Speakers 2020

Dr Rod Everett

Dr Rod Everett is an organic farmer from Roeburndale. He grows heritage apples and makes organic cider vinegar by engaging with the wildlife and ecological diversity on the farm. He is passionate about moving the farming and food system towards one where health of consumers, health of livestock, health of crops, health of the ecological web and health of the soil all work together.

Sue Garner

Sue Garner started to practise yoga in India in 1991 and has been teaching for over 20 years. She currently offers private classes, one-to-one classes, and sessions for NHS staff and CancerCare clients. Her teaching approach is simple and gentle, helping each person to find their own way to enjoy and benefit from yoga.

Melanie Fryer

Melanie Fryer is an environmental enthusiast with a background in conservation and farming. She sits on the steering group of the Northern Real Farming Conference and is a member of FoodFutures, North Lancashire’s Sustainable Food Partnership.

Dr Dionysios Touliatos

Dr Dionysios (Dennis) Touliatos coordinates the Lancaster Seed Library and is an interdisciplinary researcher with a background in plant biology and environmental social sciences. Dennis currently works as a Research Assistant at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience on the European Horizon 2020 project Organic-PLUS , investigating fossil-fuel free plastic alternatives, peat-free alternatives and vegan fertilisers for organic growers.

Elaine Graham

Elaine Graham of Tiger Lily Mindfulness & Meditation was introduced to meditation four years ago by her pain consultant, to manage her chronic pain. She developed her own daily meditation practice and  began to learn different styles of meditation. Her daily meditation practice helped her to cope with chronic pain and associated anxiety and depression, so she trained with the British School of Meditation to become an accredited teacher.

Leah Dalby

Leah Dalby has over 35 years of experience of physiotherapy with special interest in women’s health, scarring (especially after breast cancer) gynaecological cancers, head and neck cancers, pain and the brain, death and dying.

Aaron Cummins

Aaron Cummins was appointed Chief Executive of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust in March 2018 after first joining in January 2014 as Director of Finance/Deputy Chief Executive. Previously, he has been Director of Finance/Deputy Chief Executive of Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, and Director of Finance at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (LHCH). Aaron has also held a number of national roles including chair of the Foundation Trust Network Finance Directors’ Forum and the Government Procurement Services (GPS) Customer Board, as well as being a member of the National Procurement Council.

Tara Time Collective

Tara Time Collective, a timebank, is a mutual support network for the exchange of skills and services in Lancaster and District focusing particularly on health and wellbeing. We are newly established in response to the current challenges facing our community and we are working closely with the Council and all local community and voluntary sector organisations working around health and wellbeing. The timebank is an initiative of the Tara Project Lancaster CIC, an established community organisation dedicated to promoting love and kindness.

Claver Hill

Claver Hill hosts a number of community projects on its six-acre field off Ridge Lane in Lancaster. These include a nature trail, seed saving project, a flower farm, beehives and a community-grown agriculture project and tree nursery. The site is dedicated to giving local people the opportunity to learn how to grow their own food and reconnect with nature and each other.

Sewing Cafe Lancaster

Sewing Cafe Lancaster promotes wellbeing and advocates sustainability through skill sharing across the community. They provideopportunities to develop sewing skills, and an awareness of sustainability. The also develop, produce and sell goods, and facilitate workshops to enable economic wellbeing.

Change Talks

Change Talks is an educational programme delivered throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria, with a key aim to prevent mental health problems. The Change Talks programme has reached over 35,000 11-18-year-olds since the beginning of 2018. Since the lockdown, Sam  and a colleague designed an online webinar called the Mental Health Family Hour to help educate people about taking care of their mental health at home. These weekly webinars reached over 8,000 people and teach positive coping strategies.

Liz McWatt

Liz McWatt is a Nutritional Therapist, Homeopath and Shamanic Practitioner based in Kendal. Liz believes that good nutrition is the foundation of physical and mental wellbeing. She works with clients who have a wide range of health conditions, helping them to take control of their health and wellbeing. She is passionate about all the therapies she offers; each of them having been instrumental in bringing tremendous benefits to her personally. Liz aims to walk the talk, leading a life that includes good food, a healthy lifestyle and living in communion with nature and animals.

The ZERO Carbon Centre

The ZERO Carbon Centre aims to get creative with the way we tackle climate change and create sustainable systems for living, working and playing. The system upon which all others depend is the system of the planet itself, and The ZERO Carbon Centres believes that we need to stop harming it and start repairing it, focussing on what they believe to be the single most pressing task: to reduce humanity’s atmospheric carbon footprint.

