Meet The Team
Hi, I’m Jana
Hi, I am the Yard Manager here at The Hugs Foundation. This role utilises my skills I have gained over the years working within the equine industry – U.K and abroad. I also have a degree in Animals Science, Behaviour and Welfare. I enjoy breaking down the horses reactions and ‘problems’ to really understand the why it is exhibiting different behaviours. The wild horses and ‘worriers’ are my favourite to work with – it is just facinating to see their transformation after a small amount of time here at Hugs.
I have personally competed my own horses – favourite discipline being cross country.
Hugs is amazing as not only do we help these abandoned and unwanted horses, we also open our doors to volunteers and work experience students. This ensure that we can help educate others about the difficulties horses in the U.K can face.
Hi, I’m Dawn
Youth Services Manager
Hello everyone, my name is Dawn Nicholas and I am delighted to become part of the team at The Hugs Foundation.
During my times of employment, I have had many diverse roles. Before joining Hugs I was employed in the education sector as a lecturer for public services students. As well as studies in academia I had included in the curriculum many outdoor experiences to develop self-esteem and physical and mental strengths. Seeing students developed in a holistic way was extremely rewarding and I have been privileged to see many of my past students succeed in the armed forces, fire service, police etc. It is especially rewarding when some of those people have had to overcome personal health needs and other difficulties. Here at The Hugs Foundation I will be working as a youth services manager, this holistic approach is ideal for building social skills, self-confidence and enable the opportunity to become full community citizens who can contribute to the communities future.
Hi I’m Gemma
I am one of the yard assistants here at The Hugs foundation. I have worked with horses before however this is the most exciting job role I have had within the industry. It’s a very rewarding job working within a charity that cares for horses and other animals. Its very warming watching each animal progress whilst they are in our care and going on to progress further with their new owners once they become rehomed. Working well with the rest of the team also means that the animals are in the best care whilst they are here.
Hi, I’m Lisa
Mental Health & Equine Intervention Support
I am one of the Mental Health & Equine Intervention Support workers. I’ve just landed my dream job! What more could a girl ask for to be playing 😁 sorry I mean working with horses, ponies, children and young adults with Mental health.
As a farmer’s daughter I have developed a great knowledge of nature, the environment, holistic and homeopathic remedies, and I love sharing my wisdom. I’m hard working, with a big heart, I can think on my feet and I’m really happy to be part of a amazing place. It’s so rewarding to rehabilitate the animals. It warms your heart to see the children’s faces when they are with all of our different animals.
One last thing I’d like to add, being a farmers daughter, there’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a bit of baler twine!
Hi, I’m Kelly
I am one of the yard assistants, this is my first time working for a charity like this and it is so rewarding watching the progress that each horse is gaining , it’s great fun and it’s lovely building relationships with all the horses and colleagues.
Hi, I’m Laura
Charity Fundraising Coordinator
I’m the Charity Fundraising Coordinator here at Hugs. My role is really varied and includes fundraising, admin and office duties PLUS helping out the Equine and Youth Services team. I am very excited to be working with such an amazing team and charity. I have an FdSc in Animal Behaviour and Psychology and a BA (Hons) in Human Behavioural Studies, which I completed this June (2019) and specialised in mental health and well-being. I am working towards becoming an expert in both animal and human behaviour to work with both to improve mental well-being and give a sense of purpose and happiness back into their lives.
I am extremely driven and passionate and am very outgoing, friendly and caring. I have ridden most of my life but I like to be a bit different so I ride western style, like a cowgirl! I have studied lots of different horsemanship methods such as Tom Dorrance, Buck Brannaman, Pat Parelli and Monty Roberts and have learnt to use a bit of everything to train my horses. I find it really useful to have lots of tools in the bag so if a horse doesn’t understand what I’m asking, I can try a different way.
I am also passionate about equine-assisted therapy and am an Eagala certified practitioner. Coming into the office every morning and being greeted by the dogs, Monty the office cat and all the other animals is always a great way to start the day. Hugs, is such an amazing place, helping both animals and people and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for the team here.
Hi, I’m Hannah
I am one of the Yard Assistance at Hugs.
I have grown up with horses all my life. I currently own two horses which i compete regularly.
I am studying my BHS Challenge Awards along side work. This gives me lots of knowlegde and skills to bring forward to Hugs.
I enjoy the challenge of unhandled horses watching their transformation to ‘well behaved’ rehomable horses.
Hi, I’m Hazel
Mental Health Intervention Support Worker
I am excited to be a part of the Youth Services team here at Hugs. I have held many different roles in the childcare/education sector, giving me experience with a variety of children and young people and the problems the face. With the variety of different experiences I have gained, I have found a real passion for all things outdoors, sports based and arty and I enjoy utilising these when working with children. I have lead many alternative art and craft lessons, often bringing the outside in, and really appreciating what the Cornish countryside has to offer. I have helped to create different areas in other settings such as raised beds and even built a traditional roundhouse.
I also have a real passion for horses, having owned them all my life and now living on a farm, I spend a lot of my time outside. I have found that animals of all shapes and sizes can be very exciting for children but they can also offer a calming and understanding experience for children and young people suffering mental ill health.
I am really looking forward to bringing all of my passions together for the different projects that are ongoing here at Hugs and I look forward to making a difference to humans and animals alike.
Hi, I’m Nicki
Mental Health Intervention Support Worker
Hi everyone, I am excited to be part of the growing youth services team, my name is Nicki and I have relocated to Cornwall from the South East of England. I have a degree in Physical Education and my employment background is within the educational sector. I have been fortunate to teach both primary and secondary school children. I initially started my career as a PE teacher and then retrained and specialised as a Primary school teacher.
I love the outdoors and being creative. I also have a passion for all animals especially horses, having been fortunate enough to own my own since a young age. One of my memorable achievements was retraining an ex-racehorse and seeing her transform into a beautiful mare both inside and out. This is the first time working for a charity and I am excited to work with such an amazing team. I am looking forward to working with children and young people in this unique environment and combining all my passions in life.