Meet the team at Brancaster Activity Centre

We pride ourselves on experienced and qualified instructors who will help you achieve your learning outcomes and get the most out of your stay. Here you can learn more about the team at Brancaster Activity Centre.

Name - Katherine Tofield
Role title - Outdoor Learning Centre Manager
When you started - May 2008
What you did before being at BAC - Previously I have coordinated youth projects, helping young people to develop their confidence and skills within the working environment.  I have experience in managing research students, work experience students and volunteers through various posts that I have held.  I have also spent a lot of time as a volunteer myself, working within the conservation field.  My most recent role before National Trust was working as an Education Officer at Newquay Zoo, where I was able to complete a post graduate PGCE.
A specialist area or interest of yours - I really enjoy engaging with people and I love my job because not only does it give me the chance to get involved with all the things that I love about the outdoors, especially the Norfolk Coast, but I am also able to share my enthusiasm with others.
Your favourite thing about your role/something you like about working at the activity centre -
The view out of my office window – and better than the view is knowing that I’ll probably be out there enjoying it with a group of children later that day.
Name – Rob Jones
Role title – Senior Learning and Engagement Officer
When you started - 2006
What you did before being at BAC – Sailing Instructor
A specialist area or interest of yours - I take groups sailing in our sailing boat. I am the BAC Bike mechanic and look after all the Mountain bikes that we use. I like to fix things, and have my own workshop in our Barn. 
Your favourite thing about your job/something you like about working at the activity centre - I love exploring and having great adventures in the outdoors, especially in the saltmarsh at high tide and at low tide.
Name - Charlotte Jacobs
Role title - Senior Learning and Engagement Officer
When you started - May 2015
What you did before being at BAC - I actually used to volunteer here between 2011 and 2012 and since then I have worked as a seasonal instructor at an activity centre in Dorset, helped at my local primary school and worked for the RSPB in visitor services. 
A specialist area or interest - As a qualified Kayaking Instructor I lead kayaking at the activity centre and i love taking people out on the water. In my spare time I enjoy cycling and also have a love of campervans. 
Your favourite thing about your job/something you like about working at the activity centre - I love getting to be outside all the time and having fun teaching activities. It is great getting to know the children and seeing them gain confidence during their stay. 
Name - John Stockdale
Role title - Maintenance Volunteer 
When you started – August 1999
How you came to volunteer here - I came as a volunteer to the centre in August 1999 to look at maintenance at the centre and expected the work to take three months. However, I am still here!
A specialist area of yours - The centre has used my technical background to help the staff operate the renewable technology features that have been incorporated into the re-design of the centre.
 
Name - Charlie Parfitt
Role title - I started volunteering for the National Trust as a 50 Things Ranger and now I’m a Volunteer Assistant Learning and Engagement Officer
When you started - May 2015
What you did before being at BAC - I have always worked with children in fun environments, here there is so much to learn and lots of ways to get involved yourselves to help us with the great work the Trust do, too!
Your favourite thing about your job - I love our beautiful coastline, especially going out on the water!
Favourite joke - ‘What kind of grades did the Pirate get in school? HIGH SEAS!
 
Name - Nita Jackman
Role title – Senior Learning and Engagement Officer
When you started - 2008
What you did before being at BAC - I trained as a Secondary Science Teacher before coming to BAC and have also been a Classroom assistant, taught on Conservation and Environment college courses, and been a Conservation Volunteer
A specialist area or interest of yours - I’m an Orienteering coach and Mountain Bike instructor, and enjoy Orienteering and cycling in my own time
Your favourite thing about your job - I love doing Coastal Safari and spotting all the wonderful birds and animals with our visiting groups, before getting properly muddy. 
Name - Ruth Dodds
Role title - Volunteer Assistant Learning Officer
When you started - I have been a volunteer at BAC since I retired from teaching in 2000
What you did before being at BAC - I had been on several visits with my school and it seemed a natural progression and a privilege to become part of the team enabling me to stay in touch with the younger generation.
Something you like about working at the activity centre - I enjoy the variety of tasks from participating in activities to making props, repairing kit and administrative work. A big bonus for me has been the chance to develop my personal computer skills!
 
Name - Judy Cuddeford
Role Title - Volunteer Business Support
Start Date - February 2014
What I did before - I am a chartered electronics engineer and for 20 years I worked at Marconi Research Centre designing and developing a range of products and components including camera systems for Javelin ground to air missiles, Head Up Displays for Fighter aircraft and components for MRI scanners. Following the closure of my department I left the defence industry and had a total career change and with the help of £250k from the National lottery setup a small Council for Voluntary service and Volunteer centre in Essex and helped small local voluntary organisations with funding, governance and recruitment of volunteers.
Specialist area/interests - My interests are varied and include reading swimming and gardening, one of my greatest achievements outside of work was my first novel published and seeing it in print.
Favourite thing about Job - I enjoy the variety of tasks that I am asked to do and the different challenges which they bring.
 
Name – Keith Miller
Role title - I’m the local Area Coastal Ranger for the National Trust
When you started - 2006
What you did before being at BAC - I have worked with wildlife for the last 15 years, very closely sometimes as I have been bitten by various mammals from hedgehog to seals.
A specialist area or interest of yours – Working with wildlife has made me an expert in their poo! E.g. Did you know otter poo smells Jasmine? I am still fascinated by all wildlife with a special interest in bats. If you have any questions about the local estate please feel free to ask me.
Where we would see you - Although I spend most of my time out and about on the estate you may see me passing through the centre or occasionally helping with an activity.
Name – Sebastian Ashton
Role title – Learning and Engagement Officer
When you started – April 2015
What you did before being at BAC – I also used to be a volunteer here, back in 2013 I was a Volunteer Assistant Learning Officer. After that, I worked with the Learning team at WWT Slimbridge and then became an Education intern at the Kench Hill Activity Centre. I’ve really enjoyed working in the outdoors with children and I am really pleased that I get to do this full-time and at the seaside!
A specialist area or interest of yours – I really like bugs and insects of all kinds! I would love to get a moth trap and I like to show the kids all of the wacky creatures we come across on our saltmarsh safari. 
Favourite thing about your job – I love going crabbing with the kids we have to stay – they get really excited when they finally catch a crab!
Favourite Joke – Did you hear the story about the Magic Tractor? It drove down the road and turned into a field!
 
Name – Sarah Gore-Clough 
Role title - Business Support Co-ordinator
When you started - September 2016
What you did before being at BAC - I have previously worked in hotels and conference centres throughout the UK spending the last 20 years in London working in sales, marketing and IT. 
A specialist area or interest of yours - I enjoy trips away in our motorhome – Bessie from local sites to venturing across the channel to France. Also walking along the beautiful North Norfolk coastline and discovering different places to go as we have only recently here so always finding new locations to explore.  
Your favourite thing about your job/something you like about working at the activity centre - The drive to work seeing the sea first thing in the morning beats the London daily commute! My main role is to support the team at the centre on all the admin tasks that need doing but I also have the opportunity to try out the activities at such as the coastal safari (very muddy!), sailing and orienteering which also gives me an idea on how much the children are enjoying their visit to the centre and benefiting from the experience.   
 
Name – Denise Davis
Role title – Head Chef
When you started – April 2016
What you did before being at BAC – I was working at Wymondham police headquarters catering, I even catered for Princess Anne!
Your favourite thing about your job – It changes everyday!
A specialist area or interest of yours –I love travelling, my favourite places would be Switzerland and Madeira.