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.
Leah is our Creative Childcare Manager and focuses on continuing to build lasting relationships between Role Models and parents.
Leah trained as an actor in New York and herself worked in various care sectors during her down time from acting. While she no longer pursues acting as a career she is a keen theatre enthusiast and can often be found in the stalls of various west end shows. Leah loves to bake and cook as well as spending time outside, cycling around her local area in South East London.
Leah has many Role Models, one being Amelia Earhart. Amelia challenged the role of a woman in society, flying planes instead of staying home and running the house, during a time where this was unheard of. She once said “Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.” Amelia lived her life trying to do the impossible, learning from her failures and setting challenges to others.
Hannah has recently come on board as our Operations Manager and looks forward to helping Role Models deliver a first-class service to parents and their children. She will mainly be focused on the organisation and logistics of our life skills courses.
Hannah is fond of the great outdoors – in her spare time, she loves to hike, kayak and snorkel (in warmer waters). Hannah also enjoys pilates and going for a run along her local beach. Prior to Role Models, Hannah studied Economics and Finance at the University of Southampton, before gaining over four years of experience in the energy research and consulting industry.
Hannah’s Role Model is Audrey Hepburn; aside from being a film and fashion icon, she was also a humanitarian, devoting much of her later life to UNICEF and raising awareness of the children’s charity worldwide.
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.
Phoebe's Role Model is Walt Disney. He was laid off from one of his first jobs for not 'being creative enough', one of his first ventures failed, but he believed in what he did enough to keep trying. He is still the record holder for most Academy Awards of any individual and remains a vital part of childhood today.
Jane Lunnon has a wealth of experience within education and a passion for developing soft skills in children.
Jane took up the Headship of Wimbledon High School in Sept 2014, having previously been Deputy Head at Wellington College playing a key role in its Senior Leadership Team and working to increase the profile of girls in the recently co-educational school.
Jane is an English graduate from the University of Bristol. She juggles a busy home life (a husband, two children, a cat!) with her career and believes profoundly that all things are possible with a little careful planning and a lot of determination. She is passionate about using the wonderful opportunities available both in and out of the classroom to develop confidence, courage and self-belief in students: “Young people will lead if they are leading in an area they really care about – so find the passion and you’ll find the leader…”.
Robin Dyer, the Second Master at Wellington College, has a huge amount of experience both in the classroom and on the sports field.
Robin was a Housemaster at Wellington from 1990 to 2002 and has been Second Master since 2002. As ‘number two’ to three Headmasters Robin has been a central figure as Wellington has become one of the world’s most prestigious and successful schools.
Robin’s leadership has been broad ranging but his influence has been central to the successful move to co-education, the development of a high quality teaching staff, the realising of the international ambitions of the College with the opening of Wellington College International Tianjin and its sister schools in Shanghai and the ground-breaking partnership with the Wellington College Academy.
Guy Burnell has spent his career working with early stage entrepreneurial businesses. Since running a nightclub whilst studying for an MBA at Oxford University, Guy has over 20 years experience working in the UK and Europe as founder, MD, COO, investor and consultant.
Since 2007, Guy has worked as a consultant and mentor advising early stage growth businesses, on strategy, operations, funding, marketing and sales. Guy is currently a Partner at Argo St George, a corporate finance advisory business, a Director of OCPP Ltd, a property development company and an executive Board member at CREL, a renewable energy business in the North of England.
Married with three children aged between 8 and 12, Guy divides his time between his business interests, supporting and advising young businesses and entrepreneurs and trying to balance family life with a passion for playing squash and watching Chelsea as often as possible.