Swansea MAD – Make A Difference
Swansea MAD works for a fair world, in which people can be themselves and thrive!
Who we are
Swansea MAD is a grassroots, anti-poverty, anti-racist, pro-equality, pro-environmental, inclusive youth and community charity intolerant of discrimination and injustice. Driven by the advancement of social justice and equity, we work in coalition with young people and communities who are marginalised by systemic oppression to dismantle structures which support discrimination.
Activities at Swansea MAD take place for the prevention of poverty, advancement of social justice and equity; addressing barriers which young people and communities tell us they face. We seek to better people’s lives, 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 have been supporting young people and communities in Swansea and across Wales, since 2009.
Over time what has stayed the same is that not all young people and communities have access to opportunities that they can flourish in. We want fairness for young people and communities and for things to change!
We have continued to respond to the needs of young people and communities in Swansea and across Wales, becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in August 2020.
Working with integrity, transparency, authenticity and compassion, for Swansea MAD the voice of under-represented people will always come first.
Our values are about fighting for equality and justice, providing opportunities and holding ourselves and people in power accountable to young people and empowered communities; ensuring that they are treated with respect and dignity and not tokenised or exploited.
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!
Beth Turner [she/her]
I originally studied Hairdressing in college and qualified with a Level 3 before moving to Childcare Learning and Development Level 3. Through working in schools, I have been fortunate enough to undertake an array of training opportunities including; Safeguarding, Paediatric First Aid, Health and Safety, Autism Awareness and Essential Skills.
I have joined Swansea MAD as Office Manager because I truly believe in the importance of safe spaces where people can learn new skills, be encouraged to develop their passions and get the support they want, which Swansea MAD value and demonstrate everyday.
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]
Quality Assurance Manager
I have over ten years of experience working with young people and I am very passionate about social justice and development. This is evident through my early participation in a number of Model United Nation 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 Northern Nigeria.
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
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 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.
Michalina Radecka [she/her]
Digital Content Creator
Outside working hours I’ve been a Personal Trainer, passionate about graphic design and social media marketing. I’ve been using my science background and exceptional communication skills to actively promote health and wellbeing across various social media platforms.
As I have explored different career opportunities I was no longer looking for a job, I was looking to serve people with purpose, help them take care of and believe in themselves and pursue their passions with confidence. I believe that there are no limits to how much we can learn hence I am always seeking new opportunities to nurture and evolve my creative flair. This is the reason why I have joined Swansea MAD: it is very much aligned with my mission of providing equal opportunities to everyone.
I am delighted to add my expertise and passion for social media to such a progressive team and see myself grow and develop with Swansea MAD.
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]
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]
I have over 10 years experience of using digital technology and strategic digital development supporting the local community in Swansea to grow and flourish. I love being part of the team at Swansea MAD that works in a co-creative and solutions-focused approach; developing digital equity and transforming organisational process and performance through creativity and digital technology.
Weixin Liu [she/her]
Due to my admiration for my parents’ work, I have always aspired to become a community worker from a young age. After accumulating various work experiences, ranging from international business companies to local charitable organisations, I deeply understand the importance of dedication. After obtaining my teaching qualification, I have come to appreciate the significance of the community even more. I joined the BBC Autism Project with the Chinese in Wales Association. Simultaneously, I dedicated my time as a volunteer at the 9to90 Creative Community Art Group. These experiences have deepened my passion for community engagement and collaboration. By joining Swansea MAD, I can integrate into the community more effectively and apply what I have learned in a meaningful way.
Anna Arrieta [she/her]
She has designed and coordinated projects in the areas of creative arts, well-being, financial capability, democracy and equal rights. She has experience developing resources for young people, as well as developing and facilitating training sessions for youth-facing professionals in the Youth and Community sector. Since leaving school, she has committed her professional life to the Third Sector. Building on her skills and experience, she is also a Trustee for the National Theatre Wales. In her spare time she sings and performs and reviews local food spots on her @flavahoodwatch Instagram page.
