Who We Are
Foothold Cymru is a social justice charity that empowers communities and individuals to achieve real change. We are united by a common vision: creating resilient communities where everyone has a decent standard of living.
Social justice is at the heart of everything we do. We design our services with communities, ensuring that those most affected are active participants in creating sustainable change.
Our Vision and Values
Our vision is of a Wales, free from poverty with social, economic and environmental justice for all; where people thrive and not just survive and enjoy a decent standard of living.
To support people to address the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality, through designing our services with, not for, individuals and communities, most affected by these issues.
Live and Thrive
"Live & Thrive" is our commitment to ensuring that everyone has equal access to essential services that enhance their overall well-being. We firmly believe that no one should encounter obstacles when striving for a healthy, dignified, and empowered life.
Learn and Grow
"Learn and Grow" is our commitment to providing practical support for individuals across all age groups to access learning opportunities, dismantling barriers to lifelong learning.
Protect and Sustain
"Protect & Sustain" is our pledge to champion environmental justice and sustainability. We accomplish this by dismantling obstacles to community engagement, promoting a mindset that views waste as a valuable resource, and nurturing green spaces for the benefit of all.
The year established as a not for profit organisation.
The number of people we've supported.
For every £1 invested in Foothold Cymru we have generated £8.50 in added value.
The number of people who we have supported to move closer or into employment.
The number of employers and businesses who have supported our work.
Everyone has a contribution to make regardless of visible and invisible differences. We are open to everyone and embrace diversity.
Enthusiastic and Committed
We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to realise their potential. To thrive not just survive.
We treat everyone with respect, dignity, kindness, empathy and compassion.
We safeguard and protect the planet for our children and grandchildren.
Our work is driven by people and communities with lived experience.
We are honest, transparent and open at all levels of our work.
At Foothold Cymru, our strength lies in our people. Our dedicated team works tirelessly to support and nurture communities, ensuring that every person can fulfil their potential. But we're not alone in this journey. Our incredible volunteers play a vital role, making it all possible.
Guiding our mission is a diverse Board of Trustees, bringing a wealth of expertise from various fields, including community development, the environment, education, the law, finance, and the voluntary sector. Local people also bring local knowledge and lived experience. Together what sets our trustees apart is their deep connection and commitment to the very communities we serve, right here in West Wales.
Together, we are Foothold Cymru, and together, we are making a difference. Join us in our work for social justice and vibrant, thriving communities.
The team making a difference
Mike's career has been split almost equally between the private sector and the not for profit sector, with a short period in the public sector thrown in. In the private sector he has worked for stock brokers in the city, led a construction and development company in London and the South East, founded and run a specialist Housing Consultancy, and was an equity partner in Quality St Ltd – one of the first private sector landlords to work in partnership with Local Authorities across the UK. In the not for profit sector, he was the youngest Director of Housing in London (for Circle 33 Housing Trust at the age of 24), then became Deputy CEO of Community Housing Association and later led PCHA (Paddington Churches Housing Association, now Genesis Housing) through a period of expansion and innovative solutions to homelessness. More recently he developed the Foothold Group into one of the largest social enterprises in West Wales. He has sat on a number of committees including the Objective One PMC and Business Connect Wales, and chaired the partnership Board that set up Finance Wales, the Welsh Development Bank. He was the founding Chair of Chamber Wales, the umbrella body for small Welsh businesses. He was for eight years on the Big Lottery Fund Committee for Wales and represented Wales on the UK Funding Committee. He is currently chair of One Voice Wales and the Chair at Shelter Cymru. He brings to Foothold Cymru strategic management, a deep understanding of the business, public and third sectors, together with expertise in marketing and communication.
Deputy Chief Executive
Janice Morgan has worked for Foothold Cymru for over twenty years. Before taking on the role of Deptuy Chief Executive, she was Director of Business Development, leveraging in substantial investment to tackle social injustice within West Wales. She has over 20 years’ experience in working with communities on social justice issues and in tackling poverty. She has worked in various capacities within the not for profit sector, from a grass roots level, to project managing, through to operational and strategic roles. Janice has a first degree in Business Administration and a MA in Professional Practice. Janice brings to Foothold Cymru experience in line management, designing and delivering large grant-funded projects, bid writing, managing people, and health and safety.
Fred St. John Roberts
Chair of the Board
Fred St. John Roberts is Chair of the Board. Fred has 40 years' experience as an accountant, being the Managing Partner of a long-established accountancy practice in Carmarthenshire. He is hugely experienced in dealing with all sizes of businesses, acting as statutory auditor for charities and commercial organisations, and advising on strategy and financial compliance. Additionally, he is the Chair of Governors for a local comprehensive school. He brings to Foothold Cymru a wealth of experience in managing finance and risk, and a broad understanding of charity law and compliance.
