Profile: Julio Benavides, MATT Representative for Caerleon

I was born in Spain and have three sisters and numerous other family members living mainly in Madrid. However, as I have lived in Wales for more than fifty years and gained British Citizenship in 1971, I consider myself an adopted Welshman and love living in this wonderful, small country.

I am blessed to be married to Carolyne and we have two daughters and two grandchildren, whom we adore. We usually see them as often as possible but, as they live in London and these are unusual times, this has not been possible. Zoom has been a life-saver in keeping everyone connected but cannot replace physical contact and warm hugs!

My working life was in Hospitality and having served my time in all departments of the catering industry, I reached the position of Regional Manager with a large international hotel company and was responsible for the running of about 50 hotels. Whilst this was a job I thoroughly enjoyed, the experience I gained enabled me to fulfil my life-long ambition to own my own business.

The good Lord has granted me more blessings than I deserve and in 1987 I achieved my ambition and opened my own business in Newport. I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this period of my working life and the opportunity it gave me to meet so many lovely people.

I have attended St. Cadoc’s Church, Caerleon for over 40 years and served firstly as the Gift Aid Secretary and then for 15 years as the Church Treasurer. I am a Eucharistic Minister and a server at the High Altar and help in any way I can in other areas of church life.

In my spare time I am the Chair of the Charles Williams Charity which is associated with the primary school of the same name in Caerleon. I love gardening, my allotment, rugby, live theatre and spending as much time as possible with Carolyne and the family.