Our People

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



Victoria Winckler


Dr Victoria Winckler has been the Director of the Bevan Foundation since 2002, following a career at senior levels at the Welsh Local Government Association and Mid Glamorgan County Council.

Victoria has established the Bevan Foundation as the leading contributor of independent, evidence-based proposals to make Wales fair, prosperous and sustainable. She has advised UK and Welsh Ministers on issues ranging from poverty to equality to public transport, been a member of a number of government task groups, most being a member of the Ministerial Tax Advisory Group. She has given expert evidence to Parliamentary and Assembly Committees, such as the Assembly’s External and Additional Legislation Committee, Finance Committee and Equality, Local Government and Community Committee. Victoria has also contributed to major UK-wide initiatives including the Commission on the Living Wage chaired by the Archbishop of York, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Anti-Poverty Strategy Task Group.

Victoria developed and lead the initiative to secure EU Objective 1 status for West Wales and the Valleys in the late 1990s, prompted the creation of the Welsh Government’s Heads of the Valleys Programme in the early 2000s and has spearheaded the calls for action to tackle poverty in Wales. Most recently she has initiated debate and generated robust proposals for new, devolved taxes and devolving some social security benefits.

Victoria is a regular contributor to the Bevan Foundation’s online articles, edits its magazine, Exchange, comments in Welsh and UK media such as BBC One Wales’ Sunday Politics, and is a sought-after keynote speaker at conferences and seminars.

Victoria was previously a non-executive director of North Glamorgan NHS Trust / Cwm Taf Local Health Board and a member of board of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action. She is currently a director of Traveline Cymru.

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

Nisreen Mansour

Policy and Research Officer

Nisreen Mansour joined the Bevan Foundation in January 2015, having previously worked as Parliamentary Assistant for an MP and as a Researcher for Newsdirect.

Nisreen has led the Bevan Foundation’s work on new, devolved taxes and the Living Wage, and has also contributed to the Foundation’s consultation responses e.g. on Land Transaction Tax and prepared briefings e.g. on the environment.

Nisreen has a first class honours degree in history and politics from Queen Mary University of London, and is pursuing a higher degree in economics.

Sharon Hill

Office Manager

Sharon joined the Bevan Foundation as Office Manager in April 2016 after a career in local government that included working on Communities First, managing EU funding and liaising with local businesses. Sharon is responsible for the smooth running of all aspects of the Bevan Foundation’s office, from keeping us stocked with tea to managing events.

Sharon holds an MSc in Community Regeneration and is also a magistrate.

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.



Vivienne Sugar


Vivienne Sugar works part time as Director of her own management consultancy, working for central and local government across the UK. She also serves on the Council of The Property Ombudsman. She was Chair of Consumer Focus Wales until April 2014 when the UK Government transferred its functions to Citizens Advice, and until December 2013 was Chair of the National Regeneration Panel advising the Welsh Government. She served eight years as Pro Chancellor of Swansea University, seven years as a local authority Chief Executive at the City and County of Swansea and prior to that was Director of Housing in Cardiff and Newport Councils.

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Housing and member of SOLACE, and has acted as a mentor for a number of people currently working in public services in Wales.


Cerys Furlong

Vice Chair

Cerys is the Director of the Learning and Work Institute Cymru, the national charity for adult education. Cerys was previously Assistant Director of the Open University in Wales. Cerys has worked across post compulsory education for over ten years, and has experience across the post-16 education and training sector, local government and higher education in Wales. Cerys is also a governor of one of Wales’ largest and most diverse comprehensive schools.

Mark Hooper


Mark Hooper is the founder of indycube, a community interest company which provides flexible workspace to freelancers and micro-businesses at over 20 locations in Wales. Prior to establishing indycube he worked as a Management Accountant, supporting SMEs across South Wales with their business planning and providing investment support. Additionally, Mark has extensive experience in the food retail and wholesale sectors, having held several senior posts at Sainsbury’s.

