I grew up in North Yorkshire and the Highlands of Scotland; being and walking in AWE-some remote landscapes.
In my twenties I moved to South East London to study Community Arts and Education for three years.
After six community placements whilst studying, I worked in Theatre in Education and community theatre for 12 years. I co created and delivered holistic arts projects: living history, Racism, the Jewish Holocaust, eating disorders, abuse, mental ill health, women’s issues, land rights, mythology, and social change, throughout the UK.
I began to suffer from depression, stress, self-harm, addiction and eating disorders and had difficulties in relationships and suffered trauma from my mother’s mental health issues, and being unable to help her as well as an absent father. Living in a high-rise council flat, I knew that I had to re find my relationship to nature through walking in parks and getting out to the South Downs, connecting again to a sense of awe, being in the moment and present with nature. Through writing and walks, I began my own journey of growth and development and found recovery and resilience and began to relate to myself and others in a more authentic and less destructive way. I set up my own company “Theatre for change” creating and facilitating arts for change and health projects in the community, for the NHS and International programmes. I kept walking and writing as my daily self-care.
I was lucky enough to move to a smaller council estate, where there was a strong sense of community and I have been befriended and supported on my journey by compassionate and wise people: who hold space for me, listen to me, walk and dream alongside me, challenge me, help me heal from trauma and inspire me to find my way and to trust myself, my inner wisdom, my unique experience and my ethics.
I began to see and work with Walking as an art form and a therapy. Whilst working on a victims and perpetrators project in Berlin and Greece, through chance (or was it), I landed on the mythical Greek Island twenty years ago, and was pulled to stay, by the light and the poetic landscape; I was home. I restored a ruined cottage and became a gardener (or a puller of thistles) and healed and grew through writing, working on the land, Yoga and walking and swimming. I renamed my company in 2010: WordsandWalks and have been delivering participatory walks and projects on poetry, local culture and farming, ecology, mythology, storytelling, flora and fauna and living history. I taught mindfulness and mediation, Yoga and Pilates and functional person- centered movement for children and adults on retreats and classes
I started returning more to the UK in 2015 to support my partner and his mother who had a brain bleed. In 2018 I returned to the UK to look after and fight for my father who not only had dementia but was suffering trauma from abuse. Last year shortly before his death, I let go of my physical home on Ithaca and began to be drawn again to community participatory projects, holistic coaching and facilitation and have am training in counselling and eco therapy.
My teaching is non- judgmental, with love and compassion and acceptance; I work with a strong ethical and social justice framework and believe whatever the bag of tools, however juicy I or you think they are, it is our compassionate human relationship and our relationship to nature and the world which enables the tools to work their magic; when we are in nature, supported by her and supporting her we can re- regulate, find acceptance, space and grounding as individuals and as part of our community “dig where we stand”, so that we can be socially connected if physically distanced in these times.
Some of the places I have worked: Weybridge College, International schools, Kings College hospital, Guys Hospital, Holloway prison, Croydon youth club, National Trust, Regents Park Theatre, Globe Theatre English Heritage, National theatre, London Barbican, Nottingham Theatre, Northampton Theatre, Inverness Eden court theatre, local councils, theatre in Education, BBC radio, schools and libraries, archeological sites, parks and outdoor spaces and community venues, women’s refuge centers and working men’s clubs.
Qualifications and specialisms
- Degree in Community Theatre, movement therapy, social change and participatory education.
- Certificate in Advanced Yin Yang Yoga therapy
- MA Dance therapy
- Forum Theatre
- Certificate in Pilates, remedial exercise and body therapy and awareness
- Certificate in Mindfulness for health
- Certificate in Yoga for the NHS – Yoga in Health Alliance
- Certificate in Eco therapy
- Person centered existential counselling and therapy
- Wise healing in nature
- Guided walking
- Storytelling and free writing
- Augusto Boal
- Dorothy Heathcote
- Mirjam Wagner
- David Lurey
- Esther Eckhart
- Gabor Mate
- George Mombiot
- Jon Kabatt- Zin
- Julia Cameron
- Diana Marie Fairchild
- Irvin Yalom
- Rollo May
- Ekhart Tolle
- Barefoot doctor
- William Bloom
- Gill Hickman
- Philip Shepherd
- Magaret Atwood
- Natalie Goldberg,
- And many more………