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Our Trustees

We are grateful to our Board of Trustees for their time, work and dedication to CYCA; and for their ongoing support. Diolch yn fawr!

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Yvonne Rodgers brings her knowledge of the voluntary, statutory and independent sector to the Trustee Board. As former director of Barnardo's Cymru she has wide experience of aligning services to meet the challenges facing the most deprived communities in Wales.

Before becoming a social worker in child protection, she had ten years teaching experience and held an Education Welfare role. Her extensive social work experience includes working in a police and social services joint investigation team, managing a child sexual abuse service and managing a family centre offering parental assessments and parenting programmes which addressed the developmental wellbeing of children, many of whom had complex needs.

She went on to hold a National Advisory role in Education for the NSPCC and developed a child protection manual for teachers which was delivered across 88 training institutions across the UK. She has also designed and delivered training for foster carers, health and education professionals which addressed the specific needs of children and young people in public care.

Yvonne provided strong leadership at Barnardo’s Cymru through a period of significant internal and external challenge and change. There were three changes at the Chief Executive level resulting in a new operational model which she successfully embedded and additional responsibilities which saw her leading both Wales and the South West of England. Against this backdrop Yvonne increased service delivery in Wales from 43 to 87 services in order to meet burgeoning social need and negotiated with local authority directors, politicians and other external partners to achieve policy and service change for the most vulnerable children, young people and families.





As Director Barnardo’s Cymru from 2008-16 she held responsibilities for organising National Committee meetings and presenting reports on performance, safeguarding, health and safety, inspections and financial monitoring. Yvonne had further governance experience as a Trustee with Children in Wales from 2008-2016 and currently holds the role of Vice Chair on the Board of Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust.

Bernardine Rees
Bernardine originally from Pembrokeshire now lives in Pembrey, started her career as a trainee nurse in the early seventies and worked across the three counties Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire in a variety of roles, always looking for ways to improve the patient experience.
Bernie recently ended her term as Chair of Hwyel Dda University Health Board after 47 years in the NHS and is now Chair of Respiratory Innovation Wales. Bernardine was awarded an OBE in 2009 for services to the Welsh NHS

“I am passionate about partnership working and how it can bring wider benefits for communities, which is why I look forward to my role as a trustee at CYCA.”


Linda Williams
Linda is a wife, mother of three and recently retired as a Health Service Manager, after working for 34 years within the geographical boundary of Hywel Dda University Health Board. As part of this work Linda enjoyed being responsible for hospitals and community services, and strongly believes in an integrated service delivery across health and social care and related local authority services.

Born, brought up, and still living in Llanelli, Linda is passionate about supporting the area; having seen deprivation in some of the communities Linda sees the important role that CYCA plays in community development and strengthening individual resilience.
              “This is what attracted me to become a trustee at CYCA; and I feel privileged to be part of such an innovative and progressive organisation that supports individuals to thrive, and not just survive. This is at the heart of the work I want to support. I look forward to learning more from CYCA and sharing my knowledge, skills and experience.”

Sian-Marie James
Sian is Assistant Director of Corporate Legal Services & Public Affairs, Hywel Dda University Health Board. Sian has extensive experience in the legal and public sector, admitted as a Fellow of the [Chartered] Institute of Legal Executives in 1994.

Sian has worked in both the private and public legal sectors and was employed by the Welsh Government in a policy making role from 2001 to 2011, in both homelessness policy and more latterly in health policy in the Health and Social Services Department.  In Welsh Government, Sian was very proud to have received the First Minister’s Individual Award in 2009 for her contribution to the NHS Reform Programme that led to the major change to the NHS landscape in Wales in 2009. 

From 2011 to 2016, she held the public appointment of Vice Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board, where her role focused on Primary Care, Community Care and Mental Health Services.  This gave Sian an opportunity to refocus her approach to more of a scrutiny and assurance role and to learn the importance of being both independent and resilient.  Since August 2016, in her current role as Assistant Director of Corporate Legal Services and Public Affairs in Hywel Dda UHB, Sian has been leading the corporate legal function and supporting the Chair and Chief Executive in their roles. 

Sian has been a trustee of CYCA since 2018, bringing experience from her time as a trustee of Cymdeithas Caer Las Cyf (Homelessness charity in Swansea) in the 1990s. 
She has always lived in Llanelli and is aware of the changing communities and the need for support for vulnerable families. 

Caroline Rees
Caroline is an Early Years Advisory Teacher in Swansea Local Authority.

She has over 30 years’ experience working with young children, a passion which was started by Tracy Pike as her Child Development Teacher when she was 15 years old! Caroline has experience as a Nanny, a Teaching Assistant and qualified as an Early Years Teacher in 2005. She has since gone on to be an Advisory Teacher for Flying Start and Childcare, where she has a quality assurance role, supporting pedagogy, training and recruitment. She is able to support CYCA in the childcare element of the charity and has worked with them on policies, supporting the charity during the COVID period as everything moved quickly.
              “I became a trustee at CYCA in 2018 because I have a strong desire for children to be able to achieve their full potential and believe that they should all have equal opportunities to succeed in life. The ACEs research shows us that many children start life with an unfair disadvantage through no fault of their own and I am proud to work with a charity that supports and understands the whole family, providing opportunities for them to learn and move forward as a family together.”

“CYCA makes a difference to people lives by empowering and enabling them to achieve and improve their situations through mentoring, support and training. “This is the core of what CYCA is all about and I am proud to part of an organisation that makes a huge difference to some people’s lives.

Steven Mears
Steven was born and educated in Llanelli and is a retired Chief Superintendent from Dyfed Powys Police. During his career he was Head of the forces Criminal Investigation Department for 5 years which included being the Force lead on Safeguarding and Public Protection and latterly as the Divisional Commander for Carmarthenshire. During this period, he was the Vice Chair of the Community Safety Partnership and a member of the Local Service Board.

Steven’s first contact with CYCA was during a murder investigation he led in 2009, during which CYCA were engaged in providing bespoke support the to the family and siblings in very difficult circumstances and this ultimately led to Steven becoming independent trustee on his retirement from the Police. Steven has also previously performed a number of other voluntary roles, including as a Non-Executive Director of Jobforce Wales and as the chair of two Federated School Governing Bodies.

Since his retirement Steven’s work involves providing a Management Consultancy Service and also an independent investigation service relating to Safeguarding incidents in schools together with independent disciplinary and grievance investigations.

Beth Leyshon

Beth Leyshon-Ellacott has been involved with CYCA for 35 years. Initially, Beth managed an After-School Club for the CYCA team at the School that she was Headmistress at. She felt that the involvement with CYCA and the partnership was invaluable to the area and her school, which was situated in a socially-deprived area of Llanelli, and so has continued to be involved with the charity and has now been a Trustee with CYCA for 10 years.

Beth brings her expertise and experience of the education sector, which has been invaluable to the charity as it has grown over the years.

Frederick St. John Roberts
Frederick was born in Llanelli and educated locally in Lakefield Primary School and then St Michael’s. After studying accountancy in the Midlands, and qualifying as a chartered certified accountant, he moved to Bristol with his wife where he furthered his education in Bristol Polytechnic and remained there for five years, lecturing in Finance. Frederick also studied for his Masters in Business at Bath University, on completion he returned to Llanelli where he became a partner in Charles and Co Accountants.

Through his work, he has been involved in a professional capacity and as a trustee in a number of local charities. Although retired from general practice, he is still very much involved in a number of charities as a trustee.

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