Below are the biographies of the Bardsey Island Trust Trustees
Rod Gritten - Chair
I'm Chairman of EcoBro Meirion-Dwyfor, our local Sustainability group and on the Council of Forest School Camps (FSC), an educational charity which camps some 2,500 children each year. I also run children's camps every year for FSC. I was on the Environment Agency's Fishery, Ecology and Recreation Advisory Committee for Wales and the RSPB Advisory Committee for Wales. I've also had a brief stint as a Trustee of the Snowdonia Society and was a Director of COFNOD, the Local Biodiversity Information service for North Wales.
My family have been visiting Enlli for several decades now but it was only in the last 10 years that I have had the opportunity to discover the Island. Returning from living abroad it was my first family holiday with my children here, and we are all now great enthusiasts of this special place. I have become, not a bird watcher, but an Island watcher. Family holidays, volunteering weeks, and meetings on the Island have all come together to lend me a great love of this place and the people I have met here.
As a regular visitor I'm always interested in improving the standard of accommodation and have seen several Wardens over the years work their annual magic in maintaining these beautiful houses. There is always much to do, but we have also progressed greatly in the last few years.
Having been involved in the Trust for many years now I'm aware that change and challenge are constant, but often bring great rewards. The council is a great, dynamic team of many voices and I'm delighted to still be a part of it.
Susannah Robinson - Treasurer
I have lived and worked locally for over 30 years. For many years I worked with an accounts related, Pwllheli based, software company, spending much of my time working with accounts of one sort or another and enjoying the logic of them. For the last 20 years I have been heavily involved, on a voluntary basis, with the Gwynedd a Môn group of the MS Society. What spare time I have is spent walking, cycling, gardening and reading.
My family have lived on the Llŷn Peninsula for over a century and we decided to come and live in my great grandmother’s home with my young family in 2008. I wanted my children to grow up appreciating the natural environment and to understand the unique culture of this special place.
My background is in the tourist industry which I worked in for just over 16 years holding several senior positions. After a career break to bring up my family, I returned to work locally but this time in the Charity sector, working at the Felin Uchaf, for a youth sporting event and I currently work for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
My current role is to think strategically to ensure that we raise sustainable income for Guide Dogs in North and Mid Wales. I manage an extensive branch network (12 formal branches with organisers, secretaries and treasurers) and am responsible for monitoring and ensuring their productivity, financial performance and that they follow correct governance. We work as an effective team. I also develop and maintain good working relationships with speakers, existing and new supporters, local organisations, businesses, community groups, schools and third-party fundraisers.
In my spare time I continue to enjoy travel, am very interested in the visual arts, dance and reading. I am Secretary for the Nefyn group of churches and help with the youth section at Pwllheli sailing club. I am happiest sharing a meal with family and friends.
Born in Llangwnnadl, Llŷn and Head of Ysgol Cymerau, Pwllheli 20 for years before retiring.
Member of Pwllheli Town Council and has been the mayor of the town on two occasions. Elfed was the coordinator of the Dwyfor, Arfon and Meirionnydd Green Schools.
Has an interest in the cultural life of the area and events such as Ewrosgol, Cynan Festival, Pwllheli 650 and Botwnnog 400.
Author of local history books 'Ar Hyd Ben Rallt' and Llŷn (translated).
On the request of Llŷn AONB, led projects on the Llŷn Coastal Names, and Llŷn Fields and the Medicinal and Holy Wells of the area along Pen Llŷn during both World Wars
Present talks on several topics to local societies.
Gathered evidence for Bardsey Island Trust and Llŷn Landscape Partnership for the new Bardsey Island website. As a result, he was asked to take children from Llŷn Primary Schools on day trips to Bardsey Island. Also for the 'Our Heritage' website, located around the Nefyn Maritime Museum, Porth y Swnt, Bardsey Island, Plas yn Rhiw, Plas Glyn y Weddw and Plas Heli.
Member Bardsey Island Council and the Welsh Wells Society Committee.
Member of Plas Carmel Project committees with particular interest in the cultural / local history aspects.
I believe that I have a varied and valuable background and a set of skills that would be useful to support the trust. Firstly, I have an NVQ3 in plastering and worked with a builder for 5 years to gain experience in the industry. I believe that would be an advantage to the trust.
I have also spent 3 years travelling and living in New Zealand. I believe the experience I have gained in the agricultural sector there would be useful, with skills like problem solving and being able to work efficiently would be an advantage. As well as this I have spent about 15 years in and out of the local farming industry I believe this would bring a different outlook and a different solution to any problems that may occur .
Finally, I have a personal interest in seeing the Island succeed, as my employment is with the Bardsey boat service, because of this I am driven to see the island succeed and prosper in the years to come. These are amongst the main reason as to why I believe I would be a valuable addition to the trust council.
I have been going to Bardsey since I was in school and have seen people come and go over the years. I want to see a prosperous future for Bardsey and it's traditional community where the Welsh language and local indigenous place are alive and well. We need to include local people and those across Wales to ensure a flourishing future for the island.