Mark is also a founding member of Cardiff City Supporters Trust.

Sandy Blair


Sandy Blair is former Chief Executive of the Welsh Local Government Association and Newport City Council. Sandy was until recently a board member of the Health and Safety Executive as well as a Trustee of Growing Space, a member of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales and Chairman of the Monmouth Diocesan Board of Finance. He was awarded the CBE for Services to Local Government in Wales in 2005.

Stephen Brooks


Steve Brooks is the National Director of Sustrans Cymru, the charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle in Wales.  Prior to joining Sustrans, Steve was director of the Electoral Reform Society in Wales; and is a former head of the Welsh Government’s independent advisory body on sustainable development (SDC), and Head of Oxfam Cymru.

Duncan Forbes


Duncan Forbes is Chief Executive of Bron Afon Community Housing, a community-owned mutual social enterprise. He brings his extensive experience in local government and the third sector to the board. A qualified solicitor, Duncan has co-authored several guides on charity law and was previously the County Borough Solicitor at Torfaen local authority. Additionally, Duncan serves on the Torfaen Local Service Board, leading on families with multiple and complex needs, and the partnership prevention and early intervention programme for families.

Michael Imperato


Michael Imperato is a Partner at South Wales solicitors Watkins and Gunn. He heads its Cardiff Office and the Public/Administrative law department undertaking a number of high profile judicial review challenges. These have been mainly in respect of service closures, devolved issues and human rights. Michael is also recognised as a leader in the field of claimant personal injury work. He is the principle solicitor acting for the trade union, Community, in Wales and the West. Michael is a former president of the Cardiff & District Law Society, a member of the Law Society Civil Justice Committee, Wales co-ordinator and a Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury lawyers, Vice Chair of the Legal Aid Agency Special Controls review Panel, committee member of Public Law Wales and a visiting scholar at Swansea University.

Michael is a longstanding school governor, trustee of a charity for children with brain injuries and a Newport County supporter.

Caroline Lewis


Caroline Lewis held posts of Vice Principal of Coleg Menai and then Principal at Neath Port Talbot College and during this time carried out roles across Wales in educational policy and curriculum development. Once retired, Caroline became Chair of the Bureaucracy Reduction Group for FE for the UK Government and undertook projects as a consultant for the Welsh Government. She also took a Foundation Diploma Course in Art and Design and has been following up her interest in painting. Until recently she was Chair of Hafren Credit Union.

Caroline has a degree in Classics from Newnham College, Cambridge and speaks several modern languages, including Welsh.

Rachal Minchinton


Rachal is Head of Income Generation at George Thomas Hospice Care and prior to that spent ten years at Wales’ leading homelessness charity Llamau.

She is experienced in a wide range of fundraising techniques and strategy and is also a committee member for the Institute of Fundraising Cymru.

In Print

Subscribers' Magazine

Exchange – Issue 7

‘Resilient communities’ is a phrase that’s been hard to avoid in recent months and is central to the discussions about the future of Communities First.  Great though it sounds, it is much less clear what resilience means or how it Read more »

Exchange – Issue 6

It’s been almost five months since the UK voted to leave the EU. As the initial shock of the referendum result dies down, the latest edition of Exchange looks at the impact that Brexit could have on Wales. Our contributors Read more »

More from the Subscribers' Magazine »

Other Publications

Consultation response: Primary Care

The Bevan Foundation has responded to a consultation by the National Assembly for  Wales’  Health, Social Care and Sport Committee on primary care. The committee’s inquiry will focus on the role of Wales 64 cluster networks – groups of GPs working with Read more »

Consultation response: First 1,000 Days

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Bevan Foundation have responded to a consultation by the National Assembly for  Wales’ Children, Young People and Education Committee on the first 1,000 days of a person’s life. The inquiry is seeking to establish the extent to which Welsh Read more »

More from Other Publications »


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