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Children’s Teachers & Volunteers

Gotra Yoga,Gemma Alexander, BA hon, RYT 350hrs

GOTRA YOGA brings the Family Area to the World Yoga Festival. Gemma is the brain child behind Gotra Yoga and indeed the Family Area. She is supported by Alex Rahir, her beloved,  to co-ordinate the whole area, ensuring the Families at the festival have the best selection of Yoga teachers, playful and fun workshops and happy volunteers. Their new born baby will be making an appearance in the area this year too!

Gotra translates to ‘Clan’. In the Family Area, we are uniting our Clan through Yoga. Yoga is a lifestyle for Gemma and Alex. Gemma teaches Adult, Family and Child Yoga in various parts of the world. Alex is a NLP practitioner and has his own NLP business.  They both love creating, exploring and bringing people together!

You can find Gotra Yoga on Instagram, Facebook and online.

YO!ga, Ellen Clinch BA, QTS, YBT

Ellen is the mother of three young girls.  She has been a Primary School Teacher for 15 years. 

In March 2015 whilst on maternity leave, she decided to take a leap of faith, and combine my two loves in life; children and yoga, to train to be a children's yoga teacher.  Since then she has been having much fun doing classes in her local primary school and preschools as well as Family Festivals, The World Yoga Festival, Family Yoga workshops and Local Community Centres. Last year she  had the privilege to go and run some sessions in Dunkirk at The Children’s Refugee Centre. 

Ellen trained in the Yoga Bananas Technique, an established method of teaching yoga to children incorporating all the elements of traditional yoga in a fun, inspiring and structured way. This technique helps children to nurture a positive image of themselves and others and teachers children that yoga is a science of both the body and the mind.

In February 2018 she completed my Special Yoga qualification so now able to offer yoga for children with ADHD and Autism.


Ellen will be teaching three classes of Yoga to those under 12 in the Family Area.  

GroYoga, Leah McGrath

Leah McGrath is a Registered (200 hours) Yoga teacher with specific interest and training in Yoga for Women during the Perinatal period and beyond and also for families and children.  Leah is a mum to three daughters aged 13 months, 3 and 7. She grew up in a large family surrounded by lots of babies and children!

She spent 10 years working in training and HR and has always found huge satisfaction in nurturing others to reach their full potential. She has also practiced yoga for about 11 years, particularly since her first pregnancy, as a way of maintaining a positive and relaxed outlook during times of stress.

At the beginning of 2013 she decided to take the plunge and bring her passions for supporting others together with her keen interest for all things birth, baby and children and enthusiasm for Yoga to train as a Registered Yoga Teacher with additional training to enable her to support Mums-to-be and new Mums during this special time in their life.


Leah will be holding two parent and baby yoga classes and a baby massage class in the Family Area.

Believe-In Yoga, Sue Davies

Sue has been practicing yoga for approximately 12 years. She works with vulnerable young people and is passionate to use the benefits of yoga and mindfulness to help young people. Since 2014 she has attended training in children's, family, community, adult, mindfulness, parent and baby, healing trauma through yoga and also trauma informed youth professional studies.  In 2016 Sue wrote the first of many workbooks and classes that can help children aged 7 to 12 years learn the fantastic tools of yoga, mindfulness in a trauma sensitive way that should they have experienced adverse childhood experience will help support their own natural bodily healing. Sue is very passionate and dedicated to her work in this area and is very happy to be with us at the festival this year.

In the Family Area, Sue will be teaching Partner and Acro Yoga for teens, creating a Yoga Gym for teens and leading a Family Yoga Class.

Chillax Kids, Claire Hutchins

Claire has been a Primary School Teacher for over 25 years and taught across the ages from 3-11. She is a qualified Mini Me Yoga Ambassador sharing with adults the wonderful benefits of doing kids yoga and mindfulness everyday with children.  Claire enjoyed taking part in the Cosmic Kids Yoga Teacher training and completed the 27 hour Rainbow Kids Yoga training. Claire is also a Story Massage Practitioner.  Claire really enjoys her weekly yoga classes at ‘Addington’ Special Needs school in Reading, Berks where working with children who have Autism, ADHD and physical difficulties.


Claire loves  to play  the guitar, ukulele, clarinet and piano and teaches these instruments to children and adults.


With these two loves, yoga and music, Claire set up Chillax Kids.  

I am DBS checked, first aid trained and fully insured. 


Claire will be bringing Yoga to children under 12 at the festival, in addition to playing music. She will also be holding a Story Massage Workshop.

