Our Patron

Karen Morgan OBE

Karen is the Patron of Ruskin Mill Trust. Karen has a wealth of experience of education, the environment, international development, environmental research and the chemical industry. She is also Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, a member if the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire and supports many charities in Bristol and Gloucestershire.

Karen Morgan

Trustees

Aonghus Gordon OBE (Founder and Executive Chair)

Aonghus is the Founder and Executive Chair of Ruskin Mill Trust.  Aonghus started RMT is 1983 and has worked with colleagues, growing teams and leadership to enable the development and growth of the Trust from one centre to twelve centres across England, Scotland and Wales, as well as several international collaborations. He is passionate about the need for people to break out of dependency and marginalisation, believing that everyone has the potential to shape their own future. 

Aonghus has pioneered its unique method of Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (PSTE), inspired by Rudolf Steiner, John Ruskin and William Morris’s ideas about social renewal, healthy human development and the importance of art, crafts and land work. Thousands of young people have benefited from this integrative education method

Find out more about Aonghus Gordon

Aonghus Gordon

Helen Kippax (Chair and lead for Safeguarding and Health and Safety)

Helen has a diverse background in fine arts, social care and educational development including helping to establish a Steiner School in Sheffield. Helen undertook an HNC in Fine Arts as a mature student and set up and ran her own gallery in Sheffield. Helen joined Ruskin Mill Trust in 2004 and was tasked with setting up the Trust’s third centre, Freeman College in Sheffield. Helen was Principal of Freeman College until 2012 when she became a Trustee of Ruskin Mill Trust and Senior Mentor. Helen has gained an MSc in Practical Skills Therapeutic Education from the University West of England and continues to support and research the method of PSTE as a Trustee for Ruskin Mill Trust. Helen provides mentorship to senior leaders across the Ruskin Mill Trust group.

Helen Kippax

Constantin Court

Constantin joined Ruskin Mill Trust in 2007. Constantin has a vast experience in social and educational establishments, working across different regulative frameworks in organisations who apply the insights of Rudolf Steiner in a contemporary way. Constantin has worked with children and adults in Germany, Palestine, Israel, Switzerland and Egypt before coming to the UK.

He was instrumental in developing Ruskin Mill Trust’s first school, Brantwood Special School and is now Director of Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (PSTE) Pedagogy and a member of the Executive Team Ruskin Mill Trust with responsibility for quality assuring Practical Skills Therapeutic Education and overseeing the Trust’s staff development and training programme, Hiram Education and Research Team (HEaRT).

Constantin Court

Vivian Griffiths

Vivian brings knowledge and experience of biodynamic agriculture to Ruskin Mill Trust. Vivian has been involved in anthroposophical organisations since 1972 where he started as a young co-worker at Botton Village. His passion for gardening led him to establish and work on various biodynamic and community gardens as well as gaining a National Certificate in Horticulture from Somerset College of Agriculture in 1976. Over the years, Vivian has continued his biodynamic agricultural practices throughout England. Most recently, Vivian has been a Garden Volunteer at John Ruskin’s home in the Lake District.  As a Trustee, Vivian has responsibility for quality assuring Biodynamic practices across the Trust as well as offering knowledge and insights into social care, and anthroposophical organisations.

Vivian Griffiths

David Wragg

David has recently retired after a career in education and safeguarding. 

From the outset of his career David worked with people who were marginalised from society (those with learning and physical disabilities, young offenders and school refuser. He was also a senior manager in Further Education delivering teacher training and health and social care programmes. David has also worked internationally, in Tanzania and India.

This knowledge and experience was brought together in the last decade of his career where he was a Designated Safeguarding lead at Wiltshire College and Ruskin Mill Trust.

David has a BA Honours in Geography, and PGCE and an MA is Education Management. David is committed to Ruskin Mill Trust and agreed to join the Board of Trustees to continue to offer support in safeguarding. He is passionate about adult education and has a strong interest in the Trust’s method of Practical Skills Therapeutic Education.

