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About NUJ Training Wales

This training programme has been operating in Wales since 2009. Every year around 300 places are taken up at our training courses or events, a figure that was doubled during the pandemic as we transferred our courses online to support media workers across Wales. We provide skill-building courses, redundancy support, wellbeing sessions and conferences that examine the future of journalism and communications.

The project is funded by the Welsh Government's Wales Union Learning Fund (WULF) and is delivered by a team of experienced freelance journalists and trainers, providing essential skills and refreshers to journalists and communications professionals from Wales and beyond.

Project Staff & Tutor Profiles

Rachel Howells

Rachel Howells is NUJ Cymru training Wales Project Manager. She is an experienced journalist, having spent twenty years working in magazines, newspapers and the hyperlocal sector, at a variety of levels from staff writer to editor.

Rachel graduated from a PhD in journalism studies from Cardiff University in 2016. Alongside her studies, she was a founder director and editor of the Port Talbot Magnet news service. She co-authored Hyperlocal Journalism (Routledge, 2018), is on the Welsh Executive Council of the NUJ and the advisory board of the Independent Community News Network. In her spare time, she writes poetry under the name Rae Howells. Her collection The language of bees (2022) was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year. She also grows lavender and runs the company Gower Lavender.

Zena Chandler-Burnell

Zena is Project Coordinator, offering support to the Project Manager in planning and organising events.

Zena previously worked on the BECTU / CULT Cymru WULF projects as an administrator and was keen to work on a WULF project again as she saw the huge benefits of Union training brought to individuals.

With a background in the arts, after graduating from a Theatre Design degree Zena went on to be a Scenic artist for 13 years with Cardiff Theatrical Services, a subsidiary of the Welsh National Opera.

An active Union rep and branch secretary, Zena is passionate about helping and supporting others.

Dan Mason

Dan Mason is a journalist, media consultant and trainer, specialising in digital communication and social media (Dan Mason Media).

Prior to starting his training company, Dan worked extensively in the UK regional press and was the award-winning editor of daily newspapers including the Coventry Evening Telegraph and Birmingham Post. He was also managing director of Coventry Newspapers and a managing editor for Newsquest in London.

Over the past five years, he has trained managers, journalists and communications professionals all over the developing world as well as in the UK.

Simon Williams

Simon Williams runs our Writing for the Web, Build your own Website and Strategic Communications courses.

Simon teaches digital and campaign communications at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, and is a freelance journalist specialising in environment and outdoor activities.

With nearly 20 years experience of online editing, design and development, and 8 years as communications manager for Friends of the Earth Cymru, Simon now provides communications strategy consultancy and training. Find out more at www.communicatingcauses.co.uk

Emma Meese

Emma runs workshops on the effective use of social media for NUJ Training Wales. She heads up Cardiff University’s Centre for Community Journalism (C4CJ) and she leads the Social Media Roadshow Wales sessions that we run in partnership with C4CJ. A highly motivated journalist, with 15 years experience, she started her working life as a print journalist. Following a stint in radio she spent the best part of a decade making television programmes for the BBC. She is a non-stereotypical geek who loves fashion and technology.

David Banks

David Banks is a journalist with 24 years’ experience and delivers NUJ Training Wales’ course on Media Law and Ethics. He is a media consultant delivering training to a range of national and regional media, NGOs, government, charities, PR companies, universities and the police. He is a trainer who has created and managed successful courses in journalism, media law and production journalism.

He was co-author of 18th, 19th and 20th editions of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists. He writes regularly on law and the media for The Guardian, The Mirror and The Independent. He is a frequent contributor BBC TV and radio news programmes.

David Thomas

David is a highly experienced broadcaster, trainer and manager, with a special interest in communication and organisational skills. He runs the Linking In: Digital and Face-to-Face Networking and the How to be a Freelance workshops for NUJ Training Wales

His business skills clients include the BBC, ITV, and the entertainment and theatre unions BECTU, Equity and the Stage Management Association.

He specialises in media training for charities. He has been involved in radio and online production for 30 years, mostly with the BBC World Service and local radio. His expertise has taken him all around the world, working with broadcasters from Eastern Europe, the Far East, Africa and the Caribbean.

Pamela Heneberry

Pamela delivers our Mentoring Training Programme. She has worked in the field of education and training for the last 30 years and currently works as a consultant to the Institute of Leadership and Management in their Research and Policy Department. Pamela is co-founder of The Professional Development Centre, set up in 2009 to deliver leadership development programmes on a national basis.

The Professional Development Centre develops and delivers a range of leadership, management, coaching and action learning programmes for both public and private businesses including the TUC Wales, Cardiff University, Babcock Plc, The Principality Building Society, Arriva UK and Powys Council.

SA Mathieson

SA Mathieson has worked as a freelance journalist full-time for well over a decade. He has commissioned freelancers as an editor including for a section of the Guardian’s website; run training courses for the NUJ, the Federation of Entertainment Unions and corporate clients; and lectures on data journalism at Birkbeck, University of London. He lives in north-west Oxfordshire, just 80 miles from the Welsh border.

Jo Healey

Jo Healey is the author of Trauma Reporting, A Journalist’s Guide to Covering Sensitive Stories. She is a former senior BBC News Journalist who developed and introduced Trauma Reporting training for the BBC. She has trained hundreds of journalists and media staff from all over the world. She is the CEO of Trauma Work

Ahmed Elsheikh

Ahmed is a Digital Media Consultant at Mediamise Consultancies (www.mediamise.co.uk) and is Vice Chair of the Black Members Council of the NUJ. A former Senior Broadcast Journalist at the BBC, he provides training courses to BBC Media Action, Thompson Foundation and other international organisations. He holds a Master’s Degree on Social Media from The University of Westminster in London.

Aidan O’Donnell

Aidan teaches data journalism at Jomec to undergraduate, MA and MSc students and is a course co-director for the MSc in Computational and Data Journalism.

He has worked as a journalist in broadcast journalism and online journalism and reported on Africa and France for major media organisations and on freelance projects. He has been teaching numeracy in journalism for several years at undergraduate and postgraduate level and his job generally is to make data analysis a standard tool for journalists. He has taught at Middlesex University and Université Paris 8 and run journalism workshops at LUISS (Rome) and the IPJ (Paris).

Natalie Ann Holborow

Writer and marketer Natalie Ann Holborow is a winner of the Terry Hetherington Award and the Robin Reeves Prize. She has been shortlisted and commended for the Bridport Prize, the National Poetry Competition, the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, and the Cursed Murphy Spoken Word Award among others. Her writing residencies with the British Council, Literature Wales and Kultivera have seen her writing and performing poetry in Wales, Ireland, Sweden and India.

She is the author of the poetry collections And Suddenly You Find Yourself and Small – both listed as Best Poetry Collections of the Year by Wales Arts Review. She has a MA in Creative Writing from Swansea University, a CIM Level 4 Digital Marketing qualification is a proud patron of local charity The Leon Heart Fund. Today, she is a copywriter and content marketer specialising in L&D/people development.