Quote: “I’m on the Swansea MAD Board because I love the ethos of the organisation. The work they do for people and the community of Swansea is person-centred and led by staff who are not only experts in their fields, but are also committed to changing people’s lives. I feel this purpose aligns with my morals and values and I love being part of the Board of such an inclusive and open organisation. Swansea MAD’s approach and way of working is different to anything I’ve seen in the sector, they set standards and working practices that I think other organisations should follow. Swansea MAD are not ‘gatekeepers’, they collaborate and work with others in the sector for the benefit of community members. I am proud to be on the Board where my opinions and voice is heard and valued”.
Skills: Change, Sustainability, Community Engagement, Equality and Diversity, Equal opportunities, Fighting Ageism, Youth Work, Music, Film and TV, Event, Location and Stage Management, Casting, Sound and Audio, Project Management, Communications and Marketing, Media
Candice Lloyd [she/her]
Trustee / Safeguarding Lead for the Board
A proud mother of five from the Vale of Glamorgan, Candice’s career started in Early Years Education where her team won the Pearson Award for Education. She has since worked across Local Government, Education and the Third Sector to become a highly experienced and solution-focused Trainer, Advocate and Programme Author. She currently works as Service Manager for NYAS Cymru (working with Care-experienced young people) and is the Director and Founder of Folk Training. Candice is a Safeguarding Trainer for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and lead for Camerados Community Connection Volunteering group in Barry.
Candice is a passionate advocate for people’s rights and working with and experimenting with creative methodologies that inspire real change. Her focus over the last few years has been working to create systems and spaces to support young people’s mental health and wellbeing. She is the co-founder of Do Idea Co., a social design company.
Quote: “Swansea MAD are brilliant! I am so proud to be part of such a wonderful group of individuals, who really reach out and make huge changes in the community and wider areas. Innovation and compassion lie at the heart of all the work they do and they really are changing the landscape of the charity sector.”
Skills: Youth Work and Education, Volunteer Management, Wellbeing, Facilitation, Creation of Educational Resources, Co-production, Evaluation, Inspirational Speaker, Advocacy, Training, Design, Safeguarding, Train the Trainer, Makaton
Jeff Phillips [he/him]
Quote: “I think what Swansea MAD offers to young people is so important. Teaching, training and a sense of belonging to the community is so important in today’s modern society and ever-changing world. As well as providing learning opportunities, they also build confidence in young people and give them a good foundation to face life experiences, the challenges of work, and finding a place in today’s society.”
Skills: Heritage, Creative Arts, Painting, Illustration, Education, Intergenerational Mentoring, Environmentalism and Sustainability, Local Historian, Public Speaking, Storyteller, Community Engagement, Arts Festivals and Exhibitions, Creative Collaboration, Published Author and Children’s Stories Illustrator, Album Cover Illustrator
Kirstie Edwards [she/her]
Kirstie currently works for YMCA Cardiff as their Community Services Manager and was previously their Wellbeing Manager, where she supported their Wellbeing team and ran the Y-Girls mentoring project.
She is also the Director of Ffair Jobs CIC, which works to address poverty wages and discriminatory employment practices and make local people visible in workplaces in Cardiff Bay and Cardiff City Centre.
Quote: “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.”
Skills: Creative Arts, Youth Work, Mental Health, Wellbeing, Counselling, Participation, Young people’s Rights, Inclusive Recruitment and Employment Practice, Project and Event Management, Training and Facilitation, Campaigning
Leigh Rowland [he/him]
Trustee / Finance and Audit Sub-Committee
Quote: “It is a great honour for me to be involved with a Charity such as Swansea MAD. When I was approached to be on the Board, it was very flattering knowing that I would be surrounded by such talented and visionary people, both on the Board and within the charity as a whole. I am literally overwhelmed by the development of the Charity and the quality of the service which it provides. I have learnt so much from my fellow Board members and the Senior Management Team at Swansea MAD which has helped my personal development which I can then migrate into my personal life and my business. I can’t thank the whole of Swansea MAD enough for the opportunity to be involved.”
Skills: Critical Leadership, Project Management, Recruitment Liaison, Consultancy, Human Resources, Budget Forecasting, Active Listening, Management, Finance, Social Enterprise, Training, Youth Work, Communications and Marketing, Fundraising, Partnership Management, Safeguarding, Data Protection
Leon Berry [he/him]
Chair of Trustees / Finance and Audit Sub-Committee
Quote: “Swansea MAD are a dynamic organisation in an innovative sector, who are making and having a significant and positive impact on the local and wider community and on people’s lives. Volunteering as Chair of the Board is a privilege that allows me to not only support a thriving organisation and sector but also allows me to support the vibrant and inspirational team at Swansea MAD. I am passionate about my local community and the whole ethos behind Swansea MAD is to fight for social justice, to support those who need it and to allow underrepresented individuals and groups a voice and a safe space. The small part I play in this hopefully helps the incredible team at Swansea MAD be in a position to provide this community support.”
