The development of Vision 21 (Cyfle Cymru) is managed by our Board of skilled Trustee members, who have backgrounds in various sectors of business. They oversee the running of the organisation and ensure it attracts committed staff and volunteers.
Alan Pursell - Chair
Insurance Broker Director & Independent Financial Adviser (Retired)
Through his profession, Alan became involved with a number of organisations who provided care, training and advice to people with learning disabilities. As a result, he was invited to join the board of a number of these including Vision 21 and Alan insists it has always been his favourite!
He is involved with a number of other charities and community organisations which he acts as Chair or Treasurer for. As a result of Alan’s disability, the number has decreased but it is still a source of great joy for him.
Alan’s family takes up a lot of his spare time but he has a number of other interests. He has a passion for The Great Western Railway in models and preserved rolling stock. He enjoys watching, often with frustration, a number of sports. He also likes reading, TV quiz shows, crosswords and other puzzles.
Michael Clark – Vice Chair
Horticulturalist and Local Government Manager (Retired)
Michael is a qualified horticulturalist and spent his whole career working in public parks. His career started at the age of 15 as an apprentice gardener and he was fortunate enough to finish the last 10 years of that career as Operational Manager for Parks and Bereavement at Cardiff Council.
Until recently, Michael and his wife were foster carers for children with disabilities. Michael has a son who attends Vision 21 and has seen and experienced the wonderful support and training provided by the organisation.
He shares the values and ethos of Vision 21 and has been a Trustee since he retired. Michael is motivated by the wish to do all he can to ensure Vision 21 continues to provide a uniquely beneficial and essential service to the South Wales community.
Apart from horticulture, he enjoys reading, sport, walking and supporting his sons and their families. Michael indulges his horticultural roots by trying to cultivate his allotment and growing vegetables and some fruit.
Clare Cooze – Treasurer
Clare started on her career path at the age of 17 knowing finance was her interest but not knowing exactly what she wanted to do. She qualified as a Certified Accountant at the age of 30 after studying for various qualifications on the way.
Over the last 33 years, she has worked for a homelessness organisation and Housing Association undertaking various roles. Clare considers herself lucky to have been able to work on almost all aspects of finance and be based in offices that enabled her to interact with the service users. She enjoys interacting with people and has always been in job roles that have facilitated this. She currently reviews and calculates the cost of business opportunities; this role enables her to work closely with colleagues from different parts of the business
In 1997 a former Vision 21 Board member asked Clare if she would join as Treasurer, she was interested in Vision 21 and what it was achieving. Clare grew up with an Aunt with a learning disability and whilst she was loved and cared for by the family she did not have access to the opportunities Vision 21 offered. “I am proud to be able to contribute to the on-going successes of the organisation and my aim is to stay involved in whatever capacity suits the organisation for as long as I can.”
Her personal aspiration is to continue doing her current role which she loves until she retires, at which point she is looking forward to catching up with a bit of “me time”, travel and maybe part-time volunteering.
Clare has one son and a crazy terrier who keeps her on her toes, despite being 9 years old! She enjoys live music, mainly music from 80’s and entertainment especially going to concerts and theatre productions. Clare enjoys socialising with family and friends which often includes eating out. She is also a member of Islwyn Ramblers and walks with them as often as she can.
Barry Shiers MBE
Social Worker (Retired)
Barry is the founder member of Vision 21(Cyfle Cymru) having started the charity in his garage in 1986. The driver for him was as a young Social Work Senior Practitioner, everyone he met regardless of ability or disability should be treated with absolute dignity and respect, while enjoying their vocational training experience possibly leading to employment.
He first trained as a Quantity Surveyor and then as a Child Care Social Worker and gained over thirty years’ experience of working within the voluntary and statutory sectors within Wales. During his time as CEO of Vision 21, he had the privilege to oversee the amazing development of an organisation that is very responsive to need and entrepreneurial in its provision. The ethos as always remains that individuals continue to access quality ‘real’ vocational training where they can fulfil their potential and feel valued for their contribution within their communities.
Through Barry’s work at Vision 21, he has acquired extensive experience of assisting and guiding other like-minded organisations. He has offered business and mentoring support and advice to many emerging and established Social Enterprises worldwide. Barry thrives on the development of good practice within organisations that benefit individuals, their local and wider communities. He has a passion for innovation, problem solving and resolving issues in a positive way while enabling others to develop their own ideas and initiatives.
Barry retired from Vision 21 in 2013 and continues to offer his expertise to other emerging and growing enterprises and thoroughly enjoys the mentoring role. “I am pleased to say I am still very involved with Vision 21 as a Board member and thrilled with the continued success of such a worthwhile and special charity and enterprise.”
Since his retirement Barry has enjoyed spending more time supporting his family particularly his 96 year old mother. He helps train Guide Dog Puppies and is involved with the local Salvation Army. He loves most sports and still plays badminton and tennis. He is a keen Cardiff City supporter and attends matches with friends and family. Barry plays guitar and enjoys musical theatre and supporting his wife’s choir. He still rides his old Sunbeam motorcycle and loves to get away in their caravan.
Head of Communications, United Welsh
Anna has always wanted to earn her living through using words so feels really fortunate to have been able to do that in all her roles so far. She initially started her career as a journalist working for local newspapers before moving on to The Western Mail and then BBC Radio Wales where she used to produce the Good Morning Wales news programme.
She then crossed over into PR working in several positions at Cardiff Council including Head of Communications. Anna is currently the Head of Communications for United Welsh, a housing association covering 11 local authority areas in South Wales. She really enjoys her current role as she gets to work with a great bunch of people, telling great stories and helping to make a difference which is what really drives her.
Anna loves to spend time with family and friends and her passions are running, dancing, travelling and reading (always back to the words in the end!)
Senior Business Consultant, Xerox UK & Ireland
Leigh has over 25 years public sector experience and was Director of ICT, Customer Care, Digital Transformation and Information Management for a Welsh Local Authority before moving to Xerox in 2016. This further developed his skills around strategy, budgeting and people management.
His current role is Public Sector Digital Services Lead for Xerox UK & Ireland where he helps customers understand how they can shift paper to digital to enable improvements and efficiencies such as leading a £20m 10 year programme to transform a Police Authority’s removal of paper to digital processes (inbound and outbound).
I enjoy looking after the family (5 year old son), walking, bicycle & swimming and am a keen traveller. I am an avid classic and sports car enthusiast and collector of car sales literature and Formula One memorabilia.