Bluestone National Park Resort and as a Trustee for Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services, Ged brings considerable experience in areas such as audit, project management and business planning, environmental health, emergency planning and incident response, environmental pollution science, sustainability, conservation and community engagement.
Ged, whilst leading on the BRICS project for PLANED, has also actively been involved in the Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER Local Action Group.
Ged is a key driver in promoting engagement in environment management.

Julie Davies

joined PLANED in June 2017, and is our Administrative Officer Support. Having worked within Pembrokeshire for SPDC, PCC, PSM International, Birribi and previously for PLANED, Julie brings considerable experience in areas such as administration, system implementation and office management.
Julie, whilst leading on administrative support, data protection and HR admin for PLANED, has also actively been involved in supporting the Tafarn Sinc Community Share Scheme, and continues to provide administrative support when required.
Julie is also responsible for the implementation of our CRM system, monitoring and maintaining the data within, and supporting staff to use the system.

John Ewart

joined PLANED in January 2018 as our DATRIS Coordinator. Prior to joining PLANED John worked in education as a University Lecturer, a Secondary School Teacher and an Adult Learning Tutor.

While leading on the DATRIS Project for PLANED, John has also actively been involved in other projects running within the organisation including establishing the Digital Community Bus and supporting LEADER projects.

John is a key driver in promoting the accessibility of digital knowledge to rural communities. In particular, there is a focus on Information Technology and on photography and film making as well as promoting the village halls of Pembrokeshire.

Sarah Hughes

re-joined PLANED in July 2018, and is our Community Cooperative Shares Officer. Having worked in rural, community and sustainable development for over 20 years, and setting up her own business in 2016, Sarah brings experience in areas such as community engagement and facilitation, project management, partnership development and environmental practice.

Sarah’s current work supports communities to develop alternative financing models, as a means of sustaining community assets. Sarah also works with other PLANED officers to deliver workshop facilitation and network activity across Wales and transnationally.

Sophie Jenkins

joined PLANED in September 2018, and is our Project Officer for the Heritage Lottery Funded Preseli Heartlands Communities Project.

Having worked with Hanes Llandoch in St Dogmaels on the successful People’s Orchard Project prior to joining PLANED as well as having deep roots in the Preseli area, Sophie brings considerable experience in areas such as community engagement, heritage and environmental conservation.

Anna Jones

joined PLANED in July 2018, and is one of our two Community and Well-being Resilience Officers leading on the CWBR Project.

An Oxbridge graduate who practised law prior to joining PLANED, Anna brings considerable first-hand experience in areas such as community engagement, the evolving role of the third sector and that of town and community councils, and local government, including strategic output at a county and Welsh Government level. Anna is keen to continue to promote the voice of young people, and developing the skills, projects and resilience of our communities.

Emyr John

joined PLANED in February 2016 and is our LEADER Monitoring Officer. Having worked in Carmarthenshire County Council’s Regeneration Department for over 10 years as well as working at PLANED previously in 2002, Emyr brings considerable experience in areas such as community regeneration, fundraising, European funding programmes, monitoring and audit.

Emyr, whilst project monitoring and processing the financial claims of the current LEADER programme for PLANED, has also actively been involved in supporting other work by the organisation including assisting Pembrokeshire communities to apply for funding via the Welsh Government’s Rural Community Development Fund (RCDF) as well as giving other community funding advice.

Emyr encourages LEADER Co-operation Projects between Local Action Groups and also represents PLANED at Regional LEADER meetings. He is a Pembrokeshire-born fluent Welsh speaker and promotes project monitoring and systems, sharing of best practise, community co-operation and networking.

Natalie Lang

joined PLANED in January 2018 as a LEADER Project Officer. Natalie previously worked in the NHS, and became the health lead for the Welsh Government ‘Tackling Poverty’ programme in Pembrokeshire, bringing to PLANED considerable experience in health inequalities, community development, strategic planning, volunteer co-ordination and project management.

Currently working on the LEADER Arwain Sir Benfro programme for PLANED, Natalie is actively involved in supporting groups and individuals to express their creativity and passion through projects that have the ability to impact on the local economy, health and wellbeing, natural and cultural resources, tourism, renewable energy and digital technology. Natalie is a key driver in promoting partnership collaboration in LEADER funded projects to create new opportunities, and improve the sustainability of the project beyond LEADER funding.

Kate Lindley

re-joined PLANED in February 2016, and is our Preseli Heartlands Project Manager. Kate has over 15 years’ experience in rural development with particular focus on community heritage, community festivals and rural tourism.

