Our People

Our people make us what we are. Find out more about our staff and trustees below.


Victoria Winckler

Victoria Winckler


Dr Victoria Winckler has been the Director of the Bevan Foundation since 2002, establishing it as Wales’ most exciting and innovative think-tank. Victoria is also currently Wales adviser to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Victoria is a leading contributor to public policy in Wales. In the 1990s she developed the proposals that secured EU Objective 1 status for West Wales and the Valleys, in the early 2000s she galvanised the Welsh Government’s actions to tackle poverty and most recently generated robust proposals for new Welsh taxes which are now being taken forward by the Welsh Government.

Victoria frequently gives expert evidence to Assembly Committees, comments in online articles and speaks at a wide range of events. She is currently a member of the Ministerial Tax Advisory Group, and a board member of Traveline Cymru.

Victoria previously held roles at the Welsh Local Government Association, Mid Glamorgan County Council and Cardiff University and has served in public appointments and as a board member of several organisations.

Victoria holds a BA (Hons) in geography, MSc in Town Planning and a PhD.


Rachael Simmonds

Finance Officer

Rachael joined the Bevan Foundation in 2010 as Finance Officer, from a background in local government including in working in social services finance, rent and council tax.

Rachael now manages all aspects of the Foundation’s income and expenditure and is qualified to NVQ level 3 in business and administration.

Rachael took a career break in 2012, returning to the Bevan Foundation in 2014.

Steffan Evans

Dr Steffan Evans

Head of Policy (Poverty)

Steffan joined the Bevan Foundation in July 2018 after working as a participation officer at TPAS Cymru.

In 2018 Steffan graduated with a PhD from the Wales Governance Centre, at the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University. His research examined the impact of devolution on social housing regulation in Wales and England, exploring how and why the law had diverged between both nations.

Steffan is leading on the Bevan Foundation’s work on poverty. During his time at the Foundation he has worked on a variety of policy areas including free school meals, the social security system and the response to the Covid 19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.

Among the areas that Steffan is currently working on are access to housing for low income renters, and the need to establish a Welsh Benefits System.

Joel Davies headshot

Joel Davies

Policy & Research Officer

Joel joined the Bevan Foundation in February 2024 as a policy and research officer within the poverty team.

Joel completed his MSc in Human Geography: Society and Space at the University of Bristol’s School of Geographical Sciences in 2022. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from King’s College, London.


Isata Kanneh

Project Lead, Access to Justice

Isata joined the Bevan Foundation in November 2022 as Project Lead for the Access to Justice project.

Isata has worked as a freelance project manager for over twenty years. She has worked on many and varied projects supporting and promoting the work of migrants and refugees and in the areas of children’s rights, equalities, and community participation. Isata currently sits as a Lay Member on the Welsh Language Tribunal. She has an MA in Race and Ethnic Studies.


Elinor Mattey

Project Officer, Access to Justice

Elinor joined the Bevan Foundation in October 2022 as an access to justice project officer for migration.  

Elinor has an undergraduate degree in Law, and has recently graduated from Swansea University with a Masters degree in Human Rights. Over the course of her most recent studies, she has focussed on asylum and migration, international human rights law, and her dissertation explored the protection of the cultural rights of Gypsy and Traveller Communities in the UK.  

Elinor is currently looking at how to increase access to advice on immigration matters in Wales.  


Wendy Dearden

Senior Policy & Research Officer

Wendy joined the Bevan Foundation in February 2024 to lead our housing projects with a specific focus on boosting the supply of social homes.

She began her career in housing over 25 years ago and has worked in a wide variety of roles including frontline housing management, policy and strategy development and affordable housing delivery. She joins us from Shelter Cymru where she held the post of Policy and Public Affairs Manager.

Wendy has a BSc Hons in Housing Studies and is a corporate member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Caroline Richards

Caroline Richards

Communications & Marketing Officer

Caroline joined the Bevan Foundation in November 2023 and works across all areas of its communications and marketing.

Caroline studied English at the University of Exeter and holds an MA in Arts Management from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Before joining the Bevan Foundation, Caroline worked in arts marketing for various organisations including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and St David’s Hall.

Esther Sunday

Research Assistant

Esther joined the Bevan Foundation in November 2023 as a research assistant on the Access to Justice project.

Esther has over 10 years of project management experience in the private and government sectors in the UK and Nigeria, most recently working with the Trussell Trust. Esther has an MSc in politics and international relations and recently graduated with an MSc in project management from the University of South Wales.

Huda Khirelsied

Research Assistant

Huda Joined the Bevan Foundation as a research assistant on the Access to Justice project in November 2023. 

Huda has over 10 years’ experience as Administration officer in the private and charity sector in the UK and Sudan. Huda has a BSc in organisational management, and an Advanced diploma in Accountancy Level 3. She holds an OISC Level 1 qualification and currently works at Oasis as a Refugee Integration Caseworker. 


Gavin Thompson


Gavin became Chair of the Bevan Foundation in July 2023.  He is regional editor Wales at local news publisher Newsquest, a role that includes being editor of the South Wales Argus, a daily newspaper and online news platform based in Newport, and other titles. He has been in the news industry for more than 20 years, starting as a reporter and working his way up to become an editor. He joined Newsquest in Wales in 2020.

Through his career, Gavin has championed the importance of local newspapers in communities. He has previously been a voluntary director of the Bath Business Improvement District.

Tamsin Stirling

Vice Chair

Tamsin is an experienced housing researcher and policy adviser who worked as an independent housing consultant between 1999 and 2022. Her research interests included governance, social policy, poverty/inequality, regeneration and homelessness. She was ministerial adviser on housing, regeneration and planning issues in the Welsh Government between 2012 and 2014 during which time the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 was developed.

