Jo has been a Director and Chief Executive of the Wilderness Foundation since 2004, but has been involved as Projects Director and Project Coordinator since 1998.
South African by birth, Jo has enjoyed a rich life of wild places in many parts of Africa as she grew up. She trained and worked as a Social Anthropologist during the time of Apartheid, working mainly with rural communities. Understanding and measuring the effects of value on wellbeing and encouraging people to respect and understand the value of wilderness and nature lies at the heart of her passion in her work.
Jo focuses on the effects of wilderness on developing sound youth leadership built on environmental awareness and ethics, and developing positive wellbeing and mental health in young people who are vulnerable or at risk.
Using the extensive wilderness network and her close link to South Africa and programmes running there, she merges best practice from around the world into creative programmes that suit British climate and culture.
Over the past 20 years, Jo has established a wide range of programmes within the Foundation to meet these needs of nature connections, individuals and society as a whole. These include Wild Swans women’s leadership, Sirius Environmental Leadership Programme, TurnAround Programme, Out There Programme and the Chatham Green Education Programme. Jo has been a passionate advocate for the Imbewu Programme in South Africa, and in 2014 launched a Scottish programme to mirror this. Jo also leads the South Africa wilderness trails out reach – keeping her love of the wild intact and sharing this with others.
Jo is a Master NLP Practitioner and Advanced Psychotherapeutic Counsellor. She uses her skills in behaviour change facilitation and motivation across the board, with a particular focus on the outdoors.
Angely has a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from the University of Western Sydney. Before moving from Hong Kong to UK with the family in July 2014, Angely has been Human Resources and Administration Manager for over 15 years and has worked in different multinational companies such as DHL, Nestle, OOCL and Merrill Lynch.
Angely joined the Wilderness Foundation in 2017 and manages volunteers, HR, and heads up the Foundation’s Administration functions. Angely is grateful to be part of the Foundation family which helps young people to overcome their difficulties in lives.
With over 20 years design and marketing experience for creative agencies, Clare has worked on a broad range of creative projects for large publishing and retail clients. She is known to the foundation having previously worked with the team for a few months in 2017 and also as a volunteer mentor on the TA programme for the last few years.
Mark joined the Wilderness Foundation in 2020 and began work on the Out There Wilderness Academy, a nature and outdoors based project for 13-15 year olds. He has also taken on the role of Operations/Youth Service Officer within the charity as well as co-delivering the TurnAround Project alongside Jo.
Mark is an experienced bushcraft instructor and group facilitator and enjoys working with the wide range of groups that visit the Wilderness Foundation. His previous experience includes training as a Professional Outdoor Activity Instructor, achieved Paddlesport Skill, Coaching and Water Safety qualifications with the British Canoe Union as well as reaching the Consolidation period from his Rock Climbing Instructor and Mountain Leader qualifications with the Mountain Training Association.
After completing his training he worked instructing Stand Up Paddle boarding and Kayaking in Perpignan, France and then joined The Bushcraft Company which included attending a 10 day Bushcraft Survival training and assessment delivered by Ross Boyer who is a Bushcraft and Tracking expert and Survival Consultant to various television programs including the Bear Grylls series.
Terri completed her BSC Conservation and Environment Degree at Writtle University College, Chelmsford. After completing 2 years at college studying BTEC level 3 extended diploma in equine management, Terri during her time at university worked for Riverside Vets in Benfleet. She is also involved in surveying work with the Southend Dormouse group since 2014, and holds a Class 1 Dormouse handling licence. Terri has also been involved with bat and reptile surveys in Essex, and has a semi wild Lundy pony from Lundy Island in Devon.
Terri started with the Wilderness Foundation in 2017 as a volunteer on the Chatham Green Project, in 2018 she took on the role of Assistant Education Officer. In 2019 she started working as Education Officer and is now also a Green Mentor for the Green Influencers Scheme. Her passion is nature and the environment and her aim is to inspire the next generation to love, appreciate and care for the natural environment. Read more here
Claire has a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology from Trinity College, Dublin. She grew up on an organic farm in the West of Ireland where she spent most of her time out in the forests and fields. In the past she hosted educational animal encounters at a zoo and assisted with the rehabilitation of injured and abandoned seal pups at a Seal Rescue Centre. She enjoys observing wildlife in unique environments such as the rainforests of Borneo, African savannas, cloud forests of Costa Rica and Irish blanket bogs.
Claire started working for the Wilderness Foundation in 2021 as the Environmental Education Assistant. She has passion for biodiversity and the way that species are interconnected in a habitat.
Jennifer’s love of both nature and teaching made joining the Wilderness Foundation in 2021 an easy decision. As SEND Education Facilitator, she teaches young people about the wonders of nature and biodiversity in the midst of the wilderness.
She developed a love of teaching whilst spending time in Jersey and Winchester teaching foreign teenagers English, continuing at Barnes Farm Infant School as Forest School Leader where she successfully developed a Forest School provision. In 2000, she completed a Geography degree at Greenwich University, where she studied ecology.
Caring passionately about children’s mental health, with extensive training in the field, she witnessed first-hand how exposure to nature can relax young people and drive an innate inquisitiveness in the natural world. Moreover, she understands that these opportunities only enhances their confidence.
When not working at the Wilderness Foundation, she can be found hiking, canoeing or climbing her way around the English countryside with her own two young boys.
Liam moved over to the UK from South Africa in 2019. Whilst in South Africa he spent time volunteering for an Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation centre and trained as a Nature guide. Liam has a passion for the natural world especially for bird life, he started with Wilderness Foundation UK in September 2019 on an Internship.
He has now been enrolled onto the Kickstart programme at the Foundation and become an integral part of the team. The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to organisations to create jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment.
Myles has over 30 years experience of working in the outdoor sector and has personal experience of sea kayaking, canoeing, sailing and mountaineering in many of the worlds wildest places.
As well as being an adventure travel guide, Myles has been a head of an outdoor education centre, Professional Development Coordinator (Scotland) for the Institute for Outdoor Learning, youth development worker, and an adventure & marine tourism lecturer. He is vice-chair for the Scottish Adventure Activities Forum (SAAF), a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and a Lead Practitioner of The Institute for Outdoor Learning (LPIOL). In recent years he has been a consultant to adventure travel businesses and DMO’s around the world.
He has been very involved in staff training, both bespoke and ‘off the-shelf’ products for practitioner and academic audiences. This includes creating the UK’s first Adventure Guide training programme. He is the UK representative on the governance board for the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) Adventure Travel Guide Standard. He is also an associate instructor at Glenmore Lodge, Scotland’s National Outdoor Training Centre and was involved in the creation of British Canoeing’s Guide Endorsement scheme.
Myles has been involved with WFUK for many years as a trainer, trail creator/leader, then as advisor to the board on Outdoor Education and then as a trustee. He is passionate about the wild places of Scotland and the transformative and healing power of time spent in wild nature. He coordinates all WFUK activity in Scotland.
Jonathan has been a key member of our team since January 2009. Initially brought on to project manage impACT – our environmental youth action group based in Chelmsford, Jonathan now manages our Down To Earth allotment project. This is based on six allotments on the Melbourne Estate in Chelmsford, where Jon manages a range of volunteers who come to us with mental, physical and emotional issues.
Jonathan is a keen naturalist and is passionate about wildlife and the environment. He comes to us with a many skills, including those of wildlife photographer and film maker. Jonathan also has experience as a lecturer working in Chelmsford and is an active volunteer helping in the local community. Jonathan combines his Foundation role with running his own successful business.