Freshwater

Our Team

Lucy Battle

Lucy Battle

Director

With more than 20 years’ experience in communications, Lucy provides strategic direction on a range of accounts at Freshwater.

An accredited, award-winning communications expert, she is particularly experienced in crisis and reputation management, campaign planning, profile-raising and stakeholder engagement. A seasoned copywriter with a passion for all things news, Lucy started her career working agency-side for some of the biggest consumer brands in the UK, managing regional communications for The National Lottery, Land Rover, St Ivel and Action 2000, the government’s millennium bug campaign.

Lucy has enjoyed a career largely working at agencies, aside from a secondment to the press office of a busy rail operator. Prior to joining Freshwater her client portfolio included working with Network Rail, First Great Western, NHS Wales, Tenovus, Westbury Homes and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Whether managing national public crises, executing high-profile launches or delivering successful awareness-raising campaigns, Lucy has provided communications support to a range of clients spanning the private, public and third sectors, such as Natuzzi, the RNLI, Stadler, Freeman Grattan Holdings and Alstom.

Lucy holds a BA in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting and a Postgraduate Diploma in Public and Media Relations, both from Cardiff University. She has returned to the university as a lecturer to students undertaking postgraduate study in PR.

Lucy is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Back to team

Elinor Dafydd

Elinor Dafydd

Director

Elinor has nearly a decade’s experience in the communications industry gained working at national charity, Comic Relief and in two Welsh communications agencies.

Elinor currently leads Freshwater’s digital team and is responsible for developing and overseeing the implementation of digital strategies for clients.

Elinor leads a team of digital specialists with expertise across a range of digital services including digital strategy, digital advertising, website management and search engine optimisation.

With a wealth of experience in gathering and interpreting insight from analytics, Elinor oversees content teams, designers, developers, and marketers to ensure digital channels are used to best meet clients’ objectives.

Elinor has managed complex website redevelopment projects for a number of clients including Unite the Union and Thompsons Solicitors. In addition to managing the design and build, Elinor oversaw the website content generation and SEO optimisation and linked with UI/UX experts to create comprehensive site maps and user journey maps to set the direction of the sites.

Elinor is also part of the strategic team that manages Thompsons Solicitors’ wider marketing function, leading on developing and directing the firm’s annual marketing strategy.

With a background in PR and traditional marketing, Elinor ensures that Freshwater’s communications strategies are fully integrated and include the best channels and tactics to meet clients’ objectives.

A first-language Welsh speaker, Elinor graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies from the University of Nottingham and holds a CIPR Advanced Certificate in Public Relations.

Back to team

Aled Edwards

Aled Edwards

Director

Holding more than fifteen years’ experience in event management and video production, Aled leads the Events and Video division at Freshwater.

He has a wealth of experience in co-ordinating and managing large-scale exhibitions, including the UK’s presence at shows including CEBIT in Hannover, ITU Telecom in Geneva and MIPIM in Cannes.

Aled has also organised some of the UK’s largest awards ceremonies and conferences, as well as a range of complex events with high-profile guests including the Emir of Qatar, a range of Ministers from both the Welsh and UK Governments, and Her Majesty, The Queen.

At Freshwater he was appointed as the project director for the UK Investment Summit, which was jointly hosted by the Welsh and UK Governments, showcasing 20 innovative British companies to global C-suite executives.

He has also managed the Taiwan External Trade Council’s product press conference at the world’s leading security technology show, IFSEC at London’s ExCel centre.

Since July 2013, Aled has been the event director for a plethora of Unite the Union’s membership events. These high-profile conferences see him plan, manage and execute a high volume of fringes, exhibitions, plenaries and the main conference itself, which has hosted speakers such as Jeremy Corbyn and Frances O’Grady, alongside thousands of delegates.

Aled has previously organised and managed events, roadshows, award ceremonies and launches for clients including Visit Wales, Linde, Welsh Government, Qatar Gas, Barburrito and Nintendo.

