In 2014 a project Matt managed became the first Sports Leader Academy in Wales. In 2015 the scheme between Sport Leaders UK, Streetgames and Sport Wales initiatives ‘5x60 and ‘young ambassadors’ won the best ‘Sport Leader Academy’ across the UK. Matt was presented with this award for creating the partnerships and managing the scheme at the House of Lords by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.
Since 2013 Matt has worked as a free-lance Coach Educator for National Governing Bodies of Sport and also tutors occupational standard training for various Awarding Bodies.
In 2017 Matt set up ProActive Leisure Solutions Ltd. as a consultancy and training provider, they are currently working with British dodgeball to create and deliver a new range of Coach Education and Tutor CPD courses.
Skills include; identifying development opportunities, sharing good practice, partnership working, project management and empowering learners.
Debra is the North Wales Project Development Officer for charity Sported. Sported is one of the UK’s leading Sport for Development charities. Sported help the local heroes of community sport to build thriving and sustainable clubs and groups, in order that the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach young people in our society have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
Debra has worked in the sports development sector for over 12 years throughout Mid and North Wales. She has had varied jobs over the years, she started her working life in a local hotel before going to university as a mature student. On leaving university Debs started working in the National Vocational Qualifications industry for four years before getting her break into the sports sector in 2007.
Sunish moved 100% to the social impact sector in 2011, working with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, helping scaling the affordable housing program through hybrid models. He has played various leadership roles since then, including leading fundraising and strategic resources, leading operations in South Asia covering India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and recently moving to the India Leader role.
Sunish is passionate about reducing road deaths and injuries in India and founded Concern for Road and Pedestrian Safety (CoRPS), a non-profit trust in Bangalore in 2013. The trust focuses on resolving black-spots by introducing safe-road designs and implementing them by bringing together citizens, experts, civic agencies and elected representatives. CoRPS has plans to run campaigns to ensure that there is state-level road safety authorities in place, and also contributing to driving license reforms in India.
John is Chief Officer of AVOW – Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham (CVC) and a Trustee/Director of Calon FM, Wrexham Warehouse Project and a committee member of the St. Giles PCC and WOFF.
John has extensive knowledge of the Third Sector locally, regionally and nationally and is the North Wales representative of the CVCs in meetings with the Welsh Government.
Trained as a Youth and Community worker spending a number of years in the Gloucester area before coming ‘home’ to Wrexham to take over a family business creating a flagship convenience store that won the Retailer of the Year Award.
Sunish has played several leadership roles ranging from Media & PR and Consulting to Social Entrepreneurship & Impact sectors over the last 20 years. He began his career in Merchant Banking, but soon moved to PR contributing to two large PR projects with impacts on communities in Central India. He moved on to represent the British Government's Trade & Investment department in Central India, promoting business partnerships and technology transfer in Agri Business and Automotive sectors.
Sunish held leadership positions in Consulting for UK Govt in India, first in Central India and then in Bangalore, South India, driving trade as well as inward and outward investments between UK and India. Before moving on, Sunish was sector leader for technology and entrepreneurship (ICT, ESD and High-tech High-growth Entrepreneurship) for UK Govt in India.
Dawn Roberts Lead Change Maker for Positive Action
Rhiannon Morgan - Bebb Communication & Engagement Lead
In 2016 Jo combined her skills, knowledge and passion to set up Empower - Be The Change.
Skills include; people development, teaching, long term planning, performance management and cultural exchange.
Jo is the Founder and Managing Director of Empower - Be The Change. Her mission is to create a dynamic company that empowers people through positive change.
In 2013 after working in the public sector for 10 years in a senior role at Sports Wales, Jo took a 12 month sabbatical. Starting as a volunteer with a major volunteer company before moving to Tirunelveli to work directly with a local Indian social enterprise, Silo India. In this role Jo supported Silo India with business planning, performance management and marketing, in addition to establishing a partnership with UK Social Enterprise Vi-Ability.
In her role of Operations Manager for Vi-Ability, Jo set up, delivered and managed an international volunteer program in partnership with Silo India from scratch.
A native Wrexhamite, Rhiannon worked for many years in an administrative and business support capacity for a local outdoor experience company, before returning to Glyndwr University where she attained an MA with merit in Design Practice. During her studies she began her role in Learning support, helping students with learning differences feel enabled to achieve success in their studies. In her spare time she enjoys caring for her menagerie of pets and developing personal design projects.
Rhiannon was drawn to working with Empower - Be The Change because she is passionate about empowering individuals and the community at large, and feels very excited to be part of such a unique and forward thinking social enterprise.
Skills include: organisation and planning, creative problem solving and a strong work ethic
John Gallanders Director
Debs has done various roles within the sports sector, including participation officer, PE and School Sports officer, and more recently as Head of Development at Hockey Wales before joining Sported.
Volunteering has always been a part of her life, at the age of 18 she set up a junior section of her local hockey club and the buzz for supporting young people started there. Debs now volunteers as a Board member for two other sporting organisations and is President of her Hockey club. In her spare time Debs loves to be active, mainly passionate about playing hockey but also enjoys cycling, walking, tennis and football. Debra is passionate about making a difference to society and young people.
Debs is very excited to be a board member and helping Empower - Be The Change grow.
Dawn has run her own Industrial Construction company alongside her husband for over 20 years whilst raising a family.
Recently qualifying in a BA (Hons) in Public & Social Policy and in a Professional Certificate in Education (PGCE) and more recently undertaking ILM courses with Empower – Be The Change. She currently volunteers as a Mentor for Sported.org., supporting voluntary organisations who provide sports activities for children from disadvantaged communities.
Now her two sons are older she has joined the team as Programme Manager and will be delivering ILM courses in the North Wales Region. Dawn is passionate about sharing her skills, knowledge and experience as Programme Manager to create products and services that enable more people to achieve their goals.
Debra Barklin Director
Matt Hilliker Director
Sunish Jauhari Advisor & Ambassador, India projects
Board of Directors
Jo Clay Founder & Innovation Lead
Matt has 15 years experience working in Sport Development and Education.
Working in the public sector on Merseyside and in North Wales Matt has built up a reputable network across National Governing Bodies of Sport, Third sector organisations and Education Providers. Matt has also spent time working as a sport coach and director of coaching in USA and Australia.
Following this he undertook consultancy work with the Welsh Development Agency and Charity Aids Foundation before taking up the appointment in AVOW. John is also a lay Inspector for the Health Inspectorate Wales and a Lay member of the Health and Care research team.
Skills include, governance, HR, finance, IT and ‘getting the best out of people’.