Meet the Team

Helen Woodcock

Helen Woodcock

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. Helen's expertise is in grassroots 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.

Between 2010 and 2012 Helen put her research into practical use, using the lessons learnt to support the development of a new co-operative of local organic growers and buyers: Manchester Veg People, to expand the market for sustainable food in Greater Manchester.

In 2013 she was instrumental in establishing Kindling's FarmStart project with Kirstin and this year (2014) Helen is concentrating on  establishing Kindling's ultimate aim of buying a large farm near Greater Manchester.

Chris Walsh

Chris Walsh.

Co-founder of MERCi and Fairfield Materials Management, Chris is an accomplished social entrepreneur, instrumental in establishing Powwow Eco Arts, Manchester Social Enterprise Forum and has worked for The Ethical Property Company to help establish the Green Fish centre in Manchester.

He has played a role with others to establish Fairfield Bio - a sustainable waste company in Stockport along with Greater Manchester’s first Tree Station- processing arboricultural waste into sustainable bio-mass.

Chris also works freelance carrying out environmental audits and training, strategic planning and business plan development for charities and social enterprises and offers fund-raising advice.

His work at the Kindling Trust is focused on business development and sustainable food and has been instrumental in Stockport joining the Sustainable Food Cities Network. In 2014 he will be concentrating on work within Kindling to further its aim of establishing a farm.

Emily Farrow

Emily Farrow with baby son Ezra.

Emily is a doctor presently working as a GP in East London. She has extensive experience of working with refugees and has taught refugee doctors preparing them for exams to enable them to work in the UK.

She has worked with torture survivors at The Medical Foundation for the care of victims of torture.

Emily has recently taken a break from work and her part-time Fine Art degree to look after a new arrival, a bouncing baby boy. 




Alan Creedon

Alan Creedon & his dog: Suzie.

Alan has been working in the organic food sector in Manchester since 2004 when he joined the Unicorn Grocery team. He became a veg buyer there, having weekly contact with UK growers and learning the market. He also worked on the building team during Unicorn’s expansion and was involved in the planning and contracts side of the building work and the green roof project in 2006/7.

He then left Unicorn Grocery, got married and together with Beth set up Dig Food, an organic food home delivery business, specialising in delivering locally grown produce to homes in Manchester.

Meanwhile the local growers (Glebelands City Growers, Moss Brook Growers, Dunham Massey Organics and Tom Rigby) were talking about working together more cooperatively, Dig got involved, along with the Kindling Trust and Unicorn Grocery, and Manchester Veg People came about. Dig was then passed on and Alan became coordinator of Manchester Veg People between 2010 & 2012.

Today , Alan still plays an active role within Manchester Veg People as a grower at Glebelands City Growers and is a member of Kindling's steering group.

Fiona Dunk

Fiona Dunk

Fiona is the Forgotten Field's Project Co-ordinator and has been responsible for the delivery of this food heritage project over the last two years, having worked with the Kindling Trust to develop food heritage initiatives with communities in Whalley Range, Cheetham Hill and Norris Bank, Stockport.

Fiona has 15 years experience of community development and education work in Manchester, focused on sustainable development issues - running food, inter-generational and heritage projects.

Fiona is also a director of Ashton's Wooden Canal Boat Society.

Nona Ethington

Nona Ethington

Nona completed an Erasmus Mundus Master’s in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management in 2011. This course allowed her the opportunity to study in Hungary, Greece, and at the University of Manchester.

She spent a couple of summers WWOOFing in Poland and carried out her graduate research there. Her thesis was entitled Developing Agro-environmental Policies: Interactions between the Polish People and the State.

Her interests include growing, cooking and eating food and engaging others around this issue. Since settling in Manchester she has been involved in Land Army and Feeding Manchester.

She currently works for Moss Brook Growers and  Feeding Manchester.

Kirstin Glendinning

Kirstin Glendinning

Kirstin moved to Manchester in 2012, after 8 years working on an organic farm in West Yorkshire where she set up a Community Supported Agriculture scheme for the farm’s two acre walled garden. As well as growing fruit and vegetables, she worked as a general farm hand, kept goats and sheep, and made cheese for sale through the farm shop and at farmers markets throughout Yorkshire.

