Expert Presentations & Interviews

Meet Us at the

Virtual Awards Ceremony!

 

 

Our panel of experts speak on:

  • Revolutionary Programme built and trialled in schools throughout the United Kingdom and in schools within the UAE that deliver measurable tracking of each participants’ handwriting skills progress..
  • Empowering today's pupils to attain their academic goals so that they can become future thought leaders, entrepreneurs, employees, and innovators.
  • Incorporating handwriting into today's curriculum and daily routine in order to improve maths, reading, writing, thinking, and learning.
  • How being able to write legibly and effortlessly helps one overcome challenges and obstacles for optimal well-being.
  • Increasing awareness of the impact handwriting has on one's ability to succeed in life.

 

Join Our Team of Experts As They Present Their Experiences with Handwriting and How Handwriting Helped Them Become Who They Are Today. 

 

What Worked, Why, Where, When, How.

MEET YOUR VIRTUAL AWARDS CEREMONY HOSTS

Melanie Harwood

Education Specialist & Entrepreneur

Melanie Harwood is an Education Specialist and a Philanthropist who is passionate about developing innovative education packages to close the attainment gap and about fostering deeper cognitive thinkers who will be work-force ready.

 

During the First Covid 19 Lockdown, Melanie Harwood personally sponsored the Handwriting Assessment Training for ALL schools in the United Kingdom which amounted to a gift worth £47 million being given to the Dept For Education. She feels strongly that, “A Gift To Education and the Government of the United Kingdom, during what is still an extremely difficult situation brought about by the global pandemic and I wanted to make a difference. I decided to offer my in depth knowledge of the Assessment of Handwriting in schools, to provide the assistance that teachers will need to assess Lost Learning as a result of the Lockdown.”

 

She says, “I do not want any child to fall through the cracks as a result of Lost Learning and struggling to write, because I know that a simple Handwriting Match Fit Assessment, delivered in just 30 to 40 minutes, can flag up potential interventions that will negate any roadblocks to learning to write well!”

 

Harwood sponsored more than 100 teachers in the UAE to be fully trained as the very First Certified Handwriting Specialist Teachers in the World.

 

When asked why she delivered almost a Million Pound's worth of CPD and months of her own time, to upskill this group of teachers to confidently deliver her Handwriting Match Fit Assessment, she explains, “These teachers were passionate about literacy and I sincerely hope that they go on to become the Doctors of Handwriting that our world so very desperately needs!”.

 

Along  with academic attainment offerings, Melanie Harwood delivered initiatives with the United Nations (UNITAR) and Hammersmith & Fulham Borough Council, when the United Kingdom entered it’s first Covid 19 Lockdown, by creating both the Recovery Curriculum Virtual Summit as well as the Sustainable Schools Virtual Summit, which were made available to all school leaders.

 

The 2019 eduCCate Global Certified Climate Change Teacher Training is just one example of how and what she creates and curates in order to empower schools to develop their very own cross-curricular climate curriculum.

 

To put her intentions into action, after the launch, at COP 24 in Katowice Poland 2018, of her concept to deliver the eduCCate Global Climate Change Teacher Course to all school teachers, Melanie personally funded more than 329,000 educators, in 43 Countries. These educators were the very First eduCCate Global Certified Climate Change Teachers, in the World!

 

She personally sponsored several schools to participate in and complete the eduCCate Global Bronze and Silver Awards, in both the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

 

Melanie funded two Headteachers and team members to attend COP 25 Madrid in 2019.

 

Melanie recently sponsored a group of teachers from the UAE to take part in the launch delivery of the eduCCate Global Certified Carbon Literacy Specialist Teacher Training and she hopes that this will pave the way for the very First eduCCate Global Gold Award School in the Middle East to lead all schools in the region. She says, “We must all take note of those schools that are genuine leaders in Sustainability and Carbon Literacy, as they will be the change makers in education throughout the world”.

 

The combination of improving critical and innovative thinking via Handwriting initiatives along with developing climate and carbon literate ambassadors is Harwood's one-two punch approach to mitigate the effects of both COVID-19 school lockdowns and climate change.

Denise Meissner, OTR

Occupational Therapist, Entrepreneur & Mother of a son with autism

Combining her 30 years of Occupational Therapy expertise with her 20 years experience of being a mother to her son with autism, Denise creates and presents programmes, courses and workshops to schools as well as at national conferences. Her focus is on supporting carers/parents/educators of children with Special Education Needs (through her signature programme, Cross~Links Journey©) so they can create joyful learning and living experiences with each other and with their planet. She works side-by-side with Melanie Harwood to create the marketing materials for the Harwood Education, Start-Bee  Handwriting and eduCCate Global programmes and virtual summits. To ensure that youth have a safe place to sleep and to study, Denise gives monthly to the Centre Point charity. By reinvesting into Harwood Education and eduCCate global, Meissner and Harwood pursue their goal of closing the attainment gap between those who have none and those who have a tonne.

