Hi! We are the Hedge-U-cation team. To find out more about us, including our roles with Hedge-U-cation C.I.C., our experiences, qualifications and training, please click or tap on a profile.

woman and horse

Angie Whitehead

Founder, Director, Project Manager, Admin
woman and horse
Angie Whitehead

Founder, Director, Project Manager, Admin

Founder and director of Hedge-U-cation C.I.C., Angie's main roles within the company are Education Co-ordinator, Administrator, Forest School Practitioner and Event Manager. Angie is a qualified Level 3 Forest School Practitioner and runs 1-1 intervention sessions and small group sessions in our woods at Blackawton. Angie facilitates creative workshops and activities for all ages and runs Hedge Kids, a children's area for events.

Angie also works as Therapeutic Horsemanship Practitioner at Sirona, where she has worked since 2011. She runs sessions for young people and adults in Therapeutic Horsemanship and Equine Assisted Learning, and teaches Level 1 diplomas in Horse Care and Management.

Angie has over twenty-five years' experience working in Early Years education including teaching qualifications in Child Care and Education. She has been running children's areas and workshops for events since 2007 and has worked as a supervisor of after-school clubs and timeout sessions for children with physical and learning needs.

Angie holds Designated Safeguarding Officer Level 3 and Forest School Leader Level 3 qualifications. She has undertaken extensive First Aid training, including Paediatric and Adult First Aid, and Outdoor First Aid. She holds a certificate in Counselling and is currently studying towards a Certificate in Education.

Smiling woman with pink hair and head-dress

Rachel Shacklock

Director, Children's Area Co-ordinator, Theatre Practitioner
Smiling woman with pink hair and head-dress
Rachel Shacklock

Director, Children's Area Co-ordinator, Theatre Practitioner

Rachel has the roles of Director, Hedge Kids Children's Area Co-ordinator and Theatre Practitioner at Hedge-U-cation C.I.C., running theatre workshops and curating performances with children of all ages.

Rachel has been involved in all aspects of theatre and performing arts for many years. After studying Physical Theatre, Acting and Musical Theatre at the Miskin Theatre, she then took on the role of Box Office and Venue Manager. During this time she was given the opportunity to also run a drama summer school, as well as ad hoc Physical Theatre Director.

In 2013 Rachel took on the role of Company Director for You Can Fly Theatre Company C.I.C., a non profit community interest theatre company for children and young people offering affordable theatre to the local community and specializing in using the performing arts to help nurture confidence, self-esteem, social and emotional literacy, to name but a few.

“If we believe in them and tell them so with encouragement, positive words and a lot of fun thrown in, it’s amazing what they can do – just a bit of faith, trust (and a sprinkling of fairy dust) and your child could truly fly!” You Can Fly Theatre mission statement

Alongside this, Rachel enjoyed a freelance Creative Associate position at MakeBelieve Arts, taking part in exciting projects, which included:
- Performing Arts Teacher at Secondary School in Kent for Years 7, 8 and 9
- Peer Mentor project at Secondary School in Kent for vulnerable Year 7s, using Philosophy for Kids; Team Building, Theatre, and Restorative Approaches to help gain and improve social and emotional literacy and awareness
- ‘Shipwrecked’ and ‘Alien Invasion’ – A role play day to help children transitioning from Primary to Secondary School
- ‘Giant Maths and English’ – Using a mixture of Storytelling, drama and props to teach Maths and English to Years 1, 3 and 4

Rachel continued her freelance work at Hollywood Performing Arts as a Drama Teacher/Director and at Jiggle (Dance and Drama PPA for Primary Schools in Dartford) as a Performing Arts (including Dance and Singing) Teacher for Reception through to Year 6.

Since joining Hedge-U-cation, Rachel has led Theatre Workshops at various festivals and Youth Groups around the UK, and enjoys using nature and folklore as an inspirational backdrop.

Rachel also has experience working with disabled children and young people, children and young people with learning difficulties, and children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Asperger syndrome.

