The Team

The Team

Following a restructure in Spring 2019, PLANED goes from strength to strength with the right people and their skills, in the right roles and projects. We are an open, innovative, and supportive team, that works well together as one team with our partners, to deliver on our passion for people, and the ideas and actions that positively change communities. Meet the team below:

Iwan Thomas

Chief Executive Officer

Iwan 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.

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Stuart D. Berry

Cultural Coordinator

Stuart joined PLANED in October 2019 as Cultural Coordinator.
Prior to joining PLANED Stuart was Manager of Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre, where displays focus on one of Wales’ most important military and industrial towns.

Stuart’s career in museums and heritage started in 1999, working for museum services in Sheffield and Gloucester before spending nine years working for the National Coal Mining Museum for England, in Wakefield. Stuart has spent time as a freelance museums consultant and also worked as an English Teacher in Taiwan for two years. Stuart’s first degree was in Archaeological Science and Geology, and he has a Master’s degree in Museum Studies.
Stuart is a committee member for the Digital Learning Network, a national network of cultural professionals who use technology for public engagement and learning. He is also a School Governor at Wolfscastle School in north Pembrokeshire, and an Assistant Scout leader for the Beaver section of 1st Goodwick Scouts.

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Ben Davies

Project Assistant

Ben joined the PLANED team in September 2019 after Completing his 2nd year in Pembrokeshire College studying Level 3 Business Studies. Prior to this, he studied Sports Science at Pembrokeshire College.

While studying at College, Ben was employed at Oakwood Theme Park and also worked at the Swann Inn, Little Haven. Ben was born in Cardiff and grew up in Pembrokeshire.
In his spare time, Ben enjoys playing and watching football, particularly Liverpool
Ben's role involves assisting the ongoing projects at PLANED and working closely on the DATRIS project.

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Ged Davies

Building Resilience in Catchments (BRICS) Project Co-ordinator

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.

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Julie Davies

Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER Administrative Officer Support

Julie Davies joined PLANED in June 2017, and is our Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER 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.

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John Ewart

DATRIS Coordinator

John Ewart joined PLANED in January 2018 as our DATRIS Coordinator, funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

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.

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Lee Griffiths

Monitoring and Evaluation Officer

Lee joined PLANED in September 2019 having worked as a Community Employment Mentor with Pembrokeshire County Council. Lee has managed a number of businesses locally including Wickes and Premier Inn as well as working for The Oak Veterinary Group and Radio Pembrokeshire.

After completing his degree in Business Economics many years ago, he lived in London and then Bristol before returning home to Pembrokeshire, where he has been involved with various community groups and projects, including ‘Bungee off the Bridge’.

In his spare time Lee enjoys watching athletics and rugby, particularly the Scarlets and is currently studying a degree in Psychology with the Open University.

Lee’s role as Monitoring and Evaluation Officer includes helping his colleagues with the accuracy of paperwork which in turn minimises delays for project funding.

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Lee James

Community Enterprise Officer

Lee joined PLANED in September 2019 as a Community Enterprise Officer (also known as Community Catalyst).

After completing the Skills for Care Leadership and Management Programme, Lee worked as Commissioning Officer for older people and mental health for Camden Council. He then returned to Wales to work as Regional Project Manager for Dewis Cymru, the online wellbeing resource directory, based in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. This involved persuading community resources to join the online directory and promoting the website to professionals and the public as the place to find wellbeing information and support.

At PLANED, Lee’s role is to encourage and support the set-up of community enterprises that help people to live as independently as possible. In doing this, Lee works collaboratively with local partners such as Pembrokeshire County Council and PAVS, as well as the successful Community Catalysts project in Somerset.

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Sophie Jenkins

Communities Development Officer

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.

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Anna Jones

Community and Well-being Resilience Officer on the CWBR Project

Anna Jones joined PLANED in July 2018, and is one of our two Community and Well-being Resilience Officers leading on the CWBR Project, funded by Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER.

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.

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Emyr John

Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER Project Coordinator

Emyr John joined PLANED in February 2016 and is our Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER Project Coordinator.

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.

