Meet the Team

13th August 2021
Foundation

Here is a handy guide to all the hardworking staff who strive to help the Swansea City AFC Foundation deliver a range of projects throughout south west Wales, the reasons they do what they do, and the role they play in our team.

HELEN ELTON - HEAD OF GRANTS AND FUNDING

Helen Elton Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project.

I oversee the grant income generating aspects of the Foundation.

What I enjoy most about my role:

I was formerly the Head of Foundation but have happily handed on the reins to Paul France. This means I can get back to bringing in grant income so the charity can grow and support even more people.

I’ve been involved in the Foundation since:

In early 2012 I answered an advertisement for a Funding and Partnership Officer. I joined the Foundation with the intention of only staying for a few months. But soon I could see the Charity had a unique potential for supporting the community. I was hooked, and I'm still here.

GRAHAM SMITH - SAFEGUARDING MANAGER AND EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION LEAD

Graham Smith Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project:

I’m the Safeguarding Manager and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion lead. I manage Safeguarding for the Foundation, ensuring all the people who take part in our activities find them to be a friendly environment where staff have their safety and wellbeing as the highest priority.

I also manage Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for the Foundation. My aim is to help Foundation staff and participants feel welcome, whatever their background and life experience. Another key part of the role is to support Foundation staff to promote equality and inclusion throughout our projects.

What I enjoy most about my role:

The best thing about my job is knowing the positive impact the work of the Foundation has on the lives of people in the Swansea area and being able to play a role in that is fantastic.

I've been involved in the Foundation since:

I joined the Foundation back in 2015 to run the Premier League Enterprise project. Since then, I've progressed through several roles and projects based in secondary schools across the local area, all of which were exciting to be involved with. I'm passionate about making a difference in my local community and am also obsessed with football, so it was (and is) my dream job!

A fun fact about myself:

My fun fact is… when I was 15, I came 4th in my age-group at the UK Indoor Rowing Championships.

CRAIG RICHARDS - YOUTH ENGAGEMENT MANAGER

Craig Richards Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project

I’m the youth engagement manager, working closely on projects like Premier League Kicks.

Premier League Kicks is a youth outreach programme which uses the power of football and sport to inspire young people in some of the most high-need areas. We deliver free weekly sessions, giving young people aged 8-18 across Southwest Wales the opportunities to play, coach and officiate in football and a range of sports.

Our coaches work in partnership with other local organisations to support young people with the challenges they face in their day-to-day lives and improve safety and community cohesion.

What I enjoy most about my role:

I really enjoy working in partnership with Police Crime Commissioners, South Wales Police, Dyfed-Powys Police and Youth Services to influence young people to have new experiences and support the disadvantaged.

I’ve been involved in the Foundation since:

I started as a casual coach on soccer camps in 2014, became part time member of staff in 2015 and became full time in 2016. I have now been Youth Engagement Manager since 2019.

A fun fact about myself:

My fun fact is that… I saved Paul Pogba's penalty whilst playing for Llanelli AFC against Man Utd Reserves in 2011.

CURTIS GRANT - EDUCATION MANAGER

Curtis Grant Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project

As part of my role, I work closely with the PL Primary Stars and PL Inspires teams to shape high-quality education programmes that can inspire and engage pupils to reach their full potential.

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

It’s great to see our projects being delivered to their highest quality in our local communities, allowing our participants to really develop holistically whilst having a great time!

When and how did you get involved with the Foundation?

I have been at the organisation for nearly 6 years, previous roles include: Primary Stars Area Coordinator and Primary Education Lead.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I have visited 24 countries and 7 states.

THOMAS WILLIAMS - HEAD OF PROGRAMMES 

Thomas Williams Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project:

I oversee all of all our project related delivery including Premier League Primary Stars, Kicks and Inspires

What I enjoy most about my role:

I really enjoy the variety and fast paced nature of the role.  I enjoy working closely with a hard working team, working on various themes from education to youth justice.  I particularly enjoy watching the development of young participants and witnessing first-hand the impact our provision has on their lives.

I've been involved in the Foundation since:

I’ve been working at the Foundation since 2014.  I started by co-ordinating the Premier Legaue 4 Sport project which aimed to use the appeal of the Premier League to encourage participants to take part in different sports – including Tennis, Table Tennis and Hockey.  I then became Education Manager where I oversaw the PL Primary Stars and Inspires projects before managing our inclusion programme funded by BT.  I have been in my current role, and part of SMT since 2018.

A fun fact about myself:

I grew up next to a haunted house and as a child appeared in a TV advert portraying a 16th century peasant.