A graduate in Business and Marketing, Aled is also recognised as a full member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Back to team

Louise Harris

Louise Harris

Director

Louise leads Freshwater’s team of content marketing specialists. A seasoned communications professional with more than nine years’ public and private sector experience under her belt, she has a passion for developing engaging, results-driven content marketing strategies.

She joined Freshwater in 2010, fresh from what was then the UK government’s marketing and communications agency, the Central Office of Information, where she was involved in engaging regional stakeholders with central government messages.

Having cut her teeth managing PR campaigns for major organisations and household names, she later acted as a senior communications advisor to clients on a variety of reputational matters in the public and political spheres. Louise now focuses on helping clients to meet their goals through insight-driven, content marketing campaigns.

Her sector expertise is varied. She counts John Lewis, Freemans Grattan Holdings, Leeds City Council, the Forestry Commission and Thompsons Solicitors among the diverse list of clients she’s advised in recent years. She also works in close partnership with a number of UK trade unions and professional associations, including the Association of Anaesthetists and various Royal Colleges, to devise campaigns to engage, recruit and retain members.

Louise works with colleagues from across Freshwater to ensure our clients’ marketing, PR and communications are underpinned by high-quality content for their online and social channels.

Back to team

Rebecca Ives-Rose

Rebecca Ives-Rose

Director of Conference

Rebecca is Director of Conference for Waterfront Conference Company – a sister company to Freshwater that has a significant presence in the transport, planning and infrastructure and energy sectors. Carrying more than seven years’ experience, Rebecca oversees a skilled team of conference producers, marketers, business development experts and event management specialists who deliver more than 20 market-leading events each year.

Since joining Waterfront in 2012, Rebecca has grown its diverse portfolio of events across the planning and major infrastructure, ports, rail and energy sectors. Alongside a robust understanding of the ever-evolving policy agenda, Rebecca has a keen eye for the issues facing her specialist sectors.

She is also responsible for shaping the Waterfront strategy, generating topics and leading the content creation for each conference, maintaining close working relationships with sponsors and speakers.

In her role as Director of Conference, Rebecca generates engaging, timely event agendas that are driven by thorough market research among a network of senior infrastructure and transport professionals and influencers, enabling Waterfront to construct its events to be able to explore the key themes, concepts and topics facing those sectors. This strategic approach ensures that each Waterfront event attracts a host of senior policy makers and industry leaders, as both speakers and delegates alike.

Back to team

Heather Jones

Heather Jones

Director

Heather takes the lead on strategy and insight for Freshwater’s roster of multi-channel campaigns.

Bringing more than 15 years’ experience, Heather has created pioneering campaigns for a diverse range of clients, including NHS England, Drinkaware and the Welsh Government.

As well as setting the overall strategic framework, Heather oversees the implementation and evaluation of campaigns to ensure the best results are achieved, with highlights including the national, multi-award-winning #WhatTheFox campaign.

Prior to Freshwater, Heather led the Wales-based team of Comic Relief and oversaw the regional rollout of media and marketing across a third of the country, handling media relations, arranging media partnerships, mobilising partners and maximising low/no-cost marketing opportunities during both Red Nose Day and Sport Relief.

Prior to that, Heather was based at a London broadcast consultancy where she worked with clients including NSPCC, Paramount, EA Games, Co-op and Pfizer on campaign activation across radio, TV and online channels, winning Best Newcomer at the company’s AGM.

Heather was also previously the editor of publications at the former Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), and sat on the editorial board for the Department for Transport’s staff magazine.

Heather holds a BA (Hons) in Public Relations from Bournemouth University and was formerly a voluntary member of the Social Marketing Advisory Panel for Time to Change Wales.

Back to team

Saffron Pineger

Saffron Pineger

Director

Saffron leads Freshwater’s specialist healthcare division, with more than 12 years’ experience in the media and NHS communications and engagement.

A former newspaper journalist, Saffron’s consultancy and first-hand, in-house NHS experience has seen her take the strategic lead in a variety of communications and engagement projects.

