Meet the team
Hannah Battram – Education Services Manager
Hannah has over 10 years of teaching experience, both in the primary and secondary sectors. She initially trained as a secondary Geography teacher and has since worked in the UK and overseas in a variety of teaching posts. She joined Affinity Water’s Education Team in 2013 and has been managing the service since 2015.
Hannah says “It doesn’t matter where you live in the world, every human being needs water to survive. It is a vital and precious natural resource that we all rely on. Helping young people to understand where water comes from both locally and globally is really important, so that we can all work together to value and protect our water resources.”
Hannah has loads of ‘watery places’ that she loves, with Iguassu Falls in South America and Barracuda Thermal Lake in Coron, Philippines very much in her top 10. Hannah really enjoys travelling so there are always new locations being added!
Julie Scott – Education Services Administrator
Julie’s background is in sales and marketing, and she has also spent part of her career working in schools. Julie joined Affinity Water’s Education Team in 2005, after a break at home with children, as their administrator!
Julie says “We cannot live without water! Fresh clean water is a vital but limited resource. While most of the planet is covered in water, the majority is salt water, so we have to be careful with the freshwater we have. By saving water we can reduce the energy required to clean and transport our water. We also reduce the amount that we need to take from our rivers and aquifers, helping to keep our environment healthy. Water conservation is important for all living things!”
Julie loves to ski, cycle and practice yoga. She spends her free time painting and is a keen amateur photographer. She also loves to go to the theatre. Julie enjoys travelling and loves to find new watery places. Julie says “I have been fortunate enough to have visited the Victoria Falls in Zambia, the River Ganges in India, and Niagara Falls in Canada. However, my favourite type of water is definitely snow, especially in the French Alps where it is perfect for skiing.”
Jon Gibson – Education Co-Ordinator
Jon is an experienced teacher with a background in civil engineering. He started his career designing rainwater drainage networks and during this time he ran a voluntary STEM programme with primary and secondary school students. This experience inspired him to train as a teacher and, having taught extensively across Key Stages 1 and 2, he joined Affinity Water’s Education Team in 2016.
Jon says, “Water is such a vital ingredient to each of our daily lives and yet it is something many of us take for granted. I take great satisfaction in helping students understand the complexity of the water supply network and encouraging them to value water as a precious natural resource. I especially enjoy working with students on hands-on investigations that develop and apply their STEM skills.”
“My favourite watery place is the Gullfloss waterfall in Iceland. I visited as a teenager and the sheer size and raw power of the thing blew me away! I guess waterfalls are my thing. Closer to home, I love walking in the peak district past Kinder Downfall – especially when it ices over in winter.”
Sarah Caleb – Education Co-ordinator
Sarah has a background in Biology and has been a field tutor since 2008 working with both primary and secondary school students. She joined Affinity Water’s Education Team in 2016.
Sarah says, “Water is so important to us as humans and also to the world around us. One topic close to my heart is preserving biodiversity – the variety of living things in an ecosystem. Every living thing needs water; from plants and trees to wildlife, pets and farm animals. We can all do our bit to protect the habitats those plants and animals live in and make sure the water they need to survive stays clean and safe. For example by always taking our litter home or putting it in the bin, or adding a wildlife-friendly pond to our gardens. There’s nothing I love more than gazing into a pond and watching all the creatures that live there. There’s always something new to discover!”
“My favourite watery place is Tsaagan Nuur lake in Mongolia – I camped next to it for a week in 2004 and it was so calm and peaceful. We even purified some of the water and drank it!”
Jo Whitaker – Education Co-Ordinator
Jo has been working in environmental education since 2010. She has a background in Oceanography and Aquatic Science and has a wealth of experience working with both primary and secondary school students in field studies and environmental education settings. Jo joined Affinity Water’s Education Team in 2016.
Jo says “It’s not just our water that is important to look after- the land around our waterways can have a huge impact on water quality too. Thinking carefully about how we use our land, and what chemicals and products we put on it, can protect our waterways and the wildlife that relies on that water. If there is more pollution on the land, it can get into our waterways, which means that additional energy and resources have to be used to ensure it meets regulators’ safety standards when it is treated.”
Jo likes all aquatic environments but her favourite body of water is the Chesapeake Bay, a 200 mile long bay on the East coast of the USA.
Karen Stanley – Education Co-Ordinator
Karen has almost 20 years experience as a teacher, and former Assistant Headteacher, in Primary schools throughout London and Kent. She has a passion for creative learning and has worked with children in the care system and those facing challenges in their lives that can sometimes make learning difficult. Karen has an MSc in Environmental Conservation and as such has a real interest in encouraging young people to take care of the world around them. She joined Affinity Water’s Education team in 2018.
Karen says, “I care deeply about children’s safety and welfare and it is heart breaking to see the filthy water that mothers in some countries have no choice but to give to their children. In the UK, we are so lucky to be able to give our children clean, fresh drinking water without the worry that it could potentially make them gravely ill; or worse. This is one of the many reasons why we should value and conserve the water we take for granted each day.”
Karen is a published writer and loves to write both children’s and adult fiction. She feels blessed to be able to live by the sea which she finds exhilarating and relaxing in equal measure. “I love to walk along Whitstable beach, it’s beautiful both in Winter and Summer. On a clear evening, the sunsets are amazing. You would hardly believe I am standing on a beach here after a freaky amount of snow!”
Big Dog – Education Assistant
Big Dog joined the Education Team in 2016. The Education Team met him in the charity shop one day; it took one look with his big ‘sad dog’ eyes and he was given a new home at the Education Centre! Since then, he has made many new friends and helped thousands of children learn about water!
Big Dog says “I believe that the “children are the future”, so I love helping young people understand how they can use water wisely by making small changes in their daily lives. I also like to put this into practice. For example, when I help the team load the dishwasher at the Education Centre, I always put it on the ‘eco’ setting and I help them check that all the taps are turned off at the end of every day.”
Big Dog’s favourite ‘watery place’ is the ponds at the Education Centre. He loves finding out about all the amazing things that live there and how this changes through the seasons!
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