Carol completed a degree in psychology at London Guildhall University and worked in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation project. After graduating she continued to work with people with severe mental health issues and eventually managed a residential home for 12 people. She found this job very challenging yet rewarding, after a few years of feeling ‘burnt out’ she was drawn to a more lucrative career in the city of London working in IT support. She diligently worked in IT for 15 years which provided a good solid career path and healthy bank balance, but she wasn’t happy. She didn’t feel nourished and slowly realised that she had stopped doing what
made her feel fulfilled and good about herself. Working in IT simply didn’t move her or give her a sense of real purpose. A very happy coincidence meant that she was made redundant not long after we moved out of London to the East Sussex countryside. She knew that what she needed most was to immerse herself in the beautiful natural surroundings of our new home and to slow down in order to appreciate life more. She took a bold step and set up her own company Mrs Fix-it doing property maintenance which was very successful but after about 7 years she realised it was quite a lonely job and she became quite depressed. At that time I was working with the Wellbeing Collective at Pret supporting homeless people to get back on their feet. Through this Carol got interested in the subject matter of human wellbeing and came to understand that she could change, and that it was only her thoughts that were holding her back. She came to understand that the low times that she experienced did not define her as a person.
Again she took the bold decision to retrain, this time as a wellbeing mentor. After two years of study and practice with the Wellbeing Collective she is now a certified wellbeing practitioner. She has worked with many groups of vulnerable adults (including homeless people and ex-offenders) supporting them to realise their own innate wisdom and wellbeing.
Her passion is to help as many people as possible in their personal development, understanding of themselves, and to help them find happiness and ease in life.
Nicki loves to travel. Before we met, she had travelled extensively as well as completing a degree in English & History. Her passion for nature and animals has always been apparent and is probably the reason she has been a veggie for over 30 years. She worked for Pret A Manger for over 22 years and during that time she had various jobs and continued to study whilst working there. She completed a post-grad certificate in Ecology & Conservation, this led to her being given the opportunity to set up the sustainability function within the business, Pret were pioneering in this area. Nicki completed another post-grad certificate in Sustainable business and was able to create a fantastic strategy with animal welfare standards at the very centre.
As if that wasn’t enough Nicki then grew the Pret foundation from a small charity bank account to a fully-fledged employment programme to help ex-homeless people get back to work. She set up the Pret Charity run where all unsold food was redistributed to local homeless charities and her final flourish was to set up an affordable home to help homeless ex-offenders to get back on their feet and onto the housing ladder. By the time she had finished almost 500 people had been on the employment programmes she created and were back in full-time paid employment.
Whilst Nicki was working with the ex-offenders, she noticed the value of being outside of the city and in the countryside and how it enhanced their wellbeing and she had an idea… Together we created Fisherwood Farm in our own rural home in East Sussex and the rest, as they say, is history.
Fisherwood Farm, Robertsbridge, East Sussex
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