Sarah Stollery (she/her), Co-Lead Facilitator and Co-Founder
Sarah is the Co-Founder (with Sophie) of the Cabin and currently a Lead Facilitator on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. She became interested in self-direction and consent-based education after becoming a mother and realising that her values and beliefs about education were totally out of alignment with the mainstream system she trained in and if she wanted to continue working with young people, she would have to create something herself. Thus began a years-long endeavour with Sophie to create a space that would enable her to realise her vision of whole person-centred living and learning with a genuine focus on wellbeing and authentic relationships, manifest through The Cabin’s Guiding Principles.
As well as leading activities herself, partnering with children leading activities or simply joining in, Sarah quite likes the backend operations of The Cabin. She can sometimes be found washing up in the kitchen or staring intensely at a spreadsheet and she is likely the one you’ll hear from if you get in touch with us.
As well as working at The Cabin, Sarah teaches and practices yoga, passionate about ways to self-care through movement, meditation and breathwork as well other wellbeing practices off the mat. Her background in cognitive neuroscience enables her to approach the wisdom traditions with both a scientific lens as well as a spiritual perspectice. She enjoys bringing her love of yoga to The Cabin – and sometimes her gong too!
Sophie Christophy (she/her), Co-Lead Facilitator and Co-Founder
Sophie is the Co-Founder of the Cabin, and is Co-Lead on Wednesdays and Thursdays. From September she will also be Co-Leading at the Lodge. Sophie established the philosophy and term 'Consent-Based Education' in 2016, and with support from Sarah, developed the Guiding Principles (that now underpin the Cabin).
Before the Cabin opened, she ran two projects, one to help establish and stabilise the local home education community, and a second to explore democratic, self-directed and children's rights principles in community with families. Alongside this, she worked together with Sarah on establishing an education setting designed through the lens of the consent, self-direction and children's rights. At the start of 2018 the Cabin opened.
At the Cabin Sophie loves running the Chair training, that enables anyone in the community that wants to to lead the opening and closing meetings. She also loves working on different ways to support the staff team and community in getting the most out of the guiding principles, by connecting to our sense of self and exploring the world in a way that feels true and aligned, whilst being in consensual, respectful, and loving relationships with others. From 2018 to 2021 she was also a Trustee and then CEO for Phoenix Education.
Outside of the Cabin, Sophie is an unschooling parent, independent feminist scholar and education activist. She works with parents and other people who live and work with children, on integrating Consent-Based Education into their lives, and education settings. She loves going on walks in the countryside and by the sea, leaning up against trees, eating kimchi and other delicious food, and exploring her own self-directed and consent-based education. She also loves practicing yoga with Sarah, and having treats.
Haifa Khawaja (she/her), Facilitator
Haifa is an artist and teacher with a background in architecture. Her work has been displayed in various exhibitions, and she is the author of Altair Design Islamic Patterns and Crystal Cave. She is currently working on new Geometric Art activity book and resources. She has been teaching Art & Geometry since she completed her MA in 2002. Haifa is particularly interested in the study of geometry in nature, and in using geometry as a cross-curriculum- STEM- teaching tool.
Haifa is passionate about Steiner Philosophy and Waldorf education. When she was unable to find local schools with these approaches, she decided to home educate with her three children who are now 16, 14 and 11 years old. She has loved the home ed journey and is an active member in her local home ed group!
Haifa decided to volunteer at the Cabin out of a curiosity to learn about how a democratic learning environment works, and with the hope of extending her son's circle of friends - Oak is now an active member of the Cabin community too. The Cabin continues to be the space where it's fun to BE, where making friends is based on trust and respect, and learning new skills is based on following the child's interests, also where most valued Play takes place!
Hannah Payne (she/her), Facilitator
Hannah has a Masters in Mathematics from UEA. She has worked in mainstream education settings, enjoying the relationship and facilitation aspects of working with young people, but struggling with the nature of the system itself. She is excited to be part of the Cabin, where she can collaborate with the children in their play and endeavours!
Hannah is a home educating parent, with many of her own interests and passions. They include crafts such as knitting, crochet, cross stitch, sewing, origami, card marking, needle felting, as well as drawing, painting and mandala designing/sacred geometry. She is also into games, puzzles and astrology! Hannah was a participant on Sophie’s Consent-Based Education course in 2017, and regularly practices yoga with Sarah.
Gem Kennedy (they/them), Co-Lead Facilitator
Gem is a transformational practitioner, activist and podcaster. Their work predominantly supports queer and/or neurodivergent folks working to bring about social change. Gem is also a body liberation advocate and loves holding workshops at festivals and body positive events.