I joined Area 43 as CEO in 2021, having held various CEO positions in the charitable sector for over a decade. It’s my role to work with our board of trustees to help shape, design and deliver services. I am strongly driven by my values and ethos, and seek to embed these at the core of our services to ensure they are needs-led and co-productive, working with young people to ensure services are ‘by young people, for young people’.
I am a qualified personal trainer, and in my spare time, I can be found in my fully kitted out home bodybuilding.
Things I love:
My boys and my besties
The menagerie: We have a cat (Rar Rar), a house rabbit (Lord Chicken Nuggets), two fish (Black Ice and Strawberry) and two beautiful dogs (one of whom is Area 43’s therapy dog Maisy, and her sidekick Monty)
Food: As the team here note….I eat a lot!
Quote I live my life by:
“Don’t waste your time on Jealousy, sometimes you are ahead, sometimes you are behind, the race is long, and In the end it’s only with yourself”
I support Rachael, the CEO with business and financial management of the organisation, providing reports to both the Trustees and funders, also working on funding bids and tenders. I have worked in business and financial management in the charity sector for the past 20 years. Within the centre, I provide support to the Drop-in team and really enjoy meeting the young people who engage with us.
Anything with chorizo or fish
Poppit Sands with the tide out
My dog: Blue
I joined Area 43 in 2017, before that my background was mostly in marketing and events management. I was also the volunteer Youth Leader at St Dogmaels Youth Club for 8 years. During that time as well as running the club, I organised and managed a mini music festival and community carnivals with live music too!
I feel it’s important to challenge, as well as support the young people that I work with, to help them appreciate the value of putting effort into whatever they are hoping to achieve. Working at Area 43 brings changing responsibilities and different issues, but ultimately my goal is the same; to offer the best I can to young people and to empower them to realise their future possibilities.
I began studying with The Open University in 2011, whilst raising two girls as a single mum and working full time. I have faced several personal traumas over the years, but through sheer determination, I managed to overcome those struggles and I am currently studying for a Bachelors Degree based around working with Children, Young People and Families.
Who inspires you the most?
My daughters inspire me every day!
I’m happiest when…
I’m walking on the beach with my dog, Bailey
Quote I live my life by
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain!” Vivian Greene
Counselling Services Manager
I joined Area 43 as a counsellor in 2021 and became the Counselling Services Manager in the Summer of 2022. Before that I was studying full-time and working in the community with vulnerable adults supporting them with everyday life. I have helped manage and develop a
charity run village hall and assisted in the running of the venue, its events and day to day running for almost 10 years. I have previously managed my own business and after 15 years I wanted to pursue a career in Counselling and supporting young people. Community and Support have always been in my heart. I believe that children are our future and we can help them find a better self and become the person they want to be. While the responsibilities and challenges of my job at Area 43 are always changing, my ultimate purpose has remained constant: to provide young people with the finest support possible so they can realise their potential for the future.
I have had a variety of personal challenges throughout the years, which I have managed to conquer while also taking advantage of the chance to learn from my mistakes and flourish. My strength and perseverance are what has made me who I am today. As a single parent of two amazing children and of which have additional needs and during a global pandemic I have achieved a FdA and a BA Hons: First Class in Counselling.
Who inspires you the most?
Firstly, my children. Seeing them grow into strong, determined and loving young men. Secondly, the young people that I have had the privilege of counselling, experiencing their growth and change is inspiring.
I am happiest when….
I am surrounded by my closest friends and family, enjoying the sunshine, excellent food and a glass of bubbles.
Quote I live my life by…
“Every moment of life is precious and can never happen again and therefore is a reason to appreciate, be grateful for and celebrate the fact that you are alive.” — Zelig Pliskin
Like many young people who grow up in rural Wales, I moved away to Cardiff for University in 2016…it was totally different to West Wales: I had access to experiences and opportunities not afforded to me previously, I was able to embrace individuality and immerse myself in the business and creativity of the city. Due to a change in circumstances, I moved back home in December 2021, and I began working as a Support Worker at Depot (Area 43’s Youth Café) in March 2022.
It became clear to me when I came home that young people in Ceredigion are still experiencing a lack of access to opportunities, services, and support to enable them to flourish as I was able to. In September 2022, I began my role as Dyfodol Ni’s Partnership Coordinator for Mind Our Future (a six-year programme, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and led by Area 43).