Newbury Storytellers, Jess and Helen

Jess and Helen are Newbury Storytellers. Once upon a time in a land not too far away  they met at a storytelling workshop and upon discovering that they both lived in Newbury decided to set up a storytelling club to practise their new storytelling skills. They enjoy many different styles of stories such as folktales, fairy tales, modern stories, local stories and spooky stories - especially when told around a camp fire!


Jess and Helen will be bringing three storytelling workshops to the family area, each with a theme; weather, kindness and compassion and animals.

Laura Sanna, Medical Herbalist, BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine, MNIMH

Laura is a am a Medical Herbalist, having graduated with a BSc(Hons) Herbal Medicine from the University of East London in 2017.

Laura Is interested in the rediscovery and preservation of traditional healing practices around the world, and intend to promote through my work a cultural, intergenerational exchange between children and their elders, and creating opportunities for this to happen.Learning about herbs and their properties provides a powerful connection to our past, which is at risk of being lost.

Children are wonderfully responsive to Herbal Medicine, and receptive to the Earth’s teachings. They are the perfect vectors for plant knowledge past and future.

Laura holds a valid First Aid at Work certificate, and have an enhanced DBS certificate.

Laura will be gathering flowers with the children, leading them in the preparation of the mother essence whilst explaining the medicinal values of plants and their application. From here the second workshop will be preparation of medicine water for the children to take home with them. Laura’s third workshop is on tea making and dried flower bags.

Sarah Smith, Medical Herbalist & Holistic Massage Therapist BSc Hons, DipMass, MTI MNIMH

Sarah is a am a herbalist, massage therapist and doula. She specialises in all aspects of women's health from menarche to menopause and beyond.  Sarah serves her local community as a doula in many ways - pregnancy, birth, post-natal and day-to-day life. Sarah believes that it takes a village and she is pleased to say  has a strong tribe and village who show up for each other every day. Sarah used to work in a pre-school and a primary school and so has experience working with children. Sarah feels she has  a gentle, open and empathetic approach.  


In  the Family Area, Sarah will be creating Rose Crowns in a workshop, Flower and Leaf Mandalas in her second  and Lotions and Potions in her third. She will also be holding a Red Tent area for the female teens who visit.

TotsTipis , Fay Rickwood

Fay has been making Tipis for Glastonbury festival and beyond for 8 years. From this TotsTipis was born. Fay has created a tipi circle in the Family Area, equipped with soft rugs and circus toys. A safe and colourful space for children to play and explore!

Genius Ideas - The Rising Sun Art Centre (Lina, Jeff, Julie & Ross)

Genius Ideas  are a group of volunteers from The Rising Sun Art centre in Reading who build wondrous things limited only by our imagination. We then use these weird and wonderful contraptions (such as giants and fantasy ships) in parades we arrange in town, as well as in-house or as part of other events.
The Rising Sun Arts Centre is a small, independent arts centre in Reading, which for 26 years has been staffed and run by volunteers. Our programme includes a varied line up of high quality events and activities, all managed by volunteers without the benefit of core funding or full time staff. 
The centres aim is to create a space where creativity flourishes and people can come together to make things happen!

Genius Ideas are bringing a Giant Yogi named Bob to meet all the families at the Yoga Festival.

Kate Shorey, Ba (hon)

Kate Shorey is a recent graduate from her Bachelor of Arts degree at Falmouth University, and has since been working for Reading Arts. She has previously volunteered for a surf therapy charity and currently volunteers at the Rising Sun Art Centre. She aspires to complete a masters degree next year specialising in art therapy and community arts, and is passionate about running arts workshops with a range of communities.

Kate will be leading three Art workshops in the Family Area. She will be incorporating the theme of  the five elements to bring tie dying fabric, marbling paper, sustainability focused collaging using recycled and natural materials and prayer flag making with all the families.

Caroline Alexander, Norland Nanny

Caroline is a qualified Norland Nanny and mother to four children, Gemma being one of them!

Caroline leads the Baby Sensory in the Family Area, bringing items she has made for the babies to explore through touch, sight and sound.

Mal Alexander, Storyteller

Mal is an expert in Storytelling, Gemma can vouch for that! Growing up he told Gemma and her four brothers stories of Pirates, Monsters, undiscovered galaxies and the aliens living there!

Mal will be bringing his mind creations to the Family Area. He also hosts the Campfire on Saturday night.

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And the volunteers : The gorgeous beings who make sure the magic can all happen!

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