Liz Hill O'Shea started off in Barry, then Swansea, and ended up in Ebbw Vale for the majority of her childhood. She did not come from a privileged background, but grew up on free school meals and mostly council estates. After finishing her A Levels, she spent a few years doing full time voluntary work and then went to Theology college where she graduated almost five years later with a Masters Degree. After graduation she moved to Seoul, South Korea, where she lived for the next eleven years working in education, the Third Sector and as a church pastor. She did numerous mission trips overseas including joining a medical team to serve a refugee camp in Haiti. She also worked for a charity that regularly took food and medical aid to children's orphanages in North Korea.
After her dad became ill, she returned to Wales in 2013 and has remained her since. In 2014, together with a team of friends, she founded the grassroots charity Bethel Trust located in the heart of Aberavon to support disadvantages families and individuals. With an amazing team of volunteers without whom the charity wouldn't operate, Bethel Trust operates a food bank that during Covid fed around 400 people every week. It also provides a drop-in Centre for families and long term unemployed, a food discount shop, volunteering and training opportunities, addiction support group, and community church. Her charity helps people with all sorts of needs including food poverty, homelessness, lack of confidence and skills, mental ill-health, job and accommodation searches, free hot meals, free clothing, and form filling. With her husband, Anthony, and an amazing team of volunteers who make it all happen.
Coupled with her seventeen years experience of Third Sector work, Liz has also set up and / or managed a number of small businesses, which has given her valuable experience and knowledge of the needs of SMEs. Liz is experienced in management, fundraising, marketing, policy writing, teaching, leadership training public speaking and cleaning toilets (you have to be prepared to do anything when running a charity!) She also holds a Doctorate Degree in Leadership and Global Perspectives from George Fox University, Portland, Oregon, USA.
Liz’s unique experience has given her the opportunity to work on many issues today that impact people from business, education and poverty, to relationships, addiction and mental health. She is passionate about empowering people and communities, improving lives which in turn, greatly benefits the local community through increased employment, improved prosperity and mental health, and decreased anti-social behaviour. Her particular interests are wide and include supporting local businesses, the Third Sector, attracting new business to Port Talbot, raising drug prevention awareness in schools and colleges, training and education, raising awareness of child trafficking, and supporting those in isolation.
Coupled with her work as Charity Director of Bethel Trust Port Talbot, since 2020 Liz has also been working for the UK charity Volunteering Matters as Engagement Manager where she supports people over 50 in the area of health and well-being, and also help young adults into employment, education or training opportunities.
In her spare time she loves singing, playing keyboard, writing and boogeying to good music.