MEET YOUR VIRTUAL AWARDS CEREMONY SPEAKERS

Clare Ford

Founder and CEO

Switched ON

Speaks About...

  • Being literate - able to read, write, spell and articulate clearly, has enabled me to:
     - develop my imagination and creativity through fiction,  - develop my love for languages through vocabulary; idiom; nuance and musicality; - develop as a learner and qualify as a teacher through university courses
  • I had to write the answers by hand for all my exams and courses including exam dissertations.

  • Putting words down on paper has a different energy to typing on the screen - there is a completely different connection between mind and body.

  • Giving the gift of writing and literacy to young learners has enable them to achieve incredible results, beyond what they thought possible, even during a global pandemic.

Tania Taylor

Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist, Mentor and #1 Bestselling Author

Speaks About...

  • From a very young age I loved to write and read stories. Enid Blyton was one of my favourite authors and she taught me what it was to escape into a magical world of fun, adventure and mystical fairylands. I had a younger brother who didn’t enjoy writing, but he loved to listen to me sitting and reading bedtime stories. Who knew that back then at only five years old, I was already in practice for my current profession as a hypnotherapist? In my current role I write lots of what we call ‘language patterns’ or ‘scripts’. These are guided relaxations designed to help enable our clients to go into a deep and relaxing trance. Not a funky chicken type trance! A lot of my professional colleagues don’t have the skills to write their own language patterns and so this has given me the ability to add an extra income to my little business by selling my own on to others. As well as this I have been really fortunate to take part in writing several books and booking a number one bestselling author with each of them. Each one has been a different genre; Autobiography, Self-help, and a psychological thriller. I remember sat in primary school with my fountain pen all excited trying to copy the fancy letters from the board, and ended up with ink splodges all over my paper. Back then it just felt like a bit of fun and experimentation, but as an adult I know many people who struggle with writing, including my brother, who as an adult was diagnosed with dyslexia. It makes me sad that people gave up on him when he was a child. He is currently in a minimum wage job and lacks the confidence to do more, even though I know he is absolutely amazing and a beautifully kind human being. Contrary to my brother, my best friend has dyslexia and was provided with support from an early age. She has a Degree, a Masters Degree and a PhD. I do wonder how different my brothers life would have been if only he had been taught to read and write well at school.

Lesley Anne Rose

Co-Founder

Open Road

Speaks About...

  • One of my clearest, and most unpleasant, memories of school is being made to stand at the front of the classroom following a spelling test in which I’d got nothing right. The only other memory of being asked to stand at the front of the class was following the completion of creative writing homework. Despite not being able to spell, I worked hard to master the act of writing and the more I could control my hand to hold the pen and its movement across paper, the more I could keep up with my imagination and deepen the connection with my creativity.
  • Today I’m a published and commissioned writer. I’ve written for the stage, worked for years as a travel writer and, as well as my creative work, I write business plans and company strategies. None of which I could have achieved if I’d listened to the teacher who said I couldn't spell, but listened instead to the teacher who recognised I could write.
  • I use a computer a lot these days, but it all starts with a pen and paper and the direct line of communication this gives me to my authentic voice and the confidence I find there. I write all of the notes for my books, plays and business plans by hand first, as well as a personal journal.
  • Today there are many ways to creatively express yourself that weren’t available to me growing up, some of which I now use. But nothing gives me that direct, confident line of connection to my authentic creative voice than handwriting. And I couldn’t have achieved anything I have in life since leaving school unless I’d learned to write.
  • If you can’t write by hand, you can’t take control of your own story, which means someone else will do it for you. Words on a screen disappear into a transient digital world. But your words written on paper are your mark in the world for future generations to know who you are, what you had to say and the story you have to tell.

Stella Ralfini

Owner

Stella Ralfini

Speaks About...

  • Handwriting has kept me in touch with who I am and what I feel from an early age. Whatever I write, whether book or letter, first goes through process of being handwritten. It might sound tedious but I am able to get to the root of what I truly want to say when words flow through the pencil in my hand. Writing by hand offers connectedness to brain, heart and soul in a way that typing on keyboard cannot, since all that pours out flows directly through body as words come to life on paper. So far, none of my books have proved best sellers but they have given me countless opportunities which would not have otherwise existed. Writing by hand goes much deeper into the heart. It sometimes makes me scream with frustration, sob or laugh but peels off layers of the crust we build around ourselves. I attribute my success of being featured regularly in national mags and newspapers to my handwriting skills. Writing by hand makes me unafraid to spill my real self when writing articles. What the world wants is the human touch and originality. The digital world creates same old same old writers who do not know how to write from their core. Handwriting is of such importance to me, I taught my daughter to follow in my footsteps. I handwrite perhaps 6 hours every single day so mine often looks like scribble. When I see hers, I feel I am looking at an arm form in words. Handwriting is an art form. One which is slowly being lost. Fortunately, we now have specialist teachers in this area - And not before time.

