Nature to Nurture – Allowing Nature to Nurture our Wellbeing


In September 2010 I had a hip replacement after living with degenerative osteoarthritis for a couple of years which forced me to think about where I wanted my life to go. I used my local woodland to help me walk again and it was then that I felt a connection with the natural world and I knew that my future would be to work outdoors. I started to think about Forest School again and went on the training, hoping that I would be inspired to change direction in my life. Afterwards, a passion had been rekindled inside me and I knew that my time within management had come to an end and that I need to now improve my knowledge and skills within the outdoor environment. In February 2011, I resigned from my managerial job and spent the rest of the year doing volunteer work for many companies to gain the necessary experience that I would need to launch my own company. That dream became reality in January 2012 and Nature to Nurture Social Enterprise was created.

I am extremely passionate about what I do and it is this quote from Rachel Carson that sums up how I feel “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in”. I don’t think this changes as we get older, people come into our lives at different times and enable us to see the world in a more exciting way. I would like to be that one person who enables someone to see the world in a more magical way and it is for this reason that I decided to make the company a ‘not for profit’ organisation as I believe that our sole purpose in life is to use our knowledge and skills in order to help others.

In 2018 my mobility started to fail me again as arthritis was wearing away my left hip. It was during this period that I went back to University to do a Master's degree, to keep my mind occupied. I had my 2nd hip replacement in July 2018.

Nature to Nurture – Allowing Nature to Nurture our Wellbeing


Marilyn Nesbitt is the Early Years Manager for the organisation. Safeguarding Lead & SENCO. She has worked for N2N for nearly 4 years now and has worked her way up through the company to take over as manager. Marilyn has always worked in early years, starting her career in a nursery at the age of 16. At present, she is currently studying psychology.

Phillip is the Forest School Leader for the organisation and responsible for the planning and delivery of activities for children over the age of 5.