IAN OWEN - INCLUSION AND GIRLS' INCLUSION LEAD

Ian Owen Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project

I’m the inclusion and girls’ inclusion lead. I just enjoy helping people, helping people out in the community. I’ve had many roles in my time, and just seeing the difference we can make to the community is what I enjoy most.

I have been involved with the Foundation since:

I first got involved in the Foundation in 1999.

A fun fact about myself:

My fun fact is that… I’d like to think I’m a good singer!

STEPHEN GREENE - MONITORING, IMPACT AND EVALUATION LEAD

Stephen Greene Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project

I am the Monitoring, Impact and Evaluation lead. I mainly support projects with their monitoring / evaluation needs and demonstrate the positive impact made within the community.

What I enjoy most about my role:

Being able to work across a range of projects with different colleagues is what I enjoy most about my role.

I’ve been involved in the Foundation since:

I started delivering on soccer camps eight years ago and, a few months later, I become full time PLPS co-ordinator. Since then, I've worked on numerous projects within the foundation.

A fun fact about myself:

My fun fact is that… I love a good Excel spreadsheet!

CORINNE PHILLIPS - FINANCE ASSISTANT

Foundation Corinne Fuge

What I enjoy most about my role:

Working with a lovely, happy team. It’s the team that make it.

I’ve been involved in the foundation since:

2015.

Outside of work I enjoy:

Caravanning with the grandchildren on the weekends.

KRISTIAN JORDAN - HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Kristian Jordan Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project

My role is head of business development. What I look to do within the job is to secure funding and finances to support the strategic aims of the organisation; working with funders for grants and contracts; looking at potential fundraising opportunities; and working with organisations for potential sponsorships as well.

What I enjoy most about my role:

I enjoy working in professional sport and making a difference in peoples’ lives. Supporting them, designing projects to overcome barriers and realise their full potential.

I’ve been involved in the Foundation since:

I started with the Foundation in 2014.

A fun fact about myself:

My fun fact is that… I love skydiving!

DIONNE BEVAN - ADMINISTRATOR

Foundation Dionne Bevan

Tell us about your programme/project

I am the Foundation’s Administrator. My role consists of a lot; being the first port of call for the Foundation, doing any administrative work for the projects, organising bookings, and looking after emails are some of my jobs.

What I enjoy most about my role:

I enjoy working with a close team in a friendly environment the most.

I’ve been involved in the Foundation since:

I started here about 17 years ago, first at Vetch Field, now at the Liberty.

A fun fact about myself:

In my spare time… I love walking my dog!

SUZANNE JONES

Suzanne Jones Swans Foundation

What do you enjoy about your role?

The team’s friendly, my role is quite varied, so I quite like that in the interest of trying different things. You get asked to do things that are outside your comfort zone, which is good because it keeps you interested in the job.

I’ve been involved in the Foundation since:

I first got involved in the Foundation about four years ago, and it’s the best move I ever made.

A fun fact about myself:

My fun fact is that… I played hockey for about thirty years, and now I play netball three times a week.

BETH ROBINSON – PL KICKS TARGETED CO-ORDINATOR

Foundation Beth Robinson

Tell us about your programme/project:

Premier League Kicks Targeted is a 12 week, one-to-one mentoring initiative. The programme is aimed at individuals aged 8-16 years old who are at risk of becoming, or who are, perpetrators or victims of serious youth violence. This is an early intervention initiative that delivers activities and workshops that are bespoke to the individual’s needs. The overall aim of the project is to promote positive behaviours and empower participants to strive for a successful future.  

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy the challenging but extremely rewarding nature of the job role. I love being able to support and inspire young people to lead positive lives whilst diverting them away from the criminal justice system.

When and how did you get involved in the Foundation?

I joined the role in November 2021 having previously worked as a Substance Misuse Caseworker in HMP Cardiff.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I lived in Australia for a year and have travelled to 38 different countries!

CERI PHILLIPS - PL PRIMARY STARS CO-ORDINATOR (PEMBROKESHIRE)

Ceri Phillips Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project:

Premier League Primary Stars uses the appeal of professional football clubs to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills through the power of sport.

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

I enjoy encouraging children to be physically active through PE and working alongside Teachers to help support them with their PE delivery, as well as taking some tips and ideas from their expertise in teaching.

When and how did you get involved with the Foundation?

I started in 2013 as a casual coach on my return from coaching in the USA. Then took on a full time role with the Foundation in 2014.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

My brother and I share the same birthday, but we aren't twins!

RICHARD HARRIS - PL KICKS CO-ORDINATOR (SWANSEA)

Richard Harris Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project:

Provides footballing and sporting activities into deprived and hard to reach areas.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Giving the young people from my local communities a safe and positive space where they can be themselves and play football in a pressure free environment. I also really enjoy seeing the smiles on the young people's faces when they are at our Premier League Kicks sessions. 

