The Team

Will Benson, Manager

Will Benson qualified as a secondary school teacher in July 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 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.

Sarah Sutherland-Spedding, Project Development Worker

Sarah Spedding is a qualified social worker who currently splits her working week between Kids Kabin for 2 days and as a Care Coordinator with North Durham’s Community Mental Health Team for 3 days. Sarah has previously worked in a range of settings working with Children and Young People.  These have included children’s homes, adolescent units and pupil referral units in both primary and secondary education.  Sarah has ran art therapy classes and creative activities in community settings for adults experiencing enduring mental health issues.  She enjoys both her job roles but particularly enjoys working with children in a therapeutic, creative and fun environment which Sarah believes Kids Kabin offers local children.

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 here at Kids Kabin in 2009. In 2010 he was given an apprenticeship with Kids Kabin which culminated in him being offered a full time position as a Project Co coordinator.  Colin specializes in Bike repairs and Woodwork.  He is a qualified bike mechanic having been sponsored by Kids Kabin to attend a Cytech Bike repair course in Manchester in 2003.  Colin works closely with many other local agencies and schools as part of his coordinator 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

Rebecca McGowan, Trainee Project Development Worker

Rebecca left school in 2012 where she began an apprenticeship in hairdressing in a popular upbeat salon in Jesmond.  2 year later she was qualified with a level 3 certificate meaning she could do all aspects of hair and was promoted to a senior stylist. Shortly after she had a sudden change of mind and moved to Malaga in Spain for 8 months where she continued her hairdressing career but decided to move back home to Newcastle, after arriving home Rebecca seen that Kids Kabin a place she went as a child where looking for a trainee Project worker and decided to apply, she later got the job and has been here just over a year now and has just passed her level 2 and will continue to study to gain her level 3.

Nino Garcia, International Volunteer, AVP

I am a volunteer from an organisation called AMA (associate missionaries of the assumption) I came to Newcastle in 2015 to volunteer here at Kids kabin where I have learnt a lot of hands on activities. Gardening and bike mechanics being my favorite. It’s been almost 2 years now and its slowly coming to an end. I leave to return to the Philippines on July 31st where I plan to study again to further my education and to forfill my dream to become a computer engineer.

Liz Haggerty, International Volunteer, AVP

Liz has been a volunteer for Kids Kabin since September 2016. I am originally from the USA (Massachusetts) and will be returning in July 2017. I graduated from a small school called Anna Maria College in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Health Science and I have a minor in Psychology. In college I was an active volunteer with Campus Ministry, my softball team. When I go back home, I am going to graduate school to receive my Masters in Occupational Therapy. Volunteering at Kids Kabin has taught me that I am more creative than I thought I was and that I like to work with my hands. My favorite things to do at Kids Kabin are pottery, cookery, and glass work.

Patch Pacheco, International Volunteer, AVP

Patch Pacheco is a volunteer from the Philippines. She taught in both primary and secondary private schools in her country for two years. Shortly after that she came to Newcastle where she became involved in charitable organisation around Newcastle. One of them is Sunnybank Centre in the West end of Newcastle, where she volunteered for a year from September 2015 to August 2016. She worked with kids and elderly people in Pendower Estate, as well as in Atkinson Nursery School. Patch started in Kids Kabin on September of 2016 and is a volunteer English Tutor for JET (Jobs, Education, and Training) in Grainger Park Road for refugees and migrants

Other volunteers include:

Johnny Finn, Noor Amer, Samantha Patterson, Alda Manuell, Courteney Cartwright



Learning Through Creativity

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