Mind Our Future is a glimmer of hope; a project that will raise young people’s voices, demand change and create safe spaces for young people across the county.
The Dyfodol Ni Partnership is imperative to the future of young people in this area and my role as Partnership Coordinator gives me the chance to be a part of that change.
I’m happiest when:
Dancing around the kitchen to the cheesiest Musicals and Disney Channel classics, on full volume, singing at the top of my lungs, with a glass of wine, in my pyjamas.
Things I love:
Taylor Swift. Cosy nights in. Fluffy socks.
Quote I live by:
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” – Babe Ruth (or, if you’re anything like me, it’s from Cinderella Story)
DEPOT SERVICES MANAGER
I grew up in rural north Pembrokeshire where there wasn’t much going on, I felt the area had nothing for me, so as soon as I finished school I decided to leave and travel. Over the next 5 years I was back and forth living abroad and moving around jobs not really knowing where I wanted to be. Eventually, I decided to complete my degree in psychology and really work towards my own personal goal.
I completed my degree during lockdown which really made me appreciate the beauty and peacefulness of living rurally that does not compete with any country I’ve been to. When I graduated, I wasn’t sure what career path to take but I knew that I wanted to help people. I knew of Area 43’s work with young people, and it was something that really interested me. I am now a Senior support worker, which I never thought I would be able to achieve. From being lost and moving around with no direction, I now feel I am making a difference in people’s lives, achieving my own personal goals, and being a part of an organisation that really does put people first.
Depot youth cafe provides a safe space for young people to socialise, seek support, meet new people, and feel heard. There are so many people my age, when I describe what Depot is, say that they wish they had something like this when they were younger. Not only is it an amazing facility for the young community, but it’s an amazing place to work!
I’m happiest when
With my cats & walking my dog. Sitting in the sun and exploring nature
Things I love
My Cats – Angus, Bluebell & Chubbs & My Dog – Boo, Sunshine, Forest walks, The Sea & Food
Quote I Live by
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
I joined Area 43 in 2021, having worked in the Domestic abuse sector for over a decade working with children and young people. I have a passion for working with young people and love working as part of such a great team. My role involves working with counsellors and schools to ensure the service runs as smoothly as possible, and I am normally the one answering the phones in the offices, except on Wednesday, which is my day off, where I can be found looking after my elderly mum and gorgeous grandchild Ivar.
Hobbies & Interests:
I am currently researching my family tree
Walking the dogs with the family
Things I love:
- The sea
Quote I live my life by:
“Believe you can and you are already halfway there” Theodore Roosevelt
SENIOR YOUTH SUPPORT WORKER
Most of my working life has been spent within catering or art & design. I have always lived in or around Cardigan. I used to be a client of Area 43 back in 1999-2006! I have had a lot of real-life struggles over the years, during some of these times Area 43 and its staff were such a big support and literally were ‘lifesavers’.
I am an extremely resilient, broadminded individual and believe that with the right encouragement and support any young person can overcome and reach their true potential regardless of past or present issues; there is always a path to move forward.
I volunteer as a Deputy Help Point Steward for Glastonbury Festival. Each year our team raise money for our chosen charity ‘Children of Chernobyl’.
My inner drive and determination to overcome obstacles and provide support comes from the love I have for my 2 children.
Hobbies and Interests
I enjoy everything creative, I have a massive interest in design, whether it be costume, interior or cake, anything & everything really! I am currently learning how to weld, with the intention of making metal art sculptures.
Things I Love
- Red wine
- Spending time with friends and family
- Camping & outdoor walks with my 3 crazy Collie dogs
Quote I live my life by
‘ The past can hurt, but the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it.’ – Rafiki (The Lion King)
We have a team of both male and female counsellors who can offer counselling bilingually through the Schools Based Counselling Service in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, we also have volunteer counsellors available at our Cardigan Centre. All our counsellors hold recognised counselling qualifications up to at least degree level, with the addition of specialised training in working with children and young people. They are also required to be Members of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) or equivalent.
Board of Trustees
Our Board of Trustees is made up of a number of well respected, professional people who are very committed to improving the lives of young people, predominantly aged between 16 -25, in our community and the surrounding area, they take their responsibilities extremely seriously and give their time freely on a voluntary basis.