Mental Health Foundation

Wales committee

Mental Health Foundation

Sir Adrian Webb — Wales Chair

Sir Adrian Webb

Previously Vice-Chancellor of Glamorgan University, Sir Adrian has a wealth of experience of leading at executive management level in public, not for profit and education sectors.

"It is an honour to be asked to lead such a committed team of staff, partners and funded organisations that make a real difference to communities across Wales. I also welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues from across the UK as a member of The National Lottery Community Fund's UK Board."

He has been involved in many UK and Welsh Government initiatives, including chairing the independent review into further education in Wales (the Webb Review) and the Wales Employment and Skills Board. He was also a member of the Beecham Review of Public Services in Wales and part of the HM Treasury Public Service Productivity Panel.

Rona Aldrich

Rona Aldrich

With a Masters Degree from Aberystwyth University in Library and Information Science, Rona Aldrich has worked in local government all her working life, the last 20 years at Senior Management level.

"With money to support individuals and communities becoming increasingly scarce, the role of Big Lottery is vital in continuing to finance innovative projects to maintain and grow the society and economy of Wales"

In addition to being Head of Service for Libraries, Information and Culture, she was involved in the development of the European Union Objective 1 plan for Conwy County Borough and managed a £2m multi agency project under that plan. She served on the Steering Group of Bay Life, (the programme to regenerate the town of Colwyn Bay), as Chair of the Rhyl Community Agency and Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

In addition to being an advisor to the Welsh Local Government Association, Rona has also worked freelance for both the Association and Welsh Government. She was appointed by the (then) Minister for Heritage to sit on the original Advisory Council for CyMAL (Welsh Government’s policy division for museums, archives and libraries) and represented Wales at UK level.

A first language Welsh speaker, Rona sits on the Executive Committee of the Welsh Books Council. She has been a member of BIG’s People and Places Committee for 4 years.

Sian Callaghan

Sian Callaghan

Sian has worked in public relations, public affairs and marketing for 28 years in the private, public and not for profit sectors. Since July 2014 she has been Director of Communication at the Office for National Statistics in Newport.

"I was keen to join The National Lottery Community Fund committee after seeing the impact our funding has on communities’ right across Wales, and I'm delighted to be part of a team which has the interests of the people of Wales at its heart. Visiting the projects we support and hearing how we help to improve lives has been inspirational."

Sian previously worked for Centrica, the parent company of British Gas for 18 years in a variety of communication roles. She has also worked for the Welsh Federation of Housing Associations, at Mid Glamorgan County Council and has been involved in PR and marketing for a number of consumer brands, working both in Wales and across the UK.

Married to Rob, Sian lives in Cardiff. She is a past board member of Shelter Cymru and Cadwyn Housing Association and has a degree in Communication Studies.

Rob Pickford OBE

Rob Pickford OBE

Rob has held a number of managerial and leadership roles in local government and with the Welsh Government. Starting out as a social worker in South Wales he was latterly Director of Social Services and Children in the Welsh Government.

"I am delighted to be able to play a part in implementing The National Lottery Community Fund's commitment to support people in designing, delivering and testing out the innovative services they and their communities need."

He is currently Chair of the Wildlife Trust for South and West Wales. Visiting Professor at the University of South Wales and Honorary Research Fellow at Cardiff University.

Rob divides his time between supporting people to deliver citizen centred services, contributing to protecting and promoting wildlife in Wales, writing, historical studies, walking the coasts and hills of Wales and the family allotment.

Nicola Russell-Brooks

Nicola Russell-Brooks

Born in Plymouth, Devon Nicola started her career by serving in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, following a family history of naval service by becoming the first woman in the family to actively serve.

"I am thrilled and very honoured to have been appointed to the Wales committee I look forward to helping people in Wales use the funding available to them to develop services that really get results for them and builds on their strengths. "

After raising her family, Nicola became interested in how communities can solve their own problems and when she lived in Turkey Nicola got involved in raising funds for and developing local projects. On her return to the UK Nicola completed one of the first degrees in Development and went on to develop a career in service development working across England and Wales in the public, private and voluntary sector.

Nicola moved to Wales in 2006 and took up a role as Chief Executive of Age Cymru Swansea Bay in 2010 after four years of acting as an independent visitor for the Office of the Public Guardian. Over the next seven years Nicola led the charity through major change including setting up a new model of social enterprise that resulted in the charity working in partnership with local private sector service providers to meet the needs of older people living in and around Swansea.

Nicola is a mentor for Business Wales and a volunteer for Breast Cancer Care Wales. Nicola retired from full-time work is 2017 and now runs a micro-business in West Wales that supports older people to maintain their independence as well as offering business consultancy to organisations in need of support. Nicola is a member of the U3A and loves to spend her time getting to know the County in which she lives and the people who live there.

Helen Wilkinson

Helen Wilkinson

Helen was born in Liverpool and brought up in North Wales and studied Politics and Parliamentary Studies at Leeds University. She has worked in public policy, communications and social entrepreneurship at director level for over two decades internationally and nationally.

"I am delighted and honoured to be joining the Wales Committee. I have great admiration and respect for the work of The National Lottery Community Fund, and the many organisations and individuals benefitting from the funding, advice and support the Fund provides. I look forward to contributing to the organisation's vision of putting People in the Lead and to acting as an ambassador for the Fund's work in Wales, to highlighting the great work being done by organisations and community groups and doing everything I can to spread the message about how important the National Lottery is to communities across Wales. "

Helen has worked in a wide range of organisations including: Parliament and Congress, BBC News and Current Affairs, the National Consumer Council, UK based charities 4Children and DrugScope, the think tank Demos and the New York based Families and Work Institute and was awarded the prestigious Harkness Fellowship by the Commonwealth Fund. Helen has authored a number of publications across a diverse policy portfolio, and has worked as a columnist and commentator for national newspapers and magazines, and as a broadcaster.

In 2010, Helen returned to Wales to live, and joined the Wales Council for Voluntary Action leading the organisation’s policy and influencing work on anti-poverty and European Cohesion Policy 2014-2020. She has been a member of key Welsh Government strategic forums reporting to Welsh Government Ministers including its Budget Advisory Group on Equality, Strategic Equality Plan Board, Human Rights Stakeholder Group, and National Regeneration Panel.

Helen became Chief Executive of Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council in 2016.

Wales committee meeting minutes

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