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Natalie Lang

Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER Project Officer

Natalie Lang joined PLANED in January 2018 as an Arwain Sir Benfro 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 Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER 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.

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Emma Lewis

Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER Officer Support

Emma joined PLANED in July 2019 as Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER Officer Support.

Pembrokeshire born and bred, Emma attended Greenhill School, then Pembrokeshire College and is a graduate of University of Wales Swansea. She brings a wealth of administrative skills and experience to PLANED having previously worked within the education sector as a PA, Office Manager and Finance Manager. Emma is also a trained Clerk to Governors, an 80wpm touch typist and is currently self-funding her studies for an AAT L2 Certificate in Accounting to formalise her financial experience.

In her spare time, Emma is ‘old school’ and loves to read real books, listen to vinyl and watch classic movies with her husband. She loves pottering barefoot in the garden and walking the beautiful coastline of Pembrokeshire, especially in the winter months when it is wild and empty.

Emma is enthusiastic to be a part of the PLANED team and is enjoying supporting the community projects within Pembrokeshire. Having lived away for a time, she says she has a new appreciation of just how special Pembrokeshire and its local communities are.

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Laura Lloyd

Community Well-Being and Resilience Officer (Youth)

Laura Lloyd joined PLANED in August 2019 as a Community Well-Being and Resilience Officer (Youth).

Laura is a Cardiff University Graduate who studied BA (Hons) Spanish and then progressed to a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages with Qualified Teacher Status. Prior to joining PLANED Laura worked in education as a Secondary School Teacher and a Private Tutor. Having spent many years working with the young people and parents in various communities across Pembrokeshire, Laura is eager for everyone to have their voice heard and to be included within their community.

At PLANED, Laura’s role is to encourage and support the engagement of children and young people in their local communities, ensuring that their needs are met according to the Well-being of Future Generations Act. In doing this, Laura works collaboratively with local partners such as Pembrokeshire Youth, PAVS and town and community councils.

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Ruth Lovell

Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER Communications Coordinator

Ruth Lovell joined PLANED in January 2018, and is our Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER Communications Coordinator.

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.

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Abi Marriott

Community and Well-being Resilience Officer on the CWBR Project

Abi joined PLANED in March 2019 as one of our Community and Well-being Resilience Officers leading on the CWBR Project, funded by Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER.
She is a graduate of Social Inclusion and brings qualifications and skills in training delivery, communication methods and managing volunteers.
Abi comes to us with a lot of third sector and community engagement experience. She previously worked for Mencap Cymru where she coordinated a project designed to support people with a learning disability to have visible and valued roles in the community and helping to change the way society thinks about people with a learning disability.
Abi is a trustee with Span Arts and in her spare time enjoys gardening and walking in our beautiful county.
She is passionate for everyone to have their voice heard and be included and happy within their community.

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Buddig Meredith

Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER Project Officer

Buddig re-joined PLANED in January 2018, and is our Arwain Sir Benfro 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.

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Nela Oliveira-Griffiths

Database and Finance Officer

Nela joined PLANED in March, 2016 and previously from 2005 to 2012, and is our Database and Finance Officer.

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.

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Jo Rees-Wigmore

Pembrokeshire Community Land Trust

Jo was appointed in November 2017 to head up Pembrokeshire Community Land Trust, funded by Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER.

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.

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Jason Retter

Project Assistant

Jason joined PLANED in September 2019, and is one of our Project Assistants working in collaboration with the Community Shares Project.

Jason is a Plymouth University Graduate who studied BSc (hons) Hospitality Management and then progressed into teaching Design and Technology, specialising in Food and Nutrition. Having now relocated to West Wales with his family, he has left the classroom behind and is ready to embark on new challenges.

Having spent many years working with young people and liaising with parents, Jason is keen to get out into the local community and looking forward to building new relationships in this new role at PLANED.

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Emma Taylor

Building Resilience in Catchments (BRICs) Project Officer

Emma 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.

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Liz Thomas

Office Manager

Liz 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.

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Cris Tomos

Enterprise and Business Coordinator

Cris is the Enterprise and Business Coordinator 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.

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