Workshops at NWR Conference 2022

Saturday Workshops

For the workshop session on Saturday afternoon we have five options for you to choose from. We guarantee that there will be something that catches your attention.

1. All the gear but no idea!
Find out Oana Bunduc about the app that digitizes all your clothes and accessories and helps you to reconnect with what clothes you own. Go on a sustainability journey helping you care for what you own, browse more responsible shopping and make the most of your wardrobe!

2. If you go down to the park today….
Urban Green is a charity working with its corporate partners to sustain our parks and green spaces for the future. Businesses are becoming more aware of the responsibilities they have to local communities and Urban Green is working with them to improve our parks. Jack White is involved in this project and hopes to spread the word about how this can work throughout the country.

3. The invasion beneath our feet
We are all aware of the devastation caused by Japanese Knotweed, Rhododendron, Grey Squirrels and Signal Crayfish in our gardens, woodland and waterways but do you know about the alien species lurking beneath our feet?
Our insatiable consumption of garden plants from abroad has led to an invasion of alien flatworm species, including the New Zealand flatworm, which is causing such damage to our native earthworm populations. Come along and hear about Jill McDonald’s research relating to three of our native flatworms, how we can help to prevent the spread of alien invaders, and how you can search for these elusive creatures in your own garden!

4. A stroppy campaigner never gives up
Jasvinder is campaigning to get The Children Act 1989 changed so that it includes and protects the relationship between grandchildren and grandparents, so that safe, established contact can continue even after a breakdown in family relationships. Have you, or someone you know, been in a similar situation? Jasvinder would like to hear your views and to discuss her campaign.
If you would like to know more, or to sign Jasvinder’s petition, go to The petition is called “Stop treating Grandparents as Second-Class citizens!”

5. Consumption and Climate – What we can do to make real change
Northumberland Wildlife Trust is a charity dedicated to protecting the wildlife and wild spaces of our natural world and helping people to get closer to nature. It aims to create a society where nature matters – where people understand the value of nature and take action for it, whether they live in towns and cities, or the countryside. They are part of a grassroots movement working across the UK to make life better – for wildlife, for people and for future generations. They aim to inspire people to value nature on their doorsteps as well as out in the wild through access to visitor centres, over 60 nature reserves, community events, education programmes, volunteering, and campaigns.
Helen Prutzina will help you to learn more about the link between human consumption and the climate, and what we can actually do to help nature and ourselves.

6. Aspects of Family History What do you know about Genealogy? Are you interested in Family History? Do you know where to start? Have you already begun to explore the roots of your Family Tree? Do you know where your grandfather/great grandparents lived in 1921? In this workshop Eilis will explore the answers to these questions about your past – including reference to the 1921 Census.  The content of the workshop will be aimed at the novice as well as the well-researched and practiced. The experts among us can help run it! All you need to bring with you is an interest in the topic, an enquiring mind, and maybe just a few facts about your forebears.

Sunday Workshops

There will be two workshop sessions on Sunday. The workshop options, listed below, are repeated in the second session. You will be asked to select one for session 1 and one for session 2.

1. From Waste to Walls 
James Thomas is a young award-winning environmental artist and a COP26 One Step Greener Ambassador.
When James was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3½ the use of pictures became a means of communication during his early school years. Through his art he highlights issues about the environment and single-use products as he turns things discarded by others into a medium for expression.
The starting point of this whole process is to collect and organise all the pieces of recycled materials he works with. James enjoys creating order out of disorder! Over recent years he has mainly worked with scratch cards but will also consider other materials such as old tickets, leaflets, product packaging and fabrics. All of these can be recycled into commissioned art pieces.

2. Singing with Sandra
Sandra Kerr is folk singer who sings and plays concertina, Appalachian dulcimer, guitar and autoharp. She was a member of The Critics Group from 1963–1972. With John Faulkner, she wrote the music for the TV series Bagpuss and voiced the character of Madeleine Remnant (the rag doll). Sandra has been involved in many programmes for BBC Radio including The Music Box and Listen with Mother
She regularly teaches and leads workshops and is the director of two folk choirs, Wercasfolk and VoiceMale. 
Sandra will teach songs related to the environment: ecology, green energy, environmentally friendly shopping practices and so on. People will not need to read music, nor be asked to sing solo. She’ll make sure that you leave her workshops having had fun. And if you have a Bagpuss bring it along!

3. Shelterbox
Shelterbox is a charity providing shelter, essential items and technical assistance to help some of the world’s most vulnerable people recover and rebuild their homes after disaster.  They listen and adapt their support to the needs of each community, working together with those affected by disaster, alongside their supporters and partners. Peter Tracey will take you through what goes into a Shelterbox and how the items are chosen.

4. Rediscover, Reconstruct
Get creative with making a paper and dried flower arrangement. Lucy Richardson is a creative floral designer, a national demonstrator for the National Association of Flower Arranging Societies, and a workshop tutor. She is a professional florist with 37 years’ experience.
Creating artisan floral and planted designs for corporate, weddings and events that are inspired by colour, technique and nature is her passion. Lucy also designs and makes eclectic crafts with an up-cycled element. 

5. Weighing on your mind Steve is a therapist, clinical hypnotherapist and wellness coach. using a variety of techniques to help a varied client base with challenges they may be facing, including stress, anxiety, trauma, smoking cessation, phobias etc. Many of us seem to have challenges in managing our insatiable consumption of unhealthy and fattening foods. The traditional approach to weight control by limiting our calorie intake, with the resultant yo yo dieting, is not only ineffective in long term weight management, but also unhealthy. For many the missing component was to increase the burning of excess calories by regular exercise. But for many this is still an ineffective strategy of weight management. The missing component is our psychological attachment to unhealthy eating habits. This workshop will look to bridge this gap and explain how, for many, our relationship with food is a key element in a healthy diet.  Our conscious, and sub-conscious, mind influences not only our food consumption, but also success in weight management and control. If weight management is often on your mind this workshop will help you gain a deeper understanding – and maybe lose a few pounds.

6. Our obsession with the insatiable consumption of anxiety Steve is a therapist, clinical hypnotherapist and wellness coach. using a variety of techniques to help a varied client base with challenges they may be facing, including stress, anxiety, trauma, smoking cessation, phobias etc. It is often said that some people seem to have an unlimited ability for their lives to be consumed with anxiety. Recent life experiences, such as Covid, have fuelled a general increase in the number of people experiencing panic attacks and a general underlying level of anxiety. The anxiety, or flight or flight response, has, in evolutionary terms, been vital for our survival. But today this energy is almost insatiably directed towards the world around us, dominated by consumerism, social media and celebrity. This workshop will look at the neuroscience of anxiety, and how this becomes habitual. Learn how we can break this cycle and to reduce anxiety leading to a happier, healthier life. With practical advice and tools, if you have an anxious mind, or are supporting anxiety in your friends and family, then come to this workshop and break free, using practical, medication free techniques that are accessible to all.

The Sunday conference session will finish with a buffet lunch leaving you free to explore Newcastle upon Tyne with us, or alone, for the afternoon.