Meet the Team
Heather, Alison, Sophie, Sam, Bryony, Hannah, Susan, Jen and Angie are our Equine Assisted Learning Facilitators. They enjoy working with adults and children of all abilities. They take a positive, non-judgemental approach to their work. They like to take time to find out about people so that the programme of sessions can be tailored to meet their individual needs. They will work with you towards your aims and objectives during the programme. Most importantly they want you to feel welcome, relaxed and comfortable during the sessions, as this creates a good atmosphere for learning and to enjoy the process.
In addition to our facilitators we also have Becky who does a fantastic job supporting us with our animal care and is also our Team Administrator. We have great work experience students doing post 16 qualifications who help out with all aspects of our work from animal care to maintaining the yard and facilities. We also have some animal care volunteers who are a wonderful help to us all!
Heather Watson: Managing Director and Facilitator
Heather founded Wiltshire EAL in 2011. She has completed specialist Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator training and has owned horses for 16 years. She is a Registered Nurse with 20 years experience as a Macmillan nurse and educator. She is a qualified post 16 tutor and assessor as well as having knowledge and skills to work with children and adults with complex needs. She has a specialist interest in teaching communication skills and in bereavement work and dementia care. She brings her dog Maisie to work with her who is known to everyone and is our meet and greet here at WEAL.
Alison Smith: Facilitator
Alison has been with us for 8 years, initially as a volunteer, and has worked alongside Heather as WEAL has developed and expanded, undertaking specialist Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator training. Alison has extensive experience working with learners with all level of need and is also a qualified counsellor. If requested she is able to offer therapeutic sessions to learners, and she specialises in working with neurodiversity, including autism, ADHD and PDA. She brings her dogs Mishka and Samba to work with her - both of whom are rescue dogs from Romania.
Sophie Taylor: Facilitator
Sophie joined us in March 2017. She has a degree in Horticulture, is a qualified teacher and Post 16 assessor with extensive experience in working with learners with all level of need. Sophie is in charge of our vocational qualifications alongside Heather. Sophie is a keen horse rider and brings a wealth of knowledge about horses and holds Stage 3 British Horse Society qualifications. Sophie holds a Level 3 Forest School Leaders qualification and can offer outdoor learning provision and 1:1 Forest School sessions. Sophie brings her dog Duggee to work with her and enjoys dog training and competing her horse!
Sam Park: Facilitator
Sam joined us in early 2019. She is a qualified Primary School Teacher with many years experience. She has also been a deputy Headteacher and SENCO. Sam is also qualified as an Educational Psychologist and worked in this role for several years. She has had experience with horses and other animals and brings her Greyhound, Lainy, to work with her every day. She has a very learner centred approach bringing all of her skills and expertise to her work with our learners, and also supports and develops the skills of our staff.
Bryony Goodenough: Facilitator
Bryony also joined us in early 2019. Bryony previously worked as a Teaching Assistant and holds a Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools. She also holds a National Diploma in Animal Care. Bryony has a love of all animals and the outdoors and particularly has a wealth of experience with horses having owned and ridden her own horse for many years. She also brings her beautiful red setter dog Flynn to work with her each day! Bryony demonstrates her creativity and love of nature in her sessions with crafting ideas using natural materials, and is always saving and rescuing any animals in need. In the picture she is looking after the frog spawn!! 😀
Hannah Lindsay: Facilitator
Hannah joined us in September 2019. She has a wealth of experience with horses and other animals and has studied natural horsemanship and horse psychology. She also brings specialist experience working with children and young people and has training in childhood trauma and attachment. As well as facilitating, assessing qualifications and all of the other jobs she does, Hannah is a great designer and our resident DIY expert! She can build or fix anything and can often be found with her tools and drill in hand! Hannah also keeps sheep and makes us all very happy (particularly Heather) when we get to cuddle her newborn lambs!
Susan Campbell: Facilitator
Susan joined us in March 2020 just as we went into lockdown. She has lots of experience working with and supporting young people in schools and is a keen horse rider. Susan was particularly great in lockdown helping us to make all of our virtual learning videos bringing her brilliant performance skills! Her hobby horse dressage was especially one to remember!
Jen Chequer: Facilitator
Jen joined us in September 2020. She is a qualified teacher as well as very experienced working with horses. Jen is also a fantastic artist and is responsible for some of the wonderful artwork you can find around Stagwood and can always be found helping our learners on their creative projects! When you visit us you will immediately notice the hand painted ponies on each stable door which were created by Jen as part of a Christmas project with some of the learners!
Angie Singh: Facilitator
Angie also joined us in September 2020 and has a background as a qualified Mental Health Nurse and has worked with young people and adults throughout her career. She brings her wonderful sense of humour and her complete love of Alpacas! She volunteers at an alpaca farm on the weekends and if we lose her she can always be found sitting with our alpacas having a chat with them and feeding them hay! Angie also is great at crafting and in particular loves to make mosaics!
William Blockley: Peer Mentor
Will has experienced life at WEAL himself as one of our learners and went on to become one of our a Post 16 students. He now joins us as a mentor for other young people undertaking our courses. He achieved multiple qualifications whilst he attended sessions with us and since leaving us has been to College.
He now fits in his work with us alongside his full time job! Will works with the facilitators to support other young people attending WEAL. He is uniquely placed to understand the hopes for the future that our learners have, and is a great inspiration to show what can be achieved with hard work and commitment and with the right support in place.
Becky Hibberd: Animal Care and Team Administrator
Becky joined us in early 2019. She holds a Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management and has experience of caring for a wide range of animals in different settings. She has her own horses and enjoys riding. Becky keeps the yard really clean and tidy and likes to make sure the animals are given the very best care possible.
Becky also is our team administrator keeping us all organised, making sure the animals have everything they need and liaising with schools, colleges and other organisations we work with. As you can imagine we keep her very busy!