Founded in 2014, Role Models is the brainchild of Hugo Shephard who set up the company following a successful six-year career as a Management Consultant in London. His vision for the Company stemmed from a lovely French au pair (who wouldn’t play cricket with him), his experience of providing childcare during his student days at Durham University and a Philosophy & Psychology degree with a big focus on the promotion of healthy child development. The chance to combine his business skills with previous experience and interest in childcare was simply too good an opportunity to miss.
During his time as a student, school governor and young professional, Hugo has been fortunate to know aspiring actors, dancers, musicians, sports people and teachers, all of whom have the talent and time to help enrich children’s lives. Role Models was born out of the desire to harness and share these talents with the next generation, in an effort to build and nurture character.
Hugo is the Managing Director and has been driving the business forward since the beginning! Hugo focuses on developing the life skills courses, special educational needs (SEN) camps and our residential courses for international students.
He is a super keen sportsman – and plays any sport that involves a ball to unwind, particularly cricket, rugby, hockey and golf. He also enjoys caring for his beloved window boxes! Before founding Role Models, Hugo worked at Ernst & Young as a Management Consultant in the healthcare sector, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
Hugo’s Role Model is Jane Austen; a lady who managed to make ‘olden day’ everyday life come alive.
Will joined Role Models in May 2015. His main responsibility is to spread the word about our charismatic Role Models and make sure parents are ‘matched’ with their children’s perfect child carer. Away from his desk Will is an optimistic football fan, boring people with the ups and downs (mostly downs) of his team, Newcastle United. He is also a keen golfer and loves spending Sunday afternoon’s swinging a club at some of South London’s golf courses. His new favourite pastime is going to see amateur rock n’ roll bands perform around the capital.
In a past life, Will studied International Business and Management at The Hague University, the Netherlands and has spent time in the corporate property and workplace industry.
Will’s Role Model is Richard Branson due to the positive attitude, sheer hard work and determination he puts into achieving everything he puts his mind to.
Julie is a recent addition to the Role Models team and brings experience which only comes with advancing years! Her time spent in the Army as an officer enabled her to pursue her passion for all sports and outdoor pursuits and on leaving she worked as an instructor at an activity centre for school groups in Devon.
Since the mid 80’s Julie was a director of a school skiing travel company and more latterly has been involved in the property industry. She has two sons in their early twenties who have given her a comprehensive insight into the challenges that arise in parenting and consequently she appreciates the benefit that the Role Models courses offer. She joins Role Models as Operations Manager and looks forward to assisting the team in achieving a first class service.
Craig is the newest addition to the Role Models management team, after initially joining as a Role Model back in August 2015. When not working away on his laptop, Craig is an actor having graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and runs his own theatre company, Cue Productions. He’s a huge Derby County fan and often spends Saturday evenings in a foul mood following another disappointing result!
Craig spends part of his week working at Oak Lodge Special Needs School in East Finchley.
Craig’s Role Models are his parents as his Father works incredibly hard in an unpleasant environment to provide for his family and his Mother (who suffers from Vitamin B12 deficiency) users her illness to raise awareness and has appeared in the Daily Mail and on BBC television and radio.
Phoebe is the mastermind behind our Life Skills Courses and works hard to ensure that the courses provide children with the skills they need to flourish in an increasing demanding educational system.
She has been a tutor for the past 8 years specialising in 11+ entry, including common entrance preparation, confidence building, interview skills, team work and leadership. Shewas an academic scholar to Wellington College where she was appointed the first female Deputy Head of College in the school’s history. She holds a degree in Economics from Exeter University.
Jessie is an old (and very dear) friend of Hugo’s and originally joined the company to work as a Role Model, specialising in Art. When Hugo suggested the idea of starting a holiday camp for children’s special educational needs (SEN), Jessie jumped at the opportunity to get more involved!
She has been able to incorporate her 5 years of experience in a SEN setting to create a playful and structured camp with plenty of opportunities for the children to make new friends and try new things. Alongside her work at Role Model, Jessie is head of Design and Technology at a primary school. This teaching role enables her to adapt the Role Model camp activities to meet the needs of the children and keep the content current.
Jessie’s Role Model is Pablo Picasso; an artist who devoted his life to experimentation and innovation.