Our People

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

Staff

Victoria Winckler

Victoria Winckler

Director

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 currently looking at poverty in Wales and has a particular interest in exploring solutions for in-work poverty and in examining how the social security system could be improved.

Georgina Lewindon

Georgina Lewindon

Marketing Consultant

Georgina started working with the Bevan Foundation as an independent consultant in November 2017.

A Chartered Marketer and CIM Wales Board member, Georgina has a Masters in Language and Communication Research and over 15 years’ experience of marketing across the not-for-profit, public and private sectors.

Now owner of Glew Marketing, she works predominantly with smaller organisations to develop and implement strategic marketing plans and manages a number of the Foundation’s communications, campaigns and events.

A photo of Hugh

Hugh Kocan

Housing Policy Officer

Hugh joined the Bevan Foundation in March 2021 as a Housing Policy Officer.

Hugh graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Welsh Governance and Politics. His thesis focused on the impact of a potential divergence in income tax between Wales and England.

Hugh is currently working on researching ways the Local Housing Allowance can be improved to reduce homelessness in Wales.

Dr Heddwen Daniel

Heddwen joined the Bevan Foundation in October 2021 to lead our Integration and Cohesion Project. Through partnering with grassroots community groups, this project creates meaningful opportunities for people with lived experience of migration to influence Welsh policy, including through facilitating direct engagement between community members and decision-makers.

Heddwen has a background in youth justice and violence against women and girls. She gained a PhD in 2021 after researching the responses of youth justice workers and magistrates to young people who breach community sentences. Two years ago, she moved back into the violence against women and girls charity sector when she joined Welsh Women’s Aid. She continues to work here on a part-time basis to support specialist domestic abuse and sexual violence services, with a particular emphasis on improving the accessibility of these services to survivors with no recourse to public funds.

Trustees

Vivienne Sugar

Vivienne Sugar

Chair

Vivienne Sugar is now retired but until recently was Director of her own management consultancy, working for central and local government across the UK. She served eight years as Pro Chancellor of Swansea University, was chair of Consumer Focus Wales, 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.

Viv joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2014.

Sandy Blair

Trustee

Sandy Blair was a Local Government Chief Executive for 20 years including 8 years with Newport Council and 3 years as Director of the Welsh Local Government Association. He was President of SOLACE (UK) in 2000 and was awarded CBE for Services to Local Government in Wales in 2005.

Subsequently Sandy has served on a wide range of public, Church and charitable bodies, mainly pro bono. Paid appointments included Non-Executive Director of HSE (2006-2012) and Member, latterly Chair, of the National Assembly Independent Remuneration Board (2010-2015).

He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Gwent in 2014

Sandy joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2009.

John Chown

Treasurer

John is a qualified chartered accountant and has been a director of Williams Ross Limited in Cardiff for 16 years. He has had a professional involvement in providing assurance services,
advice, support and training in the not for profit sector covering charities, credit unions and other voluntary organisations for a number of years.

His voluntary activities have included being a management board member of the Wales Co-operative Centre for over 14
years and being a board member of Cynon Taf Housing Group since September 2018.

John joined the Bevan Foundation board in January 2020.

Duncan Forbes

Trustee

Duncan Forbes a housing consultant, and also a board member of Cardiff Community Housing Association. He was Chief Executive of Bron Afon Community Housing, a large mutual housing association, from 2008 – 2017. Duncan is also currently chair of the Centre for Regeneration Excellence Wales.

A qualified solicitor, Duncan has also been the county solicitor at a south Wales local authority and has co-authored several guides on charity law.

Duncan joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2014.

Lynne Hughes

Trustee

Lynne is Director of the MS Society Cymru, a role she took up in 2014.

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 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.

Michael Imperato

Trustee

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.

Michael joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2016.

Caroline Lewis

Trustee

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.

Caroline joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2016.

Professor Sally Power

Trustee

Sally is 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.

 

Anthony Hunt

Trustee

Anthony is currently Leader of Torfaen County Borough Council, having been elected to represent Panteg Ward in 2012. He is also chair of the Torfaen Public Service Board, a member of the Cardiff Capital Region Cabinet and WLGA Spokesperson on finance and resources.

Before becoming a councillor, Anthony worked as a political researcher at the House of Commons. He holds a degree in Law from Cardiff University.

Anthony joined the Bevan Foundation board in July 2018.

Tamsin Stirling

Trustee

Tamsin is an experienced housing researcher and policy adviser who works as an independent housing consultant. Her research interests include 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 Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing, a regular contributor to Welsh Housing Quarterly, a board member of Crisis and Cardiff Community Housing Association, and a member of the Welsh Government’s Homelessness Action Group. Tamsin lives in Splott, Cardiff.

Tamsin joined the Bevan Foundation Board in 2018.

Rt Rev’d John D E Davies

Trustee

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 Davies left the law to enter the ministry and was ordained in 1984. He served in the Diocese of Monmouth and was appointed Dean of Brecon in 2000.  He was elected Bishop of Swansea and Brecon in 2008 and was elected as Archbishop of Wales in September 2017. Bishop John retired in May 2021.

Bishop John Davies is profoundly interested in matters of social justice and has spoken out on a range of issues, including homelessness and housing, rural problems, 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.

Bishop John joined the Bevan Foundation board in 2021

Chisomo Phiri

Trustee

Chisomo Phiri is the Policy and Communications Partner at Chwarae Teg.  Before joining Chwarae Teg, she worked at Seeker Digital as a Campaign Executive.

Chisomo started her career in student politics following her graduation in Public Relations and Media from Swansea University in 2017, becoming Student Union president at Swansea University Student’s Union and Women’s Officer at NUS Wales.During this time, Chisomo ran a successful campaign to end period poverty in Wales, which led to her winning Chwarae Teg’s People’s Choice Womenspire award in 2019.

Chisomo has extensive voluntary experience, serving as a Trustee at the British Youth Council, on the Executive Committee of Public Affairs Cymru and as a board member of What Uni.

Chisomo joined the Bevan Foundation board in 2021

Shavanah Taj

Trustee

Shavanah Taj has been acting General Secretary of the Wales Trades Union Congress (TUC), since February 2020. 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

Trustee

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.

Richard joined the Bevan Foundation board in 2021

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