Helen co-founded MERCi - Manchester's first Centre for Sustainable Living, helping to raise over three million pounds and project managing the refurbishment of the five storey mill. Helen's expertise is in grassroots community development – helping to establish projects including fruit & vegetable delivery service HERBIE in East Manchester as well as supporting a number of community projects in Ancoats - and helping win a Britian In Bloom Urban Regeneration award.
Helen spent 2005/06 in Guatemala working with Peace Brigades International, jointly winning the International Service Human Rights Award For Women in 2006 with Guatemalan activist Dominga Vasquez . Hear her interview on Radio 4's Women's Hour.
In July 2010 Helen was awarded Master of Science in Organic Farming at distinction level from the Scottish Agricultural College. The MSc project was titled 'Finding a sustainable food system for Manchester: Exploring a successful trading model to increase access to sustainable fruit and vegetables in Greater Manchester'.
Between 2010 and 2012 Helen put her research to practical use, using the lessons learnt to support the development of Manchester Veg People, a new co-operative of local organic growers and buyers, in order to to expand the market for sustainable food in Greater Manchester. Helen continues to support MVP both as a grower member of the committee and working on the sustainable public sector menus project.
In 2013 she was instrumental in establishing Kindling's FarmStart project and, with Chris and Corrina, is learning about stockfree production on 1/4 of an acre. This year (2014) Helen is concentrating on establishing Kindling's ultimate aim of buying a large farm near Greater Manchester.