Our Trustees

The development of Vision 21 Cyfle Cymru is managed by our Board of skilled Trustee members, who have backgrounds in various sectors of business. Our Trustees oversee the running of the organisation and ensure that we attract committed staff and volunteers.

Alan Pursell - in memory

Insurance Broker Director & Independent Financial Adviser (Retired)

 

In April 2024 we sadly lost our Vision 21 Chair, Alan Pursell. Alan had been involved with Vision 21 for many years and was part of our fabric and history. He had a deep love of the work we do and was so proud of all of our trainees and staff and what they have achieved together throughout the years.
Alan will be greatly missed by all of us and we know that going forward we will continue to make him proud of what we do. We will honour all of his hard work, dedication and the love he had for Vision 21 by continuing to make it the best place for those with learning disabilities to learn, thrive and more importantly, to be themselves.

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

Accountant

 

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.

John Grimes

 

 

John retired a few years ago from the (then) National Assembly for Wales having trained initially in science and mathematics and starting his career as a Statistician in the DHSS in London.  John then moved to the Welsh Office in Cardiff specialising in Patient-based Data Systems and, later, Local Government Finance, before moving into Economic and Industrial Development where he managed a number of key industrial grant schemes.

 

Soon after devolution was introduced John moved to the National Assembly for Wales (now the Welsh Parliament) in Cardiff Bay and had various roles with Assembly Member Committees including as Clerk to the Finance Committee, the Public Accounts Committee, and the Standards Committee.  He retired in 2013 as Head of Governance.

 

Since retirement, John has used his skills in administration and governance as a volunteer in both the charity and schools sectors.  As well as being a Trustee for Vision 21 he is a Trustee for Age Cymru Gwent where he is currently Chair.  He is also a Governor and Vice Chair of St IIltyd's Catholic High School in Cardiff.  John helps, from time to time, with medical research  and teaching including participating in the trials for one of the Covid vaccines developed during the pandemic.

 

For leisure John intersperses hill walking and occasional long distance walks with photography and looking for wildflowers.   He is a keen fan of Bob Dylan and Mozart - and has two grown up children, and five grandchildren.

Michael Winter

 

 

Robert Meier

 

 

Bob initially trained as a P.E. teacher at Cyncoed College (now Cardiff Met.) Having qualified in 1971 Bob spent some 36 years teaching, including as deputy headteacher at Bassaleg Comprehensive School, and headteacher at both Ferndale Community School and later Bettws (now Newport) High School in Newport. During his career Bob was also a Senior Youth Worker in Rhondda Cynon Taf where he ran a large and thriving youth centre for over 40 years until it's closure. Upon retiring from teaching in 2007 Bob went on to work in the private sector for 15 years as a child safeguarding officer.

 

Bob’s son Gareth son has been supported and helped by V21 for many years both at the V21 Oaks Garden Nursery and at V21 Catering @ Caerphilly. Upon finally retiring fully in 2022 Bob joined the V21 Board of Trustees, using his experience to give a little something back to an organisation that has helped his son so much. Bob is an avid sportsman who has played, trained and coached various sports throughout his whole life. Bob still stays active by regularly hitting the gym and is a season ticket holder at Cardiff City F.C.