Meet the people behind the scenes
Clare has a background in delivering partnership projects for the natural environment and sustainable resource use and uses this to help shape our policy and development work. She enjoys facilitating collaboration across sectors and devising practical programmes to deliver strategic aims.
Clare leads on Cynnal Cymru’s work for a thriving natural environment, which includes our Nature Wise eco literacy training, as well as contributing to work around the foundational economy and decarbonisation.
Clare enjoys being energised by good conversation, yoga and being out and about in nature. She lives with her family in Penarth.
With a background in furniture design and an interest in systems thinking, Lynsey enjoys developing creative and practical solutions that support our whole work programme.
Lynsey originally joined the team in 2010 as a volunteer, and has since developed a breadth of experience across the organisation from developing the branding and digital communications for the ‘Wales We Want’ National Conversation to coordinating our programme of events, including the Sustainable Academy Awards.
Out of hours, Lynsey is currently rewilding her garden and playing Wingspan – a bird themed board game.
Marketing and Communications Officer
Beli joins Cynnal Cymru as the Marketing and Communications Officer. They have spent the past decade in similar communications roles across the nonprofit sector, including most recently as the Marketing and Communications Director for SpokesPerson CIC, improving cycling accessibility across Cardiff and South Wales.
Beli is excited about the opportunity to delve more into climate and sustainability communications and engage more closely with Cynnal Cymru’s wide array of communities and stakeholders. They are an expert in trans and disability accessibility and look forward to bringing that to the role.
Beli’s life and career so far has been varied in kind and location – ask them about living and working in LA or their early career as a dog trainer! Outside of work, you’ll find them singing in Songbirds Choir, organising with Disability Collective Cymru and South Wales Drag King Collective, or hunkered down finishing their novel.
Policy and Engagement officer
Phoebe is the Policy and Engagement officer supporting the Foundational Economy network that Cynnal Cymru currently facilitates on behalf of Welsh Government. She also works to build collaboration around sustainability issues including fair work, a just transition, climate and biodiversity.
Phoebe has a diverse set of skills and knowledge from previously working for Cardiff University on research and community engagement projects to connect Welsh communities to nature for health and wellbeing. Phoebe has a strong background in innovation, working with the NHS on healthcare initiatives to encourage engagement with green spaces, increasing biodiversity through rewilding, pollinator and citizen science projects.
Phoebe is excited to be supporting the Foundational economy network as she is passionate about equality and access to essential goods and services.
Outside of work Phoebe enjoys spending time in nature, ice skating, gaming and gardening.
Finance and Administration Officer
Fiona joined Cynnal Cymru in 2021, bringing with her a wide range of experience in both the third and private sectors, and a lifelong passion for the environment and animal welfare.
She is the first point of contact for the Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru (CLCC) consortium, and provides secretariat support for the Dwr Cymru Welsh Water Independent Challenge Group. Fiona also provides administrative support to the whole team, handling the day-to-day finance work and supporting on communications projects.
Out of hours, Fiona can usually be found writing, gaming, or enjoying her garden with her two cats.
Abi joined the team in 2021, as a Charityworks trainee with a focus on the research and development of our Membership offer. Her role is now focused on membership support and she is the first point of contact for our growing network of businesses and organisations committed to a sustainable future.
Abi holds a degree in History from the University of Bristol and has previous experience in charity consultancy, digital marketing, and project management.
As Membership Officer, Abi will be providing support to our membership network, as well as providing varied support to the team across the board.
Outside of work, Abi’s interests lie in reading, gaming, and exploring her local area, The Forest of Dean.
Meet the advice team
Dr Karolina Rucinska
Karolina joined Cynnal Cymru in 2021 to provide consultancy support to the public and private sectors on how to become more sustainable in their operations.
Originally from Poland, Karolina developed her interest in sustainable development having witnessed the unintended consequences of the huge transformations that took place in her home country and the Republic of Ireland which she later moved to.
This lived experience prompted her to pursue higher degrees focused on sustainability, tourism, food systems and public understanding of science at Cardiff University. While a student, Karolina was involved in research investigating farm animal welfare, but later she moved to manage research projects at the Cardiff School of Engineering. There, she gained an appreciation of energy systems and the challenges that come with decarbonising them.
In her spare time, Karolina volunteers at Oasis Cardiff as a lead gardener and the Good Gym as a task member. She refuses to learn to drive and is a firm believer and practitioner of low carbon lifestyle. Karolina is described as one that brings people together and strives to make things better.