Skills: Health and Wellbeing, Facilities Management (Hard and Soft Services, Total Facilities Management), Operations Management, Training and Education, Business Management, Youth Work, Assessment, Quality Assurance, Health and Safety, Human Resources and Relations, Finance Management, Charity Governance, Financial Reporting
Mymuna Soleman [she/her]
Vice-Chair / Finance and Audit Sub-Committee
During the COVID-19 lockdown, she set up The Privilege Café as she was frustrated with the lack of diversity and couldn’t express herself as a woman of colour in spaces filled with privilege. She 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 guest speaker’s insight, knowledge and expertise have brought nothing but positivity to all those who have attended the sessions. The Café is open to all, it’s a safe space for all to engage, learn and to use their privilege for good.
Quote: “I am delighted to be part of the wonderfully diverse Board at Swansea MAD. I am SO happy to be appointed as Vice-Chair! Swansea MAD heads up great work, works compassionately with people within communities from all backgrounds without any judgement, stereotype or biases. Swansea MAD’s values, driven by the advancement of Social Justice and Equity, align with my values which are woven by enthusiasm of unpicking structural systems that create barriers for so many within society. I truly believe in the ethos of being an anti-poverty, anti-racist and pro-equality organisation, as a charity, as people and as individuals which always aim to increase the impact their work has within communities.”
Skills: Facilitation, Anti-racism, Community Consultation, Activism, Public Health, Equality and Diversity and Representation, Public Speaking, Campaigning, Education and Training, Change Management, Inclusive Practice, Welsh Language, Public Policy
Phoebe Lacey-Freeman [she/her]
Since graduating from her BA Theatre and Drama degree in 2020, Phoebe has been passionate about promoting the arts, heritage and culture sectors in all the work she does. Phoebe currently works for Amgueddfa Cymru, supporting young people to engage with the museum sites and community heritage in new and dynamic ways. She also works as a freelancer developing activities and cinema events for young people across Wales. Her previous experience is in research, facilitating, theatre making and working in the third sector in social media.
She is a massive advocate for the creative arts and looks to meaningfully use her voice to promote their value and importance, especially after the pandemic.
Quote: “I’ve worked alongside Swansea MAD as both a participant and employee, so I’m very excited to bring my experience and knowledge into the role of Trustee. I want to be part of an organisation that supports people to develop new skills and pursue their passions. I’m thrilled to be part of an enthusiastic and knowledgeable team providing opportunities in the local and extended communities.”
Skills: Creative Arts, Youth Work, Project and Event Management, Facilitation, Campaigning, Social Media, Heritage, Creative Writing, Performing, Directing, Advocacy, Evaluation, Theatre Making.
Rachel Newton-John [she/her]
Quote: “I love being included in the Swansea MAD Board surrounded by thoughtful, determined people who collectively put the work in to make a meaningful, substantial difference in the world around us. Their dedication and drive is humbling and a little terrifying.”
Skills: Audio Engineering, including Recording and Acoustic Design, Music Production, Film and Digital Technology, Building Recording Studios, Website development, Video Editing, Podcasting, Live-Streaming, Computer Programming, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation
Stevie Thomas [she/her]
Treasurer / Audit and Finance Sub-Committee
Quote: “Being able to volunteer as a Trustee at Swansea MAD is a privilege and I hope I bring a breadth of life experience and knowledge to my work within the charity sector. It is an absolute honour to be appointed as the Treasurer. I am so grateful to be part of the team that works to support some great work in Swansea and across Wales with such a talented and innovative group of people. We are seeing the charity flourish, making a real difference in the lives of so many people. I feel humbled to be working towards supporting opportunities for young people and community members who need them.”
Skills: Change Management, Sustainability, Medicine, Legal Services, Management, Finance Auditing, Accounts Preparation, Music Law, Strategic Planning, Public Relations, Risk Management.