About Elysian


Our Ethos and Values

Elysian is first and foremost a therapeutic provision. For us it is paramount that we work with children and young people in a way that is therapeutic and progressive. We focus on supporting children and young people to achieve goals/aims of placements and/or educational attainment through a range of therapeutic creative ways. Children and young people who come to Elysian are often extremely anxious, and many have not accessed education or any other provision for a significantly long time. We always start at the young person's pace, ensure they are given an opportunity to feel safe, enjoy and participate. We initially focus on the need to feel safe, and a sense of belonging. Our key words are Enjoy, Believe, Achieve. When young people feel safe, able to enjoy what they are doing, start to believe in themselves, then they will achieve. Our children and young people all have individual placement and learning plans. The learners enrolled with the education provision have individual education plans with broad and balanced curriculums adapted and reviewed regularly, to ensure we are meeting needs, achieving attainment and preparing for life and work in a holistic way.


Part of our Ethos is that staff is our biggest and most important investment, and we have 10 designated training days for the full team every year (in addition to staff attending individual training). During 2020 our team have received training in Safeguarding (including specialist safeguarding for schools, SEN, Prevent/CSE, and other safeguarding courses) Fire Safety, First Aid and PDA. The whole team received training in Team Teach and also completed a Level 2 Diploma in Equine Assisted Learning with Athena Herd. There has also been a range of other training attended by various members of our team, including Covid safety training, Animal Assisted Therapy level 3 and Food Hygiene level 1 and 2. 



Charlotte Williams 567x454px

Charlotte is our Executive/Managing Director and a proprietor of the Elysian Education provision. She has worked in a variety of social care settings for many years, in many different roles.  Experience has mainly focussed on children, young people and their families and particularly in the area of emotional well-being.  Roles varied from working in an Early Years setting to working in and managing children’s homes, a ‘Family Specialist’ role and more recently managing a CAMHS Children’s Rights team for Surrey County Council.  Many of these roles have included training, facilitation, management and supervision.

Charlotte has had horses most of her life and has many years experienced looking after her own and other people’s horses.

Charlotte’s qualifications are:

  • Foundation Bsc Psychology and Counselling
  • BA (HONS) Psychology and Youth Studies
  • BA (HONS) Social Work
  • Post Grad Cert Managing in Health and Social Care
  • Post Grad Cert Critical Practice with Children and Young People
  • Advanced Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling
  • Animal Assisted Therapy Level 3 Practitioner
  • Certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAGALA)
  • PRINCE2 Project Management Advance Practitioner
  • Crisis Intervention Trainer, First Aid, Health and Safety level 2, Safeguarding, supervision and other relevant and certified training in health, social care and therapy areas.
  • MA in Education and Leadership (2021 ongoing)


Dene Williams 567x454px

Dene is one of the Directors for Elysian, and one of the original founders. Dene has a wealth of experience in social care, spending many years working in children’s homes and for Surrey County Council Children’s Services, before starting Elysian.

Dene oversees Facilities (Westland Farm) and finance, he also supports the day-to-day operational activities at Elysian.

Dene has a Diploma in Social Work and a vast range of relevant training in working with children and young people. Dene started his social care career working in children’s homes, including therapeutic children’s homes specialising in attachment. He has also worked with a large range of needs and behaviours throughout his career, also working for a period of time supporting children and young people displaying sexually harmful behaviours and a range of other complex needs and presentation. Dene has also worked in a Children in Need team and an Assessment team as a Senior Family Support worker, for many years, with Surrey County Council, until 2015, when he left to focus on establishing Elysian. Dene enjoys fishing and outdoor activities, particularly football. Dene is currently completing a Masters in Education Leadership.



Julie is our Head of Therapies and Intervention. Julie is a Registered Social worker with a huge wealth of experience in a vast variety of settings, including working with Looked After Children, Child Protection and Mental Health. Julie is a passionate and highly committed practitioner who delivers work to a very high standard. Julie has worked with high risk, vulnerable children managing complex and challenging caseloads.

Julie believes in working creatively to meet need, and has an emphatic genuine approach to overcoming challenges for young people, enabling growth, progress and learning.

Julie’s qualifications are:

  • 2018 Introduction to DBT
  • 2017/2018 Post graduate level Guided Self Help CBT model
  • 2016 Introduction to Mindfulness
  • 2015 Coaching to improve performance
  • 2012 Post Qualifying Award in Specialist Social Work (B pass)
  • 2010 BA (Hons) degree in Social Work, First Class, Kingston University.
  • 2007 Access to Nursing, Healthcare and Social Work Kingston College. (Pass with Distinction)
  • 2005 Psychology ‘AS’ level (Grade B) Richmond Adult Community College.
  • 1998 Childline Counselling qualification



Neil is our Head of Education.  He has a wealth of experience in Leadership position in the Secondary Education Sector, and in the SEND sector. He is extremely passionate about working in an integrated way, to ensure children and young people with SEN needs are able to engage as a result of ensuring the environment and the team around each child or young person  is meeting their needs in the best possible way.

