Below are the biographies of the Bardsey Island Trust Trustees
Siân Stacey - 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 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 have prepared me well for the role of Chair of the Bardsey Island Trust.
Philip Owen - Treasurer
I am Welsh, from a rural community in north Wales, and have visited, and loved the Llŷn Peninsula for over 40 years. I have a long-lasting personal connection with the area; my brother in-law continues to farm in Boduan.
Following my graduation from university, I trained as a chartered accountant and worked in the profession for 12 years. I subsequently joined the European Commission and have worked in several policy areas. For the latter part of my European career, I have managed teams involved in environmental and climate policy matters such as road transport and fuels, air quality, fluorinated gases as well as project funding issues.
I want to share my financial and environmental and climate knowledge with the Trust and help it move forward to build a green plan for Enlli. I recognise the social, environmental and economic hurdles that will arise, and I am motivated to help the Trust overcome them.
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!). Robert and his family love the mix of escaping the madness of everyday life with the wonders of the 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 in the Diocese of Bangor as Vicar of Bro Seiriol (Beaumaris, Anglesey). He is currently the Vice Chair of the trustees and Chair of the Spirituality Committee.
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.
Rod Gritten - Chair of Scientific Committee
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.
I believe that I have a varied and valuable background and a set of skills that are useful to support the trust. I have an NVQ3 in plastering and worked with a builder for 5 years to gain experience in the industry. I spent 3 years travelling and living in New Zealand and the experience I gained in the agricultural sector there is useful, with skills like problem solving and being able to work efficiently an advantage. As well as this I have spent about 15 years in and out of the local farming industry which brings a different outlook.
Finally, I have a personal interest in seeing the Island succeed, having worked for the island's boat service.
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. She now lives in Conwy and works as a ‘Pioneer Priest’ in the Church in Wales, beginning new initiatives.
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, ending up on the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network Board and a Trustee of Sefton Park Palm House, among other things.
She says, “Like many others, I feel a sense of ‘homecoming’ on Enlli whether there’s been a lifetime of association, or like me – an immediate connection made at a great time of change in my personal life. Despite all the challenges that times like this brings, it’s a great honour and life-giving experience to be working alongside all those with a passion for the island’s heritage, life and development.”
Eryl loves music, hill-walking and hospitality. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Jacquie Jones - Vice-Chair
My home is on Llŷn, where my family have lived for over a century. Like many around me, I feel a special affinity, respect, and fascination with Enlli. Having visited the island several times, I believe strongly that it is important to protect and sympathetically develop the island’s natural beauty and its spiritual, artistic, cultural, and economic life.
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. I currently manage the fundraising across Wales for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
My current role is to think strategically to ensure that we raise sustainable income. I manage an extensive fundraising group network (20 groups with around 300 volunteers) and am responsible for initiating campaigns, recruiting, training, and mentoring. I also monitor and respond to financial performance and ensure that we follow correct governance. We work as an effective team and have fun. As well as managing the groups, I develop and maintain good working relationships with other existing and new supporters, local organisations, businesses, community groups, and schools.
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.
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, 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 as a Trustee is a way to do this, in addition to regular stints as a volunteer. 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.
Helen Wilcox - Chair of Spirituality Committee
I am professor emerita 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 the medieval church of St Peris, tucked beneath the slopes of Snowdon in our tiny village of Nant Peris. As well as being a lover of all kinds of literature, I'm very interested in history and the visual arts, and hope to contribute to the Trust's cultural role. Allan and I also both love making music: Allan is a jazz bass player, while I'm a pianist and cellist. Once I got the members of my string quartet onto the island to play Welsh folk song arrangements in that most inspiring setting - unforgettable!
I was born and raised in the local area, with a big interest in Bardsey Island. It is a privilege to support the trust.
I work as a Regional Operational Excellence Business Partner for a UK wide organisation in the tourist industry. I have worked for the company for over 13 years in managerial positions. My role involves supporting 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 workshop training days.
I am from Llanuwchllyn, born into a farming community and originally trained as a mechanical engineer. I joined Gwynedd Council’s Highways Dept. in 1975. In 2002 I was appointed as Head of Human Resources with responsibilities for all the Council’s staffing matters. In the past I have presented numerous TV programmes including the first live broadcasts from The Royal Welsh Show. I am a JP, a governor at Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn, a board member of Theatr Bara Caws, Cwmni Pum Plwyf Penllyn and a member of Llanuwchllyn Community Council.
Since my retirement in 2018 I have been able to visit Ynys Enlli on several occasions and fallen in love with the island. I am aware of the significant challenges associated with running, maintaining and developing the island.
I was born in Garnfadryn where I grew up on a small farm. Following a period in the Merchant Navy as Deck Officer I became deputy head of the Urdd Camp at Glan Llyn and then Llyn Tegid Warden for Snowdonia National Park before moving on to various posts all involving management.
I am a member of Gwynedd Council and Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and family support. I am also trustee of Bala Children’s Centre and Governor of Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn. I am chair of the third sector liaison Group in Gwynedd. My interests are sailing, walking cycling and travelogues. Enlli has been very important to me for many years and recently have been accompanied by my 9 year old grandson who has a great interest in wildlife. It is a huge privilege for me to contribute to ensuring a sustainable prosperous and secure future for the community in Enlli.
I grew up in mid Wales close to the sea, looking out towards Enlli. After graduating from the University of East Anglia with a degree in Ecology, I returned to Wales with a short stint volunteering on Skomer island. Thus began my love affair with the Welsh islands. I lived and worked on Skomer as Assistant Warden in 2017, 2018 and 2019, so I'm very familiar with the challenges and rewards of living on and caring for these important islands, especially on limited funds!
I moved off Skomer in order to return to mid Wales, still working for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, now as mid Wales red squirrel officer. I'm keen to remain involved in the Welsh islands and looking forward to getting to know Enlli as well as I know Skomer.
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