The team

Dr Toby Quibell, PhD.

Dr Toby Quibell, PhD.


Toby Quibell is a teacher and charity leader. As a class teacher, social researcher and voluntary sector leader, Toby has worked with children and schools throughout his career. Having assisted Nick Blackburn in establishing NEW, he took over as Chief Executive in 2013. With special interest in the causes of disaffection, Toby is focussed on providing solutions that address the needs of children that are associated with poverty, trauma, and adverse circumstance, and believes that NEW is an innovative and effective force in delivering these solutions to children.

‘The best thing about being part of NEW? The people are wonderful and the effects of their work visible and uplifting.’

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Sophie Wilkinson,  BSc (Hons), PGCE

Sophie Wilkinson, BSc (Hons), PGCE

Project Leader

Sophie Wilkinson works for North East Wellbeing as the Project Leader for our Curious Beasts project.

Sophie completed her undergraduate degree in International Management and French before she volunteered, teaching in Sri Lanka where she realised her real passion lay in teaching. After completing her PGCE, she taught in London and North Yorkshire for over 10 years. Her real passion lies in motivating and inspiring children in their learning and boosting children’s mental health and wellbeing so that they can realise their own potential. She is now a Forest School practitioner and she leads the Curious Beasts Team.

Rachel Muir, LLB (Hons), LPC (exempting), PGCE, MA Ed.

Rachel Muir, LLB (Hons), LPC (exempting), PGCE, MA Ed.

Project Leader

Rachael Muir manages our Therapeutic and our Wilderness Schooling projects.

Rachael completed a degree in law and a year in industry before realising that she couldn’t work at a desk. She completed her PGCE in Primary education with High Force Education in Barnard Castle in 2007 and MA in Education in 2012. Coming from a background working in outdoor education, holding many NGB qualifications notably Level 4 Kayak instructor, she was always keen to take her classroom outdoors, therefore gaining her Forest School leadership award in 2019.

Rachael loves watching pupils thrive in the outdoor environment, facilitating their learning in different ways and helping them achieve their potential. Let’s face it, nothing beats toasting a marshmallow on a fire.

Rachel Dawber, BA (Hons), PGCE

Rachel Dawber, BA (Hons), PGCE

Operations Leader

Rachel is an experienced primary school teacher with specialisms in nurture, outdoor learning, creative curriculum, skills-based learning and bush craft skills. She also has expertise in working with schools to establish and make improvements to nurture and BESD/alternative provisions. She is a strong advocate of curriculum-based outdoor learning where she has witnessed children flourish when they are no longer constrained by the four walls of the classroom – where learning can be active and hands-on; allow for exploration and risk taking; develop enterprise, practical skills and knowledge; give children the opportunity to develop and display life skills including resilience, collaborative working, perseverance and independent and lateral thinking.

Rachel’s favourite aspect of her role?

Providing the building blocks so that young adults and children develop confidence and self-esteem which they then take into other aspects of their life; allowing them to think for themselves and be independent; watching them smile, laugh and enjoy.


Jenna Charlton,  PhD. in Education

Jenna Charlton, PhD. in Education


Jenna has worked with children in schools for many years as a Research Associate, delivering and analysing behaviour and language assessments for research projects at Newcastle University, as well as writing reports for a variety of organisations including Public Health England, Education Endowment Foundation, Early Intervention Foundation, Nuffield and Department for Education. She is experienced in leading and managing complex applied social research programmes from bid stage to data analysis and presentation, and lectures in Research Methods at Newcastle University.

Jenna is the writer of NEW’s Curious Beasts programme which uses innovative approaches to measuring and providing intervention for social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Jenna oversees the evidence-base for all NEW programmes as well as carrying out commissioned research for outside organisations looking to capture the impact of their own programmes.

‘The best part about being a part of NEW is having the opportunity to really make a difference to children’s development, wellbeing, and educational progression within a team of like-minded people who are all passionate about the wellbeing of children.‘

Sue Wilson – BA (Hons) QTS

Sue Wilson – BA (Hons) QTS

Business Manager

Sue is our Business Manager and has a long standing affinity with North East Wellbeing as she was involved in it’s development over a decade ago.

Sue is a qualified teacher, who has worked in many primary schools in Darlington and more recently a local secondary school in a consultancy capacity. She was an Assistant Head teacher for 7 years in Darlington with a specialism in SEND and Safeguarding. Sue’s passion is the emotional wellbeing of children. Her expertise has been sought to set up and support schools to implement their own nurture provisions. Together with consultancy advice and guidance on how best to support and manage those children with challenging behaviours.

A message from Sue

I am truly delighted to join NEW’s dedicated and innovative team. It is an exciting time for NEW as it’s credibility grows and grows, in turn, supporting so many children and young people across the North East.

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