Ellie Dix

Owner

The Dark Imp

Speaks About...

  • Writing by hand shows that you care. A carefully handwritten & beautifully presented note means so much more than a generic line typed on a piece of paper. I create and sell board games and include a handwritten note with every order I send out. It helps me to connect to my customers and let them know that they are important to me. I write a lot in my work. I've written a book, many articles and I blog regularly. Ideas come to me at funny times and in funny places, so I always have a notebook to hand. I get ideas for new board games - disjointed ideas that need to be captured. I often sketch drawings for game components alongside the notes I'm writing. Writing by hand allows me to quickly label my diagrams before I lose my train of thought. Even when I'm writing my own notes, I try to do it neatly so that I can come back and remember what I wrote about. Sometimes I'll come back months later to an idea, which I need to understand again so I can take it forward and develop it. The ability to communicate through writing has been a huge help to me in my career - creating persuasive messages which have helped me to attract a following and keep them engaged. When I was at school I found writing really hard. But it gets easier with practise and I still practise every single day.

Susan Bordley

Author

& Teacher

Speaks About...

  • Handwriting has been key to my work as a teacher and author. Although my novels end up being typed for publication, the process always begins with me sitting with a pen and paper, collecting my thoughts. When I teach creative writing to my students, I always encourage them to handwrite their ideas: it's almost as though holding the pen, getting the ideas down on paper rather than on an impersonal computer screen, helps the creativity flow. When I write poetry, handwriting is absolutely essential. Handwriting gives you an immediacy of expression that you just can't get from typing. I need to see my crossings out, substitutions and arrows rearranging the line order as they guide me toward the finished piece. Although my son has dyspraxia and finds handwriting difficult, I still encourage him to practise, as I see it as the one time a writer can feel completely free. No matter what the future may hold in technological advancements, handwriting will always remain a skill we should cherish and nurture.

Roshan Doug

Founder

Perspective Education

Speaks About...

  • I talk about the the way language - reading, writing and speaking - contributes to our cultural identity and helps us to fit into a wider society.
  • My talk is aimed at educationalists and school pupils concerned about the lack of creativity in schooling and education and helps them to see the power of teaching handwriting skills.

Jade Parkinson-Hill

Founder

Steam School Ltd

Speaks About...

  • I spend a lot of time at a computer. 
  • I will confess to not having the best handwriting.
    In fact it's awful.
    But, I still need to write by hand... to collect my thoughts, to scribble ideas, to journal and to sign documents. 
  • Writing helps me to get the creative stuff in my brain on paper.

Tess Eagle Swan

Founder

Kratu

Speaks About...

  • About communication, the ability to express oneself. Being able to write is a powerful gift
  • Words have power and they can be used wisely.
  • Feelings written down and expressed can be a wonderful process and practise. 
    I will elaborate on thi
    s.

Keith Grinsted

Energiser

Keith Grinsted

Speaks About...

  • Writing by hand allows the writer much more freedom of expression. When you have a blank sheet of paper and a pen, or a pencil, you can write in any direction. You can write upwards, sideways, or downwards. However your mood and your thinking take you.
  • You can be as creative as you want to be. You can add drawings, diagrams, doodles whatever you want.
  • With a computer screen you can only use the characters available to you on the keyboard, and you can only type in straight lines left to right.
  • There's little scope for creativity. It's very constraining.
  • Many of the ebooks I've written over the years started out as handwritten notes. Sometimes even written in full in long hand. Then typed up later.
  • I use mind maps a lot of the time. To create order to my thoughts, and even to use as an aide memoire when when being interviewed for TV or radio.
  • I started off as an avid reader when I was little. Then became a prolific writer. I've written poetry, articles, blogs, ebooks, reference books, all sorts. And it all started with handwriting. Oh and I still use a handwritten bullet journal!

Joanna McFarlane

Owner and Director

Wild Planet Explorers

Speaks About...

  • I was born in the 80's when we had no computers or mobile phones so until more recent years, there has never been any other way of writing letters, stories, essays, exam answers, CV's or application forms but to use my hand. 
  • Nothing compares to receiving a hand written letter or card from someone still.

    From a very young age I loved animals and decided I wanted to be a biologist. So I read books about marine biology in particular and wrote in my school English language classes, only stories about my love of animals and nature. By being able to write easily and enjoy doing so, I could study the subjects I loved of Biology and be able to write all the essays and exam paper answers which helped me get to my studies at university. Writing by hand gives you the chance to take a breath, time to express yourself through your own handwriting and creation of letters and stories in your own time, not being hurriedly prompted by predictive text or autofill of computers. When setting up Wild Planet Explorers, I had to write all my new scripts and I did all this originally by hand so I could take myself away from technology, unhurried. I enjoyed writing all my ideas and seeing them flowing on to the page in front of me, it was a joyful and exciting experience and I continue to do it to this day with every new script I write. 

