Who We Are

hannahDr Hannah Burgon PhD, MA DipSW, MSc, BSc, Cert in Counselling, Cert in Riding Therapy (CEO and Founder)
Hannah is a qualified Social Worker and has completed training in Riding Therapy and Equine Facilitated Learning. She also holds a Certificate in Counselling, and has a PhD into the benefits of Equine-Assisted Therapy & Learning from Cardiff University. Her book ‘Equine-Assisted Therapy and Learning with At-Risk Young People’ was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014.

Josie Arscott, BA English and American Literature. Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Counselling. Certificate in Affective Neuroscience and Attachment Theory
(Counsellor and Communications and Marketing Officer)
Horses have been a huge part of Josie’s life growing up. She recognised the power of the relationship that can develop between people and these wonderfully perceptive animals. Josie is also a counsellor in advanced training and values the opportunity that Sirona offers in bringing these two aspects of her life together.

emma 3Emma Matsambanye – Dip. In Counselling, BA (Hons) Steiner/Waldorf Education, MBACP (Counselling and Safeguarding Officer)
Emma has worked with children and young people for over 20 years. She has taught young people in schools and colleges for deprived families in Africa , and as a learning mentor in primary schools in the UK supporting and teaching children with emotional, behavioural and learning difficulties. She has a particular interest in child development research and is enthusiastic about combining it with her love of working with horses.

Our team hold a wide range of skills and qualifications and include:

Angie Whitehead
Equine-Assisted Practitioner
Angie has worked with Children and Families for over 20 years and specialised in working with young people with disabilities, behaviour and learning needs.
She is also a Level 3 Forest School Leader.

Ella Woodfield

Nicole Binder
Teacher/ Equine-Assisted Practitioner
Nicole was a language teacher at the Steiner School in Dartington before becoming a self-employed carer. Nicole has  Dartmoor ponies whom she is training .

Sarah Urwin
Animal Assisted Therapist, Dip Counselling

Shaun Derioz
Shaun is our fabulous photographer and maintenance man (and Hannah’s husband!)

We also rely on fabulous volunteers such as Hesti, Louise, Nicole, Sue B, Sue P, Kate, Rhys, Tracey, Jane, David, John, Richard, Amanda and Ginny who bring support in all areas such as poo-picking the fields, admin, running our website (thank you Liza!) and support on sessions. Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering at Sirona to see what vacancies we have available.


Sarah Urwin; Chair
Reg. BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist, Adv. Dip. Couns, Dip. Supervision, FdA (Health Care), EAGALA Cert.  Sarah has a background in local government as well as agricultural management and training. However in the past seventeen years she has worked in Health and Social Care, ultimately as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist, latterly using Equine and Animal Assisted Therapy as an intervention. Sarah is a Supervisor and Trainer of practitioners across the UK and is passionate about this work, a fact which is often commented upon by her students and supervisees!

Rosie Bell
BA Hons in Social Policy & Administration, P.G.C.E., Diploma in Counselling
For the last 23 years of her working life Rosie Bell worked as a counsellor, supervisor, trainer and groupworker in education and health settings and in private practice.She also brings her previous experience in teaching Social Policy , developing workers’ co-ops, community development, and health education action research. She has had a keen interest in relational horsemanship for 35 years without even knowing its name!

Sue Bicks
Sue originally studied psychology and linguistics and has recently completed a diploma in counselling. She also worked in IT consultancy. Sirona combines her love of horses and interest in natural therapeutic counselling

Sally Croft; Treasurer
Sally Croft is a retired chartered accountant with many years of experience working with small charities, social enterprises and businesses. She worked with Ernst & Young as the changes took place in Eastern Europe. Now semi-retired Sally is working with small charities and social enterprises mainly in the local community. She sits on the boards of both a charity and a small company.