Bethan Evans, Chair of Trustees

Beth has lived in Bristol since the 1970s when she came to the city to study law at University. She practised as a solicitor for 35 years. Beth worked as a lawyer in the public sector for a number of local authorities in the area, then became a partner at Bevan Brittan in Bristol, where she was elected as Senior Partner for 4 years.  During her time at the firm, Beth led work on CSR and engagement with community/charity work. Beth was Vice Chair of the Bristol Partnership for two years. Having retired from full time practice in January 2018, Beth now runs a business delivering training for local authority elected councillors.

She believes strongly that equipping young people to enter the world of work is essential for their development and the success of our society. Also, that links between business and the world of education should be stronger and more focused. Beth became a Trustee of Ablaze in Spring 2018 and was elected Chair of Trustees in 2020.

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Robert Bourns

Robert was Managing and then Senior Partner of TLT LLP, national law firm head quartered in Bristol. An employment lawyer, he has committed to a number of local charities. He was trustee and then Chair of St Peter’s Hospice, Bristol and is currently chair of Quartet Community Foundation. He is also a friend of Room 13 studio in Hareclive and a governor of Merchants’ Academy. He is a member of the Council of The Law Society of England & Wales and was its President for 2016/17. He is passionate about the potential power in diversity and believes that most people can achieve great things for themselves and their communities if given encouragement and confidence in their own abilities.

Robert is married, with 4 adult children and a granddaughter. He skis occasionally and badly, gardens, and sings in his local community choir. He enjoys walking in the Lake District.

Ashley Daniells

Ash was born and raised in Bristol and has a real connection to the city. He is currently an Associate at RPC LLP, working in the Professional and Financial Risks team. He was introduced to Ablaze after leading RPC’s partnership with West of England Mentoring, a partnership that saw him ultimately win Mentor of the Year at the inaugural South West Mentoring Awards. Ash is heavily involved in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives at RPC, most notably in relation to Social Mobility and LGBT+. Having attended a school that benefits from Ablaze, Ash is perfectly placed to help make a difference.

Ash became a Trustee of Ablaze in April 2019 and is excited to help make real change across the South-West.

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Shawnett Morgan

Shawnett was born and raised in Bristol and after a time studying and living in London, has now moved back to her home city. She has been a qualified primary school teacher for 21 years and feels fortunate to have worked in a wide range of settings in the Independent  and State sector, including; Early Years/ Foundation Stage, Middle school, Secondary and Alternative provision (PRU). Shawnett currently works in a primary school located in central Bristol.

Shawnett’s experience as a participant of the first Stepping Up programme, commissioned by Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol In 2018, wetted her appetite for becoming a Board member. Shawnett is delighted to be appointed as an Ablaze trustee, as she is looking forward to using her teaching experience to help local children to realise their potential.

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Richard Stokes

Richard has significant experience in Diversity and Inclusion and is currently studying for a PG Cert in Promoting Equality and Managing Diversity. Richard currently works for Avon Fire & Rescue service as a Culture and Inclusion Manager; prior to this he worked as a Diversity Adviser for the Environment Agency and a Diversity Officer on the Race for Opportunity Campaign. Richard also spent five years in the Grenadier Guards, taking part in operational and ceremonial duties.

Richard took part in the Stepping Up programme run by Bristol City Council, which aims to unlock potential and develop talent while ensuring a fair representation of BAME, disabled people and women in positions of leadership. Richard joined Ablaze as a Trustee in April 2021 and is excited to help local children fulfil their potential.

Julia Thomas

Julia lives in South Bristol, she is originally from South Wales but has lived in Bristol for the past 22 years. She brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as a trustee, gained from various general management and leadership roles, as well as functional HR competence, from her broad, generalist HR background.

Julia has spent the majority of her working life in Financial Services in the Banking sector, undertaking a wide variety of roles in the branch network, centres of excellence and central functions – her most recent role was Senior HR Business Partner to the Retail Chief Operating Officer. She has also undertaken a number of volunteer and trustee roles in the charity and third sectors in South Wales and Bristol, and has  done some volunteering work internationally. Julia now has her own HR Consultancy.

Julia joined Ablaze as a Trustee in March 2021 and is excited to bring her skills and knowledge to this exceptional organisation.