Eryl describes herself as a Welsh Scouser, having grown up in a Welsh speaking family in Liverpool – and has a great command of Wenglish! As well as dual nationality, she very much straddles the two worlds of being a regular chaplain on Enlli and someone with a commercial background in the tourism industry.
Following a career in retail management with John Lewis, Eryl Parry set up and ran a large conference centre and ran the commercial activities for both Liverpool’s cathedrals.
In May 2016, just ahead of a family move to Conwy, she was given the honour of a personal award at the Liverpool City Region’s annual Tourism Awards for an ‘Outstanding Contribution to Tourism’. She has also been a Director of Visit Hope Street CIC, member of the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network Board and a Trustee of Sefton Park Palm House. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a licensed Lay Reader in the Church in Wales.
Siân Stacey - Vice-chair
Having been an annual visitor on Enlli since I was 8 years old, followed by regular volunteering weeks and months with the Observatory and the farm, I became the Warden/Island Manager for the Bardsey island Trust from November 2015 until December 2018. During this time, I developed a deep understanding of the everyday workings of the island and the Trust and implemented a number of improvements to a range of processes.
Before working with the Trust, I was the Development Manager with the Community Foundation in Wales. This organisation managed philanthropic giving across the country (primarily with major donors). I developed and managed existing clients including private donors, businesses, professional advisors and charitable trusts and foundations. This role has given me a wealth of knowledge into donors’ motivations, the third sector and the application process for charities.
I now work for Menter a Busnes in their Cywain project. I work directly with food and drink producers across Wales to promote their business in a number of ways such as at trade shows, consumer events and other food and drink festivals.
I have experience in marketing, website development, client management, grant applications, fundraising and strategic planning. I believe my experience as an Enlli resident, former Trust employee and my previous and current professional experience make me a strong candidate as a Trustee of the Bardsey Island Trust.
Robert Townsend - Chair of Spirituality Committee
Sunday, 31 August 2008, was a very important day in the life of Robert Townsend. Not only did ‘life begin’ on that day, but more importantly, it was the first time that his family and he set foot on Enlli!
Since then they have been back almost every year for their holidays (encouraging others to come as well!), because they love the mix of escaping the madness of everyday life with the wonders of birds, flowers, seascapes and sunsets.
Originally from Lincolnshire, Robert came to University in Bangor in 1986 and stayed! He is a fluent Welsh speaker. Robert is a priest who works for the Diocese of Bangor as Director of Communications and Area Dean of the Bangor Synod. With a background of working with church schools, Robert was appointed to the Education Workforce Council by the Welsh Government’s Education Secretary in 2016.
My first experience of Enlli was a rushed 2 hr visit to look at Tŷ Pellaf with view to making it my home. Tim and I lived on the island from 1994 – 1998, looking after the sheep flock and playing an active role in the island community, getting married and starting a family during that time. Working as a volunteer in recent years, together with my daughters, has revived my contact with the island, and now my children are almost grown up I have more time to pursue my interest in it.
In addition to raising a family and building a viable farm business on the Llŷn Peninsula, for the last 10 years I have worked as Administrator, Company Secretary and Treasurer to several sizeable membership associations and charities. With a combined membership of over 1000 individuals, I have extensive experience of how to run and manage non-profit making organisations.
I was very young when I lived on Enlli and it was a formative time of my life. I gained so much from it and it made me who I am. Now I want to give something back and I feel that serving on the Council is a way to do this, in addition to regular stints as a voluntary. I am passionate that Enlli should continue to have a living, viable, albeit small, community – it is one of the things that make Enlli so special. Looking at the island in a holistic way and being respectful of all the threads of interest that make up the whole, is, I hope, a positive view which can benefit and assist the Bardsey Island Trust in its work.
I am professor of English Literature at Bangor University, with a life-long interest in devotional writing, particularly the work of poets such as George Herbert and R.S.Thomas. With my husband Allan, I have been visiting Enlli since we moved to North Wales in 2006, and Allan has been an island chaplain each year since 2011. We are particularly committed to the spirituality and pilgrimage history of the island; we are also enjoying discovering the wonders of its landscape, flora and bird life.
Back at home, I am the churchwarden of St Peris's church in Nant Peris at the foot of Snowdon. I have been a member of the Trust's spirituality committee since 2016, and I hope to be able to represent the committee on the Trust Council, to encourage inspiring ways of maintaining and enhancing the spiritual life and heritage of the island.
I was born and raised in the local area, with a big interest in Bardsey Island. It would be of great privilege to be given the opportunity to support the trust in Bardsey’s future.
I currently work as a Regional Operational Excellence Business Partner for an UK wide holiday organisation in the tourist industry. I have worked for the company for over 13 years in managerial positions and moving into my new role over two years ago. My role involves supporting department of the organisation through a business change by thinking strategically. The business change is in efficiency, individual managers key skills, financial performance through cost and wages control, and building a sustainable productivity in the future of the department. I have experience in site visits and inspections. I also support training, through one to one or holding a workshop training day.