A short bio:
Elizabeth is a writer, coach, facilitator, walk leader and elected District Councillor. She has experience in international and community development, organisational leadership, climate strategy, writing and coaching. She has lived, worked and researched around the world.
The longer journey...
I'm Elizabeth. I like books and writing and being outdoors. I'm curious, creative and thoughtful, and I like to make connections between ideas, possibilities and people. I can spot patterns and hear what's not being said, and I bring this to my coaching and facilitation. I value integrity, kindness and curiosity.
At school I was good at science, and I liked people. I was also creative. Becoming a doctor seemed like a secure career path. But one trip to Zambia and half a medical degree later, I realised there were other ways to help, heal and restore not just people, but communities and the natural world too.
I switched paths and got a degree in Biology, which has supported my love of the natural world. I then worked with charities, travelled, and did an MSc in International Development. My research thesis was on the rehabilitation of child soldiers in Northern Uganda. I continued working with organisations internationally, which involved travel and included living in Zambia for a time, too.
I worked with Resurgence Magazine (now Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine), and became Deputy Editor. I'm still an occasional Contributing Editor at the Ecologist, and I also write freelance essays and book reviews including for Caught by the River, Plough Magazine, Spelt Magazine, Geographical Magazine, Dartmoor Magazine and others. (As of 2022 I've also launched an irregular newsletter, which you can sign up for by clicking here).
I then worked with a small organisation that wanted to establish itself. I developed it to become a registered charity, Arukah Network, and led it for a time after that. Work included travel to India, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and Sierra Leone. I still coach members of Arukah today.
I did some coach training and loved it; it's a skill which I deeply value and think the world needs more of - at its heart, it's about deeply listening and finding a way forward. I've coached school pupils, managers, and organisations working for social impact. I then did more advanced training with the Animas Centre for Coaching.
I've spoken at events, hosted panel discussions, and facilitated organisation 'away days'. With a coaching friend, I created and facilitated nature-based coaching workshops, and we also created a podcast that explores the power of the natural world to inform and inspire.
In 2019 I was asked if I'd stand in the local elections, and was subsequently (and unexpectedly) elected onto my District Council. I jumped in to the role - what a great opportunity to support and shape my local community. Soon after, I was asked to take on the new role of 'Cabinet Member for Climate Change', during which time I led the creation of a climate action plan, and worked to increase community engagement at the Council. I've become increasingly interested and involved in regenerative farming locally and nationally.
I like to travel, meet people and hear their stories. I've travelled to Japan to document the impact of the 2011 tsunami one year on; Ghana to explore the impact of unfair trade; and South Africa to document the impact of tourism on the Venda tribe.
I've always enjoyed walking and being outdoors. I wanted to support others to do so too, as well as take some of my work outdoors, so in 2021 I trained to become a 'Hill and Moorland Leader', accredited by Mountain Training. Since then, I've done part time freelance work with outdoor centres on Dartmoor. I also offer walks to individuals and groups, including coaching clients.
Some of my paths have been planned, some unplanned, some have opened up as I've pushed doors, and some I make up as I go. But I think the threads that tie my journey together are curiosity, community, creativity, a love of people and nature, and a desire for authenticity and meaningful work.
Now, with my Council term coming to an end in May 2023, I'm focusing more of my time on writing plus some outdoor and coaching work. Get in touch if you'd like to work with me.
Qualifications & training
BSc in Biological Sciences (2:1)
MSc in International Development (distinction)
ICF-accredited Diploma in Transformational Coaching
Hill & Moorland Leader, accredited by Mountain Training (plus outdoor first aid certificate)
ICF-recognised Certificate in Group Coaching & Facilitation
MOE-certified coach, accredited by the Institute of Leadership Management and Association for Coaching
Climate Change Coaches training
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), and a member of the Society of Authors
NCTJ Photojournalism accreditation
I'm an alumna of the Rural Writing Institute, taught by authors James Rebanks and Kathryn Aalto