Meet our amazing panel of judges! They are just as excited as we are to be part of the UK’s Largest Digital Detox movement for families.
Rachel is a writer, journalist and broadcast journalist and has spent more than 20 years working in current affairs and news. Rachel joined ITN on their journalist trainee scheme in 1995 and is currently Editor of ITV London.
Previously Rachel was Head of Home News for ITV News where her judgement, leadership qualities and editorial creativity transformed ITV News’ UK newsgathering. Rachel has held a variety of senior positions at ITN and was a Senior Producer for the BBC managing the BBC Moscow Bureau. Rachel lives in London and is Mum to two girls aged 10 and 7.
Pete Johnson – Children’s Author
When Pete Johnson was eight he wrote a fan letter to Dodie Smith because he had loved 101 Dalmatians so much. She wrote back and the two began exchanging letters, which inspired Pete to become a writer. He sent his first story to a publisher when he was 11. It was rejected!
Pete worked as a film critic for Radio One before becoming a teacher in a secondary school. His experiences in the classroom inspired him to write his first book for children, and he still keeps contact with a panel of young readers to gain their viewpoint as he writes.
Pete is the author of over 50 books, including the bestselling How To Train Your Parents. His books have won various awards including the Young Telegraph Award and the Brilliant Book Award, and have been translated into 24 languages. Pete’s new book How to Update Your Parents is out in June 2016 and follows the hilarious adventures of Louis the Laugh when his parents enforce a total ban on technology!
Svetlana Dragayeva – Virry and Fountain Digital Labs
Svetlana is Creator of the Virry App –the breakthrough children’s educational app that brings children up close and personal with real wild animals and is taking the EdTech sector by storm.
Svetlana also heads up the creative digital agency, Fountain Digital Labs based in London and Moscow.
Svetlana started her career in the educational sector helping children harness their creativity and has worked with schools all around Europe researching the link between technology, narratology and cognitive skills. This is backed with 10 years of experience in film production working with high profile film directors, independent creative power-houses and highly-regarded international media organisations.
Svetlana is known for bringing together talent, an entrepreneurial spirit and proven managerial skills to deliver exciting and innovative projects that provide a positive and collaborative future across Europe.
She specialises in concept creation, high quality film production and EdTech development which she has brought together to create the Virry App. Svetlana is fast becoming a thought leader across the Kids Community and the EdTech sector.
Svetlana holds a MA and a PHD in English from Ohio State University is currently studying for a PHD at University of London.
A professional editor focusing on lifestyle, health and parenting, Debbie Bird has worked within the baby and child industry for more than 2 decades.
Debbie’s current responsibilities include managing an online strategy for the Baby TV brand who offer a unique information channel reaching over 75% of expectant parents in hospital antenatal waiting rooms nationwide. Through sharing advice, best practice and relevant information, Baby TV aims to help parents-to-be make informed decisions for the health, welfare, safety and happiness of both themselves and their future baby.
Debbie is also a Director at What’s On 4 and is on the board of the Children’s Activities Association.
Debbie works closely with a wide range of audiences including PR organisations, major brands in the family sector, advertising and marketing agencies and has extensive social media connections. Her broad skill-set includes strategy planning, daily curation of content, social media communications and commissioning of articles from leading writers in the sector along with running a range of exclusive competitions and promotions. Debbie is also a regular contributor to parenting related topics on radio and TV.
Debbie was formerly the Head of Content and Editor for babyworld.co.uk and GLAM Family – two of the largest and most prominent parenting websites. Mode Media Corporation (formerly Glam Media) recorded a global audience of more than 280 Million unique* visitors a month and 6,000 content creators across seven verticals. (Source: ComScore)
Debbie is a busy, working mum of 2 and knows all too well the importance of being there for her family alongside juggling a challenging and rewarding career.
Toby Ray – British Contemporary Artist
With a refreshing, beguiling approach to surf art, British contemporary artist Toby Ray creates heart-stirring works of art which depict the seascapes of his dreams. Inspired by his beloved North Cornwall coast, lifelong surfer Toby uses an inventive mix of acrylics, old ordnance survey maps, wood and rare maritime shipping charts to bring about something quite beyond expectation.
Toby skilfully bridges the gap between the often dissonant worlds of surf culture and fine art. His paintings capture the primal power and hypnotic nature of the ocean and breathe new life into a genre too readily associated with brash driftwood pictures. You can almost hear the crashing of the waves and feel the salty air prickle your skin when gazing into one of Toby’s mellow, innovatively composed Cornish seascapes.
Yvonne Coomber – British Contemporary Visual Artist
Yvonne Coomber is a renowned contemporary British artist based in South Devon with a loyal following all over the world. Her highly sought after paintings sing of tumbling hedgerows, tangled meadowlands, open moorland and magical forests. They whisper of love. Through her work Yvonne transports the viewer to an effervescent place of happiness; a place where paint smiles.
Her mixed media constructions often include glitter, gold leaf, flowers picked in the meadows and multiple layers of rainbow-strewn pigments and paint that come together to create a perfect harmony. This unique technique encourages her delicate yet sprightly florals to be catapulted up from the canvas in a kaleidoscopic confetti shower of joy.