Nature to Nurture – Allowing Nature to Nurture our Wellbeing


Keith Xander Bio. (Esmee’s daddy - Alternate Tuesday & Wednesday am) I have over 20 years of experience working with children in schools in the subjects of Music, Art, Poetry and also Meditation and Mindfulness. My main aim has always been to inspire and help children overcome any limitations, whether those limitations be physical or mental. The objective of my teaching method is to help people see potential in themselves and help realise dormant creative abilities. I am very light-hearted and have a good understanding of the innocence of a child, as the child within me is still very alive. So, my method is mainly about exploration and learning to have fun in discovering new abilities. I cover creating music both alone and in groups, and how to listen to co-create music. The mindfulness and meditation have become a wonderful and supportive tool in strengthening the creative process and appear to help increase our ability to listen deeply to music and each other. I have found the combination of these subjects help us to not only listen deeply to music or look deeply into the nature of life and all creativity but also help us to listen to ourselves and each other with openness and thus help improve understanding, empathy, compassion and overall communication. I am good at spotting strengths and weaknesses, so I am able to help guide students who are open to learning on how to work on both strengths and weaknesses. The opportunity to be a positive influence on anyone is truly a blessing and this is why I love to encourage and inspire others as much as possible. Love and Gratitude xxx.
Laura Newnes Bio (Nancy-May’s mummy - Thursday pm) Laura Newnes is an established creative practitioner working professionally in the arts sector for the last 15 years. Having started in the creative industry as a film and television actress, starring as the regular character of ‘Candy Browne’ on Channel Four's ‘Hollyoaks’ and she then went on to film an autumn drama for ITV. As well as Television work Laura is an accomplished stage actress starring in over 20 professional theatrical productions nationwide, over the last 15 years. Laura has since co-founded Dreamworld Entertainments Ltd and now produces and directs live professional theatre. Laura’s initial acting career sparked a passion for creative learning, and she has since achieved a first-class Honours degree in ‘Creative and Performing Arts’ and after winning a fully funded scholarship achieved a distinction in Masters in ‘Creative Practice’. Laura has co-founded Small Stories Theatre Company CIC working in partnerships with children’s educational providers and National Museums Liverpool, using drama and storytelling to introduce children to cultural venues. Small Stories Theatre company was awarded the consultancy contract for The Lady Lever Art Gallery to support the design and installation of permanent Early Years accessible spaces and exhibitions. National Museums Liverpool contracted Small Stories to design and deliver all of their in house training for PGCE students from Liverpool Hope University, supporting teachers in engaging with the National Curriculum, museums, and galleries in a creative way and bringing learning to life. Small Stories also worked independently with schools across Merseyside delivering tailored 12-week projects to primary school children using drama and storytelling to support their learning. Laura has co-founded the established ‘Class Act Drama School’ with Katrina Riozzi, now running for over 10 years, designing and delivering creative drama sessions across Merseyside for children aged 3-16yrs. Laura’s passion as a creative practitioner is using her drama skills and approach to instill confidence and build self-esteem in children. Class Act has created a unique self-development curriculum that aims to help each individual child reach their full potential. The curriculum is child-led and has strong foundations and links with the Reggio- Emilia approach, which focuses on the facilitator working alongside the children to explore creative approaches to learning. Class Act Drama’s approach to creative sessions is simplistic and naturalistic, using the children’s environment and imaginations to engage creatively and inspire ideas. The aim is to use drama and role-play to help children engage with and understand the world around them and their place within it. Laura is very excited to provide her creative services to N2N and to support the over-arching principles with a specific neutral approach to gender and a focus on natural materials, stimulus, and wildlife.
Katrina Riozzi-Dunne M.A. Drama facilitator - (Gigi & Gabriella’s mummy - Tuesday and Wednesday pm) Katrina attended the Elliot Clarke School of Dance and Drama full time from age 7 until 16. Whilst here, she completed examinations, achieving distinctions up to advanced level in both the prestigious examining bodies: London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She also successfully completed a number of dance examinations in a wide variety of disciplines, including, ballet, tap, contemporary, jazz, street and national dancing. She also gained a great deal of professional experience on stage, appearing in many large scale musicals and plays, as well as working professionally in television, starring in short films, drama series and television commercials. Katrina went on to attend Liverpool Hope University, where she completed a degree in performing Arts: Drama, which led to the award of a scholarship to complete a Masters in Drama, which she completed with Distinction in 2009. During these studies Katrina focused on the Reggio Emilia approach to children’s learning. The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy based on the image of a child with strong potentialities for development, they are classed as a subject with rights who learns with what is called “the hundred languages” which the approach talks of as belonging to all human beings and which grows in relations with others. This approach formed the basis for Katrina’s first company Small Stories Theatre, which she started in partnership with her colleague Laura Newnes. The company worked in partnership with National Museums Liverpool and local Surestart nurseries to make cultural venues more accessible for young children through dramatic storytelling, role-play and creative and imaginative engagement. The ethos of the company being very rooted in the principle that children learn in this wide spectrum of “languages” which when fed, enriches their experience with one another and with the entire world around them. The company therefore developed sessions that fully engaged and supported learning with all of the children’s senses and worked not only in the classroom but outside within nature, incorporating as much information as possible from the world around them into their learning and imaginative play. After much success with Small Stories, Class Act Drama School was born. Again, a collaboration between Katrina and Laura. The school came from the desire to reach many more children with a program that was built upon the principles of self-development for every child as a unique individual. Katrina’s background in Performing Arts along with freelance teaching in many performing Arts schools and Academies, including Liverpool Institution of Performing Arts (LIPA), gave her an insight into the highly pressured often very competitive world of drama and the arts. This instilled the desire to create a school that nurtured the whole child in a safe, secure environment that encouraged them to express themselves fully and explore their own identity and ideas with guidance and support, so that they may all grow at their own pace and in their own unique style. Both Small Stories and Class Act Drama follow the same guiding principles of treating the child as facilitator working alongside the facilitator supporting the session. The child is guided not “taught” so that they may take ownership of the work created. In keeping with the inspiration of the Reggio Emilia Approach, all objects used within sessions are natural or recycled materials with no literal use, however, for the vast majority of time props or objects are completely imagined and created within the mind of the child. Many of our Small Stories sessions have been carried out on the grounds or within the gardens of cultural venues, connecting children to the natural environment and encouraging them to connect with the space as a whole and link this to the venue rather than seeing it as a static building. When using role play characters, we are careful to ensure that these characters are gender neutral, such as, an explorer, an adventurer, a captain, allowing the children as much freedom as possible to build and design these characters to their own free will without conditioned restrictions or “norms’ opposed upon them. All ideas, suggestions and input are celebrated and supported and the child, their voice and identity, becomes the focus in all that we create.