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 FOUNDATION

Foundation Helen Elton

Tell us about your programme/project.

I run the Foundation.

What I enjoy most about my role:

Mainly I make sure we operate at the highest Charitable standards. That involves all the 'behind the scenes' things that other people might find boring: policy and strategy, risk registers, spreadsheets, structure, and so on. But if these things aren't done there is no Foundation. And as a bit of 'geek' these are the things I am at home with. However, what is brilliant about this role is that I also get the opportunity to meet people in the community, such as partner organisations or grant recipients, and that variety allows me to balance my geeky side with my more gregarious side.

I’ve been involved in the Foundation since:

After many years working in the voluntary sector and higher education, I took a one-year career break. In early 2012 the time was right to get back into the world of work, so 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 nine years later I'm still here.

A fun fact about myself:

One of my cats is named Bobby George after a 1970s darts icon. He is walking on the keyboard now ... the cat, not the darts legend!

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

Foundation Graham Smith

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

Foundation Craig Richards

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

Foundation Curtis Grant

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.

IAN OWEN - INCLUSION AND GIRLS' INCLUSION LEAD

Foundation Ian Owen

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

Foundation Stephen Greene

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

Foundation Kristian Jordan

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

Foundation Suzanne Jones

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.

TOMOS PREECE - KICKS TARGETED CO-ORDINATOR

Foundation Tomos Preece

Tell us about your programme/project:

Premier League Kicks Targeted is a one-to-one mentoring initiative that works with young people aged 11-16 years old, who are either at risk or perpetrators of serious youth violence.

 It is a twelve-week program that consists of weekly one-to-one mentoring sessions with our staff, group educational workshops, and physical activities.

 Participants are also given the opportunity to volunteer their time or engage with local youth organizations in order to build positive relationships within their local area.

What I Enjoy Most About My Role:

Being able to support young people to understand their individual coping mechanisms and then aspire for a positive future.

I’ve Been Involved in the Foundation Since:

January 2020

A Fun Fact About Myself:

I got to live in Denver Colorado for a couple of years playing rugby and traveling.

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

Foundation Ceri Phillips

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)

Foundation Richard Harris

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?

Seeing the smiles from the kids faces and providing them with something

I’ve been involved in the foundation since:

Three years ago, as a volunteer, then as a casual coach

A fun fact about myself:

I’m very good at Football Manager, I took Brackley Town from the conference to the Premier League!

MATTHEW JENKINS - PREMIER LEAGUE INSPIRES CO-ORDINATOR

Foundation Matthew Jenkins

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

Foundation Harry Thomas

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

Foundation Katy Hosford

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!

LLOYD THOMAS - PL PRIMARY STARS AREA CO-ORDINATOR (NEATH AND PORT TALBOT)

Foundation Lloyd Thomas

About my role:

We Deliver numeracy, literacy and PE in primary schools using the power of Swansea city Football Club in engaging all pupils.

What I enjoy most about my role:

Delivering in a variety of different school and working with different people daily.

I first got involved in:

I first got involved in 2015 working part time on kicks whilst completing my degree in sports coaching and development.

A fun fact about myself:

I hate cheese.

GERAINT JAMES - FINANCE MANAGER

Foundation Geraint James

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