Since joining Freshwater, she has been seconded as the interim Director of Communications at the Royal Berkshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, guiding the team through a Care Quality Commission inspection and report publication, intense winter pressures, the launch of the new trust strategy and the trust’s ambitious staff awards ceremony.

Saffron has also provided strategic consultancy advice to Colchester Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and Ipswich Hospitals NHS Trust for large-scale staff engagement in preparation for a merger of the two trusts.

While Senior Communications Advisor at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, she spearheaded the Trust’s communications team and led on staff and stakeholder engagement during the downgrading of its Emergency Care Centre.

Prior to her role at Freshwater, Saffron was Head of Media for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Here, she devised the communications approach to the births of two royal babies at St Mary’s Hospital amidst unprecedented international media attention. She also handled the media during the downgrading of Hammersmith Hospital’s A&E unit and achieved national blanket press coverage of the country’s youngest ever organ donor.

Saffron is a fully qualified English and Drama teacher, having trained at Cambridge University, and also holds an MA in English.

Back to team

Carolyn Pugsley

Carolyn Pugsley

Director

An accomplished communications professional with a clutch of industry awards under her belt, Carolyn leads a team of strategic communicators who operate from the Cardiff and London offices.

Working between the two capital cities, Carolyn’s strength lies in implementing strategic campaigns for clients that deliver results. These can range from content-driven PR campaigns that focus on delivering the right message to the right audience through to complex consultation projects involving multiple stakeholders, often surrounding contentious issues.

Her work involves providing strategic advice, message development and issues management, spearheading media and social media campaigns, managing creative teams on collateral development and establishing effective frameworks for monitoring and evaluating activity.

Carolyn’s consultancy experience runs across two decades, during which time she has worked with a number of high-profile cross-sector organisations including the Welsh Government, John Lewis, Tarmac, Pez Sweets, Design Commission for Wales and the Vale Resort.

Prior to joining Freshwater, Carolyn cut her teeth in communications at international development charity, Oxfam, and at another agency in Cardiff.

A graduate in English, and a full and accredited member of the CIPR, Carolyn also holds the Communication, Advertising and Marketing (CAM) Certificate. She also helped to establish the Cross Party Group on Sustainable Energy and currently provides it with a full secretariat function.

Carolyn has held a board position with Arts & Business Cymru and was Secretary for the CIPR Cymru Committee for a decade.

Back to team

Nicola Roberts

Nicola Roberts

Director

Nicola drives the flair and finesse of Freshwater’s in-house creative team, bringing more than 20 years’ experience in communications and marketing.

As Director of Creative, she oversees the high-quality execution of traditional and digital marketing materials. Nicola is also responsible for leading on strategy, planning and implementation for integrated campaigns, liaising with Freshwater’s other specialist divisions to bring campaign ideas to life.

Brainstorming and devising creative concepts are crucial to Nicola’s day-to-day role, generating ideas that stand out from the crowd for a variety of clients across the public and private sector, including the Welsh Government, Ministry of Furniture and PSBA. Nicola also oversees Freshwater’s branding projects, working with the team on brand development and audits.

In a previous role at a further education college, Nicola was the Head of Marketing for all the college’s activities including full and part-time provision, higher education, professional and business qualifications, international activity and the commercial arm. She devised and led on marketing strategies, overseeing PR, copywriting, design and digital activity. During her time at the college, Nicola was responsible for a number of branding projects and also led the project team for the development of a new college website.

Nicola’s marketing and PR consultancy experience spans more than two decades, with previous clients including Warburtons, Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership, the Welsh Government, Dow Corning and NSPCC.

She is a BA (Hons) Communications Studies graduate and holds the CAM (Communication, Advertising and Marketing) Certificate.

Back to team

Kate Harvey

Kate Harvey

Senior Account Director

Kate is a passionate communicator. She’s delivered marketing and communications campaigns for organisations in the private, public and third-sectors for more than eight years.

