About us

Back in 2017 Becky, Jane and Ella set up Wales' first Library of Things. Using that knowledge and experience Benthyg Cymru was born in 2020 to help others bring borrowing to their communities.

Our role

Connectors

- Connecting Libraries of Things with each other
- Connecting our work with government policy
- Connecting to partners with shared aims

Experts

- The go-to organisation for knowledge, expertise and vision for Libraries of Things in Wales.
- Open feedback loop with our members to create ongoing improvements which are then shared through our network.
- Feeding research and insight into Welsh Government to inform evidence-based policymaking.

Pioneers

- Through learning, development and research, we are constantly improving the way we do things.
- Striving for behaviour change at all levels from community to business to government.
- Representing Wales as a global leader in repair and reuse

Our people

Becky Harford

Director & Co-founder

Becky Harford is Director and Co-founder of Benthyg Cymru. Becky has previously worked in Community Development, activism, campaigning and communications. Most recently at Friends of the Earth Cymru growing and supporting the network of groups in Wales.  

She is an instigator and loves it when communities take their power. She  co-founded Rumney Forum – a hyper-local charity tackling poverty in Cardiff and is also Co-founder of The Ladies of Rage collective that supports women and non-binary people in music. 

When she’s not working at Benthyg she loves a cheeky little skank to Drum and Bass, is a poet and MC and loves a stroll with her dog Dot.

Ella Smillie

Director & Co-founder

Ella has spent most of her career working in media and advertising policy; in a previous life she initiated and managed the Advertising Standards Authority’s world-leading project on gender stereotypes in advertising, leading to a ban on harmful stereotypes. She then went to work as Head of Policy and Campaigns in the charity sector, continuing the fight for gender equality.     

Ella co-founded Wales' first Library of Things in 2016 with Becky and Jane out of a passion for the concept and its potential to give equality of access to the stuff we need while minimising our impact on the planet. 

In her spare time, Ella tries to jog and do yoga to stay healthy and generally loves being back in beautiful Wales after a 20-year hiatus in London.

Jane Booty

Director & Co-founder

Jane left London in the ‘70s for the hills of West Wales in an attempt to be as self sufficient as possible. This only worked up to a point so she moved to Cardiff where 50 years later she teamed up with Becky and Ella to found Benthyg, Looking after the planet has always been important to her.


A qualified teacher, now semi-retired, she has spent most of her working life in adult and community education across South Wales, encouraging individuals and groups to learn how to change theirs, their families and their local communities' lives for the better through the acquisition of a wide range of skills.  


Jane loves dancing, walking and swimming to keep fit and playing with her grandchildren to have fun.

Fran Williams

Head of Operations

Fran Williams joined the Benthyg team in 2022 after working with Benthyg Cymru and Repair Café Wales as a project manager on the RE:MAKE repair and reuse WCVA-funded project delivering flagship repair and reuse hubs across Wales.

As part of the senior leadership team at Benthyg Cymru, she supports the delivery of both our strategic and day-to-day operational goals.

Fran has dedicated the majority of her career to developing more ethical and sustainable supply chains within the retail industry. Delivering long-term systemic behavioural change working at multi-channel retailers including House of Fraser, Marks and Spencer, and Boden.

Fran moved to Wales with her Welsh-born husband in 2021 and has fallen in love with life in Wales!

In her spare time, Fran likes to try out different crafts and learn new skills. You will also find her dancing in her kitchen, enjoying a good book, or hanging out with her bonkers Sprocker spaniel, Sammy.

Catrin Wager

North & West Wales Development Officer

Catrin is one of those people who are driven by trying to bring about positive change.  She’s worked mainly in the third sector and has undertaken a number of paid and volunteering roles – from working with refugees, on waste reduction campaigns and lots of environmental projects. She also delved into the political world and was a County Councillor for Bangor between 2017-2022, and also Cabinet Member on Gwynedd Council with responsibility for fields such as waste, highways, flood mitigation and municipal services. 

 She stood down from politics in May 2022, but is still trying to bring about positive changes, this time working at community level.  She was project co-ordinator establishing the Petha libraries of Things in Gwynedd and is bringing that experience and enthusiasm to supporting other projects across North and West Wales. 

Catrin doesn’t really do downtime, but when she does, she goes for it, and can occasionally be found in her van, with the dog – ideally off grid and with access to good walking and cold water!  

Lisa Prados

South Wales Development Officer

Lisa is our South Wales Community Development Officer helping to develop & support new & existing libraries of things across the region. Lisa’s background before joining the Benthyg team was with children & adults with learning difficulties in various roles, working for a charity. 

Outside of work, Lisa likes to run (slowly!) & has entered several 10K events. She also loves spending time with her friends & family & trying to keep her 2 young children out of trouble. 

Huw Williams

Advisory Board

Huw is from Pontlottyn at the top of the Rhymney valley but now lives in Cardiff after studying at the University of Bath for a degree in Chemical Engineering. He works in the Primary Care Division at Public Health Wales as a project manager, having previously worked for the UK Civil Service and Openreach in various roles.