Martin Paley

Martin Paley is FoodFutures Food and Environment Coordinator; coordinating work that seeks to reduce the ecological footprint of our local food system. As part of this role, Martin is setting up Lancaster District’s gleaning network; rescuing and distributing seasonal surpluses from local farms.

Gabriela Toledo-Ortiz

Gabriela Toledo-Ortiz is a lecturer in Plant Science at Lancaster Environment Centre. She is interested in addressing the challenges that climate change imposes on the nutritional content of the vegetables we eat. In particular, her research focuses on the environmental modulation of vitamin production in plants, including important edible crops such as tomato cultivars. Breeding of modern tomato varieties leads to a loss of environmental resilience traits, and agrodiversity is one of the tools still at hand to re-incorporate stress tolerance. Yet these biological resources of global importance are threatened by global markets, industrial agriculture and seed bio-piracy. Gabriela has set up a global centre of tomato domestication in Mexico, with hundreds of varieties adapted to a wide range of climates. She aims to develop an urgent in-situ conservation program to preserve and characterize these resources for future generations.

Anna Clayton

Anna Clayton sits on the management committee of Claver Hill Community Food Project and is a member of Spud Club (a community grown agriculture scheme) and Lancaster Seed Library. For the past ten years Anna has worked on a variety of community food and environmental initiatives and currently coordinates FoodFutures: North Lancashire’s Sustainable Food Network. Anna also works part time as a Worker Director, Writer and Researcher at Ethical Consumer Magazine.


Sarah Drake

Sarah first came across Cancercare seven years ago following her own Breast Cancer diagnosis. Sarah’s family have used Cancercare’s services time and time again and have been cushioned with the support and advice they have been given throughout that torrid time. Sarah wanted to give something back and volunteered full time for two years. In that time she helped form the Phoenix group, helped create the Knocker Jotter and host the ‘Phoenix from the Flames’ ball. In March Sarah was lucky enough to be taken on as a member of staff with the Charity and now works as an Engagement and Development Officer at Cancercare.

David James

David James been a counsellor with Cancercare for six years now, working with adults and young people coping with loss or dealing with a life limiting disease. He has been a listening volunteer with Samaritans and has worked as a school counsellor. David has always enjoyed listening to other people and feels amazed to now be able to do it as a job. “Working with the people I do is such a privilege as I witness their strength and courage in dealing with the fear or worry” commented David.

Charlie Gray

Charlie Gray is the North England coordinator of the UK and Ireland Seed Sovereignty Programme, a programme  run by The Gaia Foundation. Charlie has been working on food systems for more than 10 years in Yorkshire, supporting community growers and connecting with allotmenteers and farmers. She is based at Horton Community Farm Cooperative where she coordinates seed-saving and co-founded and works cooperatively with various food organisations locally as well as permaculture networks nationally. She is an ethnobotanist by training and interested in the power of seed sovereignty to transform food systems and build community resilience.

Karen Oliver

Karen Oliver works as a GP at Lancaster Medical Practice and Cancer Lead GP at Morecambe Bay commissioning group. She has worked in the areas of living with and beyond cancer as well as the area of early diagnosis and attended the Macmillan National GP conference to keep up to date with what is happening in other areas.


Alison Scott

Alison Scott, Lead Cancer Nurse, has worked in Morecambe Bay for 39 years. Her career has mainly been in Cancer Nursing.  Alison was the Ward Sister on the Oncology Unit at Royal Lancaster Infirmary prior to becoming the Lead Cancer Nurse.  Alison has also spent time working with the Integrated Care Communities and Population Health Team in Morecambe Bay.

The Health Innovation Campus

The Health Innovation Campus (HIC) at Lancaster University has been developed to serve as a hub for local businesses, charities, researchers, academics, healthcare professionals, local authorities and policy-makers to collaboratively tackle some of the significant healthcare challenges of our time. Join the #HICommunity to become part of an innovation ecosystem which offers the chance to join large project consortia, fully-funded business support and opportunities to work with leading researchers, academics and students.

Suzee Tylee

Suzee Tylee is a Nutritional Therapist who trained with the College of Naturopathic Medicine in Bristol. She has developed her own established Clinic Nourish -Lancaster in the North West of England where she currently delivers one to one 12 week Gut Transformation programmes based on the principles of Functional Medicine. Suzee is one of the only practitioners in the area able to offer private functional lab testing to support targeted treatment protocols. In her own desire to achieve optimum wellness Suzee has emerged as an alcohol free ambassador. She is also proud to work for CancerCare offering specialist nutritional support to those living with life limiting illnesses. Suzee passionately imparts the importance of clients taking back ownership of their own health.