My training is in environmental sustainability and for many years have worked in different ways with people and communities to improve their living conditions and reduce their impact on the environment. In 2000 I became involved in Ashley Vale Action Group, which established Bristol’s award-winning 40-home self build project in St Werburghs. My partner and I designed and built our own home as part of this scheme. Since then, I have been passionate about supporting other people to play a role in creating their own low cost environmentally sustainable homes by collaborating together. I have spent time in the renewables and energy efficiency sector providing systems to improve the energy performance of peoples homes.
I am still a director of Ashley Vale Action Group and was a founder member and Vice-Chair of NaCSBA for 8 years, the National and Custom Self Build Association, representing the community-led self build sector in our work with self builders, national and local government and the housing industry. I helped set up the Bristol Community Land Trust five years ago, and am now the ‘Self Finish Development Manager’ on their inaugural development of 12 affordable homes.
I have recently become a Fellow of the School For Social Entrepreneurs as well as a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce), and in early 2015 have been selected for a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to explore innovative design and construction of small dwellings within a community context in Japan, West Coast of America and Canada. Plan is to travel during 2016, so please get in touch if you have any contacts, places to visit or top tips when visiting these places.