    Additionally, there is a chance one day that technology will fail us and we will need to return to writing our words rather than typing them, will the children of today be ready if that happens? We cannot lose this skill and in fact with the ever growth of loneliness in our elderly population, I believe there should be a letter writing campaign to match every child to an elderly person in 2021 who lives alone.

Lynsey Pollard

Director, Founder, CEO

Little Box of Books

Speaks About...

  • Writing has been a crucial part of who I am throughout my whole life. Handwriting was crucial when I learned shorthand to become a journalist and then used it when conducting interviews and chasing stories. Not everyone is comfortable being recorded when they're sharing details of their life, celebrities used to struggle with having their every word saved in recorded form. The pen was a vital tool in maintaining an open flow of conversation without an interviewee being daunted by having their words come back to them. I have worked in some of the world's biggest emergencies. I lived in Congo, interviewing survivors of sexual violence, talking to women and girls about their safety, bringing clean water into villages. Technology was sparse, there were no mobile power points, being able to write was crucial to me recording my experiences around the community. After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, I met survivors, who talked about their experiences. We sat in the shells of houses surrounded by the remainders of their possessions. A recording would have been intrusive. Now I work with stories, I sell inclusive and representative children's books to schools and families. I visit schools, we write stories together. There is something beautiful about our imaginations prompting our pens to write, stories being told through writing it all down on a piece of paper. I have kept a journal my whole life. Its not an accurate account of my life but it's a picture of my feelings and my thoughts, only true at the point of writing. Writing gets the thoughts out of your head, gives you a new perspective which a cold white screen and typing will never do. Writing helps me access parts of my brain that I don't access very often and gives me new perspective. Writing is my most valued skill, one which I'm grateful for every single day.

Denise Meissner

Director of Special Education Needs

Start-Bee & Harwood Education

Speaks About...

  • Because handwriting is such a multi-sensory (tactile, visual-perceptual, olfactory, and kinetic) experience, it has allowed me to manage my self-care that I mentioned in my bio. For decades I have processed thoughts, feelings and solutions in my handwritten journals. Further, when I underwent PTSD treatment, I was ordered by my doctor to hand write my thoughts that popped into my head after each of the EMDR sessions. The reason for writing by hand is that you allow your brain to shift info/memories/etc from one side of the brain to the other side and then out of the brain and onto the paper. Once the info is written on paper, your brain knows that it no longer has to worry about that thought or memory and this frees your brain to do important activities. Unfortunately, I did not learn how to write with the Start-Bee method (I learned back in the 1970's...before Start-Bee was created). Even though handwriting was challenging for me, I relied on it for everything: journaling; note taking in school classrooms; note taking during music class (writing the director's info on the sheet music); and writing letters to those I cared about. Thanks to handwriting, I was able to successfully transform my trauma and challenges into opportunities to work with clients who also suffered from injury and trauma. I was also able to connect with my son with autism because I could meet him at his point of pain and guide him out of his struggles. Plus, I was able to encourage him to use handwriting as a way for him to manage his anxiety. Without handwriting, I would not be able to create marketing pages like I do for Start-Bee, Harwood Education and eduCCate Global. I still rely on handwriting to this day, despite the easy access of the computer...because I know that without handwriting, I would not be able to fully express myself in my computer/marketing work, podcasts or speaking engagements (either in person or online).

Prof Dr Tony Pereira

President, CEO

Institute for Eco-Sustainable Engineering

Speaks About...

  • A life of freedom and plenty
  • When I started to write, I never thought that one day I would be writing about what I am going to tell you now. 
    Not long ago, we used to think that humanity would go on forever as we are, living on a planet full of resources, water, air, food and energy. It looked as an endless supply was available. We would never run out of forests, the ocean seemed so vast, the air in the atmosphere we breathe so clean. Reality, however, is very different now. In recent years, and in less than half a century, that has changed. People from all around the world have started to realize that things aren't going that way. Storms are more frequent and more devastating, forest fires have turned into raging infernos out of control consuming entire cities in their wake, pollution is everywhere in the air, water and food, the oceans are full of plastic, coastal cities are now seeing sea water entering their subways and streets during high tides, birds, plants & animals that we cherish, love and took for granted are disappearing for ever at an ever increasing speed. 
    We, as a species, have to change the way we live on the planet. We have to lower our consumption, reduce our consumerism, eliminate fossil fuels & plastic, and cut down on waste and pollution. Fortunately, we know how to do this. It can be done and it has to be done if we want to remain on the planet and leave our descendants a world where they can raise their children and grandchildren. 
    To do it, we will have to re-educate ourselves. We need only eight technologies for a life of freedom and plenty. Most have been known for thousands of years. They work in synergy and self-complete with each other to meet all human needs in an ecologically sustainable way and with a substantially reduced human footprint on the planet. Each one of the now almost eight billion human beings on the planet can enjoy a home, clean water, food, soil and air, energy and education without the use of oil, synthetic or transgenic chemicals, while taking care of the waste produced to restore the nutrient cycle.
    And then we will have to educate all future generations in a different way, show them that nature is what makes us, clean air, water, soil and food, not the other way around. Nature makes us. We don't make nature. Never did, never will.

