ABOUT THE TEAM
Kidz R Us is a registered arts charity run almost entirely by volunteers. Our trustees, chaired by co-founder Phil Barnett, oversee the stability and future of the theatre company, and meet regularly to pool their experience and ensure we are fulfilling our legal obligations and maintaining high standards.
The trustees are supported by a large team of parents and members of the local community, who range in age and experience. These dedicated volunteers put their heart and soul into whatever part they’re playing, whether it’s working in the box office, hosting audiences front of house, marketing, chaperoning, costume-making, scene-painting, hair and make-up, lighting, sound, stage management or photography.
We are very sad to announce the passing of one of our long-standing trustees, William Trevorrow recently. Will was a tireless volunteer at Kidz and we shall miss his presence very much.
Phil started in pantomime in Yorkshire aged 10 and that has led to a lifetime of treading the boards. It has offered some amazing experiences over the years, especially since starting Kidz R Us in 1994. Highlights have
been performing at the Royal Albert Hall, The London Palladium, directing the world premiere of This Ones On Me at the Criterion Theatre in the West End and directing the world premiere of the first show written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice, The Likes Of Us. Favourite roles over the years include Emile in South Pacific, Rudi Kleber in The Dancing Years, Wild Bill Hickock in Calamity Jane and his biggest challenge as an ageing rocker
in A Slice Of Saturday Night!
The Minack Theatre is Phil’s favourite place in the world and he has been fortunate to appear on stage and direct shows there many times. In the early 1980’s Phil opened Headquarters on Tregenna Hill, St Ives, the
first of his five salons, and was in business for over 25 years. He still
manages to drag his weary bones to Donna’s Hair Design on a Thursday to coif his very loyal clients, many of whom have been with him for four decades!
One of the best experiences of his life was appearing on the BBC’s The People’s Strictly in 2015 as one of six contestants, having been chosen out of 11,000 people who were nominated by friends and family to raise funds for Comic Relief. Phil was thrilled to dance the American Smooth Foxtrot to the
song Big Spender with Janette Manrara as his partner. Kidz R Us has been the most amazing organisation to be a part of for over 25 years now and it’s been a wonderful privilege to lead so many talented people on stage and off and to get to know so many fantastic parents and volunteers! Here’s to the next 25 years!!!
I trained in dance from the age of 3 years old and my childhood memory is one of dance studios, weekends away training in classical ballet and taking part in theatre productions with Handsworth operatic society in Sheffield, which was a long family tradition!
At 16 I went on to study and worked in promotions, modelling and dabbled in some TV work along the way to fund myself through college. Once qualified I secured a position at the Jessop hospital for women working on the midwifery wards and Postnatal wards.
I worked on NICU (Neo Natal intensive care unit ) working with premature and very poorly babies and this led me to I take an intensive 12-month course so I could work permanently on that unit.
I loved this job however my lust for travel saw me leave after 3 years and head off to America to work, a decision that was the best decision I had ever made.
I returned to the UK after travelling around many Southern states and took up a position with Proctor & Gamble. I worked as a junior sales manager, senior sales in to Area management, Sales Trainer and national accounts and then finally as National Field sales manager/UK sales manager for the pharmacy division I Had a team of around 50 people to manage and several direct reports .It was a demanding role, however a fantastic time to be in sales. I specialised in Sales training, Negotiation and recruitment and worked here for 15 years.
I left to work for le Creuset as a Senior manager before leaving to have my children.
I Moved down to Cornwall 9 years ago with my Husband and three children and stumbled upon Kidz R Us by accident when I friend of mine invited us to the panto. All three of my children have been through kidz and had the most amazing experiences here and made friends for life. I love the work I do here as a Trustee and as Rehearsal Choreographer I get to indulge in my passion once again. I am totally in awe of what kidz R Us achieves year after year and hope to be a part of this team for a very long time.
I have been fortunate to work in a broad range of areas within education, training and professional management. I have a BA Humanities Degree, PGCS, post graduate Business Diploma and professional qualifications in Human Resource Management.
Secondary trained as an English teacher, I moved into FE lecturing ultimately in the role of Head of Faculty of business studies and tourism. I managed a 14-19 programme in Bristol, working with excluded children developing creative approaches to learning through practical work-related training programmes in performing arts, sport, hair and beauty, childcare, catering, sport and construction.