Before coming to Elysian, Neil’s most recent role was a Vice Principal in a creative secondary school. Some of Neil’s roles prior to that have included a Deputy Head (Secondary), SENCO, Head of Sixth Form and teaching, SEN and safeguarding specific roles.  Neil has a QTS and a BA (HONS) in English Language and Linguistic and a range of relevant training, including advanced safeguarding training.



Mike is a Support Worker with Elysian. Mike has an extensive background working in children’s homes and have specialist training on attachment, and lots of relevant training in managing and meeting a range of needs of children and young people with SEN, challenging behaviour, trauma and attachment difficulties.

Mike is extremely passionate and has a great deal of hobbies that we utilise here at Elysian, such as reptile expertise, fishing and football.

Mike has attended a full range of training relevant to working with children and young people, equipping him to work with complexity in a practical and therapeutic manner.

He also has a qualification in Business studies which young people at Elysian benefit from learning about in sessions.




Miriam English-Morgan 567x454px

Mim is a qualified teacher with background in Psychology, primary mental health care and children’s services.  Mim has experience of using CBT based brief therapy with adults; leading group support for depression in adults; and many years experience supporting children under CAMHS in their education.

Mim is passionate about mental well-being and helping children to grow in confidence and drive their own learning.  She has extensive experience in helping children with SEND, behavioural and emotional difficulties. In her spare time, Mim enjoys dog walks, horse riding and countryside photography.

Mim’s qualifications are:

  • BSc Psychology Hons First Class
  • Postgraduate modules in Primary Mental Health Care
  • Graduate Teacher Programme leading to Qualified Teacher Status


Esther Matthews 567x454px

Esther is a Senior Support worker in the team. Responsible for overseeing and facilitating day-to-day intervention and supporting both staff and young people.

Esther is a qualified Rapid Transformational Therapist. RTT uses hypnotherapy in combination with CBT and NLP. Esther has worked for Surrey County Council for 19 years, including working for the Alternative Learning Programme, which offers formal education as well as informal education: life skills, and personal self-development. Esther has also worked as a youth worker and for numerous charities.

  • Level 3 Award in Education and Training (RQF)
  • Level 6 certificate in Management and Leadership.     
  • ILM Coaching Level 3
  • Rapid Transformational Therapist Clinical Hypnotherapist

Other training: Emergency First aid at work  –  Food Hygiene Level 2 – Safeguarding level 1 –  Powerboat course Level 2 – Awareness of Child sexual exploitation – Numerous Sexual and Mental health related courses – Restorative practice (3 days)  – Residential Training – Ropes Course (High Ashurst: SOLD)                        


Megan (1)

Megan is our HR and SLT support admin, and she’s quite the expert on all things HR. She makes sure all our staff are fully vetted, and looks after the CPD planning. She also looks after teh ‘behind the scenes’ supporting of our Senior Leadership Team.

Megan’s Bio coming soon


Mary Taylor 567x454px

Mary is an integrated therapist with expertise in the Equine Assisted Therapy field. Mary is compassionate, committed, professional and well-educated therapist using effective communication and relationship-building abilities to support vulnerable children, young people and adults. Skilled in establishing a strong therapeutic alliance and comprehensive experience in conducting therapy with children, adolescents, individuals, couples and families and groups in a variety of settings. 

Mary has had a vast variety of therapy roles, from a being a school counsellor, horse assisted therapist, a  drug and alcohol counsellor and a private practitioner.

She brings this hugely varies experience and knowledge to our children and young people, including facilitating HALT sessions (Horse Assisted Therapy and Learning).

  • First Class BA Hons, Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy, June 2009
  • Diploma, Person Centred Counselling, July 2002
  • Certificate in Counselling Skills, June 2000
  • EAGALA Equine Assisted Psychotherapy training Part One & Two
  • Workshop with Human Equine Alliance for Learning


Steve Young 567x454px

Steve is our behaviour expert TA, and has an amazing ability to calm and de-escalate anxious children and young people, using humour and energy.

Steve has had many different role in the areas of child care and education, usually centred around supporting the emotional, social and behavioural needs of learners. Some of his roles have included: Learning lead for behaviour, Inclusion support Team member, Lead Teaching Assistant, Early Years Educator.

