How did you learn about Art of Hosting (please add the date and place) and what attracted you to it?
Through my former colleague Shoron Moreham, who brought AoH practices (2008) to the team I currently work with. I attended the recent 3 day AoH training in Kortenberg (Sept 2010), just outside of Brussels. Prior to this I attended a graphic facilitation course with Nick Payne and Rowan Simonsen.
I am an experienced facilitator, and have used a few of the techniques over the past two years, however from this recent training onwards I aim to use and practice the techniques and approach as a core tool and aspect within my work and aim to invite other colleagues to join in wih this adventure.
What is the primary field/topic/focus in your hosting work?
Much of my current work focuses on supporting people with experience of mental distress to challenge mental health discrimination for themselves (www.open-up.org.uk, www.time-to-change.org..uk, www.mind.org.uk). I am at a pivotal point in my career when I feel there is a need for me to refocus my energy into supporting mental health organisations to move towards a culture of working alongside their beneficiaries, rather than working on their behalf. Previously my energy has been directed at people with lived experience themselves.
I also work as a freelance qualitative researcher and consultant, and am keen to bring a wider range of inclusive and participatory practices into my work.
Where do you live/work?
Are there interests/passions that you'd like to share?
I regularly practice yoga and meditation. I've just bought a new bike and am enjoying the time and space this gives me prior to entering my workplace. I love the NW of Scotland, walking in mountains and swimming in the sea. I dabble in photography, drawing, knitting and crochet.