Meet The Team

The ACE Hub Wales team are passionate about the ACE agenda and supporting the nation to become ACE aware and trauma-informed in practice.

Joanne Hopkins

Director For Aces, Criminal Justice & Violence Prevention

My ambition throughout my career has been to make a difference, and to seek and take opportunities to do so. Some of my proudest achievements have also shaped my life. I developed the first Strategy to eliminate violence against women and girls for the UK Government, something that still is my professional highlight, and to this day I am passionate about tackling all forms of gender based violence and the inequality in society that underpins it. I have been a champion of diversity and inclusion in the Home Office for many years, including chair of the Home Office Women’s network and senior sponsor of the gender equality network.

My ambition is to take the skills and expertise I have acquired from 18 years in the public sector and academic achievements to continue to develop my knowledge about what makes a difference to people, to learn and to keep learning, both academically and just from the experiencing of listening and engaging with people. And supporting others to realise their hopes, dreams and ambitions. And for my family to be proud of what I do.

Natalie Blakeborough

Deputy Leader

I have worked in the specialist violence against women and girls third sector for 13 years in front line support roles and senior management and my work experience and education prior to this is in youth work in both local authority and third sector organisations. I firmly believe that investing in young people helps to build resilience and supports them achieve their fullest potential.

I have a strong interest, and feel strongly about, preventing adversity and trauma from happening in the first place, but also in preventing further harm by having informed communities and services available to those who experience it. My most recent work has been developing on a whole system approach to addressing violence against women and girls- Welsh Women’s Aid’s “Change That Lasts”. Through this work I have seen first-hand that training individuals alone will not work in achieving lasting change, we need to connect the dots and ensure that the systems we work in enable change rather than resist it.

My career has been shaped by the experiences where women, children and young people have trusted me enough to walk alongside them in their recovery journey. Unfortunately, this experience has also highlighted where systems fail individuals, but I have made it a personal aspiration to challenge those system failures wherever my career takes me, so that we go beyond documenting learning and push for real change so that no child, young person or adult facing adversity and trauma is failed in the future.

The most important role of my life is being a mum to my daughter and my drive every day is fired by knowing she is watching me, and other women, fight for equality so that she has a future without discrimination.

Joseff Bromwell

Programme Support Manager

Joe joined WHO CC in 2018 supporting the Early Action Together Programme. Joe is an experienced project manager who provides a link between Public Health Wales, the four Welsh police forces, HMPPS and wider partners. Joe also provides support to the Women in Justice Programme, which is taking a multiagency approach to operationalising the Female Offending Blueprint in Wales.

Samia Addis

Senior Public Health Research Assistant

Since joining ACE Hub Wales in April 2021, Samia has worked on a number of research projects. These include exploring the impact of community projects on ACEs and adversity; a literature review to identify the key language and terminology relating to trauma-informed; and a comparative study of trauma-informed communities across Wales.

Before joining ACE Hub Wales, Samia spent 15 years as a research associate at Cardiff University. Within this role Samia worked on projects which focussed on the health and wellbeing of children and young people, including children in social care; the experience of service users; and the implementation of service improvements.

While at Cardiff University, Samia completed a PhD which focussed on the uptake of free school meal entitlement by secondary school pupils in Wales.

Huw Williams


I’m a researcher that’s leading on the evaluation of the Youth Justice and Female Offending Blueprints. I’m currently working on research specifications for the Pact Visiting Mum Service and a Gender and Trauma-informed training package. I am also completing a comparative piece of two separate evaluations of the Enhanced Case Management approach. These pieces look to inform the evaluation of different services which will in turn provide recommendations for further roll-out.

Emma Sheeran


I am a researcher working on a project within the ACE Hub Wales to better understand primary prevention opportunities for women experiencing ACEs prior to entering the criminal justice system. This project will develop and test an approach to supporting women in Wales who have experienced ACEs and trauma in adulthood and are at risk of entering the criminal justice system to prevent women from offending.

