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Meet the team

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 and Volunteers
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.

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.


Aga Amber — Yoga
I feel happy and honoured to continue offering yoga sessions on the next NVC Summerfest. My intention is to create a space where we can gather together and through gentle yoga postures we can rejuvenate, reconnect with our emotional and intuitive awareness, see our Inner Landscape, feel the unique energy of our Hearts, and experience deeper connection with the Nature all around us.
Morning yoga sessions are dedicated to start the day gently with intuitive movements inspired by Hatha and Kundalini Yoga with a touch of the healing sounds of Tibetan Singing Bowls, Crystal Triangle, Shamanic Drum and Koshi bells.
Evening yoga practice will deeply relax your body and mind, release any tension and promote better sleep. These sessions will include gentle movements, stretching, breathing techniques called Pranayama and guided meditation with the sound of the Tibetan Bowl.
If you have a mat and a warm soft blanket please bring it with you to make a cozy nest.
See you on the mat. Many blessings, Aga Amber

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.

Becky Parker – Biodanza
Hello everyone, I am excited and honoured to be offering some Biodanza at this year’s Summerfest and I am looking forward to sharing time on the field with old and new friends.
Biodanza (‘the dance of life’) can bring us the opportunity to rest in our bodies for a while and support us to integrate our learning from the day. During a session (‘Vivencia’) we are invited to connect with ourselves, each other and all of Life in a profound lived experience, often beyond words – a wonderful complement to our NVC practice.
Through a series of guided Biodanza exercises with music from around the world and the warming company of our community we enter a joyful, deepening ritual together. It is for all of us with a Body, heart and mind whether we think of ourselves as dancers or not.
My journey with biodanza began around five years ago and has added a beautiful richness to my life as it weaves in with teachings from Marshall Rosenberg and others who hold Life as sacred and acknowledge the unifying power of Love.

More team members to be confirmed.