Outside of education I spent 10 years in industry, 5 years with a large law firm as Head of HR, and 3 years as HR Director of Aardman Animation when they were working on the Chicken Run movie. I subsequently spent 10 years as an education/management consultant and adviser and was an assessor for an examination board involved in the Creative Arts.
I also had a public role as member of a Council whose role it was to identify and allocate funding to learning and skills development. The skills I bring to Kidz R Us include People Management and Communication, Training and Development and Funding. I love working with young people and am totally committed to the work of Kidz R Us.
I became part of the KidzRus family about 6 years ago when my son joined the cast of The Little Mermaid and Joseph. I’ve always enjoyed and had a modest flair for creativity- including reupholstery, sewing, painting and general crafts so it seemed natural to volunteer as one of the prop team.
The joy of watching (from the wings) all the children rehearse and my son grow into a confident and proficient performer whilst I learnt new skills with power tools, was something I will always remember as one of the highlights of my life! When Ewan (my son) moved on- I stayed, as I had become so attached to the theatre and the people involved. There is such a strong sense of connectivity and purpose here, held together by our wonderful chairman, Phillip Barnett, whose palpable love for everything KidzRus is a haven for our children and our parents in a sometimes topsy turvy world. I was, therefore, extremely honoured to be invited to join the board of Trustees where I hope to continue helping and supporting this worthy and admirable cause.
Growing up I always knew I wanted to work with children and have been lucky enough to do just that, having now worked with children of varying ages and in different environments for the past 30 years. I initially trained as a nanny working with some wonderful families, several of which I am still in contact with and now have families of their own.
Over the years I have worked within primary schools supporting students with additional needs and as a teaching assistant, I have worked as an early years practitioner at a community pre-school, which I then went on to manage, supporting families and nurturing the development of young children. Today, I work in a secondary school within the welfare and pastoral team, where I continue to support young people with a wide range of issues, such as friendship fall outs, relationship upsets and no lunch money to anxiety, self-harm, bereavement, mental health concerns, to name a few.
Throughout my journey I have continued to engage in self and professional development, taking on many courses all relating to children and am currently part way through a degree in Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Well-Being. I became involved with Kidz R Us when my son joined and have gradually become more involved, my main role is supporting the youth members in whichever I can and ensuring their safety and well-being.
Having first studied in education and art, I now dedicate myself to supporting children of all ages both through my job as a higher level teaching assistant and time invested in the Kidz R Us Theatre. I’m also a full time mother of three. As a valued and trusted member of the primary school faculty where I work, I have safeguarding responsibilities, and specialist skills teaching Speech and Language, as well as a managerial role supporting a small team caring for the pupils over breaktimes.
I have a natural creative drive and have been highly educated while attaining my arts degree at University. My employment and spare time is centred around creative work. As well as my teaching job at the local school, I help manage the props department at the Kidz R Us Theatre as a volunteer, designing, making, and sourcing props for all the shows. I also run my own successful arts and crafts business. My interest in performance art has developed from being a member of St Ives Town Band as a child. We performed all over the County and competed with success in many competitions. We even had a regular opportunity to play concerts in the former Methodist Church which has now been transformed into the fabulous Kidz R Us Theatre.
Since Kidz R Us began my family have been big supporters, with my mother being a long standing patron, and myself and my children always being regular visitors to the shows. As soon as my daughters came of age, their joy in watching the wonderful performances inspired them to take part and join the theatre company.
It gives me a lot of pleasure to see all the kids pursuing something so special, doing something that gives them so much joy and confidence, and such important life skills working successfully together as a disciplined team. Kidz R Us has been a huge part of my life for such a long time and I’m very proud and privileged to be a Trustee of such a great organisation.
After leaving school, I trained to be a hairdresser and ran my own mobile hairdressing business for 3 years. During that time I became a mum to 3 and decided a career change would be good. So I took the plunge and started training to be a Teaching Assistant. I have been working in Education for the last 17 years at St Mary’s C of E School Penzance, working will children between the ages of 4 and 11. I love my role as you are involved in different opportunities and everyday is different.
Myself and my youngest son joined Kidz R Us back in 2011 and both haven’t looked back since. It has been the best thing we have ever done. I have volunteered in many of the different areas at Kidz R Us and I enjoy every minute. I became a trustee last year where I was given the role of Health and Safety officer. Kidz R Us is an amazing place for both adults and children and I hope to remain involved with it for many more years to come.