Hollywood star takes on new role with Wales Council for Voluntary Action


Actor Michael Sheen with WCVA chief executive Ruth Marks after taking the role of president of the third sector support body

Actor says he is committed to helping the Welsh third sector thrive

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28th April 2017 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Hollywood actor Michael Sheen OBE has accepted the role of honorary president of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).

The Frost/Nixon star last year announced he was leaving Hollywood to return home to Neath Port Talbot to commit himself to activism and fighting the rise of the far right.

His new role with WCVA will see him will play an important part in the public work of the lead national body for the third sector in Wales.

Sheen, who has twice played Tony Blair on the silver screen, is continuing with his acting career, and is set to appear in the upcoming Home Again with Reese Witherspoon. However, at the same time, the actor has increased his interest in the social economy in his home country of Wales and become deeply involved in a number of organisations and initiatives through philanthropy, advocacy and campaigning work.

Michael is also a Unicef UK ambassador, a patron of Social Enterprise UK, Streetfootball Wales, Credit Unions Wales, End Youth Homelessness Cymru and many important local organisations in the county of Neath Port Talbot.

He has campaigned and advocated on issues including homelessness, housing, fracking, the Welsh Future Generations Act, and is a passionate supporter of the NHS and delivery of public and third sector services, all of which resonate clearly with WCVA's strategic direction.

On accepting the role, Sheen said: “I am immensely proud of the incredible work delivered by individuals, organisations and communities across Wales in the third sector and I hope that by taking up the role of honorary president I can lend my voice to the sector, provide some challenge and get involved! 

“I plan to use my role to actively challenge and support WCVA in its impact and role in supporting the community and keeping us focussed on what matters locally as well as the need for national leadership.

“Together I hope we can champion those achieving real change in their communities, attract more sustainable resources and policy support, whilst also raising the level of ambition for what we can achieve through a social economy in Wales.”

The president of a charity, not to be confused with that of a trustee or board member, is an honorary role usually fulfilled by a high-profile figurehead. The position holds no legal standing within the governance of the organisation.

WCVA chief executive Ruth Marks said: “We are thrilled that Michael Sheen has agreed to be our president and very much look forward to working with him as a champion for the third sector in Wales. His interests resonate strongly with those of WCVA and the wider sector. WCVA is in the business of making positive change by connecting, enabling and influencing with our members and partners. Our new president can help us achieve this, as he brings a world-wide reputation for championing fairness, equality, and social justice.”

WCVA last year undertook a strategic review of its work, and following consultation with its members and partners, produced a vision for the third sector and volunteering to thrive and improve well-being for all.