Meet the team
Andrew Blankfield - chair of Trustees
Andrew Blankfield is chair of the YPPT trustees. He is a partner and head of the corporate group at City law firm Fieldfisher, with a practice focused on the broadcasting and media sector. He was a longstanding trustee of Spitalfields Music, including a term as its chair. He is involved with a number of musical and educational charities and is honorary legal adviser to the British Arts Festivals Association. He plays lots of chamber music and the occasional piano concerto.
Linda Crawley - Trustee
Linda began her teaching career began in 1970 and taught in a variety of primary schools from Sheffield to Southampton, finally settling in Hertfordshire in 1978 and becoming Headteacher of Aboyne Lodge School in 1999. During her time as headteacher, the school was granted Beacon status by the DfE and was judged "outstanding" by OFSTED. She also worked as a Primary Strategy Consultant Leader, supporting over 20 leadership teams to raise standards in their schools. After retiring in 2009, she worked part time for the University of Hertfordshire as a Visiting Tutor, overseeing trainees on teaching practice. She was the lead proposer and is Chair of Governors for Alban City School, which opened in September 2012. In 2016 she was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for Services to Education.
Rachel Skingsley - trustee
After a 10-year career in marketing with Procter & Gamble (Newcastle) and then with SRU marketing consultancy (London), Rachel spent the next 26 years, with the exception of 5 years back in the UK in the early 2000s, as an expat full time mother of three, living in Amsterdam, Mumbai and Paris. In Paris (2004 – 2016), she set up a welcome system at the children’s bilingual school, linking incoming families (expats and locals) with a partner family who spoke their language. She also developed an ongoing programme of social and cultural activities to help create better social cohesion between the international and French parents, which involved managing a volunteer team of 15-20 parents. She later led the Paris volunteer chapter for the literacy charity Room to Read as well as being President of the Paris Choral Society. She returned to London in 2016 and joined the board of the YPPT shortly afterwards.
JAmie Anderson - trustee
Jamie is the younger son of the late Gerry Anderson - the man behind cult TV shows like Fireball XL5, Stingray, Captain Scarlet, Space: 1999, and of course Thunderbirds. Jamie had always wanted to follow in his father's footsteps since an early age - spending huge amounts of time with Gerry at Pinewood Studios and Cosgrove Hall in Manchester when he was growing up. Now, as managing director of Anderson Entertainment, Jamie is the man tasked with keeping the Gerry Anderson legacy alive, but also developing Gerry's unfinished works.
Jeremy Duschenes - executive director
Jeremy was introduced to puppetry in secondary school in Montreal in the 1960’s and has run projects in every decade since. He moved to England in 1979 to complete a PhD in Cambridge in geophysics but somehow ended up in opera management. His experience in the early 2000s working with Year 6 in a local primary school eventually led to the setting up of the Young People’s Puppet Theatre in 2014. Jeremy’s day job is in furniture design but he is happiest in a classroom running a project.
Caitlin Duschenes - administrator
Caitlin grew up with puppets around the house, but then briefly left the world of puppetry to study History at Oxford. She joined the YPPT in 2014 and has since led 16 projects in London, Hertfordshire and Cambridge as well as being the administrator: fundraising, sourcing and delivering materials to projects, and recruiting and overseeing new project leaders. She also delivers Sculptaface workshops. In her spare time she is a Latin and Ballroom dancer and recently represented England at the World Latin Formation Championships.