Our Educators have all successfully completed the Life Education intensive and specialised training in health and drug awareness. The children don’t view our Educators as teachers and their time with us is informal and fun. They work with a very special colleague, Harold the giraffe, who assists them in explaining to the younger children the importance of eating healthily and taking care of themselves. Our Educators are known to the children by their first name only.
Julia, who joined us in 2017, is our Educator Manager and also teaches in Hampshire. Having completed her teacher training, she worked for five years as a class teacher and year leader in a primary school. After moving to the Isle of Wight, Julia worked as the education officer for the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, developing a fire safety education programme and delivering it to all primary schools on the island. She also worked on a firesetter programme and developed a road safety education programme for secondary schools. Safety through prevention are key themes that were interwoven in the schemes of work, enabling children to understand how to keep themselves safe and what to do in a variety of situations. Julia is committed to the aims of Life Education; that children can make choices and decisions if they have the opportunities to access knowledge and skills and she loves the enthusiasm of the children!
Caroline's career for the past 15 years has revolved around her own small business known as Maraca Jacks which was a music and movement company for children and parents primarily under five. The emphasis was on early years education and intervention working closely with parents, Sure Start, local community groups, nursery and pre-school settings and key stage one primary. With the closure of this company at the end of 2018, Caroline joined our team in April 2019 and lives in Southampton with her husband, 3 children, 2 cats and 1 tortoise! Caroline is excited to be delivering the Life Education programmes to schools in Hampshire as she believes early education, knowledge and understanding is the key to equipping children with the tools for the future.
Helen works as a full-time Educator in Somerset. Having gained a degree in psychology and a teaching qualification she taught in primary schools for 14 years before joining the charity in 2005. She finds the excitement and enthusiasm for learning and discussion engendered by the inclusive, interactive nature of the teaching programmes most rewarding and loves it when parents pop in to have a look because "it's all he/she could talk about last night." Helen embraces the use of new technology to inspire pupils from Nursery to Year 8 and particularly enjoys using drama to explore difficult issues with children.
Jane has been a primary class teacher for over 30 years working in a variety of schools stretching from Surrey and Suffolk to Germany and Kuwait! In 2023, she was delighted to join the Life Education Wessex & Thames Valley team as a part-time Educator in Dorset as she loves the interactive nature of the workshops and seeing the awe and wonder on the faces of the children. Jane’s own children had visits from Harold and she loves the thought that she can now help create ‘Harold memories’ alongside giving the children the knowledge, skills and attitudes to make healthy choices for themselves. Throughout her teaching career, Jane has always supported young people’s love of sport providing a wide range of extra–curricular activities. Now living right by the sea, this has allowed Jane to further her interest in all outdoor pursuits from wild swimming, walking the coast path or volunteering at her local parkrun. A love of the outdoors, nature and fitness is something she hopes to inspire young people with, through her workshops.
Katie works as a part-time Educator covering the Bournemouth and Poole schools. As a Reception and Key Stage 1 teacher, she applied for the post of Educator as she had heard of the worthwhile work and wanted to be involved in making a real difference to children’s lives, particularly their futures. She firmly believes in our positive approach to health and drug education, a key part of which is raising self-esteem, and thinks the most rewarding part is to see the excitement and enjoyment on the children’s faces and eagerness to share the knowledge they've learnt.
Lucy was thrilled to join the Life Education Wessex Team in 2022, following 23 years of Primary teaching experience. She has taught in Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire and enjoyed different management roles including Year 3 and 4 Team Leader and SENDCo as well as teaching across the whole Primary phase. Lucy also has supply teaching experience in Hampshire and Dorset. Throughout Lucy’s teaching career she has promoted the benefit of exercise and activity outside of school and was proud to be invited to join the steering committee for PE in the National Curriculum. It then seemed a natural progression to incorporate healthy lifestyles and wellbeing alongside the Life Education values. Lucy lives in Dorset with her husband and 4 children and is delighted to be delivering workshops in Dorset and Hampshire.
Maria has been an Educator since 2008, following the completion of a degree in Childhood Studies. Her previous career was extremely different, being a Finance and Operations Manager for Marks and Spencer. However, having a family and becoming heavily involved with her children’s school in numerous roles but particularly in Outdoor Education gave her a “light bulb moment” and the desire to work with young people with the aim of having a positive impact on both their physical and emotional development. So returned to university to study as a mature student. The way that Educators work, seeks to give children the confidence, self-belief and understanding that they are all unique, wonderful, talented individuals and this confidence will help them when making decisions that may sometimes be difficult. Maria feels fortunate to do such a rewarding job and meet so many amazing children. Maria loves being outside, hill walking, cycling, kayaking and just about anything that involves fresh air!
Sarah is a part-time educator who joined the team in 2022 following a career of 19 years in primary education, including 13 years as a class teacher. Sarah is committed to the principles of life education; believing that supporting children to make informed choices about their physical and emotional wellbeing are key to their futures. She loves presenting the interactive workshops, responding to the children’s thoughts and guiding their thinking and decision-making. Sarah feels privileged to meet so many wonderful children and help make memories alongside ‘Happy Healthy Harold’ and the team.
Tricia is passionate about helping children understand how amazing our bodies and the living environment are and how the choices we can make can have such an effect on our lives. Tricia has been teaching since the early 80's, firstly teaching biology, chemistry and PSHE in a large 11-18 comprehensive school in Dorset. She then taught and managed an Outdoor Education and Field Studies Centre for 21 years, inspiring children and adults to love and care for the outdoors and the natural environment, and in particular how it can promote health and wellbeing. She continues this work on a freelance basis and is still the LA adviser for Outdoor Learning.
Tricia is excited about working for LEW as she loves the interactive style of learning and the excitement and enjoyment the children get from the sessions which helps them to learn and remember for a long time. Her own children, now 21 and 16 can still remember Harold!!
Harold is very shy but looks forward to seeing the children, especially his friends he has visited before. The younger children are encouraged to help him to stay healthy, to learn what to do if someone isn’t feeling too well, and to give him advice when he has problems with his friends. They generally have a great time together and in addition to helping them remember what they learnt before, Harold tells the children jokes and sings them songs. Even when the children are older they still think Harold is "cool" and have respect for his wisdom and knowledge.