David Wragg

Guy Vassall Adams QC

Guy Vassall-Adams has grown up around the Stroud area and attended Wynstone’s Steiner School in Gloucester. After school, Guy went onto St Catherine’s College, Oxford University to study Philosophy and Politics before gaining an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex and completing his Bar Vocational Course at Inns of Court School of Law in London. Guy started his career as a Researcher and researched and authored Rwanda: An Agenda for Internal Action, and Oxfam publication. In 1995, Guy worked of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Nairobi, Kenya, and was a founding member of the IRIN, UN regional news network that reported on the humanitarian situation is East and Central Africa. Guy is presently a Barrister, specialising in public law, human rights and media law. Through his work, he continues to volunteer with young people at a deprived inner London public school, and supports pro bono (free) legal advice for organisations such as Friends of the Earth and Migrants Rights Network. Guy became a Trustee of Ruskin Mill Trust in March 2018, and provides a wealth of experience, advice and governance for the Trust.

Guy Vassall Adams QC

Lynne Griffin

Lynne has recently joined the Ruskin Mill Trust Board, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding the social care system and social work, as well as a passion for supporting disadvantaged individuals.

Lynne gained a BA Honours in English Literature, from Canterbury University. Whilst at university, Lynne developed an interest in social activism and volunteered at a women’s refuge and on a Rape Crisis hotline. This interest led Lynne to undertake a 2 year post graduate course in social work. Lynne has also completed a maters of Philosophy in Medieval Literature and Art.

Lynne started her social work career in Birkenhead, but shortly moved back to Sheffield to be closer to family. Lynne has over 35 years of experience in social services work, in particular the adoption services. Lynne continues to be passionate about social justice, integrity and safeguarding children.

Jorunn Barane

Jorunn grew up on an island on the west coast of Norway. She lives with her family in Aurland a small village in Sognefjord, surrounded by high mountains and waterfalls.  She lectures at Sogn Agriculture College (www.sjh.no) in Ecopreneurship and storytelling (www.naturpedagog.no) She is trained as a Waldorf teacher, and has a Master degree in environmental education.

 Jorunn has been researching and teaching sustainability, pedagogy and storytelling from kindergarten to high school for 25 years. She helps people to find their potential and values in dialogue with the living earth. The world is evolving, and it is a continuing creative process to develop our sense of belonging and identity with place and community. We have to use all our courage and imagination to look at what’s not yet there, building space for the future. This endeavour involves also craft based and artistic ways of working. Jorunn run courses in place-based learning and entrepreneurship for teachers, students, farmers and communities. She has recently started a PhD education at the University of Life Sciences in Norway on the topic “The power of storytelling in education and community development”.  

Jorunne Barane

Executive Team

Helen Kippax

Aonghus Gordon

Constantin Court

Tara Gratton (Director of Schools and Rise)

Tara started her career in education in 1992 as a teacher in a primary school. In 2004, Tara took up her first Head Teacher role and over the following years has worked with a range of schools and education federations, as a head and executive head, to improve their outcomes and quality. Tara has now developed a proven track record of leading outstanding schools, and for supporting and transforming schools that are struggling.

Tara has been a safeguarding lead, member of a local safeguarding board, governor and board member for a range of other educational establishments and has a strong understanding of governance and compliance. Tara is the Trust’s Regional Director for the centres in the south, and is bring her skills and extensive experience to the Sunfield Board.

Tara Gratton

Oliver Cheney (Director of Colleges and Rise)

Oliver has over 20 years experience of working with young people with Autism, ADHD, learning disabilities and mental health issues. Oliver joined Ruskin Mill Trust in 2001 and over his time at the Trust has held a range of roles. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding the work of the Trust, in particular his in-depth understanding of the needs of the individuals the Trust works with.

Oliver Cheney