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Shelter Cymru welcomes new Chair of Trustees, Mike Theodoulou

Following a successful open recruitment campaign, Shelter Cymru has identified its next Chair of Trustees, the housing and homelessness charity is pleased to announce.

Mike Theodoulou is a confident and motivated leader with a strong track record of strategic direction and management. He is highly experienced in working with multi-disciplinary teams across multiple sectors, including leadership roles in a number of housing associations, government agencies, private sector and third sector organisations.

He’s National Chair of One Voice Wales, the organisation representing town and community councils in Wales. He is Chief Executive of the Centre for Building Social Action, a Carmarthenshire-based social justice charity, and is an independent Community Councillor and Mayor of Pembrey and Burry Port.

Mike will be taking over from the outgoing Chair of Trustees Shayne Hembrow at Shelter Cymru’s AGM in March 2022.

Mike said:

‘I am really pleased to be taking on this new role with Shelter Cymru, a national charity that has the strongest voice and delivers unique support to people in housing need across Wales. I am passionate about fighting for social justice, I am passionate about improving outcomes for  the most vulnerable people in our communities, and I’m looking forward to supporting Shelter Cymru in its fight for everyone in Wales to have a good home.’

Shelter Cymru’s CEO Ruth Power said:

‘It was humbling that our Chair position attracted interest from many high-calibre applicants. Mike stood out in a strong field with his experience, his abilities and his deep commitment to ending homelessness. Over the last five years we’ve been privileged to have Shayne Hembrow  as our Chair; his strategic leadership of the board has enabled  us be ever more effective in our mission. We’re looking forward to working closely with Mike as we move further forward with our ambitious 2025 Strategy.’

One of Mike’s motivations in wanting to work for Shelter Cymru is his own experience of homelessness as a young person. Read Mike Theodoulou’s full statement here:

“When I was 17/18 we were made homeless. I was the oldest of five siblings and I watched my mother trying to raise five children, trying to feed five children under difficult circumstances until I started earning. That had a huge impact on my life.

It influenced what I did and what I want to continue to do. I am passionate about fighting for social justice, passionate about homelessness, passionate about looking after the most vulnerable people in our society.

Why Shelter Cymru? Shelter Cymru has the loudest voice in the fight against homelessness. Shelter Cymru offers services for those in housing need across the whole of Wales. I want to be part of it.”



This Christmas an unprecedented amount of children in Wales will be homeless and living in temporary accommodation with no place to call home.

The number of people living in emergency accommodation has nearly doubled in the last year and our services are seeing a huge increase in the number of children who are experiencing homelessness.

An alarming number of children will be living in hostels, bed and breakfasts, hotels or other ‘temporary accommodation’ with insufficient space for eating, sleeping and playing. And it’s often not ‘temporary’  – the housing crisis means that people could be stuck in poor conditions  for several months or even years, with little hope for a permanent home.

The number of children whose families have come to Shelter Cymru for help because they are stuck in temporary accommodation has gone up by a third in the last year. It is estimated that this year approaching 7,000 people will spend Christmas homeless, with uncertainty regarding finding a suitable home for the future.

A perfect storm of welfare cuts and rising rents, together with a lack of social and affordable homes is creating impossible pressure for local authorities. This, coupled with the devastating effect of the Covid pandemic, paints a very bleak picture for these homeless families and other people struggling to get by in these uncertain times.

Ruth Power, CEO of Shelter Cymru, said:

‘We know first-hand the negative impact that not having a home and living in temporary accommodation has on people’s mental and physical health. And we know that homelessness affects children and young people’s education, and can have lifelong impacts. This Christmas in Wales too many families will be living in poor conditions where it’s difficult to cook a proper meal. Some will spend Christmas living in one room, where they are forced to eat, play, dry their washing and sleep.

We need your help to stop this from happening. Every child deserves a safe place to call home. Every donation will mean that Shelter Cymru can be there for those who need us, this Christmas and beyond.’



Natalie and her four year old daughter have been without a home since February. With low windows and exposed wires, their temporary small flat does not provide a safe and settled home for her daughter, and Natalie is fearful of her coming to harm. “She hates it here. She cries every time we return and the noise from outside frightens her. I just don’t want this life for her.’

Shelter Cymru is supporting Natalie to secure a permanent home in a suitable area; somewhere her daughter can play and get a good night’s sleep and where they can build a secure future together.

**Natalie’s story is based on real events. Her name has been changed to protect her identity.

To donate to Shelter Cymru’s urgent Christmas appeal please visit