Meet the training team
Louise is our Training Manager, working to develop Cynnal Cymru’s training offer. Louise manages our dynamic training team to achieve the highest possible standards and leads on our continuous improvement culture.
Having worked within the charitable, environmental, and horticultural sectors for over fifteen years, Louise has developed specialisms in both land-based training and local food production. Louise holds a master’s degree in Product Design, with additional qualifications in permaculture and biodynamic land management. With previous experience of setting up and managing a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) vegetable box scheme business, Louise now lives with her partner on a smallholding in Carmarthenshire, aspiring to self-reliance.
In her spare time, Louise works with various community groups and organisations, to deliver training in organic horticulture and biodynamic gardening. She also enjoys playing the violin and growing delicious vegetables.
Training and Communications Officer
Tom provides administrative support for our training programme, including our Carbon Literacy and Nature Wise courses.
Outside of work Tom has been a Town Councillor in Monmouthshire for 15 years and during this time he has been Mayor of Chepstow for three consecutive years where he has championed sustainable and environmental projects for Chepstow Town Council.
Outside of work Tom plays many musical instruments and loves to work in his recording studio at home with his cat Zelda
Training and Development Officer
Sara supports our training and networking services, facilitating individuals and organisations in Wales to improve their understanding of the nature crisis and take action to reverse it. She is the lead trainer and project manager for Nature Wise, our eco-literacy training programme, helping to develop and tailor content, as well as providing programme support to the rest of the Cynnal Cymru team.
Dedicated to empowering and helping others on their sustainability journey she believes in building inclusive and collaborative, cross-sector partnerships, ensuring best practice, innovation and creativity are at the heart of solutions. Her background includes grants management, protected landscapes, pro-environmental behavior change and supporting and mentoring environmental volunteer organisations.
In her spare time, she enjoys nothing more than making the most of her backyard in Snowdonia whether that’s exploring, swimming or riding her electric bike.
Senior Sustainability Trainer
Sylvia is our lead trainer on Carbon Literacy in English and Welsh. She also delivers Nabod Natur – Nature Wise.
Sylvia loves being a Sustainability Trainer because she gets the privilege of seeing organisations find their niche on the path to sustainable development and recognising where they can make impactful change. She is also a perpetual learner and always seeks to gain knowledge, insight and feedback from those she trains in order to inform and improve her pedagogy and future courses. “Every day is a learning day” is very much her motto.
Alongside her role at Cynnal Cymru, she runs her own business: etoeto, where she designs and makes upcycled urban accessories, and she also pops up with top tips on living a greener life on S4C’s Prynhawn Da programme.
Meet the Fair Work and Living Wage team
Living Wage Programme Officer
Grace is the Living Wage Programme Officer, providing advice and support to growing our employer network.
She was born in Cardiff and has lived here most of her life – the only exception being an undergraduate degree in Swansea.
She has a background in human resources and has always been passionate about equality, justice and fair work practices.
Grace previously worked on the Living Wage Programme during her master’s degree in HR, which is what made her enthusiastic about this particular initiative.
Senior Programme and Policy Lead
Harry is Senior Programme and Policy Lead: Fair Work and Economy and manages the Fair Work and Living Wage team, which work towards Cynnal Cymru’s strategic goal of a fair and just society.
He previously worked as Economic Policy Lead at the Institute of Welsh Affairs, leading projects on topics such as empowering trade unions, the Welsh Government’s fiscal framework, and community empowerment. He previously worked for public affairs firm Deryn Consulting and in political campaigns and research at Senedd, Westminster, and local authority level.
In his spare time Harry is a long-suffering Ospreys fan and season ticket holder.
Alys Reid Bacon
Living Wage and Human Resources Administration Officer
Alys provides support on the Living Wage accreditation process, as well as supporting with Cynnal Cymru’s HR administration.
Alys is passionate about sustainability and is currently working on her PhD in Biological Sciences, titled, “The influence of genotype, environment & management factors on yield development, grain filling & grain quality in oats”
Living Work Projects Coordinator
Karen is the Living Work Projects Coordinator, who works on the Living Work initiatives such as Living Wage Places, Living Hours, and Living Pensions.
Karen brings a range of skills and knowledge from working in a Research & Development team at Panasonic and from her time as a Health & Wellbeing officer at Cardiff Council.
She strongly believes in equality for everyone, and through her role at Cynnal Cymru hopes to make a difference.
She has a passion for health and wellbeing, and loves to be outside in nature.