With our 80 bed space capacity, the Centre is small enough to provide very welcoming and personal attention to visiting schools, which is particularly appreciated by some of the younger pupils on their first residential school trip – away from the comforts of home, perhaps for the first time.
The staff at Medina Valley Centre are here to make you feel very welcome and help you make the most of your visit to the Isle of Wight.
Teaching and instructional staff are all qualified to a high level. They are all First Aid qualified and carry a first aid kit and other emergency aids, at all times. We are DBS compliant and each member of staff wears an identification badge or Centre logo.
The Centre has a designated safeguarding lead who oversees the protection of all children and vulnerable adults on site. Please contact us using the number above if you would like any more information.
Phil Wells Centre Operations Manager Phil is the Centre’s Operations Manager. For much of his working life Phil has been in business; in 2004 he left his position as Sales and Marketing Director of a successful company to train in Scotland as an outdoor instructor. Prior to joining Medina Valley Centre in September 2017, he was Project and Programmes manager for a charity which specialised in working with disadvantaged young people. Phil is passionate about reaching out to those less fortunate young people, using the outdoors as a tool to help build their confidence and self-esteem. In his spare time Phil enjoys being in the outdoors, walking – with his black Labrador Maisie – kayaking and mountain biking, making the most of the beautiful Isle of Wight.
Beth Heyward Head of Activities Beth joined the Centre in April 2018 and has fully immersed herself in all things, including the Medina mud! She says: ‘I began training to be an outdoor instructor in 2010 in Wales and have since gained numerous qualifications in land based and water activities. Following this, I spent two years working alongside young people with complex behavioural needs in a residential care setting. Over this time, my understanding of the outdoors and the scope of its educational value has grown. I am keen to combine my background in Conservation Biology with sustainable use of the outdoors for adventure activities, as well as adding value to sessions through an increasing understanding of the environment we use. In my spare time I like heading into the mountains (yes I know that there aren’t any on the island!) or onto the water (there’s lots of that!).’
Keith Marston Co-Head of Field Studies BA (Hons), PGCE Secondary Geography. Keith joined the staff in 1986 with responsibility for developing and teaching the Geography fieldwork at the Centre and was appointed Head of Field Studies in October 2006. Previously, he has taught in secondary schools in Tanzania & Buckinghamshire and co-led the Geology section of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society. As an experienced ornithologist, Keith has published several major reports on the birds of the Medina Valley.
Sally Holt Co-Head of Field Studies BSc (Hons), MSc PGCE Secondary Geography. Sally joined the Centre and moved to the Island in February 2019. Previously, she had been teaching and leading geography KS3, GCSE, AS and A Level since 2004 in a variety of schools, sixth form colleges and further education departments in Hampshire and West Sussex. She is an enthusiastic geographer who is passionate about delivering the subject and engaging young people in excellent field work. Sally grew up in rural Hampshire and has a love for the environment and conservation. When not at the Centre she is likely to be found out walking with her husband Stuart and Harry the dog.
Simon Creedy Maintenance Technician RYA Senior Sailing Instructor, RYA Powerboat Instructor Simon first came to the Centre to learn to sail during his summer holidays and has now been working here full-time since 2006. Simon’s varied role includes site maintenance, teaching RYA Sailing/Powerboat courses and activity sessions.
Simon King Bosun Simon joined us at the end of November 2018, bringing a variety of experience in engineering, landscaping and youth work. Simon is excited to be taking on a more practical role in helping to improve the activities equipment and support the activities team, working part-time with us and running the Cowes Youth For Christ youth project during the rest of his week.
Field Studies Tutors
Beatrice Selwood Seasonal Field Studies Tutor BSc Agricultural Botany, PGCE Beatrice joined the staff in April 2013, and is responsible for teaching Biology for all ages through to A2. She has taught in secondary schools in Sussex and London, and has field studies experience in the Lake District, Shetland and Kenya.
David Parsons Biology Field Studies Tutor
Sandie Woodford Schools Liaison Officer Sandie joined the team in February 2010, primarily to deal with all the school bookings and liaise with teachers and group leaders. Due to her vast experience in all admin roles she also undertakes many of the general administrative tasks. Being an “Isle of Wighter” she has a lot of local knowledge and of course a love for the water. Her hobbies are swimming, sailing, kayaking and walking, but her greatest love is travelling and she has been all over the world.
Geoff Jackson Finance Officer Geoff is a qualified AAT and looks after the Centre accounts and finances. He is originally from the North East, and arrived on the Isle of Wight due to more than just one or two coincidences! If you can catch him out of the office, do ask him to tell you how he came to be at Medina.
Becki Moore Becki joined the Centre in September 2017 as an experienced paddler and with a wide-ranging experience of working with young people. Becki puts her all in to everything that she does and frequently produces delicious cakes and sweets for the staff team to enjoy. She may be small, but she is mighty!
Kat Schonhut Kat joined the Centre in November 2017 and brings a lot of experience and energy to her role! Kat is passionate about geo-caching and enjoys mountains and running in her spare time (just don’t make her camp out!).
Elie Hayward Elie joined the team in June 2018 and brings a variety of experience and plenty of Haribo to her role. Elie is a RYA Senior Instructor who thrives on sharing her love of sailing with others. Keep an eye out for her army of plastic ducks – they often get up to mischief and could appear in any session! She is also passionate about mountain-biking, and can often be found honing her skills in the local forest.
Michael Smith Michael joined the team in September 2017, making a significant move both to the Island and away from the retail sector. Michael’s skills have grown immensely during his time at the Centre and he can always be relied upon to add fun voices and puns to the evening activity games!
Isaac Sullivan Isaac joined the Centre in July 2018 and as an Aussie, is getting used to the sometimes cold and wet British environment. He most enjoys any water activity, although this does take a bit of a toll on the amount of hair gel he gets through.
Ben Cheshire Ben is our newest activity team trainee, having joined us for his gap year at the beginning of November 2018. Moving to the Island from Bath, Ben has a huge love of the outdoors and already holds an RYA Level 2 Sailing qualification. Ben is particularly looking forward to developing his teaching skills over the coming and months and comes with plenty of enthusiasm and a willingness to learn all things Medina Valley!
Shannen Attrill Head Chef Having faithfully served as the Centre’s second Chef, Shannen now leads our fantastic kitchen team as Head Chef.
Tracy East Tracy is a fantastic member of our kitchen team and always has a smile and an encouraging hug! Her bread and butter pudding is second to none – a firm staff favourite!
We have a team of up to 40 seasonal sailing instructors who regularly work for the Centre throughout the year. They are all RYA qualified as either a Senior Instructor, Advanced Instructor, Instructor or Assistant Instructor. We also run a training/briefing weekend once a year for these instructors.
Nicky Leonard Nicky joined the Centre and moved to the Island in September 2018 as the resident host, from a background of working with children and young people. Nicky is a qualified Secondary Geography teacher and when not getting her hourly tea-fix, enjoys finding new beaches, introducing new games to our guests, and getting stuck in to the different things happening around the Centre!