Kate works closely with clients to understand their goals and develop multi-channel strategies grounded in audience insight. She oversees the implementation of campaigns and evaluation against communications objectives.

Since joining Freshwater in 2012, Kate has worked across a diverse range of clients, which cut across sectors such as law, transport and health. Among her clients are Thompsons Solicitors, Unite the Union and Specsavers.

Kate is responsible for developing an annual marketing strategy for law firm Thompsons Solicitors. She also oversees the planning and development of multiple in-year campaigns, ensuring a mix of impactful tactics are delivered and their effectiveness measured and reported.

Kate also leads Freshwater’s content team to deliver a targeted media relations programme for 40 Specsavers stores in Wales, communicating eye health stories and Specsavers’ work in driving forward professional standards in the industry to build trust in their local communities and drive footfall to stores.

Previously, Kate worked in internal communications at an enterprise agency and for the international development charity, Oxfam. She is recognised by the CIPR as an accredited practitioner, and has a BA in English and an MSc in Public Relations.

Back to team

Anna Hardaker

Anna Hardaker

Studio Manager

With more than a decade of industry experience, Anna leads Freshwater’s talented team of designers and manages the creative output of the studio. She works closely with divisions across the organisation to ensure that clients’ work is beautifully communicated into printed and digital assets. Anna provides creative direction and quality controls all design work, while crucially meeting deadlines and budgets.

Anna and her team provide a range of design services including organisational rebrands, marketing collateral creation, digital advertising and full-scale integrated campaigns. She has been at the forefront of the creative concept for a variety of Welsh Government campaigns such as Superfast Broadband and Positive Parenting, as well as clients in the private sector such as Communicorp UK.

Most recently, she created a series of challenging bilingual multimedia campaigns for Live Fear Free; a Welsh Government initiative aimed at tackling violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence. Anna was instrumental in the creative concept, the collateral for all print and digital assets, directing the photoshoot and managing the filming of the hard-hitting TV advert.

Anna has a BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Communication and is highly-experienced in bilingual design.

Back to team

Simon John

Simon John

Brand Manager

With more than two decades of experience, Simon is a central part of the creative team at Freshwater.

With a particular expertise in brand development, Simon contributes across a wide portfolio of client accounts including projects for the Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales, NHS, Royal Mail, Scottish and Southern Energy and Persimmon.

He is experienced in bringing a strategic approach to the use of design, taking the lead on Freshwater’s multiple bid documents for the Football Association of Wales and creating engaging PowerPoints for both BT Global Services and Santander.

As well as his substantial client work, Simon is responsible for Freshwater’s group brand.

Back to team

Steve Howell

Steve Howell

Executive Director

Steve founded Freshwater in 1997 after leaving the BBC where he had worked as a news reporter and producer for Radio Wales and Wales Today, the daily regional television news programme. His experience in journalism also includes editing the Newport edition of the South Wales Argus and writing for the Guardian and Independent.

Steve has extensive stakeholder communications and media relations experience, including acting as a consultant for the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in 2010 and working on projects for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, John Lewis, the University of Wales, Thompsons Solicitors and Unite the Union.

Under Steve’s leadership, Freshwater has grown to become one of the UK’s leading independent communications consultancies with 50 staff in London and Cardiff. After 20 years at the helm of the business, Steve took a leave of absence from his role as Chief Executive to work for the Labour Party as Deputy Director of Strategy and Communications in 2017.

Steve remains on the Freshwater board as an Executive Director.

Back to team

David Howell

David Howell

Non-Executive Chairman

David Howell was appointed to the board of the company in 2004 and served as Chairman until March 2007. David remained as a Non-Executive of the company until his resignation on 8 June 2009. David was re-appointed to the board as a Non-Executive Director on 1 October 2010. In 2011, David replaced Marie-Louise Windeler as Non-Executive Chairman.

He is the Executive chairman of Profile Consultancy Limited, a specialist commercial property consultancy providing service charge, property management and building consultancy services to many of the UK’s FTSE 100 companies. He is also Managing Director of privately-owned Hillco Investments (UK) Limited, which holds a diverse portfolio of assets and investments.

