Meet the Trustees
Aside from a short break for personal reasons Gail has been involved with Recovery Cymru since its inception. Gail has a long work history in the third sector and brings HR, operational and strategic experience to the Board. Gail has many years’ experience working with vulnerable adults from all walks of life. Gail has recently become Chair of Trustees and is delighted to take on this role and is excited at the future opportunities for RC (for example, CAVDAS, Swipe out Stigma, etc) Gail is committed to ensure that the organisation remains member driven and true to our core values. Gail is really thankful to be involved with RC and is proud to see the Recovery Community going from strength to strength.
Rob Heirene, PhD
I joined Recovery Cymru as a trustee in early 2021, nine years after finishing as a volunteer with them from 2010 to 2012. As a volunteer with the community, I saw the amazing work they do in supporting those in recovery and the invaluable role they play in society. This experience motivated me to pursue a PhD in the area of substance use and I now work as a researcher in the addictions field at the University of Sydney, Australia. I hope to use my knowledge of addiction and recovery to support the community as a trustee.
Originally from Leicestershire Amanda-Jane has lived in Cardiff for 20 years. She works for supported housing in Neath/Port Talbot helping homeless young people to live independently. Having completed a PhD in Organisational Governance and Gender Equality issues, Amanda-Jane was keen to use her skills and expertise to support our community as a Trustee.
I joined Recovery Cymru as a Trustee in 2017. Over the last few years I’ve seen how Recovery Cymru, and the wonderful community within which we operate, has continued to go from strength to strength. Since joining the Trustee Board I’ve served as Secretary and Treasurer and it’s a real pleasure to be involved in something which brings so much support to so many colleagues across Cardiff and the Vale which is where I’m based. Outside of Recovery Cymru I’m the HR Director at the House of Lords in Parliament, and previously sat as a HR Director elsewhere in the Civil Service.
“It’s great to be a member of the Recovery Cymru Community, experience its positivity, warmth and generosity and see the effect this has on the lives of members. I’ve spent the last 15 years working as a fundraiser in the arts sector as I believe the arts has a lot to contribute to society and those with the talent and vision to be artists should have opportunities to fulfil their potential. I’m hoping to use the skills I’ve developed during my career to help Recovery Cymru grow and engage with more people across Cardiff and South Wales. In my spare time, I’m constantly developing new interests before forgetting them as I’ve got excited about something else, but those that have stuck including travelling, reading, aikido and my allotment.”
“My name is Susie Boxall and my role is peer lead of the Cardiff and Vale Recovery and Wellbeing College. We facilitate courses around mental health and well-being and are peer-led so I am able to use my lived experience during our courses to promote mutuality and build connections with our students. My background is in Occupational Therapy and I worked for 24 years in the NHS in the field of oncology and palliative care. I developed many skills over this period, including excellent communication skills, working as part of a multi-disciplinary team and working with patients around managing anxiety and fatigue to help maximise their quality of life.
I have had many mental health challenges throughout my adult life including a substance use problem. This is where I joined to Recovery Cymru Community as a member in 2010. This was a massive turning point in my recovery and being part of a community where I felt accepted and there was no judgment was literally life-changing for me. I then went on to volunteer and gained employment in RC in 2014. This is where I developed my skills working as a peer. I managed the volunteer programme, and wrote and delivered resources and training programmes based on the lived experience of substance misuse co-producing with others who experience substance misuse both within the RC community and across Wales.
I have been on the trustee board of RC for 15 months and am able to offer valuable insight into operational management having experience RC as a member, volunteer and member of staff, I consider myself a member of the community above all else. When training needs for the staff/volunteer team are identified I am able to deliver specific training sessions which I developed when I worked as part of RC. I am the secretary of the trustee board and record the minutes of our meetings. We work extremely well as a trustee board in conjunction with Sarah Vaile director of RC and all the trustees bring different skill sets to support the operational and financial management of the Community adult life, I have faced many mental health challenges, including substance use.
In 2010, I joined the Recovery Cymru Community as a member, and it was a significant turning point in my recovery journey. Being part of a community where I felt accepted, and there was no judgment was life-changing for me. I then went on to volunteer and gained employment with RC in 2014, where I developed my skills working as a peer. I managed the volunteer programme, wrote and delivered resources and training programmes based on lived experience, and co-produced with others who also experienced substance use problems within the RC community and across Wales.”
I’ve lived in Cardiff for the majority of my life. I live with my fiancé, Liza (you’ll mainly find us in the many food establishments on Whitchurch Road). I’ve been a civil servant since the age of 19. Outside of work, I’m a keen gym-goer, I love my food, my niece and nephews, and, for my sins, I’m a Cardiff City fan.
I’ve struggled with alcohol on and off throughout my entire adult life. I got sober without the support of organizations like RC (more luck than judgement), but I know without a doubt that if I had heard of RC and the peer support they offer, I would have quit drinking much sooner. Getting sober has been, without a doubt, the single most important and greatest decision I’ve ever made.
I heard about RC in 2020 while working with one of the trustees, Dom, and he mentioned RC and the opportunity to volunteer. I’m forever grateful that he did. I’ve been volunteering for Recovery Cymru since 2020, and it has been the most enriching experience of my life. I’ve met some fantastic people, been able to support others, but most importantly, I’ve felt like part of a community that has strengthened my own sobriety. I feel like I’ve found my “tribe,” and I thank you all for being such a welcoming and inspirational bunch.
When Sarah mentioned the trustee opportunity, I was immediately interested. It is, without a doubt, the biggest privilege of my life to be given the responsibility to ensure that RC and our amazing peer support are championed and celebrated for many decades to come. I look forward to meeting all of you and working together to maintain and strengthen the truly life-changing work you all do.