Our trustees and supporters
Peter Knapp - Chairman of Emmaus South Wales
Peter (centre) was educated at Dulwich College London and on leaving joined Midland Bank and held various appointments in the International Division in Newcastle upon Tyne, Sheffield, Liverpool before taking up a role as Midland Group Representative in Cairo. There followed two more appointments in East Anglia and Cardiff, subsequent to which he was seconded to the Welsh Development Agency Inward Investment team. He then was self employed in Export Training for some seventeen years.
His first wife and mother of his three children, Gillian, died in 1991 and he was subsequently fortunate to remarry in 1996 to Jo who also has three children and they now have eight grandchildren.
He has been an active member of Cowbridge Amateur Dramatic Society for 30 years and was Chairman for ten years. He is a Town Councillor and was Mayor for the year 2014/15. He is also Chairman of the Friends of the Cowbridge Music Festival. Having served Emmaus South Wales as Vice-Chairman, Peter was elected as Chairman in November 2016.
Tom Clarke - Chief Executive of Emmaus South Wales
Tom brings to Emmaus a broad experience from the past twenty years as a civil engineer; a Royal Engineers Officer in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and South Georgia; a Prison Governor in Cardiff Prison; a Military English Specialist in the United Nations Training Centre in Finland; a Strategic Workforce Planner for the Environment Agency; and as Chief Executive of the Gwent Wildlife Trust. Significant achievements include: the delivery of key business strategies at Cardiff Prison involving diversity and inmate treatment which were significant factors in taking the prison form 75th to 1st in the national Prisons League table; playing a key role in taking the Gwent Wildlife Trust from financial deficit to surplus in 3 years by empowering staff and diversifying income streams; improving the profile of the Trust at local and national level; working with his team to raise £130,000 in a three week campaign to purchase land, saving an important habitat.
He joined Emmaus South Wales as Director on 1st September 2014. He has a passion for Emmaus' aims and ethos, and has used his leadership and management abilities to work with trustees, managers, staff, volunteers and Companions in order to establish and run the first Emmaus Community in Wales, which opened January 2016. He was made Chief Executive in October 2016.
Kate Lowry - Secretary and trustee of Emmaus South Wales
Kate is a qualified paintings conservator, and recently retired after nearly 40 years conserving paintings in the collections of three major UK museums, including managing a team of conservators at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. She convened the first meeting of the Emmaus South Wales Steering Group in 2006 when Emmaus UK first asked their regular supporters to consider establishing a Community in their area. She serves as a deacon with her local Baptist church, and became interested in assisting homeless people after helping to serve at a weekly drop-in lunch. Many of the visitors sleep rough because the hostel accommodation is poorly supervised and leaves them feeling even more vulnerable. The Emmaus model of providing accommodation and work, struck her as a much better way to help people get back on their feet.
Kate is currently secretary of the group, ensuring the minutes are kept up to date and communicating progress to our supporters via email. She is also a member of the Fundraising group, helping to put on events to inspire new supporters to join the group as well as raising much needed funds. She is also available to come and speak to special interest groups about the work of Emmaus, and our Community in South Wales.
John Noble - Trustee (and mentor) of Emmaus South Wales
After reading economics at LSE, John became a Chartered Accountant, later studying at the Harvard Business School. His career included advising and running companies around the world, subsidiaries of the Lucas and Fairey Groups and Oakland Venture Capital. Latterly he advised Governments in Africa and Eastern Europe (Zambia, Ghana, Swaziland and Latvia) on restructuring, privatisation and regulation of public enterprises.
John became a trustee of Emmaus Gloucestershire in May 2002 and was the Chair until 2009 when he temporarily became Chair of Emmaus Preston. He was elected to the Board of Emmaus UK on 1st December 2006 and was Chair in 2011 and 2012. He became a Trustee and, in 2011, Chair of Emmaus South Wales. He finds his work in Emmaus amongst the most rewarding things he has ever done and numbers many Companions amongst his friends. As Chair he has been fully committed to establishing the first Emmaus Community in Wales. He stepped down in November 2016, but continues to serve as a Trustee in a mentoring capacity to Emmaus South Wales, where his experience is greatly valued. He has recently been awarded 'Trustee of the Year 2016' in Bridgend in recognition of his work to establish Wales' first Emmaus Community in Bridgend.
Mari Major MBE - Trustee of Emmaus South Wales
Mari was born in Maesteg, went to private school in Bridgend, and then went on to the Royal College of Music and Drama in Cardiff to study Drama. She then worked in Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Penybont and Ysgol y Ferch o’r Sger, Corneli, before going on to work as an Events Assistant/Officer for Ogwr Borough Council and subsequently Bridgend County Borough Council. She was then employed as Manager of Maesteg Town Hall 1994-1997, and then Manager of the Berwyn Centre Nant-y-Moel 1997-2003.