Anthea Fenton

Ambassador of Chnage

Empowering Angels Global

Speaks About...

  • At the age of 4 years and 11 months, I arrive at school writing.   The hidden effects of trauma caused me to withdraw into my strength, caring.  I was more of a nurturer, a peace maker than a competitor.
  • Despite being able to write, I was labelled Special Needs for English. My emotions were the issue.  I wasn’t expected to achieve much. “You will only care for people for the rest of my life” I was told.  As though looked down upon.  I required multi layers of healing from an early age.  
    Determination became my friend.  Low expectations from family, gave me permission to strive for personal goals with easy and flow. Everyone said ‘I couldn’t’, so I thought, “Maybe I can’.
  • I continued my studies secondary, college and university. Academia became my focus. Despite achieving lower grades in most subjects. ‘Get a good education = a good job + set for life’.  This is based upon your family lineage and status.  We were hard workers, hard work had nothing to do with abilities and achievements. It was deeper.
  • Leaving home, I was freer mentally to focus on becoming a Social Work, and left University of Central Lancashire with a BA Hons (2:1) Social Work and Community Studies.  Later I would return to the college and university to teach.  Despite overcoming many blocks to writing and study, I overcame the hurdles of not being very clever to teach and manage others as a Manager.
  • The problem : What I needed from education was the opportunity to express.  To access the inner child, heal and release through expression.  Lightbulb (looking back in this moment), I created the solution.  Being withdrawn has nothing to do with my ability to write. Writing gave me the opportunity to express those hidden parts of me. Integrating them into my life has allow me to flourish and blossom.  Creating an emotional intelligence framework to thrive. Seeing the words fall onto the page through my inner dialogue gives credit to this emotional intelligence of expression which is often supressed as children.  I now empower children, parents and adults to communicate through these powerful tools to access the creative inner world which may have been hidden in darkness.   Around the world we teach through ‘Play – Empower In An Hour’ & ‘Tell Your Story, read, handwrite and type, in their voice and expression, without judgement.  This gives access to the deep reservoir of wisdom, authenticity and transparency. Transforming Lives.

Jo Gainey

English Lead

Chadsmoor Community Infant & Nursery School

Speaks About...

  • Put very simply, If I could not write, I would not be a teacher. Through recent pedagogical research with colleagues, I have realised that to acquire knowledge, I need to write things down. I know that this is the case for many children.
  • We write for ourselves or for an audience and therefore our handwriting needs to be legible. The presentation of our work can also portray an image of ourselves and ultimately affect our self esteem and achievement.

Kirsten and Aiyven Mbawa

Creators/Curators

Mbawa Books Ltd

Speaks About...

  • Handwriting is still crucial in this day and age. Without being able to write notes and jot down ideas, we would not have been able to accomplish the planning it takes to write our books. Even with our school, work, the action of writing something down transfers the knowledge in a much deeper way that typing.

Lou Nelson

Head Teacher

Down Hall Primary School

Speaks About...

  •  

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE VIRTUAL AWARDS CEREMONY

& SOME OF THE SPEAKERS

Clare Ford

Founder and CEO

Switched ON

Clare is an education expert with over 15 years’ teaching experience, runner up of the 2019 MPower Legacy Award, international best-selling author and Founder of SwitchedON!, a cutting-edge global education platform offering inspirational education and parenting solutions.

 

Clare has spoken on 2 radio shows, 4 international summits, the Teen Toolbox podcast and Brand Builders TV about redefining education beyond academic success with her unique methodology, to support kids, teens and parents.

 

After 12 years of ticking boxes and battling the system in mainstream education, she burned out, becoming seriously ill, depressed and hit rock bottom.  She had to find an alternative way of doing what she loves – teaching, to make an impactful positive difference and allow the potential of each and every one of the children and teens she teaches to shine.

 

In 2020 she launched “SwitchedON!” in response to the situation that parents found themselves in, suddenly educating their children at home.  Her Facebook community, the Home Education Hub, has gone from strength to strength, supporting a global family of over 1.5K members with a huge range of resources, trainings and experts.  During the summer of 2020, Clare collaborated with children from around the world on their book, “Lollipops and Rainbows – Teaching Literacy with Soul”.

 

Clare is passionate about giving families the opportunity to learn in a way that unlocks their gifts and potential in her unique online learning academy, SwitchedON!

 

You can contact Clare at clareford@switchedonglobal.com

Tania Taylor

Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist,

Mentor and #1 Bestselling Author

Tania Taylor is an international multi-award winning Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist. She provides 1:1 support via video link worldwide for anxiety and related conditions such as depression, OCD, PTSD, phobias and Insomnia. Alongside this role Tania is an international lecturer at three worldwide training schools for therapists and a #1 bestselling author of three books.

