Meet our Senior Management Team
Chris Hewlett, Founder and Managing Director
Chris has been at the very heart of the equine industry from a young age. At the beginning of his journey he worked for some of the industry’s top trainers such as Jennie Loriston-Clarke and Ferdi Eilberg. After completing very early on in his career the British Horse Society Instructor’s qualification and the National Pony Society Stud Diploma, Chris set up Haddon Stud where he produced over the years top class competition and National Hunt horses. Haddon Stud was a huge success with over 70 horses and ten members of staff; his main stallion was Miner’s Lamp sire of Olympic medallist Miners Frolic. Miners Frolic was successful from a young age winning the Burghley Young Event championships at 5 years old with Tina Cook, moving on to win many international three day events for the British Team. His highlights included the London Olympic Games, winning Silver and Bronze medals and then the following year he was Individual European Gold medallist. Through these formative years Chris became heavily involved in the development of the original Equine NVQ and in 1997 he gained Government funding to deliver vocational training to his own staff.
Haddon Training was founded in 2001 when Chris closed the stud to focus entirely on delivering vocational equine qualifications in the workplace; Chris is passionate that there is no better place to learn a trade than in the workplace, this passion and drive has been fundamental in the evolution of Haddon Training. Through this period Chris has developed and expanded in many areas from qualifying as a Teacher, to entrepreneurially growing a company where he is responsible for 60 staff and maintaining the excellent quality of delivery to learners in England and Wales. His passion for supporting the industry and developing the workforce (two legged and four legged) is still as strong today as when he started his stud in 1982.
Chris is also the Chairman of the British Grooms Association and is equally passionate about the recognition of the often unheard and unsung heroes who work behind the scenes and play a critical part in the success of any team and business. He assists with various educational and equine committees and in his spare time judges at horse shows around the country including the Royal International Horse Show and the Horse of the Year Show.
Gemma Matthews, Head of MIS and Compliance
Gemma has been involved with apprenticeships and vocational learning, for over 15 years. Starting out as a Business Administration apprentice herself, Gemma started assessing Business qualifications in 2003 supporting apprentices to achieve their own career goals.
Over the next ten years, Gemma would lead on quality assurance for a college supporting assessors within the Business sectors and working with lead awarding bodies. In 2012, using her wealth of experience Gemma went into management where she supported and developed assessors within a Performance Management role and worked with assessors and curriculum managers to ensure apprentices had a fulfilling experience on their apprenticeship programme. Gemma joined Haddon Training in 2017 where she works with trainer coaches, team leaders, Head of Operations, Finance, Quality and Partnerships to embed robust processes and procedures to ensure the company is fully compliant with ESFA funding rules and Ofsted requirements.
Emily Gray, Head of Finance and Corporate Services
Emily joined Haddon Training in 2011, bringing with herself a wealth of knowledge within the finance sector.
She previously worked for the Ministry of Defence for a number of years working and managing public funding. During her time with Haddon Emily has completed many finance qualifications such as AAT and CIMA. She has a huge passion and drive for all work-based learning and has witnessed the positive effect these courses have on peoples careers. Within her role at Haddon she heads up the Finance, HR and IT sectors within the company.
Nicky McDonald, Head of Apprenticeships
Nicky has been involved with education and training since 1984 when her first teaching job was teaching Maths and English in the prison service to life sentenced adults and young offenders.
Her subsequent senior managerial posts included Principal of a specialist residential college and Operations Director of a national equine welfare charity. Nicky joined Haddon Training in 2016 and ensures day to day operational compliance. With a positive and inspirational style, along with excellent vocational knowledge, she works alongside apprentices, trainer coaches, team leaders and the SMT to engender a culture of consistency and quality focusing on the progress of each individual learner. Nicky is also the designated safeguarding lead and is the first point of call for any staff or learners who have a safeguarding concern. With over 30 years’ experience in the FE and vocational learning sector Nicky brings a wealth of expertise to the company.
Lindsay Howlett, Head of Quality and Partnership
Lindsay joined Haddon Training in February 2018 as Head of Quality and Partnerships. Her role is varied and she gets involved in all of the sectors Haddon Training deliver in and work across all of the funding streams that are draw down. Lindsay strategically leads the business as part of the SMT with a core focus on quality of provision, business improvement and partnership working.
Lindsay has spent 15 years in work based learning across two of the largest providers in the UK. She first started in operations but moved into a quality role approximately 10 years ago, which is where she has focused her development ever since. Lindsay knows apprenticeships inside and out and has been heavily involved in the reforms.