Meet the ColegauCymru Team.

Together, the ColegauCymru Team are committed to promoting the public benefit of further education in Wales. We believe that all learners have the right to world-class education, delivered in a safe, diverse, and inclusive setting and within a sector which supports the wider community, employers and the economy.

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Currently on Welsh Government Secondment

David Hagendyk
About David Hagendyk

David has worked in leadership, campaigning and policy development roles in Wales for the last eighteen years. He joined ColegauCymru in October 2022, having spent seven years at the Learning and Work Institute Cymru as the Director for Wales.

Before joining L&WI, he also worked for seven years as the General Secretary of Welsh Labour. Prior to this he was the Political Liaison Officer for the University and College Union Cymru, as the Welsh Labour Head of Policy, and has worked as a researcher for Huw Lewis AM and Lynne Neagle AM.



Director of Finance

Carolyn Thomas
About Carolyn Thomas

Carolyn has worked in the further education sector since 1991, having previously been an accountant for a small college. She has worked as CollegesWales Finance Director since 2004 and is a fellow of the ACCA.

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Interim Chief Executive

Kelly Edwards
About Kelly Edwards

Kelly leads the CollegesWales Development Programme which aims to enrich the learning experience and enhance learning outcomes for the further education sector. She works with the Principals’ Forum and the Board of Directors to ensure the Programme is aligned to the vision and mission of the charity.

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Director of Policy and Public Affairs

Rachel Cable
About Rachel Cable

Rachel Cable leads the ColegauCymru Policy and Public Affairs Team, ensuring our work is in line with the organisation’s strategic objectives.

Prior to joining ColegauCymru, Rachel spent 15 years working in policy, campaigns and advocacy in Wales, including for Universities Wales, and coordinating campaigns for a Member of Parliament. Rachel also headed up Oxfam Cymru’s multi-disciplinary team across policy, advocacy, media, and education, including chairing the Disasters Emergency Committee Cymru.  

Alongside these roles, Rachel is a school governor and has acted as a charity trustee for a students’ union.

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Project Manager - European and International

Siân Holleran
About Siân Holleran

Siân joined CollegesWales as European and International Coordinator in November 2010. Her main areas of work include coordinating a programme of overseas training opportunities for staff, learners and apprentices, acting for the Welsh Government as the National Contact Point for EU initiatives and selling Wales to the world through working collaboratively with international partners.    
Siân is fluent in French, Spanish and Welsh and previously worked for CILT Cymru, the national centre for languages, promoting the learning of modern languages as a valuable skill for young people in an increasingly globalised world. She continues to share her love of languages and the cultures of other countries by promoting the benefits to young people of spending periods of time studying or working overseas. Siân also represents the further education sector on the steering group of Routes into Languages Cymru.   


Interim Director of Development

Rob Baynham
About Rob Baynham

With over 20 years’ experience in the further education sector, Rob has been involved in a wide variety of regional and national initiatives and projects with the current focus moving towards the development of Active Wellbeing and sporting opportunities in FE.

As Project manager for Active Wellbeing for FE in Wales, Rob’s responsibilities include managing Welsh Colleges Sport and developing participation, volunteering and sporting pathways for FE students. Since Rob joined CollegesWales in 2014, an additional 4,000+ FE learners per year have participated in new activity on various initiatives with new partnerships, events, systems and projects being introduced.

Raising the profile of FE sport and Active Wellbeing remain a priority for this work.


Finance Officer

Gill Barclay
About Gill Barclay

Gill works as CollegesWales' Finance Officer. Additional to this role, she leads on the IT support and facilities management of the organisation.

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ALN Transformation Lead FE

Chris Denham
About Chris Denham

Chris' career started working in the construction industry in Surrey before completing his Cert Ed at Huddersfield Polytechnic and then moving to Pontypool to take up a lecturing post at Pontypool College. Chris was instrumental in setting up the first special needs link courses with Crownbridge Special School in the late 1980s and after some retraining, he developed a new full-time special needs programme at Pontypool. As this provision grew, he recognised the need for support within mainstream and so took an additional qualification in specific learning difficulties and established a support centre at the college.

Following incorporation and the creation of Coleg Gwent, Chris occupied several management posts before taking on the role of ALN Manager for Coleg Gwent in 2014. During this time he also represented the college on the ColegauCymru ALN Network, performing the role of Chair from 2014.

Chris has worked closely with Welsh Government over the last four years to help shape the Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal (ALNET) Act and Code of Practice. He took up his current post with CollegesWales in January 2018 and continues to support colleges across Wales as they prepare for the implementation of ALNET.

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Communications Manager

Lucy Hopkins
About Lucy Hopkins

Lucy manages our communications and marketing activities, in line with the organisation’s strategic objectives. She ensures our communications are both influential, informative and appropriate to our stakeholders.

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Policy Officer

Amy Evans
About Amy Evans

Amy graduated from Swansea University in 2011 with a degree in Media and Communications. Following 5 years in the retail sector, she joined CollegesWales as a Receptionist. In May 2017, she took on the the role of Public Affairs Assistant and since March 2020 has been working as our Policy Officer. Amy is a fluent Welsh speaker.

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Office and Governance Manager

Rachel Rimanti
About Rachel Rimanti

Rachel manages the internal processes and procedures for ColegauCymru. She is also the primary contact for all things governance. Rachel joined ColegauCymru in February 2020 and is a fluent Welsh Speaker. 

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Policy and Public Affairs Assistant

Jamie Adair
About Jamie Adair

Jamie joined the ColegauCymru Policy and Public Affairs team from the Welsh Sports Association in April 2022. Before this, he graduated from Swansea University with an MA in Politics and BA in History.

His role is to represent institutions of further education on the national stage, working closely with MSs in the Senedd and with Welsh Government officials, undertaking research and analysis to help develop public policy recommendations.

Jamie is Swansea City season ticket holder and a huge sports fan. He follows football, tennis, darts, golf, snooker and Formula 1.


Project Officer

Vicky Thomas
About Vicky Thomas

Vicky joined CollegeWales in 2022. Working as a Project Officer in the Development Team, she leads and manages our international work, including the Erasmus+ Learner and Staff projects.

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Communications and Events Assistant

Hollie Mitchell
About Hollie Mitchell  

Hollie joined the ColegauCymru in September 2023, after graduating from Swansea University with a BA in Media and Communications. Her role as a Communications and Events Assistant involves supporting the organisation with stakeholder events, social media and marketing activities.


Strategic Advisor – WBL and Employability

Jeff Protheroe
About Jeff Protheroe

Jeff is the key point of contact for Welsh Government and other relevant bodies in the sector. He supports the Organisation to formulate sector responses to policy proposals including changes to funding streams, qualification reform, and curriculum development and contribute to apprenticeship framework reviews. He undertakes research to shape and influence policy and develops close links with leaders in colleges to optimise collaboration and innovative solutions.  Jeff also convenes working groups and lead on the development and submission of grant applications and other relevant bids for funding on behalf of the FE sector to enhance WBL and employability outcomes. 

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Executive Assistant

Karen Stanley
About Karen Stanley

Karen joined ColegauCymru in December 2023 as Executive Assistant responsible for internal business administration and supporting the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team. She also supports various networks at ColegauCymru.

Prior to joining ColegauCymru Karen had enjoyed a long and varied professional career within the NHS, providing comprehensive support for senior management teams within different disciplines at Executive and PA level. Project management qualified, and an Associate of APM, Karen has considerable experience supporting deliverables on several significant strategies and schemes.

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