Karen Massey

A portrait photo of Karen Massey

Karen is an Associate Consultant Trainer for nurtureuk. Alongside this role, Karen also manages a local authority based team of teachers and teaching assistants who support children and young people in mainstream settings with social, emotional and behavioural challenges. Much of the advice the team gives to school settings promotes a relational approach through the Six Principles of Nurture. A significant part of this role involves supporting schools to set up, maintain and evaluate nurturing interventions, Nurture Groups and Enhanced Resource Provisions for SEMH.

With over 20 years of teaching experience, including 6 years as a deputy head teacher, Karen now enjoys the privilege of being able to concentrate on the social and emotional learning curriculum for children and young people, which she believes act as the foundations for successful learning.

In her spare time Karen enjoys reading, spending time with her family and long beach walks with her dog. She is occasionally guilty of going to the gym too!

Helen Hatton

Headshot photo of Helen Hatton

Helen has worked in education for over 18 years as a SENCo and Deputy Head in schools; she has experience in Early Years, Primary and Secondary schools as a LA SEMH specialist advisor. In her previous role, Helen supported schools to develop nurture groups and she has used the Boxall Profile® throughout her roles and experience.

Helen is passionate about nurture and using the Boxall Profile® to target specific SEMH needs for the pupil. Helen believes in the power of relationships and values the importance of upskilling and training staff through the Six Principles of Nurture to work towards the best possible life outcomes for all pupils.

Helen is proudly from Yorkshire, where she is a mum to three strong-willed girls who she hopes inspires them everyday to make a difference.

Sarah Vickers

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Sarah has been in education for the last 30 years from pre-school to year 11 in Secondary Education, working in Mainstream Primary and Secondary classrooms, Alternative Provision and Pupil Referral Units as well as working for 15 years managing the Local Authorities Behaviour Support Team.

When Sarah received the Theory and Practice of Nurture Groups training in 2011, she was absolutely adamant that this was the way forward to support and provide early identification of pupils with SEMH needs using the Boxall Profile® and to provide a quality, tailored intervention programme for them with this approach.

From 2015 – 2022 Sarah worked in a First School in Windsor as a Nurture and Alternative Provision Manager and during her time there she was supported by a fantastic nurture trained team and gained the Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark Award for their nurture provision and National Nurturing Schools status for the whole school. This was the highlight of Sarah’s career in education.

Sarah has also had the privilege of setting up nurture provision in local schools, she continues to keep her hand in and spread the word of nurture wherever she goes.

Sarah joined nurtureuk as a Consultant in 2022 and delivered the 1- day Theory and Practice of the Boxall Profile® training course and she is an Assessor for Schools applying for the Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark Award.

Sarah is currently working part-time as a Young Carers Practitioner which sits beautifully alongside her nurtureuk role and the 6 Principles of Nurture. In her spare time, Sarah is a mum to 3 and nanny to 5 grandchildren from 3 – 15 years of age. She enjoys painting, decorating and gardening when she is having a day off, as well as reading a good book.

Jess Balado

Headshot photo of Jess Balado

Over the past 27 years, Jess has worked in primary education, teaching all age groups from Reception to Year 6 as a class teacher, leading a range of subject areas and having responsibility for more able pupils, inclusion and SEND, and as a head teacher. 

As head, Jess has led schools with a high level of special educational needs, including many children with Social Emotional and Mental Health needs. She has also seen the significant impact and effect of Covid-19 on young people. The Boxall Profile® was used to identify need and effectively support pupils in all year groups. She has worked with clusters and across the school system more widely, and with the Local Authority in developing the SEND strategy. Jess is passionate about inclusion and ensuring all pupils have the appropriate support and provision to enable them to flourish in the school of their choice. 

Sarah Gristwood

Portrait photo of Sarah Gristwood

Sarah manages the relationships with schools on the Violence Reduction programmes for nurtureuk. She delivers consultancy and training services as well as working on the development of bespoke support packages for schools. Sarah has particular expertise in the links between the whole-school approach to nurture and violence reduction.

Nichala Johansen

Portrait photo of Nichala Johansen

Nichala has worked as a teacher for over 25 years, across primary, secondary and specialist settings. Nichala has been a Headteacher and Assistant Headteacher in three different settings and led two Outreach Teams supporting mainstream settings with the social, emotional, mental health and wellbeing of their pupils and staff . 

As a nurture teacher Nichala completed the Theory and Practice of Nurture Group Training and as a Headteacher established a nurture group within her school. 

Nichala is currently managing relationships with schools as part of the Violence Reduction Programme with nurtureuk. She believes passionately in the Six Principles of Nurture, the Boxall Profile® and a whole school nurturing ethos having seen the positive impact they have on the wellbeing and academic achievement of all children, young people and staff. 

Suus-anna Harskamp

Portrait photo of Suus-anna Harskamp

Suus-anna focuses on delivering National Nurturing Schools Programme consultancy and training services. She has experience working in schools, specialist provisions and Local Authority advisory services to deliver whole school and strategic approaches to social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH). She has also been responsible for the development of bespoke support packages for schools.

Suus-anna has particular expertise and interest in the links between the whole-school approach to nurture and mental health.

Rachael Spain

Portrait photo of Rachael Mann

Rachael is an Associate Consultant and Trainer for nurtureuk. Alongside this role, Rachael also manages and leads a secondary school nurture classroom in her hometown based in South Wales.

Rachael has been working with children for the past 12 years. Initially, a dance practitioner, delivering inclusive classes to children with a range of needs in schools, hospices, and community settings. This is where it became clear to her that all children are different and learn in different ways, thus inspiring her to progress into a school pastoral role that focuses on behaviour, social and emotional well-being. Rachael is nurtureuk accredited and has been managing her nurture classroom for the past five years.

In her spare time, Rachael enjoys spending time with her family, long walks on the beach and going to the gym.

Penny Hermes

Portrait photo of Penny Hermes

Based in Cornwall, Penny is an S.E.M.H. consultant and recently a consultant trainer for the Nurturing Kent Programme. She has a Primary School background working in roles from a class teacher through to acting Headship, where she was also recognised as an Advanced Skills Teacher specialising in behaviour and Mathematics. She has undertaken the Theory and Practice of Nurture over 15 years ago, which started her journey with nurtureuk.

Penny has had opportunities throughout her career to deliver training to a range of school staff in both primary and secondary settings within roles of Numeracy Consultant for the National Numeracy Strategy and as a Behaviour Advisor for Cornwall Council. More recently she has delivered the Senior Mental Health Lead training for Creative Education and is also a PRICE trainer.

Four years ago Penny also qualified as a forest and beach school practitioner and delivers sessions to children at risk of exclusion as well as running extra holiday groups for Cornwall Deaf Children’s Society and Headstart Kernow.

In her spare time Penny is a Cornish gig rower, Parish Councillor and a school governor, she also has a 7 year old daughter who loves to go off on camping adventures!

Nicola McAllister

Portrait photo of Nicola McAllister

Nicola is an Associate Consultant Trainer who is currently working on the NNSP Kent Project. She specialises in child development and behaviour which combines attachment led, trauma responsive and self-regulatory approaches. She has over 25 years’ experience working with some of our most vulnerable children and young people while providing training, consulting and coaching services to those adults who support them.

Nicola’s background is in Education, she has taught within mainstream settings as well as specialist provisions for children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences and multiple barriers to learning. She has also worked as an Education Advisor within the Foster Care sector. Her training and consultancy work has branched across several disciplines including education, early years, skills development, fostering and adoption teams, and supporting parents and carers at home.