Katherine Ford, Founder and Director
“At the heart of my work lies a firm belief in the importance of nurturing children’s innate creative potential from the earliest point and the critical role of families in supporting their children’s play.”.
It was upon this guiding principle that The Carousel Project was founded in 2011. Having experienced first hand the positive impact that access to creative and cultural interventions can have on individuals’ personal development, health and well-being, following the birth of her daughter, combined with redundancy, Katherine Ford, Director, reflected upon the experience and skills that she had gained throughout her career and established ‘The Carousel Project’ CIC. Katherine is a fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), graduating from the Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs in 2012.
I am a freelance dance practitioner based in Exeter. I have an MA in dance performance from the London Contemporary Dance School. I have experience as a dancer and teacher, working in the community, teaching dance in further and higher education as a lecturer at Chichester University. Over the last 5 years I have discovered the joy and potential for creativity of working with Early Years children and have made this my focus.
As an MA student at the University of Exeter this work has been enriched by action research and the opportunity to explore different approaches to creativity and pedagogy. I love to use play, improvisation and stories in my work. My most recent projects are Carousel’s ExploraTale in Devon libraries and Paper Capers; a playful exploration of story making through dance, words and puppetry created in collaboration with movement artist Pip Jones.
Find out what I’m up to at https://www.facebook.com/flimflam1234/
Mel Humphrey – Freelance Project Evaluator
I work as a freelance consultant offering project evaluation services to arts, cultural and heritage organisations across Devon. I enjoy helping Carousel to understand the difference they make for their audience, as well as help them reflect on and evolve their delivery. I have proven to their funders and partners that Carousel is indeed creating meaningful positive social change in early years families across Devon.
I have a background in communications and stakeholder management with a keen interest in cultural development and capacity building within communities. I have worked across government, corporate, small business and not-for-profits. My Master of Social Change and Development led me into social program evaluation. I have a particular interest in designing participatory models of evaluation that give people their voice, and enable evaluation efforts to contribute to both the legacy and advocacy of cultural and creative endeavours.