Rachel's training includes Philosophy for Kids with Trisha Lee, Restorative Approaches with Belinda Hopkins, ‘Brain Training’ with Andrew Curran, ‘Giant Maths’, ‘Giant English’ and Paediatric & Adult First Aid.

woman smiling

Mary McCarthy

Director, Families and Welfare
woman smiling
Mary McCarthy

Director, Families and Welfare

Mary is a Director at Hedge-U-cation C.I.C., and she takes the role of Designated Safeguarding Officer at Hedge-U-cation projects and events.

In addition to her roles at Hedge-U-cation, Mary works as a midwife, working with women with complex needs and young parents. This involves working with people overcoming adversity in their lives; offering early interventions to support strong attachments and confidence in parents. She is a safeguarding lead in her unit and is training to offer safeguarding supervision to other professionals.

Mary holds a Designated Safeguarding Officer Level 3 qualification, and is working towards a Safeguarding Supervision Level 4. Mary has undertaken training in First Aid, in Attachment and Trauma, and in working with young people around risk-taking behaviour. She has also trained with Jane Hardwick Collins, following the five-day Shamanic Midwifery Program. 

Mary has delivered parenting workshops, utilising communication skills from conflict resolution practices, and also teaches mindfulness techniques.

"I believe that through interacting with nature we can learn to be in the present in the moment and this offers an opportunity for healing and strengthening relationships. This is why I love Hedge-U-cation; it offers this practice to young people, and offers families an environment to support loving bonds."
Mary McCarthy, Director at Hedge-U-cation C.I.C.

Woman smiling

Ali Shaife

Director, Children's Area Co-ordinator, Workshop Facilitator
Woman smiling
Ali Shaife

Director, Children's Area Co-ordinator, Workshop Facilitator

Ali is a Director at Hedge-U-cation C.I.C., Hedge Kids Children’s Area Co-ordinator and Workshop Facilitator, teaching Circus Skills and outdoor games. Ali will co-ordinate the horticulture area at the Hedge-U-cation project, which aims to create a therapeutic herb and vegetable garden with supported volunteers.

Ali is currently working towards a Forest School Leader level 3 qualification; upon completion, she will take on her new role at Hedge-U-cation as Forest School Leader. She holds a certificate in First Aid.

Ali is also a full-time mum; an experienced horticulturist and landscape gardener.

Man inspecting plant

Chris Hope

Wild Plant and Food Foraging Educator
Man inspecting plant
Chris Hope

Wild Plant and Food Foraging Educator

Chris Hope, aka Ipso Phyto, is the wild plant and foraging educator from The Wild Plant Guide. Chris leads our Wild Food Foraging walks, teaching basic plant identification and gastronomical botany.

Smiling man and dog

Simon Shields

Craft Area Co-ordinator, Workshop Facilitator
Smiling man and dog
Simon Shields

Craft Area Co-ordinator, Workshop Facilitator

Simon co-ordinates the Craft Area at Hedge-U-cation and facilitates green woodworking workshops, making furniture and other useful items from coppiced wood.

For over a decade, I've been turning trees into homes, useful things and educational experiences.
I feel that wood is a medium of radical social transformation and change. The wealth there is to gain from working with trees is priceless, both in lessening environmental impact and increasing human resilience... It's something I'm very passionate about.

The magic that happens between "I couldn't make that" and "I can't believe I just made that" is so powerful, in transforming our ability to deal with life's challenges.

I look forward to seeing you, making something, soon!

Simon has facilitated green woodworking workshops at festivals since 2010.

Simon did his wood working apprenticeship with Ben Law, and went on to join Carpenter Oak, where between 2008 and 2015 he worked as a carpenter; training apprentices and becoming a lead carpenter.

Since then, Simon spent around a year working at Landworks, a work-based training scheme providing a supported route back into the community for current and ex-prisoners.

Simon now co-runs Make in the Woods, a woodland craft centre in Blackawton, Nr. Totnes, Devon.

All Hedge-U-cation staff, workshop facilitators and volunteers are trained in First Aid and are subject to current Enhanced DBS checks, renewable every 3 years.

 

Hedge-U-cation logo