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My interest and involvement in co-operatives started at Uni in 1997. I have since worked in 3 worker co-ops (Catalyst Collective, Acorn Co-op Support and Fresh from the Fields Community Compost Project), been a founder member of 2 housing co-ops (Neds and Wild Peak), am part of a co-operative consortium and have been heavily involved in two secondary co-ops (Radical Routes and the Rainbow Centre). I have learnt a lot of co-operative, finance and business skills during this period. I have also worked as a bookkeeper and prepared end of year accounts for the last 5 years.
For the past four years I have used my extensive experience of advising co-ops professionally, much of it as an approved advisor for The Co-operative Enterprise Hub.
I have recently gained an ILM Level 5 Certificate in Supporting Social Enterprise.
Currently I am training to be an accredited Community Shares Practitioner
For more details of what I have been up to recently check out my LinkedIn profile.
My co-op support work draws on over 25 years of experience working in co-ops, community groups and campaigns. I have helped set up and run workers' co-ops (The BookCellar, The Hundredth Monkey, Single Step Wholefoods, Seeds for Change), three food co-ops and two co-operatively run resource centres.
I specialise in designing and delivering high quality interactive training and action-learning sessions to diverse audiences, including training in consensus decision-making, flat management structures, meeting facilitation, marketing, media, fundraising, understanding finance and accounts, strategic planning and legal structures.
I am also an experienced project manager and event organiser. I have organised many events and workshops on both a local and national level: from organising tree planting days to Apple and Potato Days, from seedsaving workshops to organic allotmenting, from Climate Camps to conferences on GM, green gatherings and festivals.
I am especially interested in supporting co-operatives and community groups aiming for a flat management structure and working towards local sustainability including woodland initiatives, coppicing and woodland crafts, organic food growing, wholefood shops and food co-ops, small scale renewable energy.
I'm a founder member of Seeds for Change, a training collective renowned for developing consensus-decision-making and effective communication processes for small to large scale groups. I have co-authored a collection of publications including How to set up a Workers' Co-op; A Consensus Handbook: co-operative decision-making for activists, co-ops and communities; Financial Literacy for Co-operatives; and many more.
For more detail on my interests and skills check out my LinkedIn profile.