James Lewis - Founder - Chief Executive
James Lewis is the Founder and Chief Executive of Action For Elders, with over 25 years experience in the non profit sector at a senior level. Initially from a corporate background: following the death of his young son from cancer he changed his career path to begin a history of founding national and international organisations; with a focus on innovative solutions to health and social care challenges.
He holds positions on several boards and was a leading consultant for the Walt Disney Company in Community Affairs; assisting in the establishment of their Programme for terminally ill children and their families at Disneyland Paris. A past Chair of Age Concern in Sutton and trustee of the Elderly Accommodation Counsel, he is now assisting a small charity to develop whilst also serving as a Non Executive Director for a much larger social enterprise.
His achievements include founding a Lloyds Syndicate specialising in travel insurance for the terminally ill and becoming national winner of the CBI sponsored Leading The Way Award in 2002. He has been the subject of an ITV television documentary called Smoothing the Stone and has extensive media experience; largely as a result of his music programme which is syndicated internationally. James lives close to the beaches of Swansea with his family where he is desperately attempting to complete his first book, tentatively called ‘For the earth is hollow but I have touched the sky’…………and yes, he is also a Trekkie!
James also boasts a limited number of anecdotes, including an hilarious story about Michael Bublé’s first gig at Ronnie Scott’s in London that begins “Tell Michael Bublé I’m here…”
Vicki Evans - Deputy Chief Executive
Vicki Evans joined us as Finance Director with over ten years of experience in corporate banking. She added Human Resources to her responsibilities and is now Chief Operating Officer.
Vicki began her career in corporate banking, moving around the sector enjoying various challenges over the years, including Operations and Risk Management.
After wanting a change of direction (and location) since having her first child, she moved into running her own company to help small business with their various Accounting and Human Resources needs. She really enjoys the diversity of interacting with people in these different sectors on a daily basis.
Vicki lives near the beautiful South Wales coastline with her husband and three young children, along with various animals (which increase frequently due to her daughter rescuing a new one each week). As a very busy mum, Vicki still finds time for climbing, horse riding, gymnastics, ballet, swimming, scouting, drama class and trampolining. Of course, a certain amount of these activities involve her children, with Vicki sat outside waiting patiently in her car!
If any free time does arise, Vicki enjoys taking her children on further great adventures and enjoying the local beaches.
Andrea Nicholas-Jones - Strategic Engagement and Partnership Director
Andrea’s role is to help us grow our capacity to help older people optimise their health and wellbeing. Strategic partnerships are a very important part of this and Andrea comes to us with a vast range of experience. She has been a Welsh Government representative responsible for development of the Race, Gender and Disability legislation.
Andrea has also worked in Health, Equality & Human Rights and Social Services, leading on the Strategy for Older People in Wales. Her work has included providing literacy, numeracy and life skills training to environmental workers to setting up a home visitation service for older people in the Welsh valleys.
As a Special Health Authority as a Specialist Advisor on Vocational Education and Training, Andrea helped to introduce the Health Care Assistant role into the NHS in Wales.
Outside work Andrea has three adult children, four grandchildren, three cats, three horses and two dogs to keep her busy.
John Coleman - Communications Director
He has written for a variety of publications and has interviewed numerous stars from the world of music, film and art. His extracurricular activity includes indie club DJ and appearances on LBC Radio. He currently writes for the Sunday Times and has broadened his interviews to include: scientists, politicians and the occasional celebrity chef.
John lives in London with his family and has two children whose varied interests include Dr Who, Sherlock Holmes, Acting, Karate and Lego.
One of John’s ambitions this year is to bring his many guitars down from the loft, as he has become extremely jealous of his children’s increasing musical proficiency on their chosen instruments: the violin and piano.
Kasia Lipka – Impact and Evaluation Manager
Kasia Lipka joined us in Summer 2020 to help with data collection and impact reporting, so that we can measure the success of our Balanced Lives programmes. She has a First-Class Honours degree in Economics from the University of Leeds and gained experience working with data during her time at the Government Economic Service (GES) Department of Health. Kasia has also worked as an Economic Researcher, primarily operating in the education and enterprise sector, most recently working with a social enterprise based in Newcastle.
Kasia balances her time at Action for Elders with her career as a footballer, currently playing for Sheffield United in the FA Women’s Championship. A keen record collector, Kasia has settled at a new home in Leeds – creating space for even more vinyl!
On the subject of favourite vinyl, Kasia’s most treasured possessions are the classic Rumours LP by Fleetwood Mac and David Bowie’s seminal Ziggy Stardust. Kasia has her parents to thank for getting her into vinyl: they bought her first turntable as a 20th Birthday present.
Jeff Parker - Director of Technology and Engagement
Our ‘go-to’ IT guy recently become Deputy Mayor of Lark Harbour, a really delightful town in Newfoundland with a historic link to Captain Cook. This is a remarkable achievement as an ‘outsider’, we just hope that he hasn’t seen the film The Wicker Man in a while!