Dr. Michael Goodfellow-Smith
Mike's expertise in environmental solutions, energy, engineering, and climate change from both an academic and practical background is a valuable addition to the Foothold Cymru Board. As a lecturer at the University of Wales Trinity St David's and Director at Quest for Future Solutions, Mike is eager to contribute his knowledge of practical environmental solutions to Foothold Cymru and the community it serves. Having relocated to West Wales recently, he looks forward to supporting his new community with his experience.
Derith Powell MBE has over 35 years’ experience in working with communities on social justice issues and in tackling poverty. She has worked in the voluntary sector in Wales from grassroots level through to operational, managerial and strategic roles. Derith was Chief Executive of Community Development Cymru and before that Director of Lifelong Learning at Amman Valley Enterprise, a community anchor organisation. She holds a range of voluntary advisory and Board roles, including being a member of the UK Steering Group for Community Development National Occupational Standards.
Described as a Social Entrepreneur, humanitarian and broadcaster, James has a formidable list of achievements that have been built up from over 30 years experience in the third sector. Coming from a senior commercial background he changed career paths when his young son died from a rare form of cancer. Since then, he has set up national non-profits in both the UK and US and in 2002 was the recipient of the ‘ Leading The Way ‘ award from the CBI. He was a founding member of ACEVO. During his career James has advised Governments on a variety of innovative ‘people centred’ health and social services that he has then implemented throughout the UK. His work as advisor to the Walt Disney Company assisted in the formation of the companies Pan European community care programme at the Disneyland Paris Resort. A Lloyd’s of London insurance syndicate exists because of his dogged perseverance to ensure that the potential repatriation costs of terminally ill individuals would be adequately covered when travelling abroad, particularly to North America. On that continent he also established ‘home from home ‘facilities for all UK families visiting Florida. All of this work led him to be the subject of an ITV documentary called ‘Smoothing the Stone’ a phrase that James uses when speaking about grief. During his time in the sector, James has pretty much done it all and seen it all. He has the dubious honour as Chair of Age Concern in London of overseeing the most number of employment tribunals in any 12 month period for that charity and at the same time saved the career of a member of the cabinet! Whilst he could have had a successful career in broadcasting James has always remained true to the soul music that he loves. The founding presenter of the UK Soul Chart his own shows have been syndicated to over 33 stations in over 3 continents and yes Michael Buble did actually teach him how to drink coffee properly! Continually looking for new social challenges he has founded the charity Action For Elders, now in it’s 10th year to challenge the way we think of ageing in our society and tackle the single largest cause of human suffering. Still married to the same woman for over 42 years and counting..... he now presides over a family of 5 children and 3 grandchildren near the beaches of the Gower Coast in South Wales where he is also writing a book tentatively titled ‘ For the earth is hollow but I have touched the sky’
Peter Freeman is a Community Councillor for Burry Port and Pembrey Council. Prior to that he held a senior position with Los Angeles Metro. With a broad range of expertise covering logistics and emergency response, Foothold Cymru makes use of his skills in Personnel Management, Logistics and Health and Safety. He is also a fluent Welsh speaker and acts as our expert on Welsh language issues.
Rev Eldon Phillips
Rev. Eldon Phillips, is a well-renowned and hugely respected local figure. A former schoolteacher and education advisor, Eldon serves as a trustee in many charities and foundations, such as Linx Mental Health, Llanelli House, Angor and the Railway Goods Shed Trust. He is the chaplain to the Scarlets Rugby club and also proudly holds the position of Llanelli Town Crier. Within Foothold Cymru he chairs our Governance and Operational Performance Committee bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role.
Paolo Piana spent most of his early career in retail and business management. Since relocating to Llanelli in 2007 he has had several roles working in the Third Sector. Paolo has a wide network of links in the community and is the lead for a number of community organisations regionally and locally. He is a strong believer that everybody has the right to fulfil their own potential and is a dedicated champion of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.
Stepheni has worked for the NHS in Public Health Wales as a Community Development Researcher, helping different communities to build Social Capital, and Hywel Dda University Health Board as a Community Development Outreach Manager, addressing health inequalities, and improving services and health access for ethnic minority communities and vulnerable groups . Prior to joining the NHS, Stepheni extensively worked for different third sector organisations to promote a culture of welcome and hospitality, and to improve the provision of information and service delivery for asylum seekers and refugees in South Wales. Stepheni has a first degree in Humanities and Social studies, and an MA in Development and Human Rights. She brings to Foothold Cymru experience in Asset Based Community Development, Coproduction, community cohesion and equity of service . She believes that given the opportunity and support everyone has the capacity to live an empowered life.
Kelly had an established career in Human Resources of around 17 years, providing HR advice and support within in-house HR roles. A qualified solicitor, Kelly recently moved from her role with Red Kite Solicitors to take up a new role with the Crown Prosecution Service. Kelly is a member of the Employment Lawyer Association, and holds CIPD Chartered membership having achieved the CIPD Advanced Level 7.