I discovered permaculture in 2009 whilst on the steering group of my local Transition Network group. This came at the same time as a serious break down and my first, of several suicide attempts. Since then permaculture has played an important role in supporting my mental health and my life generally. It lead me to discover more and go on to teach permaculture.
My upbringing consisted of violence and emotional abuse, along with experiencing anxiety & depression, as a teenager, and bullying at school. I was later a victim of domestic abuse with an ex-long term partner and father of my, now adult children. These experiences are what has shaped me, and I now use to support others with their mental wellbeing and personal resilience. I am glad to say that the attempts to end my life didn't work, and I can enjoy my grown up children and grandchild.
Over the last decade I have lived with my partner off-grid at Wishtree, which was a 5 acre permaculture site, in North Devon, previously a LAND learner. This part of my life helped strengthen my own personal resilience. North Devon Permaculture was based at Wishtree, where we taught and ran residential Introduction To Permaculture courses, and how to growing perennial based systems, such as using the food forest technique and permaculture design. We also did outreach work with schools and community groups. This ended as a result of COVID and we returned to Hertfordshire, where we were both born. We had to start again. This was also the time I discovered I was an HSP, or Highly Sensitive Personal (medical term is Sensory Processing Sensitivity).
We changed the name of the business to Wyld Edges CIC realising that what we were doing was needed more in our urban communities. Thus this is my, and our story now. Using my lived experience of poor mental health and permaculture design, we now work with communities and mental health organisations, to bring together community gardens, and other green spaces, as vessels where permaculture can be used to support mental wellbeing, helping to build personal and community resilience.
Please see my skills and CPD below for more info.