In his most recent role before joining us at Elysian he lead a unit within a school for pupils who struggled with working in the mainstream school due to presenting behaviours. His role was central in working with these pupils to try and find where their issues are and support by giving behaviour support advice and strategies to help them to reintegrate back into the mainstream classes. Steve also worked as part of the inclusion support team in a SEMH school for six to eleven-year olds, supporting children and young people inside and outside of the classroom. He has also covered for Teachers facilitating classes and gained a lot of experience leading a classroom from this. Steve has worked for a private special needs school for pupils with autism aged between 8 and 18 years as a lead teaching assistant. Steve thoroughly enjoy working with children and their families and enjoy seeing a child progress and gain confidence in their abilities and enjoy positively encouraging them to do so. Steve has a positive rapport with the children and young people at Elysian and is incredibly passionate about his role, including ensuring all the animals at Elysian are very well cared for.

Some of Steve’s training has included: Introduction to childcare practice (home-based), Safeguarding e-leaming module, Team teach, Emergency first aid at work, Sexual Exploitation, Level 3 module in autism, Care of medication, Team teach weapons training and ground hold, Team Teach intermediate trainer, Team Teach Intermediate.


Fatima Taylor 567x454px

Tima is a very experienced support worker, who specialises in working with a wide range of complex, and often challenging behaviours. Tima has been working with young people with complex needs emotional and challenging behaviour for 15yrs. He vast amount of experience, including working in a range of children’s homes where she has built up a great deal of knowedlege and expertise in how to work with children and young people in a therapeutic, person centred flexible way, utilising effective communication skills with colleagues, outside agencies, children and families. Tima has an undoubtedly excellent understanding of the needs of young people.

Tima has PACE training and a range of other training such as safeguarding, first aid, Team Teach and football coaching. 

Tima enjoys walking playing football and spending time outdoor.

Tima’s qualifications are:

  • Diploma in children and young people
  • Diploma in health and social care children and young people
  • Level 2 Diploma in Equine Assisted Learning



Melissa Wood 567x454px

Mel is a Senior Learning Assistant, and she supports and facilitates a variety of sessions at Elysian, including Equine Learning sessions.

Mel has worked in lots of different roles, including being an Early Years Practitioner and working as Residential Support Worker in a children’s home. Mel has worked with  trauma and challenging behaviours as part of this role. Mel has a great rap[port with many young people at Elysian.

Mel’s qualifications include:

– Bachelor’s in Childhood Studies
– Foundation Degree in Early Years Childcare & Education
– BTEC National Diploma in Animal Care

Formal Training and CPD:  * QCF in Residential Child Care  * POP – Pillars of Parenting (the framework used to underpin the therapeutic model of corporate parenting used within Hampshire Children’s homes)  * First Aid at Work  * Safeguarding – level 3  * Lone working and keeping yourself safe  * Team Teach – Intermediate and advanced  * Working with Challenging Families  * Building Resilience  * Prevent – Radicalisation Awareness  * Food Safety – level 2  * Medication awareness  * Makaton Core vocabulary  * Supporting Children with EAL  * PATHS – Promoting alternative thinking strategies  * Schema awareness 



Laura Strutt 567x454px

Laura is an LSA with Elysian, and she is also very horsy and supports many of the Equine activities and Learning.

Laura is helpful, friendly, multiskilled in both working empathically with young people and skilful in her work with the Equines. Laura has done a range of roles that has equipped her for this LSA role, including gaining a lot of experience from volunteer roles, such as Brownie and Guide leader. She is accustomed to working with children, adults and experience of working with people with additional needs. Laura is an experienced equine and also used to working with a whole variety of animals.

  • Centre of Excellence Diplomas: Horse Care & Animal Assisted Therapy
  • Educated to A Level standard
  • Four AS levels
  • Ten GCSE’s, including Maths, double Science and English, grades A-C
  • First Response First Aid
  • Level 2 Diploma Equine Assisted Learning



Lisa Millard 567x454px

Lisa is an LSA with Elysian, She has a passion for helping people of all ages, as well as kind, caring and very nurturing. She has worked in a variety  of settings caring for people.  Together with many different childcare settings from a private nanny to Nursery Assistant, Teaching assistant within Primary Schools including a variety of SEND needs.  Lisa has also worked as a Speech and Language assistant working one to one for some years.  Growing up on a farm Lisa has had first-hand experience on how working life on a farm and a variety of animals  offer great therapeutic benefit, especially young people.  Growing up with horses and competing in all areas as well as dressage, training on Lipizzaner Stallions which taught her an incredible deep natural connection with horses.

