Meet The Trustees

Mary Ungoed-Thomas

I am an experienced editor and writer with experience of the charity sector. My jobs have included editing books at Which? (Consumers’ Association), and working in mental health.

I know how important it is for disadvantaged groups to feel included and express themselves creatively, so I am delighted to be on board with Synergy supporting their mission to get all children and adults active while having fun in the process.

My work on the Synergy websites has been very enjoyable, and I am glad to have contributed to the company’s online presence. I hope to continue to assist as the organisation goes from strength to strength.

Jackie Pocock

I’m Jackie, I started working for Synergy Dance in 2017 and have since become a Trustee of Synergy Dance Outreach.  I wholly support the outreach programme as my own son has Autism and I can see first-hand the joy he gets from taking part in his dance class each week. With my own personal experience of the special educational needs of children, my vision is to grow the outreach programme into more leisure centres and schools so that those children who struggle within a mainstream environment are given the same opportunities to enjoy music and dance at a level appropriate to them.  I am excited to see the growth of our outreach programme.

Rachelle Franklin

I am Rachelle, I became a Trustee at Synergy Outreach in 2018 because I wanted to support an organisation that provides opportunities for all to be involved in dance regardless of previous experience or fitness and has inclusion at the heart of what they do.

I am a qualified primary school teacher and mother of 3 children. I love teaching and guiding young people in their lives and helping them to develop their own skills and interests. I enjoy many styles of dance, having danced as a hobby as a child as well as watching and being part of dance performances.

I’m passionate about opportunities that allow children to develop their creativity, promote wellness and healthy choices so look forward to supporting and attending Synergy Outreach classes and events.

Nicola Whittaker

I am a primary school teacher and am really proud to add my support to Synergy Dance Outreach.

I have over 20 years primary teaching experience and graduated from Cambridge University in 1993. I currently lead the Early Years Foundation Stage in my school and have a huge passion in the importance of settling our youngest children and providing each and every one of them with a positive experience of school.

I also have a keen interest in the mental health and well- being of our children, and I run nurture groups throughout the school, which provide support and space through therapeutic art activities for those children experiencing a tough time. I am a Thrive practitioner and oversee the running of this for individual children needing extra emotional support.

I love the fact that Rachael has reached out and provided inclusive facilities for every child to partake in Synergy dance sessions. Synergy provides a unique opportunity for every child to gain confidence, express themselves in a fun and secure environment, and to partake in the vital physical exercise which research has shown helps children reach and maintain balanced mental health.

In my spare time I love to walk in the beautiful Sussex countryside with my mini dachshund, who is definitely good for my mental health!

Rachael Hurton

Rachael Swann (Hurton) is the creator and founder of Synergy Dance® Outreach, which as the name suggests, aims to “reach” all groups who may struggle to find, or attend, a suitable and inspiring dance, yoga or fitness class.

“The bottom line is – we want exercise simply to be fun and feel that dance and music can reach everyone”.

“Synergy Dance® Outreach is fully inclusive, and aims to embrace every child, teen or adult who can benefit from dance and movement. We provide opportunities to have fun where neither finance, fitness, ability, disability or family circumstance stand as barriers to participation”.

Rachael has always had a passion for dance and performance and in 2014 she brought her dream to life by starting Synergy Dance® Ltd – our sister organisation, delivering a dance fitness program for children of all ages in leisure chains and schools.

The innovative dance, fitness and yoga classes have wide appeal in their inclusivity and creativity, and working on the front line of teaching, Rachael soon realised that there was a need for Special Needs dance provision too, as well as more fun classes for the disability community. So, Synergy Dance® Outreach was born, reaching everyone, from individuals of all ages and abilities to groups and families.

“People wanted to come to our classes and we made it happen”.

Synergy Dance Ltd, the sister company, also wishes to “give back” – supporting the social and health benefits of taking part in exercise. The company demonstrates corporate social responsibility and so far has completely financed Synergy Dance Outreach. Synergy Dance Ltd will continue to donate to the running and organisation of Synergy Dance Outreach. To deliver and sustain in Surrey and beyond, Outreach relies totally on funding and donations to sustain and expand delivery.

We are delighted to announce our recent partnership with Para Dance UK, who are working with our charity to help us deliver inclusive dance for the disability community throughout Surrey and beyond.

Synergy Dance and Para Dance UK have embarked on a collaborative partnership to further the development and aspirations of the disability community in Surrey in relation to Inclusive Dance and other inclusive related cultural and creative activities.

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