Beren has an overall management role at Growing Well, making sure all the activities at Growing Well fit together properly and co-ordinating the finances and development of the organisation.
Clare joined Growing Well in May 2008 having (as she puts it) “hit the job jackpot”. She loves her work enabling and encouraging volunteers to work in the office and ensuring that the changing team of admin staff and volunteers run the very busy and varied operation efficiently.
James co-ordinates the growing activities at Growing Well. His aim is to develop a supportive, productive and thriving organic growing business that provides opportunities that excite and inspire people, whether you are eating fresh local vegetables, or weeding a bumper crop of parsnips.
Pauline joined the Growing Well team on the administration side when the project started in November 2004. Having previously worked as a primary school teacher she has developed the education programme for Growing Well atLow Sizergh Farm sharing her passion for food growing and farming with children and young people that visit the farm.
Alix joined Growing Well in 2012 as our Volunteer Coordinator. She is a social worker with a broad range of work experience in mental health and community development. She is also a keen allotment holder and bee keeper.
Hazel has worked at Growing Well since 2005 and became our Training Coordinator in 2010. Hazel has many years experience in horticulture and training and has delivered training in colleges and third sector organisations throughout the north-west.
My professional job is as finance officer for a local charity and this translates well with my duties as treasurer for Growing Well. I have been involved with charities and ‘Not for Profit’ organisations for many years in a financial capacity and have been able to assist the board in this area.
I worked within the accountancy profession for 15 years and gained membership to the Association of Accounting Technicians in 2003. Joining the board of Growing Well has been a new experience for me as I’ve never had any dealing with organic growing and the provision of mental health services. This area has been a steep learning curve but one that I have enjoyed and hopefully this has made me a better ambassador for the role of Treasurer.
I joined the Growing Well Board in 2011 as Chair, having been a Crop Share member for a year and becoming increasingly passionate about Growing Well's aims. The work that the Board undertakes has been astonishingly varied and interesting. The board is constantly working, learning and developing together to ensure that Growing Well delivers its mission, adapts to the environment in which it operates, and to support the staff in fulfilling their goals. It is a dynamic, supportive and exciting atmosphere in which to work.
I work as a self-employed facilitator and trainer within the primary care sector, as well as providing support to companies organising conferences and meetings on how to engage with their delegates effectively. I am enthusiastic about developing the potential of people and teams, the power of local community, and in maximising the opportunities of people with mental ill health.
I work part time so as to spend time raising my two young children with my wife, and as a family we love the opportunities we have to spend time at Growing Well during the open days and celebrations that happen on the farm. Growing Well has become an active and important part of life in the family.
My background is in nursing both in hospital and the community and I bring to the board skills in empathy, communications and observation from my professional life. I also have an all round experience of Growing Well, as a core volunteer for 2 + years working in the field and office, and have been a member of the crop share scheme since its inception.
Being part of the development of Growing Well in all these areas since 2005 I have literally seen Growing Well "do what it says on the tin." Now that I have retired from everyday involvement in Growing Well I bring this experience to the board to influence its continued development and growth.
After taking a break from my career in brand marketing to bring up our two boys, I now run a consultancy based in Kendal, partnering local businesses to develop strategic thinking and deliver marketing activities. I am a nature-lover driven by a passion for anything active & outdoors. I believe in trying to “give something back” to our wonderful, vibrant local community of which I am proud to be a part of, so when Paul Edwards suggested I apply for a position on the Growing Well board, I jumped at the chance. I have thouraghly enjoyed my envolvement with Growing Well thus far, and look forward to what the future brings. It is a real inspiration to be involved with an organisation where strategy comes straight from the heart.
I trained formally at the botanical gardens in Edinburgh and Kew but started gardening long before this at the age of 11 in my parents garden but also in a traditional market garden nursery on the outskirts of Carlisle during my school holidays. In recent years I've been the Head Gardener of two large gardens including a major restoration project. I have also spent 2 years lecturing to horticultural students at the University of Cumbria.
My working life is consumed with growing plants of the ornamental kind with my wife Abi at our nursery which sits on the edge of Witherslack. We specialise in growing a range of over 600 different varieties of herbaceous plants on site, many from seed and creating garden displays on site to showcase what we grow. Whilst we are a very different operation compared to the site at Growing Well there are many relevant similarities in what we both do and I'm looking forward to working with the team to help collaborate on our experiences of growing plants in what is a special but often challenging climate.
After working for 9 months at Growing Well as Volunteer Coordinator, from April 2012 to December 2012, I gained on-site knowledge from the perspective of both the staff and the volunteers. I was so impressed by Growing Well, the team, the commitment of the volunteers and the all round benefits of being at Growing Well that I wanted to stay involved with Growing Well and to contribute.
I have a background and interest in improving wellbeing and mental health and have worked in that field on various projects for the past 15 years. I have four years psychotherapy training and I am working towards accreditation. I also bring my business skills and background in food, and health and safety.
I was drawn to Growing Well by its unique way of working, and by the very real benefits it brings to its beneficiaries. I admire its philosophy and the way it brings people together in a communal farming environment, and am truly impressed at the way in which people’s work at Growing Well helps them overcome problems and gain the confidence to move forward.
My own background is in providing consultancy support to charities, helping them reach their financial and strategic goals. As such I hope to contribute to Growing Well’s success by providing support and guidance on its crucial fundraising efforts, and helping shape its future strategy and plans so that its long-term success can be supported.
Would you like to join our team to help you build confidence in the workplace and get used to working with others. Get in touch with us to arrange a visit to the farm.
Would you like to collect a weekly bag of fresh, organic produce grown on the farm? Get your five-a-day from Growing Well.
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