About us

Meet the team

Find out more about the team at Go Beyond Holidays…

To read more just click on the link at the bottom of each person’s profile. You’ll be taken to another page where you will also be able to watch a video of that team member introducing themselves.

Ian Callen – co-founder and director

Ian is the founder and one of the directors of Go Beyond. Ian has lived in France for 15 years. He has been a qualified teacher since 2007. Ian knows the region extremely well and spends his spare time climbing, walking and photographing the Gorges du Verdon. He also presents a fortnightly radio show for local to the area, Radio Verdon, a show that celebrates British music.

Ian worked in at The Olive Tree International School teaching photography, horticulture, conservation, biology and astronomy to children with challenging behaviour. In Bristol, England Ian worked for the Brandon Trust, teaching conservation and horticulture to people with learning disabilities. He lives with his wife, Anna, and three children, Joseph, Jasmine and Poppy, in the Provencal town of Riez.

Ian has a City & Guilds teaching qualification, RHS General and Advanced certificates in horticulture. Ian is trained in First Aid to British Red Cross Standard (January 2019). Ian also has training in Epilepsy and Midazolam, Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults and the Mental Capacity Act.

Read more about Ian…

Ian Callen

Neil Manser – co-founder and director

Neil is a co-founder and director of the project and has lived in France for twenty years. Neil worked for several years as a classroom assistant at a Dr. Barnardo Special Needs Primary School in Southborough, Kent. He also worked as an art classroom assistant in another special needs school. Neil was often involved with supported holidays to Wales. Neil was involved with a project in Malaysia supporting adults with learning and physical disabilities. Neil is also the chef and prepares all the meals for Go Provence. When he isn’t working for Go Provence he lives near St Tropez on the coast.

Neil has a Primary Certificate in Social Care from West Kent College. Neil is trained in First Aid to British Red Cross Standard (January 2019). Neil also has training in Epilepsy and Midazolam, Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults and the Mental Capacity Act.

Read more about Neil…

Neil Manser

John Ryde

John Ryde has been married for over 40 years and lives in rural Dorset. He has two grown up daughters and, in the last two years, 3 grandchildren. The grandchildren keep him fairly busy! For most of his life he was a secondary school science teacher and in recent years has really enjoyed working for Able2Achieve, a company that runs supported living placements and day provision for adults with learning disabilities and autism. John has organised and run numerous residential trips as a teacher and youth leader. John and his wife spent 6 years working with refugees and other disadvantaged people in northern Thailand, close to the Burma border. As part of their role in Thailand they helped to facilitate visiting teams. John has spent part of the last 4 summers with Go Provence in France and Italy.

John is also a Governor in a special school in Dorset. He is the link Governor for Safeguarding and the sixth form. He spends time in school as a volunteer in the sixth form most weeks. He has received recent training through Able2Achieve and Governor Services in safeguarding both for children and adults, medicines administration, first aid at work, the mental capacity act, epilepsy, autism and therapeutic behaviour management.

Read more about John…

John Ryde

Christine Espley

Christine Espley has worked as a chef and caterer for thirty-something years.

When not working with Go Beyond Holidays she goes on tour with bands and musical artistes around the UK and Europe. She has owned two restaurants and worked a summer as ship’s cook on the heritage training ship “Svanen” at the Norwegian Maritime Museum in Bygdøy, Norway.

She has spent some years in both Norway and France, and currently lives in London.

Gardening is a chief hobby, jostling for space with reading, socialising with family and friends, walking, gigs and concerts, music, film and theatre.

Read more about Christine…

Christine Espley

Anna Callen

Anna is one of the directors of Go Beyond and oversees the administrative side of the holidays. She has lived in France for over 15 years and has worked in a variety of roles including teaching and administration. She currently works as a translator as well as doing administrative work for Go Beyond. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, baking, sewing and listening to music.

Anna worked at The Olive Tree International School teaching French and Spanish to children with challenging behaviour. In Bristol, England, Anna spent half of her working week working as Personnel Administrator for The Priory Hospital and the other half as a Translations Coordinator for the charity Tearfund.

She lives with her husband, Ian, and three children, Joseph, Jasmine and Poppy, in the Provençal town of Riez.

Read more about Anna…

Anna Callen