All our Staff, Trustees, Consultants, Advisors and our Patron, are passionate about making a positive difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people around the world. Meet the people behind Ecologia…
|Liza Hollingshead is the founder of Ecologia and Director of International Projects. She was born and educated in South Africa and worked there as a high school teacher. She moved to live in the Findhorn Community in 1974. She started Ecologia in 1995 after being introduced to Dmitry Morozov, the founder of Kitezh Children’s Community in Russia, and was inspired to support the community in its mission to rescue orphaned children from institutions and give them homes, families and education in a supportive environment. This led to projects supporting disadvantaged youth and children in South East Asia and in East Africa. The charity’s vision to enable disadvantaged young people in other parts of the world to realise their potential grew from there. Read more about Liza’s story here.|
|Robyn Cooper is the Associate Director of International Projects, having previously worked within the team as a Project Development and Marketing Officer from April 2019 until May 2021. As Associate Director, Robyn will be co-leading the International side of Ecologia with Founder and Director, Liza Hollingshead, bringing a new energy into Ecologia as they look towards the future of the charity.|
|Ellen Shaw joined the Ecologia team in June 2018 as Marketing and Communications Manager. Ellen has lived in Scotland for 6 years and has worked for non-profit and charitable organisations across varied fields. She currently shares her passion for helping young people through Ecologia Youth Trust and she works as a dancer and dance teacher in her spare time.|
|Diana Whitmore joined Ecologia in July 2016 as Director, Scotland to develop the Growing2gether programme, expanding Ecologia’s work with children and young people overseas to Scotland. Diana has founded and directed two successful charities over a thirty-five year period and is deeply committed to the well-being of the young.|
|Elaine Bennett is Director of Fundraising. Elaine has over 25 years’ charity and commercial experience, including fundraising, PR and communications. Key roles include Director of Fundraising at Teens and Toddlers, the Prostate Cancer Charity and Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, and Head of Corporate and Trusts at the British Red Cross.|
|Marjie Beach has been Project Manager and Senior facilitator for the Growing2gether programme since its inception. She is a key person in crafting the new Growing2gether curriculum and in setting up new programmes. She has a PG Diploma in Transpersonal Counselling, is a qualified counsellor and speech therapist.|
|Liz Egan joined the team in 2012, and worked as Ecologia’s book-keeper and was responsible for the charity’s accounts, bank reconciliations, payroll and statutory returns. She is currently the charity’s Company Secretary.|
Cornelia Funke is a multi-award winning author of over 40 best-selling children’s books, including the Inkheart trilogy, and more recently the young adult novels in the ‘Reckless’ series including Reckless and Fearless.
- Catherine Brislee
M.A. Classical Studies, has worked as a bookkeeper and accountant for a number of charities over the past thirty years, and is the Accounts Manager for the Findhorn Foundation.
- Clive Kitson
Clive Kitson has a lifetime engagement and love of Education. He has a background in teaching, Curriculum development in Schools, and the Inservice Education of teachers. He was a faculty member and manager of Education for the Findhorn Foundation Charitable Trust. He has also served as a Trustee of this charity and Director of the Findhorn Foundation College. He brings his care, understanding and experience to the work of Ecologia.
- Anne Skene
Anne has enjoyed a full career as a teacher and manager of provision for children with Additional Support Needs. For 18 years she has run her own education business which provides consultancy, instruction and teacher training both in Scotland and internationally. With a long history of involvement and holding office in a variety of community groups and is an experienced board member, she has recently been a Moray Councillor for the Forres Ward with responsibility for chairing the Children and Young People’s Services Committee. Anne is presently Chair of the Findhorn and Kinloss Community Council. She is very involved with building and developing a school centre in western Kenya. MA, MEd, PGCE, Dip SEN
- Gail Shaw
MA Psychology and Counselling, Post Graduate Diploma Psychosynthesis, has taught psychology and major world religions at Colleges in the US and has worked with groups and individuals for 38 years. She has co-founded two intentional co-housing communities and brings these skills to her role as Chair of Trustees and oversees child safeguarding on behalf of Ecologia Youth Trust.
- Liza Hollingshead
BA English UCT South Africa, has worked with young people all her life. As a member of the Findhorn Foundation from 1974 to 1980, she founded and guided the Findhorn Youth Project and was mentor to several generations of young people growing up in the community. She founded Ecologia Youth Trust in 1995 and leads the charity as Executive Director.
- Diana Whitmore
MA Education, is a psychosynthesis practitioner, who designs and delivers professional training in the fields of business coaching, psychotherapy and counselling, and youth work. She has worked with young people for over 20 years and was Founder Director of youth charity, Teens and Toddlers. Diana is Director, Scotland for Ecologia Youth Trust and is the author of two books, Psychosynthesis in Education: A Guide to the Joy of Learning and Psychosynthesis Counselling in Action.
- Catherine Brislee
- Beverley A’Court is a qualified, registered Art Therapist and Trainer with 35 years experience. Beverley has supported Ecologia for many years and regularly visits our Kitezh and Orion communities to facilitate art therapy sessions and conduct training.