Meet the Team

Staff Team

Co-founder & Co-ordinator
Helen

Helen co-founded Kindling from a background in grassroots environmental and community activism, having already built on this (along with colleague Chris) to raise over £4 million and carry out an eco refurb of Bridge 5 Mill, the 150 year-old ex-industrial building that Kindling now calls home.

For her, Kindling is another crucial way to tackle “the unjust and damaging nature of the current system”. Something she did in spades whilst accompanying human rights defenders during her year with the “amazing” Peace Brigades International; for which she was jointly awarded the International Service Human Rights Award for Women.

In preparation for Kindling's planned farm, Helen’s building on her MSc in Organic Farming by developing her practical growing experience at our Abbey Leys FarmStart site.

Co-founder & Co-ordinator
Chris

Chris is an accomplished social entrepreneur and pre-Kindling, helped establish two of Manchester’s biggest and best-loved social enterprises; Bridge 5 Mill eco centre (along with colleague Helen) and Fairfield Environment Services. Chris shares his many capabilities with others in the sector, sitting on working groups for the Enlightened Agriculture Fund and Sustain’s Waste Management Social Enterprise group as well as serving as a trustee of Fairfield Environment Trust, which supports organisations making Greater Manchester greener, healthier and more equitable. 

Chris has a background in physics, which might not qualify him terribly for farming and the food sector but has equipped him with a scientific rigour that helps us distinguish between fact and fiction. Why Kindling? “I see good food as a fundamental human right and a powerful force for positive social change”. 

Strategic Development Worker
Emily

Strategic Development Worker Emily is responsible for increasing the effectiveness of Kindling’s projects and developing and implementing organisational strategy. She comes to Kindling with a passion for food sovereignty, having recently finished an MSC in Environmental Politics and Development with a specific focus on food inequality. She is also a practised advocate for social change, having researched and campaigned against food waste with the Trussell Trust.

Emily’s favourite part of the job is “working in such an inspirational environment, with people that consistently challenge norms and conventions about how we as a society eat and what we can do to change it. I feel like I’m part of a movement of do-ers”. 

Communications Co-ordinator
Debs

Debs divides her time between Kindling and Manchester's Unicorn Grocery, the worker co-operative where she has been a member and director since 2004. There she oversees the organisation’s communications, community engagement & marketing output, as well as working daily on the shop floor.  Debs brings to Kindling “a passion and belief in the power of co-operation, particularly when it comes to our food supply”, and recently gained an international perspective on the subject, spending three months learning from thriving food co-ops in North America as part of her Winston Churchill Fellowship.

Back on home turf, when she's not writing an e-bulletin or updating a website, she can often be found climbing trees with her fruit harvesting and distribution project Abundance Manchester

Feeding Stockport Co-ordinator
Lyndsey

Lyndsey facilitates the Feeding Stockport network, bringing together community organisations & enterprises who are working towards a more sustainable food system. She came to Kindling from a background in Business Marketing and with a passion for a revamped food system because “with food being one of our most basic human needs, it made sense to start work at this pillar of the sustainability movement”.

Lyndsey’s previously put her skills to use supporting the creation of a marketing strategy for an organic seaweed company, whose products are now stocked nationwide, and worked to raise funds and awareness of student-run development charity Edinburgh Global Partnerships.

Woodbank Engagement Coordinator
Corrina at FarmStart

Having previously looked after Kindling’s Land Army and developed her skills as a grower on our Farmstart programme, Corrina is now responsible for developing our social prescribing pilot at Woodbank. 

After four years delivering therapeutic gardening sessions with the charity Mind, she’s enjoying combining her growing skills with her interest in health and wellbeing, and believes the holistic approach behind social prescribing is “an important part of what healthcare needs to look like in the future."

She’s inspired by her own "physically and mentally nourishing" experience of growing veg, and the potential of this project to improve wellbeing and alleviate social isolation.

Directors

Helen

Helen co-founded Kindling from a background in grassroots environmental and community activism, having already built on this (along with colleague Chris) to raise over £4 million and carry out an eco refurb of Bridge 5 Mill, the 150 year-old ex-industrial building that Kindling now calls home.

