Shift Bristol CIC is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company. We provide affordable and accessible training to people wanting to create positive change in their lives and communities. Our style of education emphasizes empowerment and connection and students learn not only how to understand and do useful things but also how to collaborate effectively to take action.
Since 2004 Laura has volunteered with a host of community engagement and sustainability groups; including co-founding Transition Keynsham, Frack Free Somerset and participating in Climate Action camps and demonstrations. In 2010 she co-founded Shift Bristol with Sarah Pugh and went on to project manage the Practical Sustainability Course, until starting her family and moving to Frome in 2013. In 2020 Laura returned to Shift Bristol to help navigate the changing goal posts of the Coronavirus pandemic.
She is passionate about self-empowerment and the power of network collaboration and is driven to further the positive influence and impact of Shift Bristol's activities on the local community and beyond. In 2022 she bittersweetly took up the Creative Director gauntlet from Sarah Pugh.
Bryher worked as project manager of the Practical Sustainability Course from 2017-2021; fresh from co-ordinating volunteers for the Permaculture Association International Convergence and several years working with forest schools. She has since worked as a Campaign Manager for Green Party during its 2021 election campaign and is now an Outreach Coordinator for the Landworkers Alliance's 'Future Farming Resilience' project. Through collaboration and connections fused during Shift Bristol roundhouse builds, Bryher co-founded ShelterCraft with a team of experienced builders, teachers, organisers and facilitators in 2022.
Alex worked as project manager of the Practical Sustainability Course from 2019-2022; after completing the PSC as a student. Alex works as a human rights translator and interpreter for Amnesty International. She is also a board member of Sims Hill Harvest Community Supported Agriculture project, and a resident member of the Merry Hill Self-Build Housing Development. She continues her life-long joy of learning through applying permaculture principles to her allotment and love of foraging.
The Practical Sustainability Course
Permaculture Design / Soil & Ecology - Lead tutor
Caroline is the director and primary design consultant of
Whitefield Permaculture. Caroline originally trained with Patrick Whitefiled before working alongside him, and has a background in design, organic farming, horticulture and eco-catering.
Her experience includes managing 2 acres of intensive organic vegetable production within a small mixed farm, managing 5 acres of ornamental and food gardens at a meditation retreat centre, and catering for groups, courses and retreats. Since she began teaching in 2008, she has worked at a wide range of educational centres from farms to universities, working alongside many inspiring people in her drive to spread positive solutions for food production and land use. More recently, Caroline has branched into educational consultancy to further these aims, including the design and development of a ground-breaking undergraduate course: BSc Sustainable Food and Farming for Schumacher College, Dartington- the first degree of its kind in the UK.
Group Dynamics - Lead tutor
Danny is a creative facilitator dedicated to ecological justice, community empowerment and facilitating systemic change. He explores human relationships with the world and each other through a combination of activism, participatory arts projects and community building, and has supported many organisations as a professional facilitator and trainer. His background is in immersive theatre, storytelling and film, and he is passionate about inclusive, experiential tools for participatory democracy.
Based in Bristol, Danny is a dedicated Shifty and has been part of the Shift Facilitation Team for over 5 years. He is also a Director of Coexist, through which he is launching a project called The Bristol Commons - a community-building initiative bringing people from diverse groups into dialogue together through a cultural programme of events and community conversations around Rebuilding the Commons. He is also a founder of arts-activism collective CoResist, and a contributor on organisational change programmes such as Craigberoch’s Decelerator Lab and a Programme Lead and Trainer at the transformative youth organisation LIFEbeat.
Kizzie's background is largely in freelance gardening on a domestic scale, and also growing organically and biodynamically on a commercial scale, here in Bristol, in Herefordshire and in Brighton, where she lived as a student. In 2018 Kizzie became a 'Shifty 9-er' as a student on the Practical Sustainability Course. In 2020 she left Bristol and slowly moved north into the mountains of Snowdonia - gardening, foraging, printmaking, swimming up currents - but after a colossal bike adventure along the coasts of Southern Europe, early in 2022, she has returned to Bristol to set down roots and become co-facilitator of the Practical Sustainability Course - She rocks!
Tutors & Practitioners
The Practical Sustainability Course is delivered by an ever-evolving cracking team of over 40 tutors and practitioners. Who bring with them their passion, expertise, knowledge and pioneering spirit. All tutors apply their knowledge on the ground, so their information is fresh, dynamic and adaptive. They believe in working collaboratively and with and/or for meeting the needs of communities. 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 their projects.
The Permaculture Design Courses are taught by Permaculture Tutor Tammi Dallaston and Facilitator Rosie Fieldhouse.
Sarah Pugh 1971-2022 : Visionary & Founder
Shift Bristol was visioned and co-founded by Sarah Pugh in 2010. The Practical Sustainability Course is a progression of the annual Permaculture Design Courses Sarah delivered in Bristol and around the UK from 2004.
Sarah Pugh lived and worked in Bristol from 1997, starting out as a community gardener, fundraiser and activist. She founded the Bristol Permaculture Group - an active network of over 2,000 people practising sustainable growing and living in the city, and in 2007 set up the first Transition City; Transition Bristol.
She developed her love of teaching permaculture through facilitating Patrick Whitefield's Sustainable Land Use course and Mike Feingold's Permaculture Design course. Sarah then went on to lead her own style of Permaculture Design courses, which emphasised working together to develop productive, resilient and abundant urban landscapes and communities. She was a hardworking single mum to her boy, Albie and until 2020 she was the Lead Tutor and Creative Director of the Practical Sustainability Course.
Very sadly and far too soon Sarah passed away in 2022, after a two year journey with brain cancer. Her infectious enthusiasm, proactive no-nonsense approach, and vision for collaborative action live on through the network of the thousands of lives she touched.
Hear Sarah talk here;
Seasonal Board of Advisors