About Us

Our Team

Simon Watchman


Simon is a Teacher of Geography and Head of Outdoor Pursuits at Birkdale School, previously having taught in other areas of Sheffield and East London.  Simon first became interested in education as a career in 2003, volunteering for the Karen Hilltribes Trust as an English language speaker, in north west Thailand for 6 months; delivering lessons similar to those that are developed by the Birkdale sixth form students on their trips.  Then ensued a passion for outdoor pursuits and travel that took Simon to across a range of continents, including a career break in 2014, with his wife Sally, travelling across India in search of his grandfathers WW2 postings and through Nepal to take in the amazing wonders of its people, landscapes and culture.  Simon now lives in the Peak District with his wife Sally and their two, very lively, sons.

Keith Brook M.B.E


Keith retired from teaching at Birkdale School in 2017. He had been teaching Biology and Psychology at the school for 30 years. In 1998 he contacted a good friend of his, Mike Lock, who lives and works in Nepal and together they planned a school trip which took place in the summer of 2000 where 17 students from Sheffield taught in poor schools mainly in the Khokana area. Almost every year since there has been a trip to Nepal and he has lead most of them. In 2013 Keith was awarded an MBE for services to Education in Nepal. Together with his wife Gillian, Keith loves walking, hiking and kayaking; they are both very involved in their local church: they have two grown up sons who have both been to Nepal.

Peter Harris


Peter has been the Head Master of Birkdale School since January 2019 and lives in Sheffield. He previously taught Geography at the school from 1998-2008 and was fortunate enough to go on the inaugural trip to Nepal in August 2000. In the intervening years he became Vice Principal of Bournemouth Collegiate School and then Principal of Ewell Castle School in Surrey. During this time he brought pupils from both these schools on the regular Birkdale trips and has visited the country on six occasions. He has Nepal under his skin and even considered moving there when he was shortlisted for the post of Principal of the British School in Kathmandu. Peter is married with three children, two of whom have been on the trip. He enjoys walking with the dog in the Peak District, sailing, when he gets the chance and is involved in a local church. 

Laura Jellinek


Laura has been on two trips to Nepal and has fully involved herself in helping with the medical work done each trip. During her association with the Nepal projects she has assisted the organising of fundraising activities and has independently undertaken sponsored walks and cycle rides to help raise money for our projects in Nepal.

Neil Robertson


Neil has been to Nepal several times; he loves the country and its people and has organised and lead trekking groups to the Annapurna region. In 2016, one year on from two devastating earthquakes, he was on our annual trip to Nepal where his expertise as an engineer was in full evidence as he was able to assess damage to property including the Peace Garden School and assist with the repair of storm damage to another of the schools we support.

Joy Tanner


Has been one of our greatest supporters over the 21 years we have had links with Nepal. Her son, Ben, went on the first trip in 2000. Joy has raised lots of money, and  has helped with most of the fund raising events that have taken place during this time. She has been to Nepal herself; Arjun, the Head Master of the Peace Garden School has named a classroom after her to show his gratitude for all her fundraising efforts.

Dr. Akul Purohit


Akul visited Nepal as a member of the 2014 trip and loved the culture and the people in Nepal and has maintained a keen interest in all that has been done since he left school. Akul is a Junior Doctor working in Greater Manchester and loves playing football and the South-Asian sport of Kabaddi, something he would love to teach on the trips in the future. 

Rob Keen


Rob is now retired and lives with his wife Claire in Beauchief Sheffield. During his working life he was a Metallurgist in the steel industry before spending 35 years as a senior Instrumental Analyst at The University of Sheffield specialising in Chromatography and Mass Spectroscopy. He has been to Nepal twice on Birkdale trips where he fell in love with the people and the country. He is a leader at Greenhill Methodist Church and when not being involved there his major hobbies are sailing, speedway and flying. He has two children a son and a daughter. His son has also been to Nepal twice. Apart from all the work done in the schools Rob has a great interest in the children who live and work in the brickworks just outside Kathmandu.

Sue Heyes

Treasurer and trustee

Sue Heyes is a doctor working in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals specialising in Diabetes foot disease. Her interest in medicine in the developing world started when she went on her medical elective to Kenya as a medical student.  More recently she and her family spent a year living in Malawi working at QECH; the University teaching hospital in Blantyre, where she was instrumental in setting up the first diabetes foot service (thereby reducing major amputation rates)

Sue went to Nepal in 2008 on one of the first trips which allowed parents and friends.  There she grew to love the Nepali people she was meeting and working with.  Her aim in going was to identify any health needs and medical projects required at the schools being supported especially the Peace Garden School.  Basic health data on the school children was started as a baseline for evaluating any health interventions.  A few health projects were identified e.g. provisions of toothbrushes, improved toilet and washing facilities etc.

Sue is very pleased to have the opportunity to be involved with RNV Nepal and helping to meet the needs of the lovely Nepali people.

Helen Frost

Event Co-ordinator

Helen graduated in 1988 with Bus/Fin, Marketing & Int' Marketing which led her into an early career across Retail (Administrator) Finance (Advisor) & Banking (Underwriter).
Married with two children she opted for a career break enjoying caring for her young family whilst selling books, painting, travelling and taking part in varied outdoor sports.
Her family embarked on an adventurous trip to Nepal in 2009 and a desire to help make a difference for the people there was instigated.
Helen has worked since 2006 at Birkdale School as a part time librarian and later as charities coordinator.....the opportunity  arose to be part of the annual trips to Nepal, helping with preparation and being part of the leadership team, visiting Nepal many times. She has initiated varied fundraising activities for Nepal including successful Auctions, Cake sales, Sponsored Reading and Book sales.
Helen enjoys walking, travel, painting, reading, skiing, outdoor sports in general and gardening in her spare time. 

Steve Kenyon


It is fair to say that our link with Nepal would probably not still be going without Steve’s drive and enthusiasm. It is this drive that has largely been responsible for the founding of the RNVNepal trust. Steve has lead 4 trips to Nepal and has been part of the leadership team  no less than 16 times.

Rev Jonathan Haigh


Rev Jonathan Haigh is a Methodist Minister who has visited Nepal 4 times. He particularly focussed on supporting the Churches that are connected with charity. They do some great community work and offer hope to those in need. Jonathan has experienced tours in to the Himalayan churches that were an eye opening and humbling experience. Jonathan has been a minister since 1992 and is married to Chris and his two grown up girls are Becky and Naomi. One of Jonathan's hobbies is to offer commentary for the partially sighted at Bramall Lane, the home of Sheffield United. He loves to travel, go to the theatre and enjoy a meal out with his wife. He is very much looking forward to supporting this charity and meeting the needs of the people of Nepal.

Tulsi Gyawali


Tulsi has been intimately connected with the tourism sector of Nepal for the past three decades. He is the Managing Director of Nepal Sanctuary Treks which is involved in promoting adventure treks, mountaineering, cycling, rafting, jungle safaris and cultural tours in Nepal. Tulsi’s company has provided the adventure part of our annual trips to Nepal for very many years and they have looked after us really well. However, Tulsi also takes a great interest in all aspects of our visits to his country including the work we do in the schools. We are delighted that he has agreed to be our ‘man in Nepal’ and also join our board of Trustees.

Maggie Cotton


Maggie has been to Nepal with us no less than 5 times. She has raised huge amounts of money for the cause over the past 21 years including running several, hugely successful ‘One Off Shows’ in Dronfield. These sell out concerts have given local Dronfield talent the opportunity to show what they can do in front of large audiences at the Dronfield Civic Hall. Each concert has raised at least £2000.

Charlotte Kidd


Charlotte studied at the University of Surrey and having graduated with a Masters in Medical Engineering is now a Junior Design and Development Engineer in Neurological Applications. In her free time, Charlotte enjoys playing the piano and the bassoon and is also a keen lacrosse player having captained the University team for two years running. She loves the outdoors and completed her Gold Duke of Edinburgh whilst at Birkdale and also qualified as an Assistant Leader in Girlguiding. Charlotte visited Nepal as a member of the 2015 trip during the first year of her A level course. She fell in love with the people and has maintained an interest in all that has been done since her visit. Charlotte has since kept in contact with some of the people she met in Nepal and intends to travel there again as soon as she can, hoping to take members of her family with her. 

Dominic Heyes

Treasurer and Trustee

Dominic attended Birkdale School from the age of 4, and went on to graduate from Newcastle University with a BSc in Accounting and Finance. He currently works and lives in London as an accountant, and brings these skills in finance to the role of treasurer. Dominic has visited Nepal twice, once in 2014 and again in 2016 to assist with the crucial work done after the earthquake in 2015. It was during this time that Dominic’s passion for charity flourished, both for the work done in Nepal, and for other fundraising undertaken at Birkdale for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital. In his spare time Dominic enjoys running and playing hockey, a sport that he started playing under the Presidents (Keith) guidance at school. He continues to play regularly for a local club and officiate as an umpire as well.


Why RNV Nepal?

RNV stands for Res Non Verba. This is generally translated as ‘Deeds not Words’.

It is the moto of Birkdale School in Sheffield which is where the RNVNepal charity first started back in the year 2000.

Birkdale School is a Christian foundation which welcomes staff and pupils of all faiths and none, and the school encourages its members to follow Jesus's example in accepting people for who they are, and reaching out to assist the poor and marginalised in society, by volunteering to serve others in a positive and practical way.

This video was put together after the trip to Nepal in 2014







Birkdale school ran a trip to Nepal that was mainly aimed at providing a ‘service’ experience (rather than an outdoor pursuits venture or tourist trip). On this trip the group taught in a small school threatened with closure and so money was raised to build a new one and trips have been organised to the area almost every year since.

Two years of fund raising meant that we could open the Peace Garden school - 13 classrooms. It was built on the Head Master's own land

The school was extended with a third floor and numbers of the children in the school increased even further (200+)

Two huge earthquakess shook the building but, although most buildings in the area were either destroyed or badly damaged the PGS building was undamaged. We built extra emergency classrooms as classes were not taught in the building until a governemt inspection; it took over a year to come. Mirculously no children were injured in the quake

Government widens the road and classrooms are knocked down. More were built to replace the ones destroyed. 300+ children now in the school

December 2021 RNV Nepal is given charitble status. 

It is registered with the charity commision; charity number 1197238