Dee Valley Trust is run by a board of Volunteer Directors, who meet regularly to ensure that the organisation is running smoothly and to identify and discuss future opportunities.

CliveClive Austin 

Chair of The Board

Clive has lived in the local area all of his life and has a wealth of practical experience invaluable to the organisation.  After a spell working at the then Monsanto factory in Acrefair, Clive joined the Denbighshire County Architects Department where he worked for the majority of his career.  A sideways move saw Clive become a Senior Maintenance Officer before taking early retirement in 1992, after which he was appointed as Estates Manager for Llysfasi College.

“I retired in 2003 whereupon I took an interest in local events/charities, becoming a School Governor for Acrefair CP School and a member of the original Charitable Trust that is now the Dee Valley Trust.  I am a local lad determined to put back something into our Community to make it better for all in the future.”

SoniaSonia Benbow-Jones 


Sonia is a long standing Cefn resident and a critical link in the development and maintenance of our community partnerships. Along with her role with the organisation Sonia is also a Community Councillor, Chair of Tenantiaid Cymru and Vice Chair of Cefn Mawr County Primary Chair of Governors. Given her involvement in a wide variety of projects the organisation benefits from Sonia’s great local knowledge exceptional networks. With significant business experience gained from running her own successful design company for many years Sonia produces all aspects of our self-funded bi-monthly newsletter and recruits volunteers to help distribute it.

“It’s always great to hear feedback from local residents about how things are going. They will tell me about how they feel about their community, what’s thriving and doing well and sometimes where things need to get better. I really appreciate all comments as they tell me that residents here have a sense of ownership and pride of place in where they live. I too am very proud of that and I celebrate their contribution and commitment to improving our community.”

DaveDave Gittens


Dave has a background in community regeneration and renewable energy, he has worked on several European funded programmes and his role seeks to bring in outside funding for community projects.Dave also delivers Welsh Government’s Cynefin Programme, working in Cefrn Mawr to help people to improve the place in which they live or work, making it cleaner, safer and generally nicer to live in as well as more flourishing in terms of opportunities for business and for people to work and improve their incomes.

“The reason I’m involed in Dee Valley Trust is because the Dee Valley and Cefn Mawr is a fantastic place to live.  Its countryside, buildings and people are all worth shouting about and I want to give something back to the area and make it an even better place to live for everyone.”

EmmaEmma Forrest


Emma is passionate about community regeneration and has worked for some of our leading local authorities, developing strategic plans and making sure that services are effective, innovative and sustainable.  She has experience of leading regeneration projects, as well as developing successful volunteer programmes. Emma plays a role in the strategic development of the organisation, and her experience helps shape its ambition and direction.

“I love volunteering for Dee Valley Trust, my favourite thing is being able to see the impact of the work that we do in the area we live. It’s great to know that some of the services we provide help people gain employment, young people learn new skills, and businesses flourish. We are really ambitious for Cefn Mawr and we are excited about what the future might hold.”

Mark Lacey


Mark joined Dee Valley Trust in 2014 as our Trust Manager. He is an experienced senior manager, with employment experience in a wide range of fields from the oil industry to the charity sector. He is a proactive problem solver, and is genuinely interested in people and places. Mark was instrumental in establishing the Cefn Regeneration Partnership, and the submission of the BTTF for Cefn Mawr bid submssion.

In Spring this year we welcomed Mark to join the Board of Directors and he is now a valued member with some great financial insights.