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Neath Port Talbot social enterprise Thrive Group Wales welcomes new trustees

(L-R) Simon Pridham, Leigh Hughes, Lucy Reynolds, Kath Chadwick and James Davies.

Thrive Group Wales, the social enterprise that supports Neath Port Talbot’s Thrive Women’s Aid, has welcomed four new trustees.

James Davies, Senior Manager at Tata Steel, Leigh Hughes, Business Growth and Social Value Director at major building contractor Bouygues UK, Simon Pridham, founder and Managing Director of learning technology company Aspire2Be, and Kathryn Chadwick, founder and director of digital marketing and PR company Front Door Communications, have joined the social enterprise’s board of directors.

Thrive Group Wales is a social enterprise that encompasses cleaning and catering services and Playhem, a play centre in Port Talbot. All profits from Thrive Group activities are distributed directly to Thrive Women’s Aid, which supports sufferers and survivors of domestic abuse in the Neath Port Talbot area.

It has had a substantial period of growth in the past five years, increasing its turnover from £48,000 in 2017 to around £500,000 in 2020/21. It has cleaning contracts with many local businesses including, Bouygues UK, Morganstone, Morgan Sindall, Andrew Scott, BAM, John Weaver, Buckingham, Castell Group and GJL.

James Davies is a native of Port Talbot has undertaken various Senior Management roles Tata Steel UK, including as the Chief Engineer and is currently the Works Manager of its Steel and Slab Operation. He leads a large team at Tata Steel and will bring his extensive experience and belief in collaborative communication and leadership to the role at Thrive.

Leigh Hughes leads on business growth and social value at Bouygues UK, which is building Pentre Awel in Llanelli and developing the new site at Kingsway in Swansea, and is also the Welsh chair of Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Chair of the Employment and Skills Board of the Cardiff Capital Region. Leigh is looking to bring his skills knowledge and business development acumen to the social enterprise.

Former headteacher and digital education adviser to Welsh Government, Simon Pridham, founded Aspire2Be more than a decade ago. The company was bought by leading training and education provider Educ8, earlier this year. Simon will help the Thrive Group with its digital development, as well as its training provision.

Kathryn Chadwick is a former print and BBC broadcast journalist who founded Front Door Communications, a PR and digital marketing agency, in 2017. A native of Pontypridd, she will help Thrive Group with its communications, both internally and externally.

Lucy Reynolds, CEO of Thrive Group Wales and Thrive Women’s Aid, said of the appointments: “We’d like to thank the outgoing Trustees for their help, advice and support over the past few years. They have guided Thrive Group Wales through a period of massive growth, as well as navigating the pandemic period, which we will always be extremely grateful for.

“When we put a call out for new Trustees we were overwhelmed by the calibre of people who were interested in working with us on the next stage of the development for Thrive Group Wales, and so we are very pleased to welcome our four new Trustees, all of whom bring something very different to the table.

“I look forward to working closely with them to ensure that Thrive Group Wales achieves the potential we know it has.”

James Davies said of his appointment: “I am a passionate believer in the adage that ability without opportunity is nothing, and so I am determined to create platforms where I can share my experience and support the development and growth of institutions and business, which in turn have a positive impact on society.

“I look forward to working with Thrive Group Wales and my fellow trustees to ensure the social enterprise’s activities are sustainable, based on sound business principles and held on a firm financial footing – so we can further support those in need.”