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Catbrook Educational Trust

Trustee Biographies

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Leanne Wakerley (Chair)

Leanne’s professional background is in marketing and project management, mostly in the car industry, both on the client and agency side, for brands such as Rover, MG, Mini, Jaguar and Landrover. Having started a family she switched to property management and has also used her skills to volunteer within the community, on the management committee and as a Trustee of Busy Bodies playgroup In Trellech, as a School Governor (with 4 years as Chair) at Trellech School and as the Chair of the Monmouthshire Association of School Governors. She was born in Zambia, grew up in Yorkshire and Somerset and has been fortunate enough to live in Catbrook since 2004 with husband Graham and two teenage boys. Loves walking with cocker spaniel Monty, cooking, books, yoga and singing with Rock Choir.

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Dawn Cater (Treasurer)

Dawn is from Letchworth in Hertfordshire & moved to Catbrook 40 years ago, having studied Modern Languages at Bristol. She became a chartered accountant, working in various companies and charities within a 40 mile radius. She has always been involved in the local community, including being treasurer for a local Scout group for 8 years, and a trustee for the Babington Centre when a successful application was made to the National Lottery for renovation of the old school in Trellech.

She is married, has 2 sons (both now at university, having attended Trellech Primary and Monmouth Comp) and 2 dogs. She enjoys travel & holidays, cooking, eating, socialising, walking, swimming and yoga.

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Laura Thorpe 

Laura is an experienced, Additional Learning Needs Teacher at a specialist provision based in Caerphilly County Borough Council. More recently, Laura has worked with the Welsh Government to develop the use of ‘Eye-gaze’ technologies to engage learners and ensure access to learning. Laura moved to Catbrook in 2007 with her husband, to fulfil an ambition to renovate an old barn, which is now their family home. Laura has a keen interest in education and has actively supported and volunteered for various committees, including Busy Bodies Playgroup in Trellech and as a Parent Governor at Trellech Primary School. Laura was born in South Wales and has spent most of her adult life in Monmouthshire. She has also lived in Spain, where she taught in a private international school and enjoyed the slower pace of life. She is passionate about education, life-long learning, the great outdoors and dogs!

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Andy Pullan

Andy grew up in Somerset before joining the merchant navy at 16 to see the world. After 4 years of globetrotting he joined the Avon & Somerset Constabulary and after Police training college was posted to Bristol where he worked at a number of police stations over the years. 

He served 30 years in the force in various roles and ranks including uniform, CID, Operations, Roads Policing, Firearms and Criminal Justice before retiring in 2012.

He and his wife moved to Whitelye in 2012 where they enjoy walking their 2 dogs in the woods, gardening and the peaceful village life.

He is looking forward to helping the Educational Trust provide a useful and much needed resource to support to help the young people in the area achieve their goals and ambitions.

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Nicky Harvey

Nicky’s professional background is in corporate risk management and she has held a number of senior positions providing advice and managing the risk profile of organisations in a variety of industry sectors, including telecommunications, engineering, art and, most recently, venture capital. She has run teams, managed projects and enjoyed mentoring youngsters in industry, including through her position on the board of the national industry association. Originally hailing from Devon, Nicky has lived in Whitelye for 10 years, until recently splitting her time between work in London and enjoying time in the lovely Wye Valley with husband Jon, and rescue lurcher Zoe. She enjoys walking and running (including canicross with Zoe) and is just embarking on a new silversmithing hobby.

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Dave Phipps

David grew up in Cheltenham and studied Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Bristol before joining British Aerospace which then became Airbus, in Filton. His career has included managing teams of engineers across Europe, and project managing large international research projects. He has been involved in a variety of voluntary youth work throughout his life, including helping with Scouts, and church based youth clubs in Bristol at different times. This has involved running camps, taking groups of young people hill walking, and organising trips to the Scout Centre in Kandersteg in Switzerland. He moved to Whitelye 10 years ago, and enjoys hill walking, mountain biking, DIY, cooking and drinking beer! Since going part time at work, David has become the Warden of the nearby Scout Camp Site at Botany Bay, spending most Thursday’s with the Service Team maintaining & improving the site and its surrounding woodland.

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Craig Bridgeman

Craig is a Chartered Engineer who has held many senior positions within the Construction, Engineering and Steel Industries. During his career at Tata Steel as Head of Engineering, he had responsibility for the training and mentoring of Engineering apprentices, trainees, and graduates.

Craig was also a part time college lecturer at the University of South Wales and his interests in learning inspired him to be Chair of Governors at Chepstow Comprehensive School for many years.

Originally from Tredegar, Craig then moved to Magor with his wife and two children and lived there for 20 years before moving to Catbrook in 2017, along with the family and Dexter the Bulldog. 

Craig`s hobbies are sport, especially rugby, football and golf. He is also a keen DIY enthusiast and has recently renovated the family home. 

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Nigel Williams

Nigel has spent most of his career in the Automotive sector, initially for Blackhorse Motor Finance and latterly at BEN, the automotive sector occupational charity. He has held board and senior roles primarily in Sales and Strategic development. He retired from full time work in 2017. He has lived with his family in Parkhouse for 20 years and can often be seen walking around the local lanes and woods trying to keep fit. Retirement has allowed him to spend more time with his guitar playing music. A lifelong rugby supporter he adopted Bath as his local club and looks forward to England repeating their previous World Cup successes. He considers himself fortunate to have had a good education which was the foundation for a successful career. Making sure that local people are able to participate fully in their education is something that he wants to see CET contributing towards.

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