 

Tania is a lover of yoga and cats and lives in Milnrow, Rochdale with her wonderful fiancé and amazing two teenage children(16 & 17), family hobbies include escape rooms and geocaching. At school Tania was discouraged from becoming a therapist due to her own personal battle with teenage depression. Her struggle with her own mental health impacted on her education and she dropped out of college after a few months. One of her coping mechanisms when she was feeling particularly down was writing. In particular journaling and writing poetry. It gave her an opportunity to express feelings she felt were trapped inside.

 

Fast forward a few years and Tania chose to go back to college and was later awarded a first-class honours degree in Psychology, qualifying as a clinical therapist in 2017. If she could go back and speak to her childhood self she would say, “You are deserving of the very best life has to offer, always follow your dreams and choose to do what you enjoy doing. Distance yourself from those that don’t cheer you on and celebrate your wins.”

Lesley Anne Rose

Co-Founder

Open Road


I’m a producer and writer and co-founder of Open Road, a company which consolidates my experiences at senior management level in the cultural sector, passion for people and place, commitment to skills development and belief in working towards a more sustainable world for all. I’ve produced complex award winning community projects, city wide festivals, large scale international co-productions, award winning mid scale touring theatre and site specific new work.

 

My work often crosses into heritage, academic research and climate change. I’m a published and commissioned writer, working for many years as a travel writer.

 

I am a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and a member of Scottish Pen - a not-for-profit organisation which champions freedom of speech and literature across borders.

Kirsten and Aiyven Mbawa

Creators/Curators

Mbawa Books Ltd


We are Kirsten & Aiyven Mbawa of Mbawa books. Our mission is to promote literacy by sharing our love for reading and writing. In March 2019, we started children and middle-grade book reviews on YouTube, Facebook etc. After entering a BBC 500 words competition we built on our entries to form our debut middle-grade novels, Sagas of Anya (Kirsten) & Land of the Nurogons (Aiyven) which were self-published in April 2020 with the help of a Kickstarter campaign. In November 2020, we launched Happier Every Chapter, a book subscription box for 8-14 year olds in order to create a more engaged community of readers.

Stella Ralfini

Owner

Stella Ralfini


Qualified in 2 Hatha and Kundalini yoga, Neo Tantra Love Coach, physotherapist and alternative life coach. I am author of Three Faces of Sex, Sensual Sorcery, Chakra Psychology and Rock'nRoll Mayhem 1970 for adults and wrote 2 award winning books for children. 

 

At heart I'm an entrepreneur who strives to bring into the world something to further educate others with natural health/beauty Mother Nature methods, betterment of self and relationships.

 

My early career was worlds away from what I've done in my career the past 40 years. It was a stroke of luck that landed me a job as personal assistant to the Rolling Stones at 23. It was 1970 when I joined them and the early seventies proved to be among the most explosively historic years in the music biz.

 

2020 turned out to be a remarkable year for me since I manifested a dream and will take my Neo Tantra Love Camp workshops online from Feb 2021.

Ellie Dix

Owner

The Dark Imp


Ellie Dix has been obsessed with board games from an early age. Not only playing them, but tweaking the rules for fun and designing her own. She firmly believes that board games have positively influenced her ability to interact with others, manage failure, work creatively with available resources, experiment with multiple paths to success, solve interesting problems, adapt to changing situations and make decisions quickly.

 

A teacher and educationalist, Ellie was previously owner and Director of Pivotal Education, the UK’s largest team of school behaviour specialists. Pivotal has helped thousands of teachers transform their classrooms and improve outcomes for learners. A mother of two teenage boys, Ellie is now putting all her understanding of behaviour, experience with gamification, teaching skills and game-playing history to use, by helping other parents to introduce board games to family life. She believes they are a sure-fire antidote to unhealthy online distractions, and a means to a happier, more social family unit.

 

Ellie is author of the book, The Board Game Family: Reclaim your children from the screen, and designer of all Dark Imp games. In her spare time, she’ll usually be found playing a board game (unsurprisingly). But also loves singing and acting. Ellie has recently completed an OU maths degree… for fun.

Susan Bordley

Author

& Teacher


After a twenty year teaching career, my first novel was published in 2017. I've since gone on to publish three more novels and a bestselling book for children.

 

My poetry has been published in several anthologies and national magazines, and one was recently selected to be used in a short film.

 

Education and female empowerment are the driving forces behind my writing: my first novel was written to educate older teenage girls about relationships, because as a teacher, I was concerned about the messages they were being given by popular culture.

 

In my subsequent novels, it's important to me that I represent women positively, showing them as strong, capable and supportive of each other. With my poems about my autistic son, I've raised awareness of what is still a much-misunderstood condition.

Lynsey Pollard

Director, Founder, CEO

Little Box of Books


I've been a TV producer/director and an aid worker, I've lived all over the world and responded to some of the world's biggest emergencies.

 

Now I run Little Box of Books, selling inclusive books to families and schools, helping more children to see themselves in the books they read, helping all children to better understand the world and their place in it.