Back to team

John Underwood

John Underwood

Chief Executive

John is an experienced communications professional with extensive crisis, issues management and transformation expertise, primarily within the public sector. He has spent more than two decades leading strategic consultancy teams, and helping to deliver large-scale programmes of change.

Formerly an award-winning TV journalist, John covered national and international news stories for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITN, and later became ITN’s Home Affairs Correspondent. In the early 1990s, he was the Director of Campaigns and Communications for the Labour Party, guiding the party’s local, national and European election strategy.

John later founded Clear Consultancy, building it into one of the UK’s leading specialist healthcare agencies before merging it into the Freshwater group in 2006. John joined the Freshwater Board that year and later became its Chief Executive.

John helps clients to navigate the complex issues and challenges in the health and social care sector. He has provided senior strategic counsel to a wide range of organisations including health commissioners, health providers, professional bodies, regulators and the Department of Health and Social Care, helping them to manage their reputation, and communicate change.

An expert coach, John has more than 25 years’ experience as a specialist communications trainer. He is also the course director of the NHS Postgraduate Professional Communications Development Programme, an initiative designed to support the next generation of NHS communicators who aspire to leadership positions.

In addition to his work with Freshwater, John is a Visiting Professor at Bucks New University, the Director of the Centre for Health Communications Research and the Chair of the board of Trustees at the health charity, Alcohol Change UK.

Back to team

Angharad Neagle

Angharad Neagle

Group Managing Director

Angharad leads Freshwater’s diverse and talented teams. She ensures we consistently exceed the high expectations of quality and creativity we set for ourselves as an agency, and which clients have come to expect over the last two decades.

Joining Freshwater in February 2008, following a career spanning the police, local government and a number of PR and marketing agencies, Angharad was promoted to Director of the group’s creative division in September 2009. She went on to become the Group Managing Director in September 2013, taking operational responsibility for all client-facing teams, and was appointed to the Freshwater Board in October 2014.

Having worked in communications for more than 20 years, Angharad has a track record of developing communications strategies that build reputations, change attitudes, shift behaviour, and drive sales. She specialises in property, not-for-profit, health, retail, transport and the education sector.

In addition to driving the agency’s daily operations and leading the Freshwater team, Angharad provides strategic counsel to a number of clients to support them through critical periods, including times of crisis, change and growth.

She is responsible for leading our work with a range of government departments. Freshwater is one of only 27 national agencies appointed to the UK Government’s prestigious Campaign Solutions Framework and also holds positions on multiple Welsh Government Frameworks.

Back to team

Haydn Evans

Haydn Evans

Finance Director

Haydn has been the Finance Director of Freshwater and held a position on the Board since 2003. He brings more than 30 years’ experience as a finance professional to his role, which includes responsibility for all aspects of financial control and reporting, management of the group’s IT, systems and facilities requirements, and all shareholder and investor matters.

Prior to joining Freshwater, Haydn worked extensively across the telecommunication sector in both the UK and France, holding several senior finance positions, and leading teams across Europe and Canada. He oversaw large-scale capital projects, major factory re-organisations, and the acquisition and sale of several businesses.

During his time at Freshwater, Haydn has overseen multiple acquisitions, the completion of an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2007 when the company listed on AIM, several rounds of fundraising – privately and publicly – and the delisting from AIM in 2010. More recently, Haydn has led a refinancing of the company through a successful recommended offer process.

Haydn holds a BSc (Hons) from the University of Leicester and is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Back to team

Sarah Whittle

Sarah Whittle

HR Director

Sarah has more than 26 years’ experience working as a Human Resources professional and has worked across the UK and the US, gaining a wealth of skills and experience in HR and people management.

At Freshwater, her responsibilities include HR strategy planning, people management and ensuring innovation around HR policies and procedures; working with all members of the team to develop an engaging and dynamic culture.

