Sheila Bees - Director
I have had a varied and interesting career which began with me studying Crop Protection & Ecology working in Keele and Birmingham University.
I then trained to be an Environmental Health officer and specialised in Public Health & Health Promotion spending 24 yrs at Wycombe District Council. This involved supporting staff and the community by helping them to understand and remove barriers to their wellbeing. My work involved healthy eating, physical activity, loneliness, mental wellbeing and in 2014 I trained to be a Mental Health First Aid trainer (MHFA).
I am now a non-executive Director of Empower to Cook an organisation who believe in changing people through food, teaching people to cook healthy meals on a budget.
For 4 years I developed Community GROW but in 2020 I set up a Community Interest Company called GROW Together which supports people to grow vegetables/flowers, as well as themselves! There are many more facets to these projects, but both are very complimentary to the MHFA initiative, bringing all my interests together.
Richard Andrews - Director
I grew up being used to having a ready supply of home grown vegetables which my father grew in his allotment. This gave me an interest in the food we eat. Over the years I have grown limited fruit and veg at home.
Professionally, I have worked in the UK Water Industry for over 40 years as a civil engineer and project manager. As a project manager my role has been to help staff reach their potential, whilst guiding them to achieve the project objectives. For several years, I have also been mentoring younger engineers.
Having worked on many types of projects, I am adaptable to a variety of roles. Now that I have retired, I look forward to greater involvement in the voluntary sector, in particular utilising my project management and coaching skills. I love learning and endeavour to pass on this enthusiasm to those I work with.
For the last year, I have been working with Sheila initially as part of Community Grow, and in 2020 helping establish Grow Together. This encompasses several interests of mine:: helping people enrich their lives, practical activities related to local food production and maintaining soil health to ensure adequacy of food supplies for future generations.
Charmaine Fyffe - Urban Harvest
Dedicated to supporting others to make permanent, positive changes to their lives spurred Charmaine on to begin Khepera CIC (Khepera means transformation in Egyptian).
Following years of poor health, which interrupted daily activities, work & relationships, Charmaine decided to take control of her health. This led to the realisation that with the correct information and support people can truly transform their health….body, mind & life!!
Since starting Khepera, in 2015, she has been able to educate & support individuals on practical nutrition through cooking, sharing the physical & emotional benefits of optimum health. The confidence gained by making small changes, helped Charmaine to make the necessary lifestyle changes to improve her health & life. Helping others understand that we all have the power within to transform our lives is her mission!!
Xenia Murray - Urban Harvest
I have been foraging from a young age, learning the art from my aunt in Austria. I enjoy regular walks in the Chilterns and surrounding area, which gives me the opportunity to spot ingredients to use in my cooking and preserves.
After a successful career in corporates and charities, I trained at the prestigious Leiths School of Food & Wine obtaining a Diploma with Merit. I also teach at Leiths and am a freelance chef. I have a passion for food education, and believe everyone can cook.