Shift Bristol CIC is a not for profit Community Interest Company. We provide affordable, accessible and enjoyable training to people wanting to create positive change to their lives, environment, communities and the planet. We offer no-nonsense, practical training with an emphasis on community empowerment and just getting on with it.
Our students come from all walks of life and age groups. They work together to learn not only how to understand and do useful things, but also how to collaborate and take effective action.
Shift Bristol was set up in 2010 by Sarah Pugh and Laura Corfield. The Practical Sustainability Course was a progression of the annual Permaculture Design Courses they delivered in Bristol from 2004.
Sarah Pugh has lived and worked in Bristol since 1997. She worked as the Community Gardener at Easton Community Centre, organised events and fundraised for St Werburghs City Farm and various roles in the voluntary sector. She is a founder member of the Bristol Permaculture Group - an active network of over 2,000 people practising sustainable growing and living in the city. In 2007 she set up Transition Bristol, the first Transition City. She coordinated this project as a volunteer until she had a baby in 2009 and went on to create Shift Bristol. She is the lead tutor and creative director of the Practical Sustainability Course as well as teaching other courses, including the Permaculture Design and Effective Collaboration Courses. She's also a single mum.
Laura left in 2013 to start a family, and now with two smalls in tow she is back aboard the Shifty wagon (albeit via Zoomsphere) to help navigate Shift through the challenges of the pandemic. Alongside facilitating permaculture courses Laura has volunteered with a host of community engagement and sustainability groups; including founding Transition Keynsham and participating in Climate Action camps and demonstrations.
During Laura's hiatus she was succeeded by Iain Stewart, a medical herbalist and previous Shift student. He brought new skills and expertise to the team. He left in 2017 to pursue his herbal practice and other projects, including promoting the film 'In Our Hands' with the Landworkers' Alliance.
Bryher Bloor joined the team in 2017 fresh from co-ordinating volunteers for the Permaculture Association International Convergence and several years working with forest schools. She co-steered the Shift ship for three years, during which she brought her own brand of calm efficiency to the Shift adventure. She has continued to project manage the PSC roundhouse build.
Alex Reuer came on board in 2019 as facilitator and systems-officer-in-chief. A former Shift student, she has volunteered and worked for the Landworkers’ Alliance and sits on the board of Sims Hill Shared Harvest. She navigates the new waters of online and in-person course delivery.
We have a cracking team of over 40 tutors and practitioners who bring their passion, expertise and knowledge to the course. All our tutors are working in the field they teach, so their information is fresh, dynamic and direct from the real world. We visit many of them in their natural environment so we get to see the successes, challenges and results of their work as we tour gardens, farms, sewage systems, energy projects and homes.