Jade Parkinson-Hill

Founder

STEAM School


Jade Parkinson-Hill is an award-winning educational leader and edtech company founder who is dedicated to transforming how we approach teaching, learning and assessment to support schools and educators to deliver dynamic, futuristic competency-based curriculum that will provide students with the dynamic education they will need to thrive and innovate as adults.

Tess Eagle Swan

Founder

Kratu


​Kratu and I are Ambassadors for kindness, autism, mental health, animal welfare and dog rescue.

 

We have achieved some incredible things considering I am autistic and he is my rescue dog.

 

The key to our success is communication, love, kindness and determination. We have attended the European parliament, the House of Commons, performed  on stage with Autisms got talent.

 

Kratu is a therapy dog. As well as my assistance dog. We visit a local primary school. We have started a Kindness campaign to promote Kindness. There are different certificates for them to achieve and a new one for handwriting too.

Keith Grinsted

Energiser

Keith Grinsted


Passionate about well-being and dealing with loneliness whether living alone or working or running a business alone.

 

As The Energiser I help small businesses deal with the challenges of the new reality we live in.

 

As a freelance business writer I write ebooks, articles, and blogs on a range of business topics.

 

I also ghostwrite for business owners.

Anthea Fenton

Ambassador of Change

Empowered in an Hour


I am an Ambassador of Change having learnt to adapt to the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from an early age.

 

From complexity to simplicity. I learnt how to overcome many obstacles, to tap into my true authentic self.

 

I now teach others become Ambassadors of Change too from around the world. With emotional intelligence being at the forefront, I transform lives by creating space to offer the gift of presence, applying the tools Tell Your Story and Empower In An Hour. With such, we are able to heal the past and upskill quickly to offer solutions and balance to the many complex issues around time, health, money, personal growth, legacy and contribution.

 

Our early years obstacles can be our greatest assets.

Joanna McFarlane

Owner and Director,

Wild Planet Explorers


Joanna is a biologist and conservationist and has worked in this field for over 25 years.

 

She runs her own environmental education business with the aim of inspiring future biologists and conservationists to explore, care and take action for nature.

Denise Meissner

Director, Co-Founder

Harwood Education, Ltd

eduCCate Global

Occupational Therapist (30+ years)

Mother of Son with Autism (20+ years)

 

Creator of the Cross~Links Journey© and

QCharm Portable Visual Cue System


As an Occupational Therapist (30+ years) and a mother of a son with autism (20+ years), my mission is to maximise every moment in order to create peaceful interactions with each other and with the environment.

 

From my professional and personal experiences, I realise that every single life event and interaction is a flashpoint for learning, healing and mentoring. This means that even (and especially) those challenging and uncomfortable moments offer opportunities for seeking solutions and developing innovative approaches that expand our skills and perspectives.

 

The tricky part to maximising every moment and transforming challenges into opportunities is to build and maintain your resilience. Because of my various health challenges, I know first hand how critical resilience is for performing at one's higher levels. And in order to be the best Occupational Therapist and mother of a son with autism, I have to force myself to manage self-care.

Roshan Doug

Founder

Perspective Education


Dr Roshan Doug is a writer, critic and social-political commentator.

 

He is passionate about education and often gives talks on various aspects of our National Curriculum.

 

He is a former civic Poet Laureate, the first and only person of Asian descent to hold such s literary position.

 

He also writes regularly for the Times Educational Supplement.

Mei Tang

Founder

Gemivision


One of Mei’s main missions in this life time is to teach and spread love. As a sensitive soul, Mei has connected with many people across the world sharing and giving back compassion where is needed. Through her life time, she’s always appreciated creativity in others and art, for she believes self-expression is the key to inspire others as we share our gifts with this world.

Mei loves and loved to dance, and the dance community has connected her into a lot of legendary music artists, writers, and producers. Through working her way up being a host of podcasts, doing several features on music journalism, and consulting for others, she strives to succeed and make an imprint for others to feel her strong connection to everyone’s soul.

From this, Mei plans on continuing this path of living through her heart space. From guiding others to unlock their gifts inside of their own minds, to remembering who they are inside, Gemivision is a platform Mei has created to continue this light in assisting those who are drawn to her soul.

As a first generation coming to America without having English as her first native language, Mei believes that all challenges she’s faced were to be experiences to help others and teach herself the value of what self-love and love can do for the world. Mei has been blessed to connect with so many strong leaders and “way showers” such as Anthea Fenton, to come along and remind her the gift of how writing will transform and heal her life after so many years of living for others instead of herself. She’s always enjoyed writing and reading, and being a part of the “Life After...” brought her back into herself centering her mind, body, and soul.

Alison Reddihough

Co-Founder and Writer

Tickled Moon


Alison started out following her passion to be an actress and worked in theatre, TV, commercials and voiceovers for several years. Her acting work encompassed everything from the BBC, Miller and Shaw to a fairy, an ugly sister and a dalek! She then expanded into theatre production on the London Fringe, commissioning and producing new plays with her own theatre company.