Over the years, she has been actively involved in the organisation and government of several public and charitable bodies - President of the Llynfi Valley Council of Churches, Honorary Organiser and Co-ordinator of the Ewenny Arts Festival, Executive member of the Vale of Glamorgan Older People’s Forum, Governor at Heronsbridge Special School in Bridgend, Member of GLAZE Prostate Wales Charity, Executive Member of Music in the Vale, among others. In 2004, Mari was awarded the Gold Citizenship Award for Charity and Voluntary work by Bridgend County Borough Council, and then the Platinum award in 2007. In 2006/07 she also achieved a Postgraduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship in Enterprising Economy and Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Glamorgan.
Since 2002, she has been secretary and co-ordinator to the Bridgend County Civic Charity Appeals Standing Committee, and has helped raise £360,000 for local charities within the County Borough of Bridgend. In 2013 she was awarded the MBE for this work.
Mari’s local knowledge and contacts, as well as her tireless energy and commitment, makes her an invaluable asset in the effort to establish the first Welsh Emmaus community in Bridgend. Her motto is “If I can help somebody as I pass along then my living shall not be in vain”.
Jean Fenner - Trustee of Emmaus South Wales
Initially educated in Wales, Jean moved to England following her marriage, where she gained a Diploma in Marketing at the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Most of her career was in the fast-moving world of hi-tech providing Marketing Services Management, with full budgetary responsibility, management of staff and the achievement of corporate objectives, which took her to the USA, Europe and Asia.
After her retirement in 2000, Jean opted to join the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (and Agency of DEFRA). She was there for the next 11 years, during which time as Executive Assistant to the CEO, she organised, with budgetary control, three events (in Windsor, Edinburgh Castle and Surrey) for the human and veterinary medicines, as part of the UK’s 6th month Presidency of the EU, working closely with Government Ministers and DEFRA Officials.
Jean has now retired again and re-located to Wales – keen to contribute to the local area. She has been a trustee for Emmaus South Wales for a number of years carrying out all aspects of marketing for the charity. Jean is a valued trustee and brings forward her extensive expertise and experience in marketing to support our newly appointed Marketing Co-ordinator, Georgia.
Mark Roberts - Trustee of Emmaus South Wales
Mark was born in Bridgend and went to school at Ynysawdre.
He is currently a Mentor with Business Wales and was previously a Regional Director with the Co-operative Group.
He joined the Co-operative Group as a Management trainee. His development included completing a correspondence course with the Co-operative College.
Mark's career with Co-operative Food progressed in various Roles such as Store, Area and Regional Manager culminating most recently in the Role of Regional Stores Director for the Co-operative Food Stores in the South West and Wales. He was responsible for over 575 Stores and 13,500 colleagues with a turnover of 1.2b, while looking after 3m customers a week, finally leaving the Group after 38 years in January 2015.
He worked closely with Members and the communities in which the stores traded, promoting and supporting regional products and suppliers. Also working with the Association of Convenience stores, as well as being a Trustee Governor at the Co-operative Trust school in Ashton Park in Bristol.
The values and principles of the organisation aligned to Solidarity were a key motivator in Mark seeking to join Emmaus and help grow the Emmaus Community across South Wales.
Mark is married to Sharon with two daughters Rhian and Claire. He enjoys Sport and has a passion for Music and reading, in particular about what makes a great leader.
Julie Raikes - Trustee of Emmaus South Wales
Julie is a Chartered Management Accountant with over 30 years experience in Business Finance. She has had a successful career working at the highest level as a Finance Director in a number of different sectors and in 2008 set up her own Company, supporting SME Businesses in managing their finance and growth.
Julie has been a Business in Focus start up adviser, a mentor for Women4Resources and subsequently set up a second business focused on helping people start their own home based, flexible business within the Health & Wellness Industry. Julie is passionate about inspiring and supporting people to become their very best self, believing that everyone has the ability within them to be incredible.
Julie was "truly inspired when discovering Emmaus because of their dedication and supportive environment to help people change their lives for good". The Emmaus goals are so aligned with her own, that becoming a trustee in October this year, was something she was excited to undertake. Julie is looking forward to helping Emmaus grow and develop.
Originally from Yorkshire, Julie has settled in Wales. She has one son, Gareth, married to Charlotte and four amazing and fun grandchildren. Julie is now married to Neil with whom she enjoys walking, cycling and travelling.
Paula Tanner - Trustee of Emmaus South Wales
Paula was a practising Family Law Solicitor in Swansea for more than 10 years and now runs her own Divorce & Separation Consultancy covering the South Wales area and beyond.
