Our Trustees

We believe every child and young person has great potential and our aim is to help them break through the difficulties which their disability may present to unlock this.

Sparkle Trustees are volunteers who volunteer a vast amount of time and bring with them their own unique professional and life experiences. Their primary focus is to ensure the charity is able to offer an excellent standard of care for children, young people and their families for generations to come. Here are some of our Trustees that make this happen.



Dr. Sabine Maguire

A former consultant paediatrician at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Sabine has been the visionary and driving force behind Sparkle and highly influential and instrumental in establishing Serennu to deliver care and treatment alongside leisure and family activities and facilities to children in the region and their families. As the current chairperson of Sparkle, Sabine provided the vision, concept and direction for joined-up care and leisure to children with severe and complex disabilities to enable them to engage in new opportunities, building new skills and confidence and reaching their full potential. She led the campaign to found and fund Serennu and now continues to develop innovative programmes and projects, work with parents, young people and other partners to bring about lasting changes to the lives of children with disabilities and their families for the better.

Sabine recently found out that she was receive an Honorary MBE, “For services to health and well being of children with disabilities in Wales.” On her reaction to hearing the news she said, “I was completely stunned. It would never have occurred to me that I would be considered for such an honour. It has been my privilege to have the opportunities I have had. I have worked with fantastic teams, both in Sparkle and in Cardiff University and beyond. Any achievements I may have had have been team efforts, certainly not mine alone.”


Joan Sheppard

Joan has been involved as a Sparkle Trustee from the beginning, and was part of the 1991 consultation that led to the report “The Need is Obvious.” As a parent of a child with disabilities, Joan’s motivation to be involved and make a difference has always been to ensure that future children and families don’t have the same experience as she had.
Prior to having her children Joan was a computer systems analyst at Rolls Royce and Alcan. She now works part-time for Rodney Parade Ltd as a match day steward / first aider. She also actively continues to volunteer her time with Girl guiding, Scout Active Support and the Dyspraxia Foundation.


Noel Williams

Noel is married to Wendy, a senior dentist in ABUHB, they have two grown up children, and live in Newport. Noel has been involved in Welsh based children’s charities for over 25 years as both a Trustee and Treasurer. Noel is retired Chartered accountant who has worked in industry as Group finance director of a listed company and later on in practice as managing partner of regional firm of chartered accountants. Although now retired from being a partner in the accountancy practice Noel still works as an Expert witness from time to time, and enjoys playing golf quite well and tennis not so well. Noel also likes to fill his time gardening and walking in the countryside and exploring cities and countries.


Helen Salmon

Helen Salmon owns and runs a successful hospitality business in Risca, with her husband Jason. Before taking early retirement, three years ago, Helen spent over 35 years in the private sector working for Frontier Medical Products Limited. Her career within the company gave her invaluable experience in all areas of managing a busy, successful business. Helen was key in the implementation of ISO 9001, Lean systems of work, customer relationship management, HR & payroll procedures. Helen was made an Associate Director of the Company in 2004.

Helen enjoys cooking, travelling and walking her dog.











Dr. Michelle Barber

Michelle is passionate about enabling children and young people through leisure activities, promoting their independence and psychological well being. She trained in South Wales where she has lived for over 30 years. Her motivation for working to improve the lives of the children with additional needs began in childhood when she helped as a volunteer with a Riding for The Disabled group. 

‘I have been privileged to witness the positive work Sparkle does with individuals in my clinics over the years I have been in post’ 







Musurut Ali








Keith Rutherford

Keith grew up in the North East of England.  He did his degree and Social Work qualification in Nottingham, qualifying in 1985. Since that time, he has worked within Social Care for 35 years across numerous councils for both Adults and Children’s Services. Keith is currently the Chief Officer of Social Care and Housing for Torfaen County Borough Council and has held this role since 2016. Keith joined the Sparkle board in 2020 as he felt he could bring his broad knowledge and experience to help those with complex needs. Outside of work, Keith is a keen gardener and cook. He also enjoys spending time outside walking the hills of Wales. 


Martin Gerrard

Martin was born and bred in Newport. He studied Geography at the University of Southampton and subsequently qualified as an accountant. Martin has now retired but previously worked in senior finance roles in the NHS in Gwent throughout his career. Martin has supported Sparkle as a Trustee and fundraiser from the start, from the lobbying and building stages of Serennu, and for some years thereafter, including him scaling the heights of Kilimanjaro in 2010. Martins other interests include sport, mainly football, rugby, cricket and speedway, local history, wildlife and collecting ‘anything and everything'.


Janet Kelly

Janet was born in Dublin where she trained as an occupational therapist in 1980. Janet has worked in Wales since 1986, specialising in working with children with disabilities and developmental difficulties, at first in Cardiff and then in Gwent where she has been since 1992. Janet’s current role is Head of the Occupational Therapy service for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, a job that she has truly loved. Janet is due to retire in June 2020 but will continue to work for Gwent children as a Sparkle Trustee, a role that she is very much looking forward to as part of her retirement from the NHS.