Meet the team
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Rachel Skingsley - Chair
Rachel is a volunteer arts/charity facilitator, with extensive experience particularly in charities focused on education. Rachel has considerable fundraising experience and took over as Chair of Trustees in January 2019.
JAmie Anderson - trustee
Jamie Anderson is a writer, producer and director working in TV, radio and film, and also looks after the legacy of his father Gerry Anderson who created multiple cult TV shows including the Thunderbirds series. He takes particular interest in furthering the charity’s commercial sponsorship fund.
Joanna Kowalski - Trustee
Joanna is an award-winning journalist and marketing communications professional with over 20 years’ experience working in the NHS and charity sectors, mainly for mental health organisations. She is a passionate advocate for the important role the creative arts can play in people’s wellbeing.
Jeremy Duschenes - executive director
Jeremy Duschenes is the founder and Executive Director of the YPPT. His experience of marionette productions extends back to the 1960s in his native Canada. Jeremy founded the YPPT as a means of bringing projects to more children than he would be able to work with on his own. In his spare time he runs a company which produces high quality furniture.
Bianca Judd - Project leader
Bianca originally trained as a performer but moved into community arts about 20 years ago. Her work includes children’s drama & craft, family workshops, lantern making, education work and community projects including sculpting in care homes. She has also worked as a youth theatre director. In 2015 she trained in special effects and now also works in Prosthetics and creature creation. She says, "Working for YPPT brings together all my favourite things- puppets, being creative and helping others be creative. I love to see how excited people get when they see what they are capable of."
Louise Lahive - Project leader
Louise Lahive is a practising artist and experienced course leader based in North Hertfordshire, and has worked with the YPPT since 2017. She has recently developed and delivered short courses for the University of Hertfordshire, The Letchworth Heritage foundation and the Milton Keynes Art Centre. In 2013 Louise became a fellow with the Digswell Arts Trust and recent exhibitions include ‘Blood Landscape’ at Westminster Ref library, ‘Reflections’ at Surface gallery Nottingham and ‘looking Deeper’ at Courtyard Arts Hertford. She currently works out of ‘Eastcheap’ studios in Letchworth where she produces collaborative and large mixed media work.
Michelle Hansen - Project leader
Michelle is originally from California and relocated to Oxford in 2008. She owned a business in California but after volunteering in her daughter's primary school in England, she decided to follow her dream and retrained as a primary school teacher. Over the past ten years Michelle has taught in schools with diverse backgrounds, which she particularly enjoys. Currently, Michelle is a project leader and Year 6 teacher at Wolvercote Primary School in Oxford.
Erica Dudley - Trustee
Erica is an experienced HR professional who started her career in the charity sector and currently works in financial services. She has an MA in Human Resources Management and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
DR Emily Tanner - Trustee
Emily is an education researcher and programme evaluator. She is currently Head of Research at The Careers and Enterprise Company and was formerly at the National Centre for Social Research where she led the work on children, education and employment. Emily is passionate about the role of the arts in children’s development and is particularly interested in how the YPPT demonstrates impact.
Rachael Southern - Trustee
Rachael is a solicitor specialising in advising charities and social enterprises. She previously worked as an English Teacher on the Teach First programme. She has a range of volunteering experience with children and young people and currently runs a Brownies unit.
Caitlin Duschenes - associate director
Caitlin Duschenes is the YPPT's Associate Director. She has been with the YPPT since 2014 and has led projects in London, Hertfordshire and Cambridge. She also delivers Sculptaface workshops and recently gained a Masters in Education with the Open University, specialising in Educational Leadership and Management.
Carmela Arbelaez-McCarthy - Project leader
Carmela is a prop and puppet maker for performance and has been making for theatre, film and events for 3 years. She loves all creative arts and is a full supporter of creativity in education. She has been working with the YPPT as a volunteer and now project leader since 2017. She also runs other children's puppet making workshops. She studied Creative Arts for Theatre and Film and has designed and made costumes, sets, fashion shoots and mascot costumes.
Kavita Kamboz - Project leader
Kavita is a Project Leader as well as a teacher at Highwood Primary School. She has been working with YPPT for a year whilst teaching in the school. She has a BA Hons in Education in Context and has been a primary school teacher for 8 years.