Helen is a co-founder of MERCi - Manchester's first Centre for Sustainable Living, helping to raise over three million pounds and project managing the refurbishment of the five story mill. Helens expertise is in grass roots community development – helping to establish projects including a fruit & vegetable delivery service HERBIE - in East Manchester, as well as supporting a number of community projects in Ancoats - winning a Britian In Bloom Urban Regeneration award.
Helen spent 2005/06 in Guatemala working with Peace Brigades International, jointly winning the International Service Human Rights Award For Women in 2006, with Guatemalan activist Dominga Vasquez . Hear her interview on Radio 4's Women's Hour.
In July 2010 Helen was awarded Master of Science in Organic Farming at distinction level from the Scottish Agricultural College. The MSc project was titled: Finding a sustainable food system for Manchester: Exploring a successful trading model to increase access to sustainable fruit and vegetables in Greater Manchester. Helen is now putting the research to more practical use, using the lessons learnt to support the development of a new co-operative of local organic growers and buyers: Manchester Veg Peoepl, and aiming to expand the market for sustainable food in Greater Manchester. This year Helen is also working on the Sustainable Fayre soup pilot project, as well as focusing on developing Kindling and working with partner projects in Manchester.