After teaming up with her husband Simon Roberts, she then ventured into filmmaking with their company Amulet Films. They produced 3 short films, including “Ghosthunter” which was shortlisted for a Live Short Action Academy Award and became the subject of the book “How to Make Great Short Feature Films - the Making of Ghosthunter”.

As well as all her creative enterprises and becoming a mum to 2 boys (the toughest job of all!) Alison also trained in many varied complementary therapies, including NLP, aromatherapy, reiki and quantum psionics.

But throughout all of this she has always loved writing - poetry, plays, screenplays - and now, children’s books. She has already published 4 books with Tickled Moon and looks forward to publishing many more joyful and original personalised children’s books.

Bec Wakefield

Acting Deputy Head,

English Co-ordinator,

Early Years Foundation Stage Leader.

Down Hall Primary School


I am Bec Wakefield, an Early Years teacher at Down Hall Primary in Rayleigh, Essex. I have been teaching since 1996. I trained at the University of Reading, specialising in teaching 3-8 year olds, but returned to Essex to start my teaching career. I have taught in a range of Infant and Primary Schools and have been a member of Senior Leadership at the last two schools. I have taught in Key Stage 1, but for the majority of my career I have been an Early Years teacher. At Down Hall, I am the English Subject Leader and we have been using Start-Bee since 2016. I am honoured to have become a Certified Handwriting Specialist as a result.

Lou Nelson

Head Teacher

Down Hall Primary School


I am Lou Nelson, Headteacher at Down Hall Primary School in Rayleigh, Essex.

 

I have been teaching since 1994.  I trained at Edge Hill University and began my teaching career on the outskirts of Liverpool.  I moved back to Essex and joined a large Infant School.  In 1999 I was appointed as Deputy Headteacher.  My main areas of responsibility were leading English, Assessment, Early Years, including running a 104 place Nursery for a year and mentoring NQTs. 

 

In 2002 I was appointed as Headteacher to a large village Infant School and in 2008 I was appointed as Headteacher at Down Hall Primary School.

 

We were chosen to be a Start-Bee school in 2016.  I am very proud of how Down Hall has been instrumental in shaping the Start-Bee programme with Harwood Education.  It is a privilege to be a beacon Start-Bee school.

Rana Sabohi

Educational Supervisor & Year Head - Kindergarten 2

The Kindergarten Starters - GEMS


Having double major in English and Commerce and Masters in Education, I began my professional journey in Hyderabad, India. Having joined The Kindergarten Starters seven years back, I grew in my role from an outstanding teacher to an Educational Supervisor and Innovation Leader for Kindergarten. I am now the Year Head for all of KG 2. I strive to make each day better than the last for my students and teachers!

 

I have learnt from my 8 years at KGS that growth has NO LIMIT when you work in an environment and with a community that supports you every step of the way. 

 

Reinvigorating student’s interest in learning Math in particular, in fun and innovative ways, has always been my passion. Encouraging and promoting handwriting skills is also something I am deeply interested in. I am inspired by the honesty and free spiritedness of my students, which I believe has added and keeps adding meaning and purpose to my role. I work towards getting the best out of my team members and motivate them to go beyond their best. THEIR achievements and their smiles is what drives me. Preparing the future generation for their future is always the most rewarding aspect of my job!

Asha Alexander

Principal & Executive Leader - Climate Change

The Kindergarten Starters - GEMS


Asha Alexander is the Principal at GEMS The Kindergarten Starters, Dubai and the Executive Leader of Climate Change at GEMS Education. She received her Master of Science in Educational Leadership from The Walden University, Minnesota in 2011. She holds Masters’ degrees in Education as well as English from the Bangalore University, India. With 33 years of experience in the provision of education to K-12 students, she has overseen the school’s transition to an exclusively digital curriculum.


Passionate, driven to achieve aspirational goals and ready to take on any challenge, she believes in nurturing students’ hearts and minds and is particular about a value-based education. Forward thinking, she is a believer in all things digital. She is excited by the prospect of watching every child achieve his or her potential.


Ms. Alexander is a UN certified Climate Change Leader and has made presentations at COP 25 and numerous other international webinars and conferences and has conducted workshops on leadership, and change management for several schools in India and the UAE.

Jo Gainey

English Lead

Chadsmoor Community Infant and Nursery School


I have taught Foundation Stage and Key Stage One children for 28 years and have been English Lead for much of that time. Prior to Teacher Training,  I studied in the Education and Audiology Department at Manchester University and have always been interested in language and its acquisition and development.

 

I feel that Start Bee Handwriting has provided me with new knowledge and skills and has made me reconsider my teaching and assessment practices, as well as those of my colleagues. 

 

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The History, Science and Psychology of Handwriting

Join Us for Exclusive Access to All The Talks Delivered At The Virtual Awards Ceremony Honouring The First Certified Handwriting Specialist Teachers In The World!

Held January 2021!