With her considerable experience in development and delivery of transnational cooperation projects in her previous role at PLANED, Kate also leads on development of transnational cooperation opportunities under the current EU-WG funded LEADER programme. She also supports delivery of several LEADER funded heritage and tourism projects. Kate has a strong interest in the use of cultural heritage in tourism within the community context has represented PLANED at several European and local partnerships. Kate’s key skills include community engagement, facilitation, event management, heritage interpretation, partnership management, project management and delivering training.

Ruth Lovell

joined PLANED in January 2018, and is our Communications Officer. In her previous role Ruth was Research Communications Advisor at Cardiff University, working with the School of Geography and Planning and the Sustainable Places Research Institute.

Ruth has worked in the field of environmental policy and advocacy for over fifteen years, including with the National Trust, as Environment and Land-use Policy Officer and with RSPB Cymru as Policy Advocate including a secondment into the Members’ Research service of the National Assembly for Wales. In addition to strategic communications and public affairs roles Ruth has worked in practical conservation roles: for Cardiff Council, setting up community environmental projects in inner city areas, managing landscape scale conservation projects in Wales, and working on international conservation projects, in Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania and Greenland. Ruth is a Voluntary Director of Community Energy Pembrokeshire and a Trustee of Keep Wales Tidy, a charity working across Wales to help protect our environment.

Buddig Meredith

re-joined PLANED in January 2018, and is our LEADER Project Officer. Having worked in the voluntary sector for over 20 years, including time as a Funding Officer for a Children’s Centre and as a Manager of a Citizens’ Advice Bureau, Buddig brings considerable experience in areas such as rural and business development; project management; advice work; bid writing; people management; transnational cooperation; strategic and operational planning.

Buddig, whilst currently working on the LEADER Arwain Sir Benfro programme for PLANED, is a key driver in promoting rural development and is the Local Co-ordinator for the DTA Enterprising Solutions program for Pembrokeshire; and is also trained to deliver financial capability and maximising income sessions to families living in rural and fuel poverty.

Jessica Morgan

has been working for PLANED since 2006, and is currently the LEADER Project Manager (Arwain Sir Benfro), with key expertise in rural regeneration, participatory community engagement, and LEADER methodologies. Jessica has carried out extensive engagement of community and thematic groups, and was instrumental in the development of the Sustainability Toolkit in partnership with the New Economics Foundation, which has been used to raise understanding of sustainable development.

Alongside facilitation, Jessica has supported group and project development from nurturing fledging groups to larger community enterprises. This includes in 2015, working on the supply chain efficiency project for Cambrian Mountains Wool; managing the Axis 4 RDP 1 funded project Communities as the Hub of Rural Life; and delivering facilitation training across Wales and the EU.

Jessica was part of a Wales delegation contributing to the European Rural Parliament in 2017, and was also invited to be part of a Welsh Government independent review looking into the Community and Town council sector in Wales, whose findings were presented to the Cabinet Secretary in 2018.

Nela Oliveira-Griffiths

joined PLANED in March, 2016 and previously from 2005 to 2012, and is our Database and Finance Assistant. Nela ‘s responsibilities include PLANED’s accounts payable and receivable and the development and maintenance of the accounting and staff databases used in-house. Her financial and IT know-how and organisational skills have been instrumental to provide statistics and financial outputs and to submit claims as required by our grantors.

Nela took a two-year sabbatical in 2012 to complete a Diploma in Business Administration studies with special focus on financial and management cost accounting at the Camosun College in Victoria, BC, Canada.

Karen Scott

re-joined PLANED in November 2016, and is our Engagement Officer, leading on community engagement and impact measurement. Karen has over 30 years' experience in the Third Sector, including leadership roles in three county voluntary councils, and has substantial experience in local government, cross-sector partnerships and running her own coaching and training consultancy.

She has a keen interest in innovative methods of building more resilient, empowered local communities, including actions to reduce and mitigate the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss, and has delivered projects including ‘Clywed’, and the Community Forum & Valuing the Environment Networks.

Karen has represented PLANED at European and cross-national seminars; currently leads development of the Circular Economy Network; and manages the Community Wellbeing & Resilience pilot project. Karen’s key skill areas include: community and stakeholder engagement, co-production, project and partnership management, impact measurement, facilitation and delivering training.