Paula first became involved with the Emmaus movement when she became an advisor to the People Committee of Emmaus South Wales in late 2013. She was immediately struck by the good work Emmaus did, providing meaningful work to formerly homeless people, helping them get back on their feet and giving them the confidence to achieve their goals.
Paula then moved to Bristol to work for a legal publisher where she continued her involvement with Emmaus, becoming a trustee of Emmaus Bristol in early 2015. When Paula returned to Swansea, she was keen to continue to renew her involvement with Emmaus South Wales, becoming a trustee in October 2017.
In addition to the trustees, there are supporters of Emmaus South Wales, some of whom are listed below:
Ian Palmer - Supporter and former trustee of Emmaus South Wales
Ian spent the bulk of his career as a practising architect before moving to project management for the latter few years. Working in both the private and public fields, his experience covered projects in many sectors including Healthcare, Leisure & Entertainment, Law & Order, Car Parking, Industry and Housing. He also became involved in Health & Safety in construction when Planning Supervision was introduced in 1995. With a major involvement in Healthcare over many years, Ian moved to Project Management in 2001, where he was principally responsible for the delivery of Healthcare projects for Health Trusts in the South Wales area and the development of Healthcare business cases.
He enjoys an active retirement and maintains his interest in building through his association with Emmaus South Wales and their pursuit of sustainable solutions to the problems of homelessness. He made a major contribution in bringing the Nant Lais Project to the stage by obtaining tenders from builders as Chair of the Building and Community Development Committee.
Gill Tuck - Former trustee of Emmaus South Wales and Fundraising and Marketing Committee member
Gill became interested in the problems facing people who are homeless when she worked as a volunteer at a day centre and emergency bed unit some years ago, and she has taken an interest in the work of Emmaus ever since its early days in the UK. As her choice of careers shows, she has a passion for people’s well-being. After starting her working life as a Civil Servant, she trained as a nurse, spending many years as a local community midwife before beginning her training as an ordained minister in the Church in Wales. As well as parish work, she has spent some time working as a member of a college chaplaincy team, and has also shared in the running of a small business. Since her retirement, she has continued being involved with people, helping to set up a local community project and leading a team who visit housebound people.
Gill is a founder member of the Emmaus South Wales Steering Group, and her wealth of experience contributes significantly to the work of the Group. She is a member of the Fundraising and Marketing Committee.
Ruth O'Neill - Emmaus South Wales Fundraising and Marketing Committee member
Ruth O’Neill works as a teacher of English as a second language at the Parade College in Cardiff. She comes into contact with refugees and asylum seekers and is aware of the problems they often face finding a home, especially after they are granted “leave to remain". Previously, she was a counsellor for Crossroads in the Vale, where she had experience of running groups and organising events, as well as offering one-to-one counselling.
Ruth joined the Emmaus Group at the first meeting held to help found an Emmaus Community in South Wales. At present, she is involved in fundraising and publicity.
Ann Lewis - Emmaus South Wales Fundraising and Marketing Committee member
Since retiring from a career in social work, Ann has remained active in the Bridgend community. She is secretary of the Bridgend Coalition Against Racism and an active member of the Bridgend Fairtrade Group. Ann is Quaker chaplain at Parc Prison and together with husband, Pete Thompson, she represents Bridgend Quakers on the local Churches Together forum.
Ann draws on her local knowledge and contacts in helping Emmaus South Wales to become established in the Bridgend area.
Pete Thompson - Emmaus South Wales Fundraising and Marketing Committee Chairman
Pete has been involved with Emmaus South Wales for four years, since they started meeting at the Quaker meeting house in Bridgend, where he is bookings clerk and treasurer. He worked for 20 years in Local Government, 15 of those as a Systems Analyst designing and implementing computer applications for several London boroughs. In 1980, Pete moved to Yorkshire where he managed a bookshop for a year and then trained as a nurse, working with people with learning difficulties. After qualifying, he managed a 30 bed hostel for people with learning difficulties in Bradford. He obtained a degree in Social Welfare Administration and then qualified as a social worker. Pete moved to Bridgend in 1993, working in the local community as a social worker with people with learning difficulties.
Since retiring in 2003, Pete has worked as a volunteer for various charities, including Emmaus South Wales.
Amelia Cavaghan – Emmaus South Wales supporter and former Treasurer
Amelia, our former Treasurer stood down in July, 2017 after bringing a wealth of experience to the role, having been a chartered accountant, a lecturer and with considerable business experience. She currently volunteers with Foodbank and is also a trustee with HALO Trust, a charity with a Bridgend base which encourages sport participation. Amelia continues to support Emmaus South Wales utilising her knowledge.
Other supporters include:
Anne Verries-Wade and Laura McGreevy