The Team

Director: Michaela da Cunha

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Landscape Design & Physical Activity Consultant.
Michaela is presently studying for an MA in the Pedagogy of Outdoor Education at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, based in Carmarthen.  Her work as a Physical Activity Consultant focuses on physical activity in environmentally therapeutic settings for the development of the ‘whole child’.  She specialises in the children’s perspective of  physical activity and research carried out by Wye Ventures underpins this value. Analysing research over the past three decades revealed the importance of promoting mothers and girls in sport to whole family participation.  Finding out ‘how’ this could be achieved took many years of inquisition, trials and error.  From recent emerging research she has been able to reveal how certain characteristics of a parent, carer, coach or teacher can impact a child’s early experiences of physical activity.  
Moving on from her work with a Landscape Architectural practice in Manchester, in 1989 Michaela began her journey in enhancing the learning of children through connection with their environment.  As a consultant she worked with primary schools, drawing up Landscape Design and Implementation Plans.  In 2000 she founded the only community multi-sports club for girls in England, with an understanding of the importance of quality coaching for under twelve year old children, in a carefully considered environment, to be key to a life-long love of sport and/or physical activity.  She also believes local community clubs for local families, linked to larger central clubs, will create the foundations for a much healthier and happier country with many more children ultimately being able to access and enjoy physical activity at a competitive level.  A bi-product of this approach is more children reaching elite levels in sport on reaching adulthood.
Founder of Club Fever Multisports for under twelve year old girls, Michaela sought to fill gaps in provision for the girls from twelve years onwards and thus played a significant role in promoting the establishment of junior sections of clubs for both boys and girls in Ross-on-Wye between 2000 and 2010 with the support of A4A and Small Grant Funding. These include Ross Rowing Club and Ross Cricket Club which continue to thrive today.

 

 

Director: Rebecca Quick

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(Hons) Psychology.  2gether NHS Foundation Trust.  Here in Motion, Dance Movement Psychotherapist practitioner.
Rebecca is a Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society with a background in the expressive and creative arts, teaching exercise to music, fitness, dance, riding horses, cycling ‘and so much other stuff’ in her 46yrs. She has two children and a uniquely gorgeous Bedlington Terrier – all keeping her busy with walking, mountain biking, Aerial hoop lessons, drumming, singing, enjoying her beautiful rural surroundings, and lots and lots of friends. Rebecca firmly believes that life should be spent learning about who we are, and who others are, through a process of shared experiences, open communication, reflection, open mindedness and empathic relating.
Her involvement with Wye Ventures was a natural progression of her interest for engaging the body alongside the mind which has been her passion since the discovery of Dance Movement Therapy (DMP) in the late 80’s. At that time America was leading this groundbreaking approach to therapeutic work, with little written in the UK. On finishing her degree in Psychology, her somewhat disillusioned perspective on the limitations of (the then) psychological theories was challenged by the introduction to the practice of DMP, eventually working and training alongside one of the UK Pioneers.
After almost 20 years in this profession, Rebecca felt ready to finish her Psychology training, and to which end, sought work with NHS to support her Doctorate journey. Most recently, Rebecca is often heard discussing and reflecting on the TED talks she absorbs, or the array of growing research about the importance elements of wellbeing which now cements the necessity of physical health, creating a sense of purpose, self efficacy, motivation, the neuropsychological perspectives and (in her opinion obvious!) the mind-body interchange which makes us human. Rebecca reflects on how much has changed in the last 30yrs when such open and innovative conversations about emotional health, personal resilience, mental health and wellbeing would not have occurred. Her belief is that emphasis on the ‘whole and true’ wellbeing of young people will enable them to have a voice as well as their health for the future in this rapidly changing and challenging world.  It’s a brave new world with a daring, yet necessary, mental health vocabulary to match…let’s nurture one another into a healthy prosperous future…”

 

Past Patron: Roger Orgill MBE

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It is with great sadness that we recently lost our dear friend and advisor Roger.  With his wealth of experience we were able to gain valuable insight as Wye Ventures developed.  Whilst the serious business of sport fills our political, ideological and cultural landscape in the UK, we never lost sight as a team, what our own values stand for. Over the past few years we worked hard, laughed hard and now we remember the legacy that Roger has left.  He brought about opportunity and with that changed lives. Growing up at Plas-y-Brenin where Roger started his career, his two oldest children, Tania and Peter, had an ideal childhood, watching their father build canoes, an artificial ski-slope, leading mountain expeditions – for young people travelling from urban cities which, of course, they too could enjoy.      
For over 40 years Roger was active in the field of outdoor education, adventure and recreation training, serving for some years as Chief Instructor at Plas y Brenin National Mountaineering Centre in Snowdonia.
He chaired the National Association for Outdoor Education1980-90 and later helped establish and chaired the Foundation for Outdoor Adventure while contributing to the emergence of the Institute for Outdoor Learning.
Acting as Director of Adventure Activities in the Sports Council’s Action Sport programme developing urban-based adventure opportunities in partnership with other agencies in urban regeneration programmes, he received an MBE in 1990 for services to outdoor education.
Taking early retirement in 1996 as Sports Council’s head of Countryside and Water recreation, he served on many government working parties and acted in an advisory role to the youth service and, on retirement was invited to serve on the board of the New Opportunities Fund of the National Lottery responsible for Adventure Sports.
He was until recently a Trustee of the NGO -World Youth Service and Enterprise and the Global News Education Trust, the charitable arm of the newspaper Positive News – now a Co-operative. He acted as chair of a Steiner Waldorf School in Herefordshire, which his youngest daughter, Annie, attended and with which he retained a close link throughout his retirement.