Jo Rees-Wigmore

was appointed to head up Pembrokeshire Community Land Trust in November 2017. Jo’s background is as a Chartered Surveyor and housing specialist for over 20 years, having worked both in the private and public sectors on large scale commercial and residential developments, partnership and joint venture agreements, often working closely with Welsh Government. She has also been a principal tutor, author and examiner for a University based in the South East, on courses relating to construction and property development. She also has significant experience at board level having served on the board at both Pembrokeshire Housing Association and Millbay Homes. Her job entails developing the capacity of PCLT as a sustainable, credible and entrepreneurial initiative, creating new housing opportunities for the people of Pembrokeshire and demonstrating real affordability and quality to ensure long term housing resilience.

Jo is passionate about the world of property and delighted to be involved with this exciting project and the opportunities it may create in her beloved Pembrokeshire.
An active supporter of the junior section of Narberth RFC, Jo enjoys a variety of country sports, on land and water and can often be seen at local agricultural shows with her pedigree Suffolk sheep.

Jane Roberts

joined PLANED in December 2018, as our Finance & Procurement Officer. Before working for PLANED, Jane worked for HM Revenue & Customs, including twelve years as a VAT Inspector, and two years in a Fraud Investigation team.

Since moving to Wales she has worked with European funded projects within Ceredigion County Council, Pembrokeshire County Council, and Cardigan Castle.

Emma Taylor

joined PLANED in January 2018 as our Building Resilience in Catchments (BRICs) Project Officer having spent the previous ten years working for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority (PCNPA) administering their Sustainable Development Fund.

Prior to that Emma worked for the Environment Agency, its predecessor organisation the National Rivers Authority and before that the Agriculture and Food Research Council (AFRC).

From undertaking roles ranging from water quality, soil science, pollution prevention and control and agricultural strategy to fund management, Emma brings to PLANED a wealth of experience of working with others to protect natural resources and secure more sustainable ways of living. Emma particularly enjoys working with people to deliver practical results.

Liz Thomas

joined PLANED in February 1999, and is our Office Manager. Having worked in the sales and hospitality sector and as an instructor at Pembrokeshire College prior to joining PLANED, Liz brings considerable experience in areas such as business administration, project management, training, event management and facilitation.

Liz has also been actively involved in supporting other work by the organisation including The Community Well-being and Resilience project, The Community Buildings Network and The Community Forum Network.

Liz is a key driver in promoting all aspects of community engagement, particularly working with Community Halls; developing skills and training following on from the work of the Community and Skills Hub (CASH project) and Saturday Club, providing carpentry and cookery classes for year 10 pupils.

Benjamin Thorndyke

joined PLANED in January 2018 as our Networks Officer. Returning to Pembrokeshire after living in various parts of the UK, Ben brings considerable experience based on gaining a number of business and tourism qualifications, alongside holding marketing, communication and relationship building roles for organisations in the tourism, heritage and education sectors.

Within PLANED, Benjamin co-ordinates and develops a range of networks which sees him working with a number of stakeholders and sectors, including food and farming, heritage, business, environment and community engagement, safety and development.

Cris Tomos

is the Development manager for PLANED, and was initially on the board of PLANED from 2006 before joining the team as a member of staff in February 2016. Cris has been heavily involved with community development and has been a volunteer for several years on many projects, from Village Hall Treasurer to Board Member of 4CG Cooperative; community owned car parks, retail, offices, workshops and craft centre. In 2013 4CG also bought the old Police Station and Court House in Cardigan.

Cris is the Chair of Cwm Arian Renewable Energy cooperative with plans to develop renewable energy and low carbon solutions for communities in West Wales. Cris received the award of Welsh Co-operator of the Year in 2012 and Welsh Social Enterprise Champion of the year in 2013 Cris supported the community purchase of Tafarn Sinc where 509 people raised over £400,000 to buy the iconic pub in North Pembrokeshire.

In May 2017, Cris was elected as the county councillor for Crymych ward and is now the Pembrokeshire county cabinet member for the Environment and the Welsh Language.

Matthew Townsend

joined PLANED in July 2018 and is our Community Well-Being and Resilience Officer. Prior to joining PLANED Matt has worked at PAVS as a Community Connector and Cancer Research UK as a Learning and Development Manager. Matt brings considerable experience in areas such as community engagement, third sector support, volunteer management and development, learning and development, project management and HR.

Matt has also been involved in delivering and supporting other work by PLANED including children and youth engagement, visual facilitation and graphic recording. Matt is a key driver in promoting engagement with children and young people, equality and diversity agendas and community well-being and resilience.