Awen Cultural Trust, the registered charity which provides opportunities for people and communities across South Wales to experience, enjoy and be inspired by culture, has appointed Ava Plowright as its new Chair of Trustees. Ava takes over the role from Alan Morgan, who is stepping down as Chair after seven years but remaining as a much respected trustee and member of the Board.

Alan, retired managing director of Hafod Housing Association, has been a trustee of Awen since it was established in 2015. He has been chair of the organisation through a period of development and growth, while also supporting it through the pandemic and more recently the cost-of-living crisis.

Ava Plowright, an experienced fundraiser and event manager, is the Fundraising Manager at Shelter Cymru, the housing and homelessness charity in Wales, and previously worked within the development team at Wales Millennium Centre, working across all fundraising disciplines, so brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role.

An MA Arts Management Graduate from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Ava joined the Board at Awen in 2020, becoming a trustee following the successful completion of Chwarae Teg’s ‘Step to Non Exec’ programme, which is aimed at encouraging more women aged between 21 and 30 to apply for non-executive director roles.

Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen, which manages and develops a wide range of cultural services and facilities across Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taf, said:

“Alan has been a huge support to me and Awen over the past seven years, but particularly throughout the unprecedented challenges we faced during the pandemic. Alan’s calm and considered nature, together with extensive knowledge of the not-for-profit sector, provided reassurance and sound advice as we navigated the unchartered waters of recent years.

“I am very much looking forward to working with Ava as she takes up the role of Chair. Her experience of working across the arts and charity sectors will be very important over the coming years as we look to cement Awen’s reputation as a charity committed to working with our communities to deliver inclusive cultural experiences.

Commenting on her appointment, Ava, who lives in Maesteg, said:

“Serving on the Board of Trustees at Awen Cultural Trust over the last few years has been an absolute joy. The arts has been central to my life since childhood, and it’s been wonderful to be involved with an organisation which really does make a difference to people’s lives, through the transformative power of culture.

“It’s an honour to have been appointed the new Chair of Awen Cultural Trust, and I’m looking forward to supporting the charity through the exciting years ahead.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Alan for his steady and supportive leadership.”

Alan Morgan added:

“It has been a pleasure to work with Ava over the past few years and the skills she has brought to the Board as a trustee have provided much added value to the organisation. Ava’s appointment as Chair was welcomed by all Trustees and I am personally looking forward to working with Ava in her new role.

“The leadership and balance that Ava brings as Chair will ensure that she is a great ambassador for the Trust as it continues with its mission to make a difference to people’s lives.”