Meet The Team

Meet 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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Alice Coleman

LEADER Coordinator

Alice joined PLANED in August 2020 as LEADER Coordinator bringing with her experience as Project Officer with Lantra. The role will support the successful implementation of the Local Development Strategy for the LEADER programme in Pembrokeshire. In her role as Development Officer with Lantra, Alice supported commercial horticulture businesses to be more productive, profitable and prepared for challenges ahead.

Before joining Lantra, Alice worked with Wales Community Food Co-ops working with growers and suppliers across Wales, building capacity within local supply chains.
She brings a diverse skill set to PLANED with a career background in HR Business Partnering including project and business development, organisational design, policy, resourcing and talent mapping, employee relations and engagement.

In her spare time she is a keen cook and runs a pop-up bistro, championing use of Welsh produce and enjoys all that Pembrokeshire offers.


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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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Julie Davies

Finance & HR Officer

Julie Davies joined PLANED in June 2017, and is our Finance & HR Officer.

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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Hedd Harries

Project Engagement Assistant

Hedd joined PLANED in May 2021, and is our Project Engagement Assistant for the National Lottery Heritage Funded Preseli Heartlands Communities Project.

Prior to joining PLANED, Hedd worked in a wide variety of roles within the hospitality and the agri-food sectors in Pembrokeshire. In addition to this Hedd has completed a BSc in Veterinary Biosciences and an MRes in Parasite Control and is hoping to publish his research in the near future. Hedd also spent two years living and studying in Warsaw, Poland.

Hedd is very active within the community and is co-treasurer of Star Chapel of which he’s a member of. In his spare time, Hedd assists his brother and father on the family farm in Bwlchygroes and is in the process of writing a book on the life of Thomas Josiah Jones.


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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 National Lottery Heritage Funded Preseli Heartlands Communities Project (

Previous to joining PLANED, Sophie worked on the People’s Orchard Project in St Dogmaels – a three year Big Lottery funded community and environment focused project which involved planting orchards, creating wildflower meadows, biodiversity awareness workshops, bee walks, biological recording and an annual Orchard festival.

Sophie also works as Coordinator for Canolfan Llwynihirion Brynberian, where she is employed to help create thriving, bilingual intergenerational cohesion, collaboration, communication and participation through social engagement within the newly renovated community building.

In her spare time, Sophie enjoys photography and is usually to be found wandering her beloved Preseli hills with her two collies and a large flask of tea.


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Helen John

Finance Assistant

Helen joined PLANED in May 2021 as a Finance Assistant, is a Business and HR graduate who was born and raised in west Wales and is a fluent Welsh speaker.

She has worked in private, public and third sector organisations that include the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cardiff University, the National Library of Wales, a veterinary practice and a medical equipment manufacturer. Her roles have involved HR and office management, system implementation and finance.

Helen is also a keen and passionate freelance photographer, having photographed weddings, events and items for press. She was also raised on a farm and continues to support the family whether it be milking or herding sheep. Helen and her family enjoy exploring coast and country, supporting local community events and love a treasure hunt.

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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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Emma Lewis

Arwain Sir Benfro LEADER - Administrative Assistant - Projects

Joined PLANED in July 2019

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 PA, Office Manager and Finance Manager. Emma is also a trained Clerk to Governors, an 80wpm touch typist/audio typist and has recently achieved a Distinction in her AAT L2 Certificate in Accounting.

Emma enjoys being part of the PLANED team and supporting 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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Abi Marriott

Community and Well-being Resilience Coordinator 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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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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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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