Emma Howells

Substance Misuse Lead

I have worked in the substance misuse sector for the past 17 years initially as a front-line worker and then as a team leader covering the three counties of Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire for Barod’s Young Persons Service – Choices. I am passionate about harm reduction and recovery and have had the privileged to be part of so many young people’s journeys. My career has predominantly centred around children and young people within the substance misuse field, and this has inspired me to join the ACE Hub Wales to lead the way for the substance misuse sector to be TrACE informed. I believe in the importance of creating an environment that embraces kindness, gratitude and care with compassion. My core values are trust, honesty, transparency, empathy and a positive can-do attitude which I will bring with me to this new role.

In addition to this I am a mother to Megan who is 23 and Rowan who is 15, I aspire to be a positive role model for them. I love walking and have three beautiful dogs that keep me busy. I have recently joined a yoga class and enjoy guided meditation.

Jennifer Ellis

Business Support Manager

Jennifer joined Public Health Wales in 2016 and has worked across various Directorates before joining the ACE Hub Wales in a variety of roles, such as a PA to Programme Director in the Early Action Together Programme and more recently as Business Support Manager for the administration team on Public Health Wales’ covid response.

Jennifer enjoys the challenge of working in a busy environment whose aim is to effect change for our nation. She is looking forward to assisting the team and supporting them to achieve their goals in helping Wales become more trauma informed.


Jennifer has a busy family-life and her spare time is often centered around organising them!

Lauren Hopkins

Communications Support

I am currently working in a Communications Support role for Public Health Wales across the Wales Violence Prevention Unit and ACE Hub Wales.

I have recently graduated from Aberystwyth university with a Media and Communications degree and currently working towards a Master’s in Marketing.

Outside of work and studying, I enjoy reading self-help books and watching the sunset.

Zarqa Hussain

Project Manager

Since the start of her career Zarqa has worked in statutory and non-statutory services and the common theme in all the roles has been, helping others.  She started her career as a Youth & Community Worker following her degree and worked in drugs services for young people and then adults.  She has spent the last 4 years of her career in Health and Wellbeing management roles in the Housing and Further Education sector.

Her role as Project Manager in the ACE Hub Wales is primarily focused on the Further Education Sector and supporting them to embed and sustain a trauma-informed approach with the way they work with learners and staff.   She is looking forward to having a wider input into the ACE Hub Wales team objectives, utilising her personal and professional experiences to help inform future working.

In her spare time Zarqa is a Cricket Coach and has various other roles within the cricket environment including Scoring.  She also loves being at her allotment where she can relax and potter about and attempt to grow some vegetables along the way.  She has a little dog who keeps her active and busy and brings her daily laughs!

Georgina Davies

Project Support Officer

Georgina is the Project Support Officer working within ACE Hub Wales and Wales Violence Prevention Unit. Georgina offers support with event management, administrative and finance tasks. Georgina previously worked for Powys Teaching Health Board in a similar road in supporting transformation of services within NHS Wales.  Georgina enjoys supporting the team and working towards making Wales a trauma informed nation

Bronwyn Roane

National Lead For Strategy, Skills And Training

Bronwyn has worked as an Occupational Therapist (OT) since qualifying in 2009. Originally from South Africa, she has been working in the NHS for 11 years, working directly with children, young people and families, and also progressed to senior leadership roles within children’s OT.  Her work showed her the importance of the right support at the right time for children, young people and families, and she is passionate about universal services that are designed by the people accessing them, and that are available to everyone.

Bronwyn is excited to be starting a new career path with ACE Hub Wales and feels very strongly about Trauma and ACE- Informed Practice.


Chante Kebaletswe

Project Coordinator

Chante is the new Project Coordinator for the ACE Support Hub working on the Trauma Informed Wales project. She has experience working within a wide variety of projects from third sector employment projects to property and finance. She looks forward to providing expertise and skills to the project and working within the very exciting ACE Support Hub team.

Amira Akshar

Business Support Officer

Amira has joined the ACE Hub Business Support team. Amira has previously worked in finance and the events industry. Over the last 7 years she has been working and volunteering with predominately Syrian refugees helping them settle down into their new life in Wales.