Sarah has worked in public, private and third-sector organisations and ran her own HR consultancy for ten years. Sarah has extensive experience as a Director, and possesses skills in the management of large-scale mergers, change management, effective implementation of learning and development strategies, talent planning, recruitment, and retention and reward.

Other areas of interest include: regular charity work, the ongoing development of Freshwater’s Corporate Social Responsibility and an ongoing passion for CPD. Sarah is committed to attaining corporate excellence through externally benchmarked standards such as PRCA, Investors in People (Gold) and IS0 9001.

Sarah holds a BA in English and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (FCIPD) and is fully licensed by the British Psychological Society; with primary specialisms in testing platforms SHL, 16PF and Myers Briggs.

Back to team

Antony Jones

Antony Jones

Consultant

Antony is a consultant at Freshwater and holds more than 20 years’ experience in marketing, PR and event management, both in-house and in a consultant role.

Starting his career in the events industry, he was part of the team that staged the inaugural Hong Kong & China Golf Exhibition and spent three years with Earls Court Olympia, a leading UK exhibition and conference venue in London.

As a consultant, Antony has specialised in developing and managing integrated marketing and stakeholder engagement campaigns. His work involves providing strategic communications advice to a range of private and public sector clients, delivering proactive engagement and media relations programmes, managing creative teams on events, online and printed communications and establishing effective frameworks for monitoring and evaluation.

Antony has worked with Welsh, UK and overseas government departments on general business support and behaviour-change campaigns, as well as specialist communications programmes in the technology, energy and social care sectors.

In the private sector, Antony has particular experience of advising clients in professional and financial services, property and construction, and leisure and hospitality. His role at Freshwater also involves delivering media and communications training to clients across the UK.

Antony is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and a former Deputy Chair of the South West and South Wales Group of the Public Relations Consultants Association. He is a trustee for a not-for-profit business and community hub in Newport.

Back to team

John Morris

John Morris

Consultant

John is a consultant at Freshwater, with more than 30 years’ experience of the transport communications sector. He has led policy development, influenced major change projects and created robust strategies in challenging circumstances.

As Public Affairs Director at Birmingham Airport, he led a diverse team of planners, environmental consultants and professional communicators, to develop and deliver the airport’s relationships with government, regulators and the media. He delivered national and regional support for expansion plans and authored the Airport’s Master Plan – ‘Towards 2030’.

John has held senior management or advisory positions for a range of organisations, including Virgin, Arriva, HS2, Alstom and Talgo, in the UK and overseas.

At Freshwater, John has provided strategic support to a host of transport clients such as Alstom, Stadler and the APPG Rail in the North.

A professional communicator, John has enjoyed being the Managing Editor of the national transport magazine, Railway World, and remains a contributor to national journals and broadcast media.

John is a Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Back to team

Nick Samuels

Nick Samuels

Director

Nick is a consultant within Freshwater’s specialist healthcare division, carrying more than 25 years’ experience in healthcare leadership, communications and public affairs.

Nick was previously executive director of strategy, communications and policy for the Royal College of Physicians and oversaw the organisation’s successful positioning during the junior doctors’ contract dispute, ensuring the college was the only organisation to continue to be welcomed by both the British Medical Association and the Department of Health.

Prior to that, Nick was Director of Communications for NHS Providers and led on driving significant increase in its profile and reputation to position the organisation as the leading voice for NHS Trusts. Nick has specialist expertise in developing communication functions and strategies, service change, and staff and public consultation. He led communications teams for a number of NHS trusts that have undertaken major reconfiguration projects, including the largest merger in NHS history between Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, St Mary’s Hospital NHS Trust and Imperial College London.

Nick has also worked in parliament for a number of MPs has been a judge for the HSJ Awards is a Visiting Fellow for the Centre for Health Communication Research and Excellence at Buckinghamshire New University and holds a BA (Hons) in Political Studies and Post Graduate Diploma in Public Communication from the University of Leeds.

Back to team

Get in touch

See how we can bring some fresh thinking to your communications.

Contact Us