Ian Callen is the founder and one of the directors of Go Beyond. He has lived in France for over 15 years and 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.
A Few Questions to Ian Callen
What motivates and inspires you?
To find the beauty or positives in a challenging circumstance or difficult situation. Living here in Provence is very inspiring, the landscape, nature and people that I meet are triggers to new ideas that usually get filtered into Go Provence somehow. I love working on an idea that I can trace it’s root to the moment it was born. For example, the idea for supported holidays came in the shed/classroom when I was working for the Brandon Trust, teaching at Elm Tree Farm in Bristol. Here we are nearly ten years down the line.
I find other people inspiring and this in turn motivates me to improve myself. A young, Scottish chap, David, stayed with us recently and I was inspired by his photography, which is a big passion of mine, and it made me realise that if I made more of an effort I could achieve better results.