I’ve been involved in the foundation since:

Five years ago, as a volunteer, then as a casual coach. I then became a part-time staff member before becoming full-time on the Premier League Kicks Project.

A fun fact about myself:

I’m quite good at Football Manager, I once took Brackley Town from the Conference North to the Premier League! 

KAYA BLACKMORE - PREMIER LEAGUE KICKS GIRLS COACH

Kaya Blackmore Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project:

I am the girls coach, my role looks to have an impact on girls and help participation of girls in football. In addition to this, I support Premier League Kicks and Inclusion.

What I enjoy most about my role:

I enjoy having an impact on other peoples lives and I enjoy coaching.

When and how did you get involved with the Foundation?

I started with the Foundation as a volunteer, I became a part time worker as an inclusion coach. I left to go to America before coming back full time as a girls coach.

A fun fact about myself:

I came third in the Welsh championship in rock climbing.

JAMIE BESSANT - PREMIER LEAGUE KICKS COACH

Jamie Bessant Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project:

I’m a Premier League kicks coach leading & delivering on the venues funded by the police crime commissioner. We provide free football, giving participants from all different backgrounds & abilities the opportunity to come and take part across west & mid Wales.

What I enjoy most about my role:

I enjoy going into different communities and facilitating and supporting the participants not only improving their football ability but more importantly developing them as a person by giving them opportunities to take part in workshops, tournaments & fixtures vs other Clubs PL kicks teams.

When and how did you get involved with the Foundation?

A few years ago I started as casual member of staff then progressed to sessional lead and then the opportunity came up to go full time.

A fun fact about myself:

I used to be a chef and once won Welsh Junior baker of the year and I have also represented Wales in world and European Culinary competitions.

MATTHEW JENKINS - PREMIER LEAGUE INSPIRES COORDINATOR

Matthew Jenkins Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project:

I will be delivering the Premier League Inspires project into secondary schools across Swansea and surrounding areas.

What I enjoy most about my role:

Delivering the programme to the kids, getting out into schools, inspiring young children and sharing my knowledge.

A fun fact about myself:

I am a good rugby player.

HARRY THOMAS - PL PRIMARY STARS AREA CO-ORDINATOR

Harry Thomas Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project

I am the Premier League Primary Stars area coordinator. Premier League Primary Stars uses the appeal of football and sport to inspire children to become more active and helps to improve literacy and numeracy skills.

What I enjoy most about my role:

I enjoy making a positive impact within the local community and helping children become more physically literate.

I’ve been involved in the Foundation since:

I first got involved with the Foundation by volunteering on soccer camps in my local area. This is where my passion for coaching began, and I knew that a career in the sports industry was something that I wanted to pursue.

A fun fact about myself:

My fun fact is that… I participated in a cricket match at Lord’s, the home of cricket.

KATY HOSFORD - PL PRIMARY STARS AREA CO-ORDINATOR

Katy Hosford Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project

I am the Area Coordinator on the Premier League Primary Stars project. The project helps to deliver numeracy, literally and PE in primary schools using the power of the Swans.

What I enjoy most about my role:

What I enjoy most about my role is engaging with young people and improving their confidence both in the classroom and in PE.

I’ve been involved in the Foundation since:

I first got involved with the Foundation when I was 16 working on the Girls and Kicks project. From this, I am now full time on the PLPS project.

A fun fact about myself:

My fun fact is that… I have played for Swansea Ladies for eight years and played in four Champions League games!

JACK GILES - PL PRIMARY STARS AREA CO-ORDINATOR

Jack Giles Swans Foundation

Tell us about your programme/project

My role with the foundation is to deliver Premier League Primary Stars using the appeal of Swansea City to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills.

What I enjoy most about my role:

Seeing teachers and pupils develop their skills and enjoy taking part in Physical Education.

I’ve been involved in the Foundation since:

I’ve coached with the Foundation since I was 15 years old as a Soccer Camp coach and now have a full-time role working as a education Co-ordinator.

A fun fact about myself:

I have two brothers who look exactly like me and have the same date of birth.

GERAINT JAMES - FINANCE MANAGER

Geriant James Swans Foundation

What I enjoy most about my role:

Interacting with people because it’s a public facing organisation. Also, the excitement of being linked to the club and the enjoyment of helping run the various projects that we do in the community.

I’ve been involved with the Foundation since:

October 2017.

A fun fact about myself:

During isolation, I spent my time in the garden building a base for my greenhouse, and I am also quite geeky!

Off