Who we are
Swansea MAD is a grassroots, anti-poverty, anti-racist, pro-equality, inclusive youth and community charity intolerant of discrimination and injustice. Driven by the advancement of social justice and equity, we work with young people and communities who are marginalised by systemic oppression to dismantle structures which support discrimination.
Swansea MAD is a value-driven charity located in an area of high deprivation. Activities at Swansea MAD take place for the prevention of poverty, advancement of social justice and equity; addressing barriers which communities tell us they face. We seek to sustain and grow the organisation’s impact, by continuing to develop inclusive safe spaces for people to access advocacy, creative arts, education, digital access, employability support, training, campaigning activities and projects to bring fairness and belonging and to influence change for the better.
Swansea MAD was originally started up in 2009 by a group of local artists and musicians in Swansea with a music studio, with an aim of helping young bands to access free studio space and instruments, record demos and have an avenue into the music business.
Music is an essential part of the human experience. Without it, life just isn’t as colourful and exciting. In an industry where enormous advertising budgets, state-of-the-art facilities and high-tech machines can churn out as much product as they want (all of which young people in Swansea did not have access to) why did we choose to not conform? We thought that this was unfair!
Over time the music industry has changed; technology has become more important and having an online presence is now essential. The skills needed to be involved in the industry have changed and MAD has changed. What has stayed the same is that not all young people have access to industries that they could flourish in. We want fairness for young people and for things to change!
For MAD, people come first; meaning we prioritise people. We have created a community of passionate artists, musicians, youth and community workers, digital specialists and good people to help people thrive!
Meet the team
Charlotte Davies [she/her]
Chief Executive Officer
Ever since I was a child, social justice and fighting for equality has been my driving mission. My early experiences of marching for the miners in Wales as a child has helped shape me as a person and my commitment to fighting for human rights. I have lived and worked in Swansea, South Wales for most of my life and am passionate about both the city and the people.
Please get in touch if you would like a chat!
David Berry [he/him]
I joined Swansea MAD so that I could make use of the broad range of technologies I’ve learnt over the years and to support those who do not currently use technology and develop those already on their journey.
Fikayo Ilori [she/her]
Policy and Quality Assurance Manager
very passionate about social justice and development. This is evident
through my early participation in a number of Model United Nations
projects for young people, to discuss and proffer solutions to the issues
affecting women and children globally. From the age of 14, I participated
in a nation-wide protest against the law endorsing child marriage in
My passion to fight against social injustice, inequality and oppression is
not new and has been sustained through my experience as a lawyer of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and recently a master’s degree holder in
Public Policy from Swansea University. I am very excited to work in an
environment like Swansea MAD, that provides the opportunity to develop
necessary skills and to be part of conversations that affect positive
changes in the lives of people.
Geraint Turner [he/him]
Finance and Operations
From this, my passion for community engagement and participation developed
which led me onto a variety of roles and responsibilities and 14 years’ experience in Youth and Community Work. I joined Swansea MAD so that I could use my skills working with the community in new and innovative approaches, utilising digital technology to improve opportunities and reduce barriers.
I am a Trustee of the Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services (CWVYS) and Treasurer of Melin Community Centre (MCT) as well as a Lead Assessor for the Education Workforce Council (EWC) Youth Work Quality Mark. I was Young Worker of the Year 2017 (YMCA England and Wales) and am an active member of Digital Alliance Wales, Digital Leaders, the Digital Youth Work Advisory Group and a Digital Leaders Week Facilitator.
Jack Hoskins [he/him]
Finance and Projects Support Officer
Phoebe Lacey-Freeman [she/her]
Social Media and Campaigns Officer
Rachel Benson [she/her]
Fundraising and Sustainability
I originally studied English Literature at university and am passionate about arts being accessible and inclusive for everyone. During my career, I have been lucky to work in partnership with artists, supporting young people to create theatre and film to develop confidence, share their stories and aspirations and advocate for change.
Sam Hobby [he/him]
Communications and Project Support Officer
I graduated from Swansea University in 2021 with a BA in media and communication and am passionate about representation in the media. Film and television are my main areas of interest with my dissertation being centred around the depictions of physically disabled people in Hollywood cinema. It is a subject I feel very close to being disabled myself. I have played wheelchair basketball for a number of years and help to manage the club’s social media channels. The reason I wanted to join Swansea MAD was to be involved in something worthwhile to the city of Swansea, while also developing skills within myself. I have lived in Swansea for all of my relatively short life, so it is a privilege to be working with people who have Swansea’s artistic interests at heart.
Stuart Sumner-Smith [he/him]
Andrew Griffiths [he/him]
Anna Arrieta [she/her]
I have coordinated projects in the areas of creative arts, well-being, financial capability, democracy, and equal rights. I also have experience developing resources for young people, as well as developing and facilitating training sessions for youth facing professionals in the sector.
Since leaving school, I have been lucky enough to work in the third sector building on my skills and experience, I am also a Trustee for National Theatre Wales. In my spare time I make music, and review local food spots on my @flavahoodwatch Instagram page.
Candice Lloyd [she/her]
I am a proud mother of five from the Vale of Glamorgan. My career started in early years education where my team won the Pearson Award for Education. I have since worked across local Government, education and the 3rd Sector to become a highly experienced and solution focused trainer, advocate and programme author. I currently work as Service Manager for NYAS Cymru.
I’m a passionate advocate for peoples rights and working with and experimenting with creative methodologies that inspire real change. My focus over the last few years and during lockdown has been working to create systems and spaces to support young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Chisomo Phiri [she/her]
I was previously Student Union President at Swansea University Students’ Union and Women’s Officer at NUS Wales where I ran a successful campaign to end period poverty in Wales. This led to me winning Chwarae Teg’s People’s Choice Womenspire award in 2019.
I have also been a Trustee of the British Youth Council and am currently a Trustee at the Bevan Foundation. I have a wealth of experience in governance, equality, PR and communications which I look forward to bringing to the Swansea MAD Board.
Kirstie Edwards [she/her]
I currently work for the YMCA as Wellbeing Manager, where I support our wellbeing team and run our Y-Girls mentoring project.
I’m so excited to be part of Swansea MAD’s trustee board, as I truly believe in the work they are doing and am proud to mirror and support the organisation’s values
Leigh Rowland [he/him]
Leon Berry [he/him]
Chair of Trustees
Mymuna Soleman [she/her]
During the Covid-19 lockdown, I set up The Privilege Café as I was frustrated with the lack of diversity and couldn’t express myself as a woman of colour in spaces filled with privilege. I’ve facilitated weekly sessions on Zoom covering various themes including mental health, ‘unconscious’ bias and privilege in the recruitment process. The level of engagement has been incredible and the speaker’s insight knowledge and expertise have brought nothing but positivity to all those who have attended the sessions.
The Café is an open to all, it’s a safe space for all to engage, learn and to use their privilege for good: https://www.patreon.com/PrivilegeCafe
Rachel Newton-John [she/her]
Stevie Thomas [she/her]