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Steve Bennett - Chair

Steve was elected Chair of the Board in 2014 following his departure from the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Wales.  He had established the North Wales office of the Commission for Racial Equality and worked there from 2000 until 2007 when he transferred to EHRC.  Throughout this work with the Commissions in Wales he had lead responsibility for partnership work with the 3rd Sector across Wales and the support and monitoring of grant aided projects.  

He had moved to North Wales in 1980 to lead the first team of community development workers appointed as part of the response to the social impact of the closure of the Shotton Steelworks in Flintshire.  This specialist team was a joint project between the County Council and Community Development Foundation and formed part of a larger Community Agency.   During the following 20 years Steve worked within both Social Services and Chief Executive Departments of the County Council.  He led and managed a number of community development related initiatives within North East Wales, including establishment of a community social work team.  By the time he left the County Council in 2000 he was working as a member of the Social Services senior management team with responsibility for Planning and Development.                                                                                                   

Steve's work in North Wales had built upon over 10 years of front line community development work in England.  Following his graduation in London in 1968 Steve's career had taken a major turn when he undertook postgraduate social work training.  But soon his interests in wider community issues led to moving beyond individual concerns and he became involved in a range of voluntary and paid third sector opportunities supporting and delivering community development. Before moving to North Wales this had included working on an intensive inner city neighbourhood focussed project in the West Midlands, then as a community development specialist working to support community engagement in housing and planning related issues in Nottinghamshire and finally through to project coordination and management.   During this period Steve also obtained a postgraduate qualification in community development at Aston University.

Alan Twelvetrees - 1st Vice Chair

Alan has been involved in CD work for over 30 years, as a practitioner, university lecturer, researcher and writer. He was also the Wales Manager for the Community Development Foundation between 1988 and 2002.
His well known book 'Community Work' continues to be a bestselling handbook.  He is currently a freelance consultant and a board member of CDC. He also works for the Education and Training Standards Board for Wales, considering training courses in CD work for approval.

Sue Trevelyan-Jones - 2nd Vice Chair

Sue is currently working on a freelance basis and is an active CDC Director and Trustee as well as being a member of the Education and Training Standards, Wales. She has considerable experience in the education and community sectors in both Further and Higher Education. She was a member of the Steering group for the original Community Development National Occupational Standards and for both subsequent reviews.

Dylan Lewis - Treasurer

After studying law at university Dylan Lewis discovered that Community Development was a far more rewarding career path after becoming active in a variety of projects within his local community. After working in a Community Development practitioner role for the West Aberystwyth & Penparcau Communities First Partnership, he progressed to become it's vice-chair and is now the secretary of the Penparcau Community Forum, a long-term Community Development project recently launched in this former Communities First area. A Community Development consultant, he is also a director/trustee and vice-chair of mental health charity and social enterprise MIND Aberystwyth, and vice-chair of West Wales Credit Union.  A  board member since 2008 he also a member of CDC's learning, training and consultancy team and served as Mayor of Aberystwyth during 2012-13, very much taking a Community Development approach to this position of civic leadership.

Russell Todd

Russell is a Co-ordinator of the Communities First (CF) Support Service at the Wales Council for Voluntary Action. The Service commissions and brokers a range of support and training to all Communities First Clusters in Wales. Prior to his present role he was CF Co-ordinator with three Partnerships in Caerphilly borough and has held other community development roles in Merthyr Tydfil and Wrexham. Russell also sits on the All-Wales Partnership of Glandŵr Cymru, the Canal and River Trust in Wales, with remits for broadening participation and the Welsh language and is active in his own community by serving on the committees of Llandaff North Festivals Committee and Friends of Hailey Park. All of these roles, paid and voluntary, have been underpinned by a belief in social justice and the need for community development values to be at the heart of decision-making. He is a Welsh speaker and lives in Cardiff.

Val Harris

Val has been involved in Community Development since the 1970's, starting as an activist, then becoming a paid worker, followed by running a training unit for community workers. She has been an independent worker since 1990 specialising in community development learning in the UK and in Eastern Europe, and more recently through Grundtvig projects across Europe. She has been involved in all the development of National Occupational Standards for CD and has written many of the CD qualifications and prepared resource packs to support them. She is chair of the Endorsement and Quality Standards for CDL.

(England) and links into the UK wide grouping of Standards Boards, and has helped to develop the Recognition schemes. She maintains an active practice base with local community groups and continues to support community based groups through preparing strategic business plans and writing funding bids. She edited the Community Workers Skills manual for its last 3 editions, and holds a doctorate in CD.

Roger Hopkins

Roger has significant experience of working in the community development field in south Wales, both at the level of practical training support to local community groups and at the policy analysis level with national bodies such as the Wales Council for Voluntary Action and county intermediate agencies such as Interlink and GAVO. As a result of my training activities community groups have been able to establish community enterprises, raise funds and simultaneously influence, develop and implement strategies for community enhancement and social and economic regeneration, while my work as an independent consultant gave me input into the creation of training strategies adopted by intermediate bodies to help local communities and member groups tackle local deprivation.

He also has long experience of working in the adult and continuing education fields. In 1995 Roger worked with the residents of the Fernhill housing estate in Mountain Ash to produce the education pack Alcohol Education: A Community Development Approach for Health Promotion Wales which won the Good Health Wales Community Award for that year. From 1991 to 2007 he worked as a lecturer at the University of Glamorgan in the Centre for Lifelong Learning and helped to establish the Higher Education Diploma in Community Development Studies and compile and deliver modules in Committee Skills, Community Leadership, Community Team Building, Fund Raising, Strategic Planning, Community Assessment and Participation and Skills for Community Working to a range of groups – latterly, especially those operating within the Communities First programme.

Rogers has researched in detail the close links between community development and adult learning and have written extensively on this topic for publishers such as The Oxford University Press, WCVA, the University of Glamorgan and the Community Development Foundation. In 1990 he was awarded a German Marshall Fellowship of the USA to research community development initiatives in the US, and in September 2013 Roger published a detailed study of adult and community teaching techniques – Empowering Education: Educating for Community Development - A Critical Study of Methods, Theories and Values.

In addition to his training skills, he acquired the skills of critical thinking (and insight into strategic and organisational planning) by directing the work listed above and by heading the Community Initiatives Unit at WCVA - and by participating on several advisory boards/committees including the working group for the establishment of the Mid Glamorgan TEC, the BBC Children In Need Wales Grant  Allocation Committee, the Rhondda Community Business Initiative and the Cynon Valley Community Business initiative.