Nurture Through Nature has a team with a wide range of skills coming together with the aim of using nature to empower and nourish people.
Nick Blewitt – Sessional worker
Nick has a 15 year background as a social worker working with people with mental health problems, people with learning difficulties and the elderly. He has studied both horticulture and permaculture, graduating in Biodynamic Agriculture at Emerson College in March 2010. He is also qualified at City and Guilds Level 2 and RHS Level 3 in Horticulture. He currently runs a professional gardening business and runs therapeutic horticulture groups.
“The idea of ‘Nurture through Nature’ is to address social and therapeutic needs in the community. I feel the organisation suits me well as it is a way to maximise my skills by combining all of my vocational training to date.”
Josie Orams – Sessional worker
Josie studied a BSc in Ecology & Conservation and subsequently worked for ten years as an Environmental Consultant within the contaminated land sector, with training being one of her primary responsibilities. She studied a further BSc in Nutritional Medicine, studying the causes and nutritional influences associated with many modern-day health problems. Josie is now studying for the RHS level 2 in Horticulture and enjoys combining her wide base of theoretical knowledge with new practical gardening and food growing skills.
“Connecting with nature, hands on, is a wonderfully therapeutic practice and provides an opportunity for calming, healing and companionship. It is an honour to be able to share my passions and to be involved in an organisation that seeks to help those who are most vulnerable within urban communities.”
Laura Warren – Sessional Worker
As an outdoor and art educator, Laura has worked with children, adults and volunteers to develop and support their mental well-being, inspire creativity and build resourcefulness through connecting to nature, horticulture and the arts. Laura is a Forest School Practitioner and works for the RSPB.
“I understand the therapeutic qualities of being in nature and love to work with others to grow and cook food together.”
Craig Cheal – Trustee/Treasurer
Craig has worked in the food industry for twenty years within his family business. This has led to him meeting many different businesses and individuals, whilst building long term working relationships in the food service and retail trades.
‘Working for my family’s business has been gratifying and challenging and has enabled an understanding that hard work, having a great team and a shared focus can produce fantastic results. These are attributes I believe are evident at Nurture Through Nature.
Having grown up in the local area I am aware how important access to support and connectivity can be for some people.
I also, through a personal shared allotment, realise the great benefit that working in and with the natural environment can bring somebody.
I am delighted to be able to help the charity in any way I can and am excited to see what we can accomplish collectively and how we can help our community.
Drew Hardy – Chairman/Trustee
Drew has 15 years experience in the environmental sector, specialising in Contaminated Land and other environmental hazards. He holds an MSc in Environmental Management and Assessment, and is an active volunteer with Brighton and Hove Council, helping manage flocks of rare breed sheep on the South Downs to restore chalk downland habitats.
Drew is also an active runner and fundraiser and has run several marathons and extreme running events to raise money for local and national charities. He spent several years on his allotment growing food for himself and friends, concentrating on unusual and heritage varieties of vegetable.
“I know how valuable it is to connect with nature while living in a city. It helps people not only feel part of a community, but also engage in an activity that has real tangible benefits for themselves, and reinforces the link between the food we eat and where it comes from.”
Julie Moase – Trustee
I want to be involved in Nurture Through Nature because I believe in the therapeutic value of gardening and want to support a project that brings that benefit to disadvantaged individuals. I consider it is beneficial for ones self-esteem to grow your own food and to share that produce with others will be very rewarding. I also believe it is hugely important to eat fresh vegetables grown organically and the project provides this to people who would otherwise not afford it.
I have been working as a gardener for 3 years. I work in private gardens tending ornamental gardens mainly. I have City and Guilds Level 2 in Horticulture and RHS Level 3. I work alongside a Head Gardener on a private estate so I am continually receiving training.
My main hobby is my allotment and I seem to be there whenever I am not working. I am constantly learning how to grow, protect and maintain the vegetables. My aim is to grow my own food all year round. I am very interested in self-sufficiency and permaculture. I have attended an introduction to permaculture course and plan to continue with my learning in this area.