The Team

Will Benson, Manager

Will Benson qualified as a secondary school teacher in 1996.  He has worked at Kids Kabin since 1998, when he came to the old Kids Kabin shop unit to show a group of volunteers how to use a potter’s wheel which had been donated.  In 2005 Will spent a year teaching in a shanty town in East Africa.  He has an interest in a wide range of creative and practical activities, with a particular soft spot for anything to do with bicycles and camping.

Nina Kanwar, Administrator

Nina completed a language degree at the University of Manchester and gained subsequent qualifications in accountancy.  She has spent most of her working life in the voluntary sector working for charitable organisations which have dealt with a wide variety of issues ranging from homelessness to charities offering advice and information  directly to the local community.


Nikki Crow, Project Development Worker

Nikki spent 2 years as a voluntary art assistant alongside her studies before graduating in Architectural Glass and Ceramics in 2009.  Her experiences include teaching secondary level art, working alongside adult inmates at HMP Durham.  She’s also worked as a freelance Arts Coordinator providing enrichment projects to teens as well as tutoring vulnerable adults in Literacy. Nikki also ran Family Learning sessions in South Tyneside and taught ESOL to migrants at Newcastle College while gaining her Certificate in Education with a Literacy Specialism. She was then won over by Kids Kabin’s inspirational ethos, and believes joining the team in Sept 2012 offered her a unique opportunity to put her experience and passion to a meaningful cause. Nikki loves helping children realise there’s no time in life for boredom, listening out for their brilliant quotes, and participating in a good adventure!”

Colin Ridley, Project Development Worker

Colin Ridley originally volunteered at Kids Kabin in 2009. In 2010 he started an apprenticeship with Kids Kabin which he completed in 2012.  He then applied for a project worker position, was successful and has worked at Kids Kabin since.  Colin specializes in bike repairs and woodwork.  He is a qualified bike mechanic having been achieved a Cytech Level 2 qualification.  Colin works closely with many other local agencies and schools as part of his project worker role with Kids Kabin.  Colin enjoys his work here at Kids Kabin but particularly enjoys camping and “The great outdoors” when working with young people

Angela Dodd, Project Development Worker

Angela has spent the past 12 years working in schools around the Wallsend area as a Learning Mentor, this work has involved helping kids with issues around things such as self-esteem, anger management, and improving their classroom behaviour.  Her experience includes spending a year in a pupil referral unit, and developing and running a transition programme to help young people with the move from primary school to high school.  Angela has just joined the team at Kids Kabin in January 2018.  She decided to apply for this role as she enjoys working with young people and doing anything creative, especially arts and crafts and cooking. Angela also loves going on camping trips.

Rebecca McGowan, Project Worker

Rebecca left school in 2012 where she began an apprenticeship in hairdressing in a popular upbeat salon in Jesmond.  2 years later she achieved  a level 3 certificate qualifying her to do all aspects of hair and she was promoted to a senior stylist. Shortly after she had a sudden change of heart and moved to Malaga in Spain.  She continued her hairdressing career but decided to move back home to Newcastle after a year.  Shortly after arriving home, Rebecca saw a traineeship opportunity advertised with Kids Kabin.  she had been to Kids Kabin when she was a child and decided to apply.  She was successful, and has now progressed from being a trainee to a project worker.  Along the way she has achieve a level 2 qualification in Playwork and learnt hundreds of new practical skills.

Kate Khodak, International Volunteer, AVP

Kate comes to Kids Kabin from Ukraine.  She completed her master’s degree in social work in Lviv University in 2016.  She has experience with informal education projects in Ukraine and the Czech Republic, as well as having worked in schools and  palliative care. Kate loves new experiences and challenges and she feels that Kids Kabin is a place where she can learn a lot and then share this knowledge with other people.  Kate is committed to helping children learn new and interesting skills in a fun way. She says, “I want to show children how to get happiness and warmth from simple things and return that goodness to their world.”

Nicole Monroy, International Volunteer, AVP

Nicole has come to volunteer for a year at Kids Kabin all the way from sunny Las Vegas, USA – although originally born in Mexico City! Back home in Las Vegas she began her degree at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in Social Work and is now studying (online) at the University of Loyola Chicago for a certificate in Pastoral Ministry. She has spent nearly three years living in England, two of them spent volunteering for the diocesan youth service (YMT) – working with primary and secondary schools hosting assemblies and learning to work with children of all ages and from all different backgrounds. She is passionate about giving children opportunities to express themselves, especially through art, pottery, cooking, and drama. Coming from a desert she has been amazed by England’s beautiful northern countryside and seaside!

Daryl Cabagua, International Volunteer, AVP

Daryl is an Assumption Volunteer from the Philippines. He graduated from Iloilo Science and Technology University with a degree in Agricultural Education. During his college days he was involved in school and community youth projects, including Iloilo Deaf Ministry, Philippine Blind Union and Xavier de Kibangay High School.  These experiences encouraged him to volunteer after he graduated.  Daryl is a very enthusiastic individual and explains: “I am happy to volunteer because it’s always an exciting yet humbling moment in my life where I gain new experiences, build more relationships, discover my potential, live in a community and learn new cultures.

Other volunteers include:

Johnny Finn, Noor Amer, Samantha Patterson, Alda Manuell, Courteney Cartwright, Joanna Klaptocz, Melissa Thompson,  Atlanta Tomlinson,  Donna Whitworth,  Catarina Cesar.



Learning Through Creativity

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