Lisa’s Qualifications & Skills are:

  • BHS Assistant Instructor and a groom on Professional Competition Stable Yard
  • Cordon Bleu Diploma
  • Secretarial Diploma
  • Early Years Speech and Language
  • Introduction to Mindfulness for Children
  • Paediatric First Aid
  • Safeguarding cert
  • Level 2 Diploma in Equine Assisted Learning



Phil is our Maintenance Manager, and he is in charge of all things Maintenance and Development at Westland Farm. Young people enjoy getting involved in Phil’s projects, from building works, to fencing and all the associated farm duties of running a medium scale farm. 

Phil has been in the building trade his whole life, and there is nothing he cannot do. Phil is an independent building contractor and he used to oversee house builds from scratch as a site manager, and many other builder and carpentry roles that has made him the expert he is today.

Phil has been involved in developing Elysian since its origin in 2015, and Elysian would not be what it is today if Phil had not been part of the team, his skillset has allowed us to utilise space and buildings in the best possible ways.





Jenny is an LSA with Elysian. Over the course of her career, Jenny has worked in various roles spanning across a variety of industries including education, childcare, animal care, hospitality and the charity sector. Despite being seemingly very different, her roles have all ultimately required an ability to build relationships with people in a nurturing capacity, and provide care, compassion and direction. Jenny  has a well developed ability to get the best out of people and thrive in potentially stressful environments.

Before coming to Elysian Jenny worked as a special needs teaching assistant, as well as being a carer to a family with 3 children, which included children with additional needs. Jenny thoroughly enjoys working with young people and  find it extremely rewarding.

Jenny’s key skills and training includes:  Extensive experience working with special needs children in both a school environment and home setting – Paediatric First Aid trained – experience working with and caring for animals – Experience working for a charity – Natural extrovert who enjoys building relationships and works well under pressure – Completed moving & handling training – Extensive knowledge of safeguarding procedures – Hoist trained.



Louise has responsibility for cleaning and keeping the site Covid safe during the day. She has experience as an early year’s practitioner and her previous job roles include working in Administration and being a PA to four account directors for an events management company. Louise is currently working her way through her BA Honours degree in History with future hopes to become a teacher or curator.

Louise’s qualifications include:

– Certificate of Higher Education in Arts and Humanities

– Level 3 Admin, PA & Secretarial Diploma

– LAO Level 2 certificate in Principles of Business and Administration 2015 (QCF)

– NCFE Level 2 certificate in Infection Control

– Holistic Dementia Care trained

– First Aid trained

– Food Safety Trained

– Food Allergy trained with ESB Safety Academy

– Health and safety in Catering trained with ESB Safety Academy



Becca is a qualified Teacher lots of experience in working with both children and young people and animals




Alex is a Teaching assistant with over 10 years experience in working in remedial reading, phonics and with SEN children with a variety of needs including ASD, ADHD, dyslexia and many levels of speech and language difficulty.

Alex also has experience of undertaking self-esteem and memory work. Alex has a degree in psychology and is experienced in practicing  positive reinforcement techniques and personalized precision teaching.

Alex learned to ride as a child and has been a horse owner for most of her life.

Alex has spent a lot of her time supporting others as stable hand, coach, groom, driver,  pony club and eventing.

She had a very difficult rescue horse for a while who  lead to Alex achieving her Monty Roberts Certificate in Natural Horsemanship and she has since worked with nervous and young horses and taught nervous and challenged children and adults to ride and care for their horses. She also learned and practise Reiki for Horses, and massage and Reiki for humans.

Qualifications include:

BA hons. in Psychology

Monty Roberts Preliminary Certificate of Horsemanship

Reiki for Horses and Humans

Massage for Humans

Various training whilst in school: Dyslexia, Phonics, Speech and Language, Remedial Reading Program, Precision Teaching and Safeguarding

Diploma in Acting



Rouhann is a Teacher with Elysian, with huge amounts of experience, particularly in the field of anima care teaching and learning. 

Bio coming soon



Harriet is an LSA in our team, who has a background in children’s social care and working with children in care. Harriet has worked with a whole variety of needs and is confident caring in her approach.

Bio coming soon


Kelly Puddle

Kelly is our Equine lead, this means she is responsible for ‘all things equine’ at Elysian, including all equine learning, instruction and activities. She is a Level 3 BHS Coach with lots of experience of yard management and various equine and teaching roles.

Bio coming soon



Abby is a Learning Support Assistant with Elysian. She has a passion for all things Equine and is involved in supporting all activities both learning and therapeutic at Elysian.

Abby is friendly and always has a smile on her face.. She has worked with children and animals for many years as she has conducted placements during her degree and has worked as an activities assistant at another farm ensuring safe handling and interaction between young people and animals. She has also recently completed a degree in psychology and is keen to utilise her skills and knowledge at Elysian.


  • BSc Psychology (Hons)
  • Four A Levels
  • Eleven GCSE’s, including English, Maths and Triple Science, graces A* –  A