She is a long-time resident of Splott, Cardiff and is currently undertaking a photography degree at Coleg Gwent.

Tamsin joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2018.

John Chown


John is an experienced chartered accountant and during his career he has had a professional involvement in providing assurance services, advice, support and training to a wide range of people and organisations but specifically in relation to the not for profit sector, covering charities, social businesses, credit unions and other voluntary organisations.

His other current voluntary activities include being a board member or trustee of Cwmpas, Cynon Taf Housing Association and its subsidiary Down to Zero (addressing carbon sequestration and carrying out related community complementary activities), Daring to Dream (a charity addressing the emotional wellbeing of patients and people with chronic health conditions throughout Wales) and Ynni Teg Cyf (a community energy company).

John joined the Bevan Foundation board in January 2020.

Duncan Forbes

Company secretary

Duncan Forbes is Chief Executive of Trivallis, a community mutual housing association and one of the largest housing associations in Wales based in Rhondda Cynon Taff. He has been a trustee of the Bevan Foundation since 2014.

A qualified solicitor, one of Duncan’s specialism areas was providing legal advice to voluntary organisations and he has co-authored several guides on charity law.

Duncan has been chief executive and Chair of a number of housing associations since 2007 and was a Board member of Powys Teaching Health Board and the Chair of Centre for Regeneration Excellence Wales.

Duncan joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2014.

Bishop John D E Davies


Bishop John Davies graduated in law from the University of Southampton. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1977, specialising in criminal law and, after ordination, completed a master’s degree in Canon Law. Bishop John was ordained in 1984 and initially served in the Diocese of Monmouth before his appointment as Dean of Brecon Cathedral in 2000.  He was elected as Bishop of Swansea and Brecon in 2008 and as Archbishop of Wales in 2017. Bishop John retired in 2021.

Bishop John is profoundly interested in matters of social justice and has spoken out on a range of issues, including urban and rural deprivation,  homelessness and housing, organ donation, assisted dying and poverty. Having served as the chairman of the trustees of a large hospice in Newport, he also has a deep concern for the just provision of healthcare, not least for those in the final stages of life. He is the chair of the Steering Group of Housing Justice Cymru and is a trustee of Housing Justice and Adferiad Recovery. Until 2023 he also served as trustee of Cymru Older People’s Alliance.

Bishop John joined the Bevan Foundation board in 2021

Lynne Hughes


Lynne is Assistant Director Community Engagement, Involvement and Development of Marie Curie Care, a role she took up in 2022.

She began her career as a nurse before becoming a Public Health Specialist. She held a number of roles in the health service, including the RCN, and has also been the Wales Programme Manager for Oxfam, Director (Wales) of MS Society as well as working for two Assembly Members.

She has previously represented St James ward on Caerphilly County Borough Council.

Lynne joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2018.

Anthony Hunt


Anthony is currently Leader of Torfaen County Borough Council, having been elected to represent Panteg Ward in 2012. He chairs the Cardiff Capital Region Cabinet and is the WLGA Spokesperson on workforce, finance and resources.

Before becoming a councillor, Anthony worked as a researcher at the House of Commons, in the Wales Office and at what was then the Welsh Assembly, gaining experience at every level of Government and working for figures including Paul Murphy when he was Secretary of State in both Wales and Northern Ireland. He holds a degree in Law from Cardiff University. Anthony is a keen cyclist, an avid fan of Bruce Springsteen and an FAW junior football coach.

Anthony joined the Bevan Foundation board in July 2018.

Professor Sally Power


Sally is Co-Director of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data and Methods (WISERD).  Her research explores the relationship between education, civil society and inequality in Wales and internationally.

Before joining Cardiff University, Sally was Head of the School of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies at at the Institute of Education, University of London. She has also worked at the Universities of Bristol, Warwick and West of England.

Sally is an elected fellow of the Learned Society for Wales and the Academy of Social Sciences.

Sally joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2018.


Shavanah Taj


Shavanah Taj is General Secretary of the Wales Trades Union Congress (TUC). She joined Wales TUC from her role as Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) Secretary.  Prior to joining PCS, Shavanah worked in retail, call centres and the third sector. From 2018 to 2019, she served as the President of the Wales TUC.

Cardiff born and raised, Shavanah grew up steeped in the trade union movement. Her father was a Health and Safety representative in the steel works.  Shavanah is passionate about equality, social justice and human rights. She is a patron of Show Racism the Red Card Wales, trustee for the Henna Foundation which supports victims and survivors of domestic abuse and honour-based violence and also a trustee for Fio, a grassroots theatre group. Shavanah was recently appointed to the People’s Health Trust. Shavanah lives in Cardiff and is married with two young children, aged 6 and 8.

Shavanah joined the Bevan Foundation board in 2021

Richard Williams


Richard is originally from Bethel, near Caernarfon and went to Liverpool University to study Communication Studies and Politics before starting his career in regional newspaper journalism. He went on to become deputy editor of the Daily Post in North Wales and then editor of the Wrexham Evening Leader and the South Wales Echo.

In 2008, Richard moved to the third sector becoming Wales Director for RNID (Royal National Institute of Deaf People). Since 2017, Richard has been Chief Executive of Community Foundation Wales, the independent charitable foundation that connects philanthropy with local communities in Wales. Richard is a father of two and a big football fan, supporting Wrexham Football Club and the Welsh national team. He is a trustee of the Cymru Football Foundation.

Richard joined the Bevan Foundation board in 2021


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