Meet the team
Kindling Trust Team
Helen co-founded Kindling in 2007 from a background in grassroots environmental and community activism. She was instrumental in raising £4 million to develop and eco-refit Bridge 5 Mill, a 150 year-old former Silk Mill that Kindling now calls home.
For Helen, 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 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 Woodbank growing site.
Chris is an accomplished social entrepreneur and has helped establish two of Manchester’s biggest and best-loved social enterprises; Bridge 5 Mill eco-centre (along with co-founder Helen) and Fairfield Environment Services. He then went on to co-found Kindling in 2007, when "a group of like-minded people came together to explore solutions to our increasingly industrialised food system and the health and economic inequities it produces.”
Chris also sits on the working groups for the Enlightened Agriculture Fund and Sustain’s Waste Management Social Enterprise group, and was a Trustee of the Real Farming Trust. He is a director of Bridge 5 Mill and is a Trustee of the Fairfield Environment Trust, which supports organisations making Greater Manchester greener, healthier and more equitable.
Having previously looked after Kindling’s Land Army and developed her skills as a grower over three years on our FarmStart programme, Corrina is now responsible for coordinating our Health and Wellbeing work at Woodbank.
The Grow, Cook & Eat programme which Corrina has been developing over the last three years, looks at how growing, cooking and eating food with others can be a catalyst for improved mental and physical wellbeing. The combination of food growing and wellbeing is one which suits Corrina’s skills, knowledge and experience to a tee. Outside of her work with Kindling, Corrina spent several years working in therapeutic horticulture and recently completed three years of training to qualify as a Counsellor.
As the Cooking Session Leader, Sam develops and delivers community cookery sessions at the Woodbank Community Food Hub as part of the Big Lottery funded social prescribing programme, More Than Medicine. Her role involves working with our growers to develop seasonal recipes, find ways to use any produce gluts, as well as supporting the development of the Veg Box People veg bag scheme in the Stockport area
As our FarmStart Coordinator, Helen works with aspiring organic growers at Woodbank’s FarmStart site, supporting them to develop the many skills needed to become competent and able growers.
Helen is passionate about food growing and creating environments that inspire and support positive learning experiences. She has over 20 years’ of growing experience, gained through juggling a myriad of roles; from running courses and training, setting up community growing spaces with The Federation of City Farms and Gardens and managing an Eco Centre.
Matt is based at Kindling’s Community Food Hub in Woodbank Park in Stockport. You can find him working alongside others in the community garden, stooped over a screen putting together events and workshops, or developing the site into a space for growing, learning and coming together.
When not busy in the back office, he is out and about across the site, helping maintain its infrastructure and working on projects to transform the old council plant nursery into an exciting place for organic veg growing for Stockport, Greater Manchester and beyond.
Our Communications Officer, Lizzy, joined Kindling Trust because of the incredible positive change that they have already brought to Manchester, and the huge potential they have in influencing the food system in the North West. She believes that food and land use are at the heart of this global climate, ecological, and humanitarian crisis that we are facing, and wants to be a part of the change.
She was part of the People & Planet Society at the University of Manchester, and got elected as the Activities Officer on a sustainability manifesto, where she collaborated with Kindling Trust on various events. She was also an early member of Extinction Rebellion, founded XR Manchester, and has played a big part in this global movement demanding system change.
After 3 years as a self-employed edible/wildlife-friendly gardener and project leader, Tom has joined our team at the Woodbank Community Food Hub as a coordinator. He is responsible for working with our volunteers to maintain and improve the site, as well as planning events, workshops and courses. Tom is working to turn the site into a self-sufficient example of sustainable growing, a source of educational opportunities (as well as organic food) for the local area, and a hub of activity for the whole community.