‘Inspired to be brave!’ – Recognising our incredible people

January 28, 2022

Explore Learning recognition awards banner


On the 21st January Explore Learning held their annual Recognition Awards. As always it was a privilege to be in attendance (albeit virtually) and to hear about the wonderful impact that so many people across the organisation have made during the last year.

Hundreds of nominations made by peers, managers, parents and children were received in the run up to the awards. Each nomination highlighted the care, dedication and inspiration that people throughout Explore deliver to their colleagues and members every day.

  • ‘Outstanding educators’
  • ‘Passionate and dedicated colleagues’
  • ‘Incredible commitment and ambition’


These were just a few of the memorable comments made about the nominees, highlighting what makes Explore Learning such a special place to work, grow and learn. 

There was one comment that captured the theme of the evening perfectly for me and that was ‘inspired to be brave’. Against the backdrop of another challenging year people throughout the company have been inspiring children, their parents and each other to be brave – to take chances, to break down boundaries and to accept new challenges. I can’t think of a more worthy thing to celebrate.

Here’s the details of our deserving winners.


By Carey Ann Dodah


Home made thank you card. Home made thank you card


The 2021 winners of the Explore Learning Recognition Awards


Member nominated awards


Ben Lewis-Reade – Manager member award

“Ben is amazing. My daughter was finding school a bit of a challenge and suffered from severe anxiety, so we joined Explore Learning to help her with some extra coaching to boost her confidence and self belief. Ben has an amazing technique to encourage her to try things (be brave) and to see & celebrate her successes – we were so grateful to have Ben tutor through lockdown and wonderful to see the progression in my daughter’s learning. Ben has a wonderful, helpful, kind personality and he always goes above and beyond – he is passionate about what he does and does an amazing job. He has excellent communication skills and nothing is too much trouble. We have been and are so impressed with Ben, he is a huge asset to Explore Learning.”


Ben Lewis-Reade - Manager member award


Keira Finnegan – Tutor member award

“Keira has worked incredibly hard with both my children Benjamin and Edward. Edward is the youngest child on the books at the Staines centre. Kiera has been phenomenal with Edward. The first few lessons with Edward were almost a disaster, however, if it hadn’t been for Keira’s personality and natural ability I think I would have cancelled until Edward was older. Edward is blossoming into a fantastic learner and this is all down to Kiera’s exceptional personality and perseverance. Kierra continually adapts her lessons to suit Edward’s requirements. I think Edward’s results speak for themselves. Both my children are achieving fantastic results due to Kiera.”


Keira Finnegan - Tutor member award


Centre team awards


Ashton under Lyne 

“Ambition is the word that best summarises this team and their 2021 achievements. They have been ambitious about their members’ progress and experience, ambitious about what their centre stands for and ambitious about their professional and centre growth. The family feel of their centre shines through the instant children arrive; a vibrant and buzzing environment that is championed and nurtured every single day by both managers and tutors. The care and commitment given to every family’s experience from their first interaction is inspiring. By understanding their centre’s place in its local community and the needs of their local families they have created simple yet focussed plans that have meant they have exceeded their centre goal for 8 consecutive months and sustained a membership above 250 members. Jasmine and George have both been promoted this year and have made a meaningful impact in every role they have had. The managers and tutors have consistently challenged themselves to deliver the very best for your centre and your families- an inspiration for us all!”

Ashton under Lyne tutor  Ashton under Lyne tutor  Ashton under Lyne tutor



Explore at Home Chestnut

“Explore at Home Chestnut had an outstanding 2021 despite only launching in July! The team were true pioneers from Day 1, welcoming members through our corporate partnership with Bright Horizons as well as supporting other members joining them from across the country. Currently 90% of Bright Horizon families who initially book sessions with Explore then re-book for many more, following the exceptional service they receive from the Chestnut team. The centre has made record breaking revenue in just 6 months and now supports over 500 members. Well done and thank you Team Chestnut, led by Rachel Ralston, working with Emma Ogle, Dominique Amponsah and Sadia Arif. Thoroughly deserved nominees for this centre award.”

Explore at Home Chestnut tutor  Explore at Home Chestnut tutor Explore at Home Chestnut tutor Explore at Home Chestnut tutor

Peer to peer awards


Fran Di Tano, Attraction Manager 

“One of the best things about Explore is the people and the strong relationships and I think Fran is amazing at building and maintaining these throughout. I think any Tutor that has an interview with Fran would automatically want the job because she just radiates happiness and good vibes! It brightens my day any time I talk to her and I think she is an asset to Explore Learning.”

Fran Di Tano, Attraction Manager 


Rosie Millward, Birmingham Regional Manager

“Rosie is incredible. She is fearless and cares so much about her staff, our businesses, and us as people. She helps us problem-solve tasks and goes above and beyond daily to support our team. She even calls on her days off (which we tell her off for) if we have emergencies and the support we all receive from her is incredible. When a centre had a difficult end quarter and an almost entirely new management team, she remained positive, helpful, kind and considerate. Rosie helps us all stick together as a team and remain positive through tough times. I started the quarter looking for new jobs and Rosie has helped me to love this role again!” 

Rosie Millward, Birmingham Regional Manager


Megan Davis, EAH Service Delivery Lead Hawthorn 

“I’ve only worked alongside Megan for a couple of months but it has been such a great experience. She has brought so much passion, enthusiasm and dedication to her role and she always goes above and beyond to do what is best for our staff and customers. Megan has worked for Explore for over 10 years and embodies who we are as she goes above and beyond for our members, inspires our children and staff and has the utmost passion for inspiring fearless learners and bringing our vision to life. Our members talk about her as if she is their family.”

Megan Davis, EAH Service Delivery Lead Hawthorn 


Yusra Ilahi, Glasgow Darnley 

“Yusra has been with Explore for over 7 years and still exudes unbelievable passion for what we do. More than ever in fact. In 2021, Yusra has majorly stepped up with supporting the team through numerous transitions with service needs and management team rotations. She has been a lynchpin in keeping Darnley a high performing centre using her wonderful member (and Ex-member) knowledge to support the managers with their roles. It is a credit to Yusra, who has never complained once, for being an absolute role model to any tutor who wants to make the most of their role at Explore.”

Yusra Ilahi, Glasgow Darnley 


If reading this has inspired you to be brave, then take a step in our direction. Whether you’d like to join us to support your child or apply to be a member of our inspirational team, we would love to hear from you.   

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