For her, Kindling is another crucial way to tackle “the unjust and damaging nature of the current system”. Something she did in spades whilst accompanying human rights defenders during her year with the “amazing” Peace Brigades International; for which she was jointly awarded the International Service Human Rights Award for Women.

In preparation for Kindling's planned farm, Helen’s building on her MSc in Organic Farming by developing her practical growing experience at our Abbey Leys FarmStart site.

Chris

Chris is an accomplished social entrepreneur and pre-Kindling, helped establish two of Manchester’s biggest and best-loved social enterprises; Bridge 5 Mill eco centre (along with colleague Helen) and Fairfield Environment Services. Chris shares his many capabilities with others in the sector, sitting on working groups for the Enlightened Agriculture Fund and Sustain’s Waste Management Social Enterprise group as well as serving as a trustee of Fairfield Environment Trust, which supports organisations making Greater Manchester greener, healthier and more equitable. 

Chris has a background in physics, which might not qualify him terribly for farming and the food sector but has equipped him with a scientific rigour that helps us distinguish between fact and fiction. Why Kindling? “I see good food as a fundamental human right and a powerful force for positive social change”. 

Emily F

Emily brings vast experience from a different sector to Kindling, having worked for nearly twenty years in the NHS, fifteen of those as a GP in East London. She has extensive experience of working within disadvantaged and deprived communities, has taught refugee doctors preparing them for exams to enable them to work in the UK and has worked with torture survivors at Freedom from Torture.

She recently completed an MSc in Global Public Health and Policy with a focus on health and climate change, and now works for The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare as the clinical programme’s deputy director, working on improving the sustainability of healthcare in research and practice. 

Debs

Debs divides her time between Kindling and Manchester's Unicorn Grocery, the worker co-operative where she has been a member and director since 2004. There she oversees the organisation’s communications, community engagement & marketing output, as well as working daily on the shop floor.  Debs brings to Kindling “a passion and belief in the power of co-operation, particularly when it comes to our food supply”, and recently gained an international perspective on the subject, spending three months learning from thriving food co-ops in North America as part of her Winston Churchill Fellowship.

Back on home turf, when she's not writing an e-bulletin or updating a website, she can often be found climbing trees with her fruit harvesting and distribution project Abundance Manchester

Co-operative enterprises incubated & supported by The Kindling Trust

VBP Co-op Member

Luke is a multi-tasking member of the Veg Box People co-op, and is responsible for developing new collection points and spreading the word about the scheme “so we increase the amount of people who eat local, organic veg!” He’s an experienced co-operator, having co-founded and developed Manchester’s Coffee Cranks co-op, and has also been a steadfast part of the Kindling family for many years, volunteering on the farms, in the office and all sorts in between.

Luke is currently studying part-time for an MSC at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, and contributes fresh thinking, ideas and innovation from the sector into Kindling’s long-term plans for a farm. 

VBP Co-op Member
Bailey

Bailey is a multi-tasking member of the Veg Box People co-op, and as such, her days can include a whole variety of roles, from ordering produce and packing veg bags to chatting with customers and writing the newsletter. Bailey’s interest in a better food system stems from a background in plant science and organic farming, and when she’s not doing any of the above, she can be found helping out at one of the growing sites that supplies the scheme.

“Many people want to know where their food comes from, so for them, our closeness with local farms is really refreshing. It’s inspiring when our customers get excited about local organic food and want to learn more about Kindling and what they can do to help”. 

MVP Co-op Member
David

As a worker member of Manchester Veg People David co-ordinates the collection and distribution of fresh fruit and veg and finds new members and outlets for the co-op’s organic produce, a role that allows him “to meet and work with some truly lovely and well-grounded people.”

He left a role in sales and training for a national company to come to MVP, principally inspired by “the climatic shift taking place on our beautiful blue pearl. The production and localised distribution of organically grown food allows me to make it possible for other people to have a meaningful impact on the huge percentage of dangerous emissions and chemicals that go with the unsustainable globalised food system”. 

The Kindling Trust is a not for profit social enterprise with charitable aims (Company number: 6136029).
Kindling Trust Ltd - Bridge 5 Mill, 22a Beswick Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 7HR