He recently completed the Future Generations Leadership Academy, established by the Future Generations Commissioner’s Office. He is passionate about trying to improve the environment and thinks the concept of Benthyg is vitally important in moving away from a linear economy to a circular one and changing the throw away culture that we currently live in.

Russell Todd

Cardiff Coordinator

Russell is Benthyg Cymru’s new Co-ordinator for Cardiff with a remit to develop and grow the library of things concept in the city. Russell’s background is in Community Development in a range of roles: neighbourhood worker, manager, workforce development, trustee and writer. Russell also founded the first podcast to dedicate itself to Community Development. He also founded the first podcast on the Wales football team and is a co-founder of the Gŵyl Wal Goch festival of football culture in Wrexham. Other ventures he’s founded include Valleys Ale Trails and Grow Social Capital CIC, and he’s active in own community as founder of the CF14 Philosophy In Pubs group and as Chair of Friends of Hailey Park. A Welsh speaker, his weekends tend to be spent on the sidelines of his children’s sports matches or at music gigs. Russell is still mourning the retirement of Gareth Bale

Jude Sherry

Advisory Board

Designer, maker, repairer, researcher, critic, activist and speaker, Jude co-founded the global multi-award winning agency, Anois, to co-design sustainable, responsible, equal and just product and urban systems. With sustainability embedded in everything she does, Jude has consulted governments, intra-government, educational institutes and industry on policy, business practice and curriculum.

Anois latest immersion in Cork City has led to a national movement called #DerelictIreland focused on turning dereliction into an opportunity to co-create liveable, healthy & productive urban environments where everyone can RestPlayWork. In 2021 Jude was awarded Art & Design Woman of the Year for her international work and thought leadership

Eurgain Powell

Advisory Board

Eurgain is an experienced sustainability practitioner with 20 years of experience of working in the field of sustainable development and climate change within the public sector in Wales.

Over that time, she has delivered a range of sustainability and climate change projects within local and national government, and has advised on policy development on decarbonisation, transport, procurement and housing whilst working for the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales and the Climate Change Commission for Wales.

She is currently the Sustainable Development Programme Manager for Public Health Wales. She was a member of the Welsh Government Roads Review Panel in 2021-22 and has recently been appointed to the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales.

Eurgain is very passionate about making a difference and protecting our planet for future generations.

When not working she’s busy supporting local sustainability projects – she is a trustee of Gwyrddio Penarth Greening, co-founder of Penarth Growing Community, member of Plastic Free Penarth and Benthyg Cymru Advisory Board. She is a first-language Welsh speaker and in her spare time she enjoys spending time in nature, running, cycling and walking her dog.


David Warren

Advisory Board

David Warren joined the advisory board in 2022 bringing experience of working in government and in the field of the circular economy. He also has an interest in community and stakeholder engagement.

He is currently Head of International Relations in the Welsh Government. This means leading work to deliver the International Strategy for Wales which means raising our international profile and establishing Wales as a globally responsible nation. Before this, David was Head of Circular Economy Policy and led on the development of Beyond Recycling – a strategy to make the circular economy in Wales a reality.

David sees borrowing as a key step to reducing consumption and reducing emissions on Wales’ journey towards zero waste and net zero emissions.

He lives in Cardiff but was born in London to a family from Scotland. David has learned Welsh and enjoys activities with his family including travel, walking and football.

David Wilton

Advisory Board

David Wilton joined the advisory board in 2021 to bring experience in housing and community engagement.  He also has an interest in digital communication and not for profit governance

He is currently Chief Executive of TPAS Cymru – the tenant voice and engagement organisation for Wales.   Before joining housing sector 7 years ago, he held a number of senior management positions in marketing and digital development for 2 FTSE 100 companies, ‘dotcom’ start up and a stint at a Digital agency.

David is a strong supporter of the work of Benthyg Cymru as a way of making a more sustainable Wales.

He lives in Penarth and hobbies include cycling, exploring Wales and watching Barry Town FC.

Nia Gruffydd

Advisory Board

Nia has worked in Public Libraries since graduating in Welsh from Bangor University, before qualifying as a Chartered Librarian. She started her career as a branch and school Librarian in Blaenau Ffestiniog before moving into the field of Children's Librarianship with Ynys Môn County Council. She returned to Gwynedd becoming Library Service Manager with Cyngor Gwynedd, with responsibility also for the Theatre and Cinema at Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli. She has extensive experience of managing local and national projects and leading on a number of collaborative projects. She enjoys developing services of value on solid foundations, and one of those projects is Petha (Library of Things) in three libraries in Gwynedd.

Nia is currently on the Advisory group of the People's Collection, and a member of the Wales Anti-Racist Libraries Steering Group. She has also worked closely with the Welsh Books Council for a number of years and is vice-chair of the Publishing Development Sub-committee.

In her spare time, Nia enjoys reading and gardening, and in particular enjoys growing her own vegetables. She has taken part in the GwyrddNi Assembly in Dyffryn Nantlle which looks at how the area in which she lives can have a more sustainable future.

What the team says..

I love working at Benthyg Cymru, I know what I'm doing and how it feeds into the bigger vision. We can work the hours that suit us and there is a culture of mutual trust and understanding which make it a pleasure to do my job

Lisa Prados