Chris Smith - Chair
Chris Smith was bought up in Birmingham and after training to be a teacher in Liverpool, he returned to the city to begin his teaching career in Birmingham primary schools in 1976. The vast majority of Chris's teaching career was spent working within the community of Handsworth, teaching in three Handsworth primary schools – Wattville Junior School (1981), James Watt Junior School (1985) and Welford Primary School (1991). Chris was Head Teacher of Welford for 22 years up to his retirement in 2012. Chris continues to support Birmingham primary schools in the capacity as a part time Educational Consultant.
Chris has a lifelong interest in sport, an interest he still actively pursues within the Birmingham primary school sporting community. He is currently Chairman of Birmingham Primary Schools Football Association, Aston Primary Schools Football Association and Birmingham Primary Schools Athletics Association. He is also Vice Chair of the charity, Birmingham Children's Community Venture, which seeks to give children opportunities for residential experiences outside of Birmingham.
Chris is highly committed to celebrating Birmingham's cultural diversity and it is for this reason that be became a trustee of Legacy West Midlands.
Dr Gethin Davies OBE - Vice Chair
The organisation is governed by a board with a group of highly experienced people with a proven track record of a commitment to the community. It is chaired by Dr Gethin Davies OBE.
Gethin Davies studied Chemistry and Education at Birmingham University. He then had a distinguished career in education that included volunteer posts in Nigeria and Kenya. He held three Headships in Birmingham, secondary schools.
Following his retirement he continued to support young people in education by establishing a charity called Step Up and Birmingham Mentoring Consortium. He managed to raise funds from the millennium commission to take forward the work. He was the secretary for Pioneers Leading the Way for over ten years. He continues to play a major role in the community and is presently the chair of Legacy WM. He also plays a regional role as a member of the RSA (West Midlands) Forum. His commitment to education earned him an OBE in 2002. He also has a PhD in education research.
Carol Lyndon - Treasurer
Carol was educated at King Edward’s Grammar School for Girls in Handsworth. She grew up in Handsworth and still lives’ locally. She trained at the Bordesley College of Education in Birmingham for a Certificate in Education to become a teacher.
She obtained her first teaching job at Lozells Primary School in September 1970, where she spent 15 very happy years. She became a deputy head at Cromwell Primary School in Nechells in 1985 and stayed there until 1989. She obtained my first headship at Sundridge Primary School which she fought to rebuild. In 1995 she got her second headship at Kings Rise primary school in Kingstanding, where she served until retirement in 2005.
She is involved in several regional, national and international charities. This includes Childline and Gandhigram Children’s home in Tamil Nadu. She is the chair of African Space Trust, where she is leading a project to help rebuild a medical facility in Itete, in Tanzania.
She has been involved with Legacy WM from its inception as the Secretary and now Treasurer. She believes they are doing invaluable work to record the diverse histories of people of the West Midlands.
Annette Robinson - Trustee
Annette is a freelance trainer and community development manager. She is the project manager for the kingsway Project; this is a voluntary organisation in North West Birmingham which works with young people, women's group and seniors to promote active citizenship and community cohesion. The work has included youth schemes, an annual International Women's Event, various workshops on self-esteem, confidence building, money management and healthy living.
The project has facilitated community consultations for the regeneration of the Lozells area. They have held several exhibitions that include Jamaica 50 which was displayed at Birmingham Museum, Windrush 65 at Tilbury Docks, and Caribbean through a Lens. The project is seen as a leading organisation showcasing Caribbean heritage and community development.
Through her freelance work and previous employment as an Operations Manager in Social Care, Policy and Capacity Building Officer, and Nursery Manager, she has gained a wealth of business relationships by working for both the public and private sector for over 20 years.
Gary Bowman - Trustee
Gary Bowman has been closely involved with local communities and partnerships in the West Midlands for over 25 years. His work started through voluntary work with young people in Ladywood in the early 1980s, where he learnt the enormous impact of poverty and exclusion on the lives and promise of young people. He left a promising career in industry in 1986 to pursue a life and career working with local communities. He has always worked in areas of high social need, including Ladywood, Newtown, Aston, Burton on Trent, and for the last 11 years in Sandwell.
He is deeply committed to helping people improve their quality of life and the opportunities available to them. His achievements demonstrate that commitment: they include leading Sandwell's Local Strategic Partnership from 2001-2011, during which time Sandwell benefitted from huge reductions in crime and anti-social behaviour and improved educational attainment; leading on a major private/public voluntary sector initiative to get 1000 young people in to work, training and work experience in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis, leading transformational regeneration programmes in Birmingham and Burton in the 1990s. Gary is very strong on strategy and policy development, and uses his knowledge and expertise to improve partnership working, build capacity and to support local enterprise in the Voluntary and Community Sector to attract resources. He is currently Service Manager for Area Working at Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, responsible for a range of services working directly with local people to improve quality of life and encourage local community involvement and leadership through local management of initiatives and facilities.
Professor Carl Chinn MBE FRSA F.Birm.Soc. Ph.D. – Patron
Carl is Professor of Community History and Director of the Birmingham Lives project at the University of Birmingham. A social historian with a national profile, he is also a broadcaster, newspaper columnist, public speaker, writer, charity fundraiser and campaigner for the rights of working-class people and the recognition of the importance of manufacturing. Professor Chinn is the author of 29 books that include studies of working-class housing, urban working class life, working-class women's lives, manufacturing, Birmingham, the Black Country, and ethnic minorities.