Wales committee

Mental Health Foundation

Dr Simone Lowthe-Thomas

Dr Simone Lowthe-Thomas

Committee Chair

Dr Lowthe-Thomas is CEO of Severn-Wye Energy Agency – a sustainable energy charity working in Wales and the border counties. Before becoming CEO, she held multiple roles in the organisation, including Director for Wales and Head of Community Energy. She is also Vice-President for Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty at Federene (European Federation of Energy Agencies). She gained her PhD at Cardiff University, studying Energy Crops and Biomass.

Dr Lowthe-Thomas was a founding board member at Community Energy Wales and spent ten years at Cardiff University as a Research associate.

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.

Nicola Russell-Brooks

Nicola Russell-Brooks

Nicola built a career in creating services in the public, private, community and voluntary sectors after reading for her degree in Development as a mature student at Exeter University, before retiring from full-time work in 2017.

Prior to that Nicola served in the Royal Navy before taking time out to raise her children.

Since 2017 Nicola has concentrated on offering her services to the voluntary sector and to small businesses in Wales through her private business consultancy, offering pro-bono support to help charities thrive in Wales where she can.

Nicola has been a business mentor for Business Wales since 2015 and is also a freelance assessor for Comic Relief.

“It’s a huge privilege to be able to serve on the Wales Committee and the best part is seeing the outcomes people get by coming together to make things better”.

Fadhili Maghiya

Fadhili Maghiya

Fadhili is the Director of Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel (SSAP) a network of African communities in Wales working in international development and across Wales. At SSAP, he manages a team working on local and international projects (mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa).

Fadhili is also the Founder and Director of Watch-Africa Cymru: Wales’ African Film Festival. Having started the festival in 2013, it has grown to become one of the leading festival in Wales focusing on African cinema. Other than running SSAP and Watch-Africa Cymru, Fadhili is an Arts Associate for Arts Council Wales and RSA Fellow. A keen runner, footballer and enjoys a healthy debate.

Wales committee meeting minutes

If you would like to see older agendas and minutes or those for non-current committees, please email governance@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk

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