She has just finished a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship which took her to Uganda, Kenya and Canada to study part-time agriculture, and a Nuffield Farming scholarship looking at farming on the urban fringe in Brazil, Sydney, China and Taiwan.

After running Kindling's Big Big programme supporting urban community gardens for two years, she is now focused on running FarmStart Manchester - the UK's first incubator farm modeled on a successful Canadian concept.

Corrina Low

Corrina Low

Since moving to Manchester in 2008, Corrina has worked on a number of community food projects, including the Herbie Fruit and Veg van project and the ‘Whalley Range Grow Your Own’ community allotment.

Corrina worked for the charity MERCi for 3 years and was involved in a broad range of work including seeking to establish a more sustainable food supply for deprived areas of Manchester, promoting low-impact living, including recycling and sustainable transport and highlighting the need for more fair-trade.

Corrina has lots of experience of volunteer work, having volunteered with Action for Sustainable Living and most recently spending most of 2012 volunteering through WWOOF on a number of organic farms and markets gardens in the Netherlands and Wales.

Through this experience of working on organic farms, and participating in the Kindling Trust's Commercial Organic Horticulture course, Corrina has also gained a good understanding of the work involved in running a small-scale food growing business and the needs of the growers.

Her role within Kindling is to co-ordinate the Land Army and support volunteers as well as being the Allotment and Gardening Co-ordinator at Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind.

Jemma Grime

Jemma Grime

Kindling’s Feeding Stockport Co-ordinator Jemma lives and works in Stockport.

Food Scientist by background and Vice Chair of the North of England Branch of the Institute of Food Science and Technology.

Previously worked at the School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds working on business development and employability enhancement within the food industry, public and third sectors. Before that Jemma successfully managed food projects working with hundreds of businesses in the Greater Manchester region on everything from procurement, preparation, production and food offering in order to improve the health and sustainability of the food system in and around Wigan.

Jemma also contributed to guidance produced by the Food Standard’s Agency, Department of Health and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities on heathier catering practices. Jemma has worked across the food system from family businesses to national manufacturers and is keen to help the food system evolve to improve Stockport’s food security for the years ahead.

Debbie Clarke

Debbie Clarke

Debs has been a member of Unicorn Grocery  workers co-operative in Chorlton for the past ten years, working in various areas of the business and specialising in education and marketing. This role ranges from working on marketing strategy to looking after Unicorn’s social media, website, customer communications, campaigns, media and events.

She also manages Unicorn’s charitable funds, and has developed long-term relationships between Unicorn and various food projects in the global south, including the El Salvador Permaculture Institute whom she visited in 2008.  Debs has helped produce Unicorn’s ‘Grow a Grocery’ guide (a free toolkit developed to help others set up worker co-op groceries along similar lines), and oversees the support and advice offered by Unicorn to start-ups.

Debs is a founder member of fruit harvesting project Abundance Manchester, and runs their Kenworthy Orchard project, restoring and maintaining a community orchard in South Manchester. She worked for a year as North West Food Co-ops Advisor for Sustain as part of the Making Local Food Work programme, and is currently working with others to establish the Wholefood Shops Action Network, which aims to support shops in their role as hubs in the movement for a better food system.

Having worked informally with Kindling over the past five years, Debs became a director in 2013. She hopes to assist with Kindling’s goal to establish a farm near Greater Manchester.

Sonya Lopez

Sonya Lopez

Sonya has long been interested and affected, both personally and professionally, in sustainability issues and has a burgeoning interest in sustainable food systems and practices.

She has a strong background in urban planning and worked for nearly eight years on projects aimed at changing urban development patterns in response to population growth, traffic issues, and environmental concerns.

Her goal is to continue to use her past knowledge and experience towards the development of the sustainable food sector and agenda and is currently working with like minded folks at The Kindling Trust and other social enterprises. Sonya is also very passionate about the local food economy and is hoping to soon start-up a mushroom growing workers co-operative.

The Kindling Trust is a not for profit social enterprise with charitable aims (Company number: 6136029).
Kindling Trust Ltd - Unit 19, 41 Old Birley St, Hulme, Manchester. M15 5RF