On this page, meet the Summerfest team, elsewhere you can find out what’s on, discover more about the venue, read up on coming with children, get the lowdown on the Summerfest Fees, consider volunteering, get travel directions, and read our Ts&Cs. Ready to book? Fill in the online booking form.
Shantigarbha Warren — Core Team and Co-lead Trainer
Shantigarbha is a certified NVC trainer* based in Bristol. He teaches on CNVC’s International Intensive Trainings (IITs) and is a CNVC Assessor-in-training. Shantigarbha has led NVC workshops and retreats in the UK, the Middle East, the US, India and Sri Lanka and offers coaching / counselling for individuals and couples. In 2011 he ran a reconciliation retreat for 100 Israelis and Palestinians near the Dead Sea. His long-awaited book on empathy: I’ll Meet You There: a practical guide to empathy, mindfulness and communication, came out in June 2018.
*Certified with the International Centre for Nonviolent Communication.
More about Shantigarbha.
Gesine Schrader — Core Team and Co-lead Trainer
Gesine is a CNVC-certified trainer, living in Bristol, UK. For the past three years she has been facilitating NVC events with and without Shantigarbha in the UK, India, USA and Germany. Her background is in teaching. She is a Montessori-certified teacher, and currently supports a home school in Bristol to integrate NVC. Before moving to the UK from Germany, she worked for five years in a private school as a class teacher. Alongside this, she spent seven years developing an NVC Schools project around her home town of Hamburg. And before that, for seven years she led year-long Mother and Baby courses as a PEKiP-certified trainer.
“My passion is sharing NVC and find a way to bring it into education systems, so kids can ‘soak up the water’ wherever they swim, experience compassionate connection and develop trust in dealing with conflicts.”
See more about her.
Rik Midgley — Core Team and Site Manager
Rik is a CNVC-certified trainer who has been holding regular workshops in North Wales, across the UK and in India. He has been a practising Vipassana Meditation since 1990, having spent about 18 months on its intense retreats, and teaching his own variation of Qigong since 2008, in which he has incorporated self introspection and trauma release techniques. In his trainings, he enjoys applying his experiential understanding of the body and its sensory language to connect with our deeper intentions. He holds that nonviolence is the art of guiding our words and actions so that they lie in harmony with our body, thus taking full responsibility for ourselves and leaving us with a sense of well being and self-esteem. Rik also makes ceramics from his home in Snowdonia. You can read more about Rik and his work on his website: www.LiveNonviolence.uk
Selda San Ridley — Core Team
Hello!! I am Selda, and my passion is to observe and inject NVC naturally in all the areas I function in my day-to-day life, and see the subtle and beautiful changes people make in their lives.
I am originally from Turkey and grew up in conditions which were explicitly and implicitly violent. I value family and community deeply and I know what it means to raise your own family in a new country with little or no support or sense of belonging. I am a mother of two teenagers and I came across NVC at a time I felt totally depleted and needed to deeply connect with my own needs and shift things in every aspect of my life. I can’t be grateful enough to my international NVC community for all the learning, love and support I have received including finding out about the NVC Year Training.
I was fortunate to meet Shantigarbha and Gesine and train on their Year Training in 2016-2017 and I have since been enjoying sharing NVC by responding to curiosity in Manchester area and on online platforms. I run and support practice groups and taster sessions. I also volunteer as a facilitator for Alternatives to Violence Project. I have various experiences working with children and families as an English as a Second Language Teacher for 10 years in Turkey, as a coordinator and administrator for Bookstart in Manchester for 6 years, and as an Information Governance Officer supporting social services on Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation.
I am looking forward to building our community with you in this year’s Summerfest.
Ceri Buckmaster — Certified Trainer and Conflict Transformation Team
I became a Certified Trainer of NVC in 2017. My sharing of NVC rests on the 4 pillars of: Building a culture of Consent, Raising awareness of power and privilege, Finding ways of embracing and transforming conflict and Holding space for grief and mourning. I live in London, with my son and I love cold water and wild swimming so am looking forward to the swimming lake at camp!
Follow Ceri on her Facebook page.
Mahesh — Catering
Catering at this year’s Summerfest is being done by Lungi Babas, from Frome. Lungi Babas provide delicious authentic home cooked vegetarian food prepared with mother’s love and affection. Their values of cooking are based on Ayurvedic principles: six tastes at every meal for us to feel satisfied and to ensure that all major food groups and nutrients are represented. By learning to listen to our taste buds we can ensure a balanced diet.
Suzie Blackwell – Administrator
Hello I am looking after the admin for this year’s Summerfest. I am a mum and have two boys Noah (14) and Barnie (11). I also have two jobs, one as an insurance underwriter and the other as a self employed glass bead artist. My first experience of NVC was at last year’s Summerfest. I was so inspired by this way of communicating, how beneficial my children found the camp and the level of connection I felt to myself and the other participants. I had been struggling with a work issue for a few months before I attended the camp and I explored it in one of Rik’s workshops. Suddenly I could see how I actually felt and what my needs where. I got back to work and used my new skills to explain this and the problem was resolved instantly. It blew me away! I have since gone on to do the Level One course and continue to practise what I have learned in my daily life. It felt important to me to be part of Summerfest this year and I am so happy to be looking after the admin side of things. I look forward to meeting you all.
Filip Kijowski — Contact Improvisation
Filip is an aspiring performance maker, dancer and choreographer. In 2018 he completed a degree in Dance Studies at Roehampton University in London. His earlier education at The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts provided Filip with a background in contemporary dance and Musical Theatre. From a young age Filip has had a passion for community building. He sees dance as opportunity for people from all walks of life to share space, in order to nurture their need for self-expression and belonging.
Emma Cole – Yoga
I used to prance about in Opera houses as a dancer for professional productions but now I teach yoga full time. I teach numerous styles of yoga (good gracious there are so many these days) but I lean towards a gentle flow, restorative or somatic yoga (although I enjoy teaching and doing vigorous classes from time to time – it’s all about balance and what the body needs day-to-day, phase to phase, stage to stage which is always shifting and changing). I am particularly interested in yoga for trauma and fatigue – this is a specialist area and I am running trauma-informed courses for yoga teachers to gain skills and training in teaching Restorative Yoga. I also love T’ai Chi, meditation and yoga nidra. Last year at Summerfest we had such a wonderful time. This year I will be flowing with the requests for morning sessions and can’t wait to see you there!
More team members to be confirmed.