Our Team

Ruth Churchill Dower, Director of the Earlyarts TeamRuth Churchill Dower, Director of Earlyarts Team

As the Director, Ruth is in charge of keeping the vision for Earlyarts high on everyone’s agenda, advocating for what’s important with our youngest children, running the consultancy and export side of the company, supporting the team and generally making sure the business as a social enterprise is sustainable.

Ruth can often be found roaming the hills and valleys to indulge in her passion for paragliding, and spends her weekends puddle-splashing, den-building or tree-climbing with her two children. A more detailed profile can be read here or testimonials of Ruth’s work can be read here.

Susan Hirst, Administrator for the Earlyarts TeamSusan Hirst, Administrator

Susan is the first line of contact for members, clients and anyone interested in our products, training or consultancy services. A whizz with our database, Susan is our top trouble-shooter and can answer queries on almost anything except tomorrow’s weather. She also provides support for the rest of the Earlyarts team and looks after our finance and accounts.

Susan loves nothing better than walking her two large dogs and having her grown-up children come home to be looked after. She also enjoys cooking, reading, walking and scrambling in the mountains.

Tel: 01484 685869 | Email: susan@earlyarts.co.uk


NicolaPogmoreSFWNicola Pogmore, Administrator

Nicola shares the admin duties with Susan with a focus on marketing and sales. She is your go-to person for discussions about joint marketing campaigns, events operation and PR, as well as keeping a keen eye on our social media accounts.

When Nicola is not standing at the side of a sports pitch cheering on her sons as they indulge in another sporting activity, she enjoys spending time with friends and organises a mean tea-party. She also loves theatre and great outdoor adventures.

Pete Murray, IT and SEO Manager for the Earlyarts TeamPete Murray, IT and SEO Manager

Pete looks after the Earlyarts website and IT systems. He helps the team with IT niggles and aims to make the website user friendly and interactive.

Even though he spends a lot of time happily staring at monitors, Pete’s real passion is for the great outdoors. He loves fell running, cycling, camping and all that healthy stuff.



EfthymiosPaptzikis2Efthymios Paptzikis, Neuroscience Consultant

Efthymios is a cognitive neuroscientist, with a special interest in music education and the impact of music on infant brain development. A violinist and teacher himself, Efthymios has also been a researcher and lecturer in music psychology and neuroscience at the University of East Anglia, Harvard University, and the Institute of Education, University of London, and has just completed a scholarship with the University of Geneva in Neuroscience and Brain Imaging.

Efthymios is currently expanding his lecturing practice to the New York University in Abu Dhabi, on Educational Neuroscience and infants’ neurobehavioural development, and is one of Earlyarts’ lead consultants in the UAE.

Ben Sandbrook, Policy Consultant for the Earlyarts TeamBen Sandbrook, Impact and Policy Consultant

Ben manages the National Strategic Early Years Roundtable facilitated by Earlyarts, with the aim of influencing national policy, research and practice. Ben is also a music education consultant, having previously been Head of Policy with Youth Music, responsible for the delivery of several education programmes.

Ben has significant experience in early years research and impact assessment, as well as music education technology. He is often found testing out his latest research findings with one of his four youngsters for some real, live feedback.


Sally Fort, Evaluation Consultant for the Earlyarts TeamSally Fort, Research and Evaluation Consultant

Sally leads on evaluation and research for specific projects, including the beautiful Creative Cookbook for Cape UK and Creative Partnerships. Most recently, Sally led on evaluation for the Youth Music Spotlighting programme, identifying how creative training can impact on early years practice, culminating in a fab evaluation report and six fantastic videos.

Sally also crafts and blogs about beautiful creations, and indulges her passion for some of the wildest Roller Derby’s this side of Manchester.