The work listed on this site is held by a team of people, some in Devon. Here’s a bit about us..
Sophy Banks: Lead facilitator
Sophy’s eclectic life has included time as a therapist, family constellator, radical footballer, community activist, engineer, computer trainer, and more.
She is deeply committed to creating healthy human culture at all levels of scale, and sees that shared practices to express and hear our grief is a fundamental part of what brings us to right relationship to ourselves and those around us. This work of surfacing, witnessing and making meaning of our pain is crucial to transforming the systems of harm that abound in our world – and creating healthy relationships with ourselves, other people, and the wider living systems of the planet. You can find out more about Sophy’s work on healthy human culture here.
Her understanding of the importance of shared grief work started through attending workshops of Joanna Macy and Sobonfu Some and continued in more recent work with Maeve Gavin. She has offered this work with Jeremy since 2013.
In 2006 as Transition Town Totnes was coming into being Sophy co-founded the “Heart and Soul” group, addressing the inner aspects of re-imagining and rebuilding resilient, local ways of living. As the global Transition movement came into life she helped set up Transition Training, and shared this positive, holistic model for creating a vibrant future with groups around the world.
She lives in Devon, where she grows fruit, vegetables and friendships, and can still just about get up the hills on her bike.
Jeremy Thres: Lead facilitator
Founder of not for profit organisation Regenco, Jeremy’s interest in regenerating and reintegrating Land, People and Spirit led him to be involved in wilderness oriented rites of passage work and it was within that that he first learned the importance of grief tending. Alone in the wilds he was able to release pent up grief held from many years before, and with that release something else could flood in. Internally though he was told he now had to learn how to do that with people, and it has been through this grief tending in community work that has most deeply made that possible.
He found time with Martin Prechtel deeply inspirational in relation to this, as has been touching in with Malidoma, Joanna Macy and playing a support role and participating in work with Maeve. Community based grief tending has enabled the surfacing and release of layers of grief he didn’t know he held. http://regenco.wordpress.com
Dita Vizoso, Apprentice Grief Tender
Dita is a forager, farmer, facilitator, fermenter. A rewilder, of herself, of land and of people. In deep connection to the plant world since an early age, she is in the process of unlearning many years of academically-oriented herbalism in the hope of gaining a wisdom that can only come from intuition.
A trained evolutionary ecologist, Dita worked on the evolution of conflict for a couple of decades until the need to actively work on land regeneration and to break free from the Story of Business as Usual lured her to the UK, where she gave herself to the passion of working with the soil and living simply, and to travelling, teaching Permaculture and in the search of a community focused on stewarding and respecting nature.
While attending her first “Bowl of Tears” ritual during one Permaculture course at High Heathercombe, she realised that without regenerating people’s souls there was little hope that any efforts in land regeneration would yield permanent fruit. A few hours later she had made a pact with the Earth. Of finding a way to be of service, a way to invite the rewilding of souls, so that we can finally stop destroying nature—ourselves included. After a year she found a path, through Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects and Grief Tending.
Sarah Pletts, facilitator
Sarah is a facilitator and artist-maker. She is deeply committed to a creative and embodied exploration of both grief and love.
Real life experience of mortality, chronic illness, and caring for others have been the foundation of her learning.
She has followed in the footsteps of Sophy Banks and Jeremy Thres as an ‘Apprentice to Grief’, and regularly holds Grief Tending spaces.She is passionate about the potential transformation that tending grief with authenticity and kindness can have on both people and their habitats.
Sarah co-creates interactive theatrical experiences, which include ‘The Sensation Seekers’ Diner’, the ‘Casino of the Senses’ and ‘Hackney is Friendly’. These explore consent, presence, play and radical friendliness. Other tracks include designing bespoke ceremonies, and documenting cultural travel experiences.
Honouring Mel Lamb, facilitator. Died 13 July 2020.
Rest in peace beloved Mel.Long time supporter of Grief tending work, member of our team, facilitators of Work that Reconnects and manager of the High Heathercombe Centre on Dartmoor, where many of our workshops have evolved and happened.
Mel’s death came suddenly, her journey from diagnosis with cancer to death contained within the lockdown strangeness of early 2020. A reminder to s all of the importance of giving our gifts while we can, that life ends, that we need to look after our energy and our bodies.
Our ancestors, on the other side of the shrine
Sobonfu, Maeve and now Mel, three beautiful women, pioneers and teachers of grief work. May we meet you often at the Ancestor shrine. Please bless our work and help us to stay true to what you brought and taught in your short lives.
You can find links to others holding grief spaces here