Meet the team
Director of Operations
Simon is responsible for day service activities.
Simon has spent over twenty years working within Community, Residential, Respite, Educational and Fostering environments and has experience working with Children and Adults of all ages from Infant to the Elderly.
Simon’s work with young people includes those in Main Stream Education, SEN and those with Profound Multiple and Life Limiting Conditions, Pupil Referral Units, Young Offenders, Community groups and Young Carers.
Previous employment has included being a Care Farm Manager and Practitioner, Personal Tutor (FE College), Curriculum Lead Tutor for Land Based Studies (FE College), Behavioural Team Lead Tutor (FE College), Private Consultant/Practitioner (Care Farming), Price Trainer (Fostering), Positive Behavioural Support Advisor (Fostering).
Nigel was in the Royal Navy for 28 years, ending his career in 2014 as a qualified Social Worker. During his time in the Royal Navy, Nigel supported a generic service user group with a variety of personal issues including mental and physical health, disability and personal issues.
A large part of his career was spent supporting serving personnel and their families through trauma (with life changing injuries) experienced with the war in Afghanistan, with two years spent directly supporting those returned to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Since leaving the Royal Navy, Nigel has been working with a local Fostering agency, in enabling foster carers to support and nurture young people, overcome a variety of personal difficulties and traumatic life events. Nigel is a Fellow of the Dartington School of Social Entrepreneurs, which has empowered him to set up this Land Based therapeutic environment.
Director of Business Development/CEO
Nigel is responsible for the strategic direction and development of partnerships across corporate and public sectors
Social Worker, Young Person & Safeguarding Lead
Matt has worked with young people and adults all of his working life, initially delivering outdoor education and adventurous activities as part of the education team for Exmoor National Park Authority. Matt then worked as a parent support advisor in a secondary school in Taunton before joining the South Somerset Local Service team as an Education Attendance officer, supporting children and their families to access education. Matt then trained as a social worker, working in Somerset’s child protection, children looked after and children with disabilities teams. Matt has also worked as a supervising social worker for an independent fostering agency.
Matt enjoys all aspects of being outdoors from being at the top of a cold, wet, windy mountain to sitting in a field watching strange mystical festival creatures dance to whichever band is playing on the stage.
Matt Joined the team at ARK in July 2021. Matt says that working at ARK allows him to combine his professional knowledge and skills with his passion for the environment to support all members of ARK’s community to enjoy and appreciate the mental and physical benefits of engaging with nature and interacting with each other.
Sam served in the Royal Navy for 9 and half years as part of Mine Counter Measures 1 Squadron in Faslane, Scotland. Throughout his time he was operationally deployed to the Northern Gulf and was part of NATO task group to The Baltics. Sam left the Royal Navy in 2016 as a Leading Hand.
After leaving the Royal Navy Sam trained as a Boat Builder at The Boat Building Academy, Lyme Regis. Although Sam enjoyed his time boat-building, he did not feel fulfilled. Sam therefore decided to become a support worker for adults with autism and felt that this was his vocation; Sam is now studying BA (Honours) Health and Social Care, with The Open University.
Sam joined the team at ARK in October 2020 combining a job he thoroughly enjoys with his hobbies of growing his own vegetables in his allotment and practical skills he learned as a boat builder. .