Our Team


Arts and Heritage Education professionals who love Scottish history and have a talent for communicating with, teaching and nurturing a wide range of audiences 


Where it all began

A shared love of history and learning

We each have many years experience in heritage, tourism and education but with different specialisms. This allows us to offer our customers tailor made projects that can incorporate many different aspects including visual art, drama, writing, storytelling and world of work skills

Working with Covid restrictions →

Knowledgeable and reliable

The Team

Karen Kyle McKenzie


Karen set up Illuminate UK in 2006 seeing an opportunity to use her drama training and experience working in heritage and tourism, in learning settings.

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Karen trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as an actor and drama educator and appeared in a variety of theatre productions before taking drama skills into heritage and museum learning.

Karen has established and managed Junior Tour Guide programmes for Historic Environment Scotland, Rosslyn Chapel and the Scottish Seabird Centre. She has also developed a range of learning programs and activities for learners, visitors and staff at Historic Environment Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland amongst others.

She has managed the community learning and outreach program at Trinity House Maritime Museum which includes everything from project managing and overseeing multi-partner projects to draping the museum in fake spider webs at Halloween!

She has also designed and delivered world of work, back to work and careers workshops and events for Springboard Scotland and Skills Development Scotland.

Karen is a qualified Mental Health First Aider and Arts Award assessor.

Nicola Wright

Storyteller, historical interpreter, tour guide and trainer

Nicola is a storyteller, historical interpreter, tour guide and trainer who combines her passion for history with a love of dressing up.

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Nicola trained in History and Politics at the University of Warwick and her career has spanned education, tourism, support work for vulnerable adults and their families and training, including training tour guides for Mercat Tours.
For Illuminate UK she provides workshops, training and tours at Trinity House Maritime Museum, Craigmillar Castle and Linlithgow Palace.  She has driven forward the outreach program at Trinity House, delivering programs to develop links between school pupils and homes for older people, developing a family program of trails and activities and taking her storytelling session out to early years centres.
Nicola is a qualified Mental Health First Aider and Arts Award assessor.

Hannah Ayre

Artist, educator and creative producer

Hannah is a participatory artist, educator and creative producer. She works with audiences to create socially engaged artwork, ranging from small-scale crafts to large-scale installations and events.

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Throughout her career she has worked with a wide range of audiences of all ages, in both formal and informal learning settings. Hannah has always been passionate about creating accessible cultural experiences. 

 Her Illuminate portfolio includes heritage themed arts and craft projects and creative garden design. Projects start with participants discovering historic sites, objects and archives. Groups then go on to create individual or collaborative art works which respond to the themes they have been engaged with.

Calum Price

Heritage Learning Consultant

Calum is a former History and English teacher with 20 years experience working in the heritage learning sector.

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Calum has developed and delivered resources, workshops and training for a whole range of learning audiences across the heritage sector working for the National Museums of Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and Edinburgh World Heritage amongst others.

He has also worked in community learning as an adult literacy tutor and as an employability trainer.

Callan MacCormick

Actor, drama workshop leader and script writer

Callan is a presenter, acting tutor and production manager who adapts scripts, directs and creates productions with both training students and in professional theatre.

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Her passion is to see sparkling eyes whether that is those participating in a drama workshop or watching a piece of theatre. Callan loves finding creative solutions to present any subject.

Callan trained in Psychology at the University of Stirling and her career has spanned education, tourism, training, and theatre work. She has worked with children excluded from school, young carers, inclusion in the arts projects, adult mental health groups and women’s groups on drama based projects for confidence and wellbeing.

For Illuminate UK she provides workshops and training at Claypotts and Huntly castles. She has presented character led tours in first person in Stanley Mills and in schools as Mary Queen of Scots and a WWII teacher.  She also led a drama project at Queen’s gallery, Holyrood Palace, bringing to life Canaletto’s Venice with groups of visiting school children.

She works closely with SQA Acting and Musical Theatre courses at various centres in Scotland.

Lindsey Gibb

Storyteller and Workshop Leader

Lindsey is a professional storyteller with over 10 years experience, telling in a variety of places from historic buildings to woodlands.

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She spent many years working in education in the environmental sector leading and teaching a huge range of groups from pre school to older people.

More recently she has become involved in working in history, heritage and archaeology and joining Illuminate UK fulfils her ambition of working in heritage education.

She looks forward to working with the schools and believes anyone can tell a story and be a storyteller.

Practical and creative solutions

Covid-19 restrictions

We have been developing new and innovative ideas working safely with the restrictions the pandemic has imposed upon us all so we can continue to produce high quality work that meets your learner’s needs. Everyone’s safety is our priority.

We have also successfully completed  training and are certified that we adhere to Government and public health guidance.

Restricted number

We will restrict numbers in workshops, rehearsals and filming to allow for social distancing and follow all procedures our clients set in place for their site.


We will build in opportunities for frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizers which we can provide.

 Where costumes, objects and props are to be used they will be assigned to one participant/pupil only to touch. Objects, tools and props will be sanitized before and after use. Anything that will be reused will be quarantined for 72 hours in line with government advice.

Face coverings

We will use appropriate PPE and face coverings for any live delivery and ask anyone age 12 and over to do the same where appropriate.

Outdoor learning

Much of our work already took place outdoors and we are being creative in the ways we can move all ‘live’ delivery outdoors and to spaces where it is possible to socially distance.

We will ensure outdoor workshops follow any one way systems that are in place and avoid narrow crowded spaces.

We can hold rehearsals and workshops with small groups of pupils in school playgrounds.

 In line with current guidance we do not do any singing, use wind instruments or work on voice projection at present.

Online learning

We can offer online learning to formal and informal learning settings appearing live on screen and/or creating resources.

 Over recent months we have built up experience in object handling sessions live online, been storytelling online as part of the East Lothian Heritage Festival, teaching history online beamed into classrooms and sharing videos teaching various craft skills on youtube.

 We have many years experience creating written resources including trails, quizzes, treasure hunts, art projects and teacher packs on various topics and places.


We will be replacing our usual live weekly performance with the Rosslyn Chapel Junior Tour Guides for film this year. We are working with the school and site to prepare a film tour led by the Junior Tour Guides which will have interaction built in so that children watching in the classroom can join in with activities as they would on site. We will also help the young people make activity videos that teachers can use in the classroom based on the learning from the tour. We aim to offer live online Q&As with the Junior Tour Guides in their own classroom to other school classes who have watched their film from around the globe!

 Some of our Junior Tour Guides are already on film – you can watch them here:

Explore Doune Castle with the Junior Tour Guides →
Glaitness Primary School, Orkney →

We will continue to assess and update our approach and method as the pandemic continues to progress.

knowledgeable and flexible

Delivering high-quality work with a friendly and knowledgble team

We pride ourselves in our flexibility – approaching each new client and project with open minds and an open manner.  It is important to us that clients know they are in experienced hands yet with a fresh, creative and dynamic approach.


If you have any questions please just get in touch.