The team at WISE UP is made up of art practitioners as well as a team of volunteers whom have worked in child care, hospitality and educational support settings. Every team member is required to have induction and safeguarding training, and a DBS check as well as basic training in person-centred listening skills and drawing and talking.
The founder of WISE UP, Elspeth Roberts, has 20 years of experience in working with people of all ages in various leadership and support roles both in care and special educational needs settings- with a background in drama, play therapy and special educational needs she created WISE UP combining her experience and expertise believing that everyone needs a space to be themselves whatever their learning technique.
The success of WISE UP has been made possible with the expertise of Jo Gibson, also a Director and business support coordinator of WISE UP. Her experience in running her own business over the past 20 years provides training and support to public and third sector organisations. Jo’s earlier career was in social housing and the development of sustainable communities. Through this work she recognized the importance of spending time to understand the needs of individuals.
Jo’s fun and creative personality is an asset to WISE UP.
Our lead volunteer, Ann Angus, who is a retiree, and a director of the C.I.C has worked for many years in delivering well-being services to older people and running a local community café to tackle isolation in the elderly. She plays a vital role in the day-to-day running of WISE UP.
Ellie Edwards initially started at WISE UP as an attendee in 2015. Since then she has gained confidence, new skills and joined the team as a trainee workshop assistant. In 2016 Ellie starred as the main part in the devised production of ‘Comarella’ produced by local teenagers and performed in a professional theatre space in Lancaster. This was a great achievement and helped her confidence.
‘I love wise up because you are part of a community and can encourage people to be themselves.’
The office and admin team is primarily ran by volunteers; Sue Roberts, a retired primary school teacher can found filing all the important documents away at WISE UP HQ and assisting the team with funding applications as well as helping with the wardrobe department- She is a Jane of all trades and an integral part of the team.
Kiera Edwards is our youngest team member. Her confidence and leadership skills as a volunteer encourage young people to create and have a positive experience at our workshops.
Our after school club workshop leader Emma is a professional artist who has worked in the third sector for nearly 20 years.
She Teaches art as therapy and cbt to local people. She has a passion for helping people especially with mental health problems.
Emma’s children gained massive confidence through wise up and she was so taken with it she joined herself.
She loves musical theatre and the outdoors and is very proud to be in the team and enjoys working in schools and with the adult theatre group.
Victoria Muir is part of the youth theatre team, she trained in Musical Theatre at Arts Educational Schools and worked as a singer and dancer on land and on cruise ships. She has been involved with Amateur dramatics for many years more recently with LADOS & Wise Up. She is passing on her love of musical theatre to her daughter’s & younger generations.
I love the imagination, young people bring to drama and performance and we have such a great bunch here at Wise Up who